Monthly Archives: September 2013

HA Anniversary Lecture, 19 October

Mechanization in Ancient Greece and Rome (illustrated)

Dr Tracey Rihll of the History and Classics Department of Swansea University, in collaboration with the Classical Association.

It is not commonly known that machines powered by human or animal muscle, by water, by air, by steam, and by falling weights were employed in Greek and Roman agriculture, quarries and mines, manufacturing establishments, service businesses and homes, either to make tasks easier to perform or allow them to be performed at all. Knowledge about such machines was formed and disseminated in writing. Known books on machinery were written by a dozen individuals, including Arkhimedes.

(This replaces the scheduled lecture by Professor John France, which will be delivered at a later date.

Historical Association Presidential Lecture, Saturday 19 October

Professor Jackie Eales, HA President, will deliver the annual Presidential lecture in the National Waterfont Museum at 11.00 on Saturday 21st September. Entry is free. Her subject is The Campden Wonder of 1662: The Murder and Miraculous Deliverance of William Harrison.

On Thursday 16th August 1660 William Harrison, an elderly gentleman, disappeared without trace from the prosperous market town of Chipping Campden. All that remained were his slashed hat and bloodied neckbands lying in the highway.

His servant and two accomplices were later hanged for the murder. The case raised accusations of kidnap and witchcraft, and provides a fascinating insight into the early modern English justice system.

Jackie will be at the museum early to give her an opportunity to meet and talk with members and the audience generally, one of the principal reasons for her visits to branches. We will take her for lunch afterwards, to Gallini’s in the marina (£9.99 for two excellent courses). Members are welcome to join us for the meal or a pre-lunch drink.

War Diaries, Poems and Raspberries

Forces War Records has placed war diaries and other writings by military personnel on line free for an unspecified period. Try an early Plain English guide by Major William George Mills. On the next page is his poetic response to his Colonel’s instruction on letters containing raspberries sent over his name, and on the previous page his illustrated poem about a snooker loving pipe smoker.

Open house at Hafod-Morfa Copperworks, Saturday 14th September

Hafod-Morfa Copperworks is running activities for the Swansea Open House weekend on 14th September for  the first time.  Guided walks of the site will be given at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm and will focus on the history of the site. You will be able to find out about the current work and future plans.  A Fun Family Scavenger Hunt from 1-3pm. Drop in between these times. Aimed at children of all ages with their families,  the event will have an archaeological twist and involve families collecting photos and identifying buildings and features from maps rather than scavenging actual objects. All families will be entered into a prize draw for a voucher for a family meal at Frankie and Bennie’s. This event is co-ordinated by Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust (GGAT). Download the flier or visit