Monthly Archives: January 2015

Working for Victory: Welsh Industry and the Great War, NWM/HA talk 31 January …

Robert Protheroe-Jones, Heavy Industies Curator at the National Museum of Wales, will speak on Working for Victory: Welsh Industry and the Great War as part of the World War One series of talks organised by the National Waterfront Museum and the Swansea Branch of the Historical Asociation.

National Waterfront Museum, Saturday 31 January, 11.00. Admission free.

RIAH Heritage Placement Opportunities …

Research Institute for the Arts and Humanities



Placements at museums, archives, archaeological organisations, libraries and more!

Skills Training – Career Development –  Employability Enhancement

International placements to include:

  • Museo Galileo, Florence

National placements including:

  • Royal Commission for Ancient Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW)
  • Big Pit, National Coal Museum
  • National Waterfront Museum
  • Gwent Glamorgan Archaeological Trust (GGAT)
  • The Birth Place of Dylan Thomas, 5 Cwmdonkin Drive *New for 2015*
  • The Egypt Centre, Swansea University *New for 2015*
  • Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University
  • South Wales Miners Library

This programme will be of interest to those from within and outside of heritage and heritage-related disciplines, including IT, management, tourism and literature.

Open to all postgraduate students and ECRs, including MA, MPhil and PhD students .

Placements include travel allowances, bursaries and funding for accommodation where applicable.

To register your interest please email Kate Spiller, Project Coordinator:

Watch this space!….. 


Don’t miss our next careers and employability talk;

‘Careers in Heritage; Different Skills and Roles’ Jennifer Griffiths, National Museum of  Wales, February 10th 2 – 3pm, Glyndwr Room 123, Glyndwr Building, Swansea University.

Email Kate Spiller, Project Coordinator (above) to book a place!

Defiance Cycle Ride Swansea, Easter Sunday …

On Easter Monday in 1885, a momentous event took place in south west Wales. For the very first time, a modern, chain-driven bicycle was ridden all the way from Glanaman in the Amman Valley to Swansea and back. No-one had seen anything like it before, and thousands of people came out to line the route to see the strange machine pass by.

The bicycle was manufactured by William and Arthur Williams who had set up in business founding the Defiance Cycle Works at their farm, Gelli Fawnen, overlooking Glanaman in the Amman Valley. This was the first – and only – cycle manufacturing company ever in Wales.

Easter Monday in 1885 was on the 6th April, and Easter Monday 2015 is once more on the 6th April. So we are celebrating the 130th anniversary to the day of this unique piece of history by organising a ride from Gelli Fawnen Farm to Swansea and back, retracing as much as possible the original route taken by Arthur Williams on his historic ride.

Full details at

The ride is approximately 36 miles in total and is a Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) event. It is not a sportive, or a race, but a touring ride to be enjoyed at leisure on a mix of roads, quiet country lanes and traffic-free cycle paths.


The Early Years of the DVLA, 31 January, National Waterfront Museum …

Big Data Comes to Wales: the early Years of the DVLA 1965 – 1975

Saturday 31st January 2015, 2pm – 4pm. Admission free.

The National Waterfront Museum, Maritime Quarter, Swansea SA1 3RD

In the mid 1960s the Government decided to centralise Driver and Vehicle licensing, a function at that time undertaken by Local Authorities across the UK. A subsequent decision to computerise the records and licensing processes resulted in the creation of the DVLA, a groundbreaking major public service data processing operation. This event will explore the challenges and achievements of the early years of the organisation, and welcomes contributions from the floor in an open discussion.

The Institute of Welsh Affairs is hosting this event in partnership with Swansea University. The Department of Computer Science and the Information Services and Systems Department of the University have a History of Computing Collection, charting the history of computing and data processing, especially in Wales.


2:00pm          Welcome,

Delith Thorpe, Secretary, IWA Swansea Bay Branch

2:10pm           CLP/DVLC/DVLA – A History,

Professor John Tucker, Computer Science, Swansea University

2:45pm           Centralisation and Computerisation – In the beginning,

Mike Robinson, former Director of IT Services

3:00pm          Open discussion,

Chaired by Prof. John Tucker

4:00pm          Close,

Delith Thorpe

Swansea Canal Society visit White Rock …

Swansea Canal Society paid a very welcome visit to White Rock on 19 December. We showed them round the site, especially the Smith Canal of course. When all of them disappeared inside the tunnel they must have set a record for the maximum number of people inside in the last hundred years!

We look forward to welcoming SCS and others on Sunday 11 January for the Clean and Clear.

See SCS’s report and photos at


Penllergare Valley Woods 2014 and onward …

Dear all,

2014 has been a challenging, exciting and rewarding year for us as a voluntary organisation in our ambition to restore Penllergare Valley Woods for everyone to enjoy. We are already getting the feeling that this is more of a community ‘movement’ than just another project – ‘people power’ in action for a cause worth fighting for!

You can read all about our progress in 2014 and our ambitions for the future in our latest blog here.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year! And above all, thank you for your support in 2014 and we look forward to sharing the restoration journey with you in 2015.

Best Wishes,
Faye (on behalf of everyone at Penllergare Valley Woods)

Faye Maher
Penllergare Valley Woods

01792 344224 (new website coming in January 2015)


Vivian Slate Quarry, Llanberis, North Wales – Royal Commission Animation …

An animation with sub-titles, reconstructing the history and work of Vivian slate quarry which formed part of the extensive Dinorwic group of quarries. It opened in 1869 during the boom years of the slate industry when Wales dominated the world markets.

Royal Commission YouTube Channel: