Monthly Archives: January 2016

Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative Competition 2016 …

New Competition Category – Best Digital Project

Each year the Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative Committee invites all schools in Wales to enter heritage projects in a nationwide competition.

The word “heritage” is interpreted in the widest sense, to include people and their social history, religion, traditions and culture; the world of work, agriculture, industry, finance, commerce, science, technology, arts and sport.

Full details of the competition can be found here.

Brand New Digital Project Category! Sponsored by People’s Collection Wales

People’s Collection Wales is a fantastic website packed full of fascinating photographs, sound recordings, documents, videos and stories about the history and heritage of Wales and its people.

To Enter The Digital Project Category:

1.Choose a topic that links to ‘Heritage’ and enter the WSHI Competition

2.Complete a project that includes digital material

3.Upload your project onto the PCW website

4.You could Win a Prize for your school!

For more details visit the People’s Collection Wales website

Support & training on how to use People’s Collection Wales is available for FREE!

Click here to enter

To enter the Competition please submit the entry form by 31 January 2016. Completed projects will be judged 18 April – 6 May.


Swansea Museum under threat …

Swansea Museum, the oldest museum in Wales, is under threat from two directions.

Swansea Council, which owns and operates the Museum, announced in November 2015 that, in response to a financial cut of 50% over the next three years in its funding of cultural services – a reduction far in excess of cuts in other services – it intends to explore other options for the future management of the Museum and other cultural facilities.  Options include ‘not-for-profit and community-based companies and organisations’.  This follows a review conducted for the Council, which has not been made public.  The lack of public debate on the Museum’s future is concerning, especially since there appears to be a strong and unchallenged push by the Council towards Trust status for the Museum.  A recent report for Arts Council England makes it clear that the offloading of museum services to trusts is not likely to succeed if its primary motivation is to save money.

Secondly, the Museums Association reported on 8 December 2015 rumours that Swansea Council intends to close, temporarily or permanently,  the Tramshed, the pontoon (with its three heritage boats) and, most serious of all, the Collections Centre in Landore, which houses 90% of the Museum’s historic collections.

Swansea Council has now published a consultation questionnaire on its latest budget (the closing date for responses is 24 January 2016).  The two questions about Swansea Museum reveal that the Council proposes to close the Tramshed and remove the collections from the Collections Centre and ‘transfer’ them somewhere else (unspecified).

The closure of the Collections Centre, especially if followed by the dispersal or disposal of its contents, would deprive Swansea citizens of their own history and undo nearly two centuries of patient collection.

The Royal Institution of South Wales, as the Friends of Swansea Museum, is very concerned about these developments.  It calls for a full public debate on decisions that would have very serious implications for the city and its residents.


Swansea Bus Museum under threat …

New Year message from our Chairman:

First of all I wish you a very Happy New Year! May 2016 look favourably on us all!

2016 is a make or break year for us. As you may be aware, our lease expires at the end of this year and we have been notified that it is highly unlikely to be renewed under the same favourable terms. Our building sits within the SA1 Local Development Area, which is set to evolve rapidly following the opening of the new Swansea University campus last September. It’s only a matter of time before our former industrial site will be consumed for residential and/or leisure use. In the short term, increased occupancy of adjacent units has pushed up rents.

You may recall that we carried out a business planning exercise with Landsker Business Solutions Ltd. in 2014. Key to the execution of the plan ls the securing of our own property, either through direct ownership or a very long term lease. Such an arrangement will make it easier for us to obtain grant funding, something we have had only limited success with so far. Our present site arrangement does not fit the criteria to achieve this.

We’re presently investigating several alternative sites in the Swansea Bay area and will place renewed urgency on the situation now that Christmas is behind us. In the meantime, you may have noticed that the museum is currently closed to the general public. This is due to a major housekeeping exercise underway in the spares area at the far corner of the museum in preparation for the move. The need to create space to work in that area has meant that some vehicles have needed to be moved into the public display area, restricting movement there. For public safety reasons the trustees decided on the closure during this quiet time of year. The museum will reopen to the public for the Swansea Historic Vehicle Autojumble on Sunday February 21st , when our vehicles will be on display outside, before our own Running Day on the following Sunday, February 28th.

I’m making a heartfelt appeal for as much assistance as possible from members and volunteers on Sundays during this “down” time. The future success of the museum depends on all of us, while failure will see the break-up of the collection and the likely loss of many historic vehicles to the scrap man, something we have worked hard to avoid over the years. We really need to be pulling together now!

To this end I request that as many of you as possible attend the next monthly members’ meeting at the museum on Sunday January 10th at 11am.

I trust that I can count on your continuing support at this crucial time.

Alan West
Chairman, Swansea Bus Museum