If you have read any of the recent blog posts about the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project, or the Lost Treasures of Swansea Bay Project and its various exciting activities, you will know that Saving Treasures works with metal detector groups and local museums in Wales to widen access to, and understanding of, the material heritage of Wales.

What is material heritage?

Material heritage is the physical remains of the past, the objects left behind by past societies. Often, these are brought to light by members of the public, mainly metal detectorists, who report their significant finds to their local Finds Liaison Officer in order that they can be recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database.

Taken together, these objects – especially when they are made available to the public in museum collections – help to build up a picture of how we used to live and who we used to be.

Why is it important?

The Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project recognises that interaction with the history of your local area through the objects past communities left behind can be a powerful and enriching experience.

For those who are interested in the past, having access to the actual things that long-dead people used, wore and handled can bring us into contact with them much more directly than a history book ever could.

Every object has a story to tell

The discovery of a lost mourning ring or a hoard of Bronze Age axes tells us something about the people who used such objects and raises questions about how they came to be in the ground. Were they lost, discarded, or put there deliberately? And if so, why?

Thinking about these questions allows us to empathise with our forebears, understand something of their hopes, fears and concerns, and walk a little way in their shoes.

Helo Gyfeillion y Gwanwyn,

Diolch i bawb wnaeth yrru data tywydd ata i'r wythnos ddiwethaf. Roedd rhai o sylwadau’r wythnos yma yn dweud bod y tymheredd yn disgyn, sy’n esgus perffaith i mi siarad rhywfaint am y tymhorau!

Mae yna bedwar tymor mewn blwyddyn: gaeaf, gwanwyn, haf a hydref. Mae hi’n dal yn aeaf ar hyn o bryd, y tymor oeraf.

Mae’r gwanwyn yn dechrau o gwmpas Mawrth yr 20fed (Cyhydnos y Gwanwyn) a dyma’r tymor lle bydd y rhan fwyaf o blanhigion yn blodeuo ac anifeiliaid bach yn cael eu geni wrth i’r tywydd gynhesu. Mae ŵyn bach yn y caeau yn arwydd da bod y gwanwyn wedi cyrraedd!

O fis Mehefin tan fis Medi bydd hi’n haf – y dyddiau’n hir a’r tywydd yn gynnes. Yn lwcus i chi, byddwch yn cael gwyliau hir o’r ysgol!

Bydd yr hydref yn gafael o ddiwedd Medi ymlaen – y dyddiau yn byrhau, y tywydd yn oeri, a’r dail yn troi’n oren, coch a brown cyn syrthio o’r coed. Daw’r gaeaf unwaith eto ym mis Rhagfyr a bydd yn aros efo ni tan ganol Mawrth.

Ydych chi’n gwybod pam ein bod yn cael tymhorau? Beth sy’n achosi i’r tywydd newid mor ddramatig yn ystod y flwyddyn? Mae’n digwydd achos bod y Ddaear yn troi o amgylch yr Haul ar ongl. Mae’r llun isod yn dangos y Ddaear a’r Haul. Mae’r Ddaear yn cylchdroi ar echel (dychmygwch linell yn cysylltu Pegwn y Gogledd â Phegwn y De) wrth symud o amgylch yr Haul.

Mae’n cymryd 365 diwrnod i’r Ddaear deithio unwaith o amgylch yr Haul. Hyd blwyddyn ar blaned yw’r amser mae’n gymryd i deithio o amgylch ei seren unwaith. Felly mae blwyddyn ar y Ddaear yn para 365 diwrnod.

Mae’r llun uchod yn dangos llwybr y Ddaear o amgylch yr Haul. Yr echel yw’r llinell wen trwy’r ddau begwn. Mae’r echel ar ongl wahanol i lwybr y Ddaear o amgylch yr Haul (y llinell wen doredig). Mae hyn yn golygu ein bod ar ongl fymryn yn wahanol i’r Haul bob dydd. Dyma sy’n achosi’r newid yn hyd y dydd. Mae dyddiau byrrach (gaeaf) yn golygu llai o olau a llai o wres, sy’n gwneud y gaeaf yn oerach. Mae dyddiau hirach (haf) yn golygu mwy o olau a gwres, sy’n ei gwneud yn gynhesach!

Mae’r DU yn ‘Hemisffer y Gogledd’ sy’n golygu ein bod yn nes at Begwn y Gogledd nag at Begwn y De. Yn y llun, mae Pegwn y Gogledd (y llinell wen sy’n pwyntio am i fyny) yn gwyro i gyfeiriad yr Haul ym mis Mehefin ac oddi wrth yr Haul ym mis Rhagfyr. Yr ongl hon sy’n achosi’r newid yn hyd y dyddiau wrth i’r Ddaear droi o amgylch yr Haul.

Mae gwledydd eraill yn profi’r newidiadau hyn ar wahanol adegau. Yn Awstralia mae’n haf ym mis Rhagfyr! Ac yng Ngwlad yr Iâ mae’n olau dydd am ddyddiau ar y tro yn yr haf, ac yn dywyll am ddyddiau yn y gaeaf... dychmygwch yr haul yn tywynnu am hanner nos!

Daliwch ati Gyfeillion y Gwanwyn,

Athro’r Ardd


Eich sylwadau:

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, This week it has been very frosty and cold. In the mornings it has been frosty but got warmer at lunch times.

Ysgol Bro Ogwr: Mae'r tymheredd yn newid yn y prynhawn.

Hudson Road Primary School: It has been quite warm during the afternoons this week with bright sunshine.

Ysgol Glanyfferi: The temperature is getting colder as it's getting further into the winter.

Hudson Road Primary School: It has been really cold towards the end of the week, with very frosty mornings but it has warmed up through the day.

Betws Primary School: An extremely wet start to the week! The temperature is beginning to dip and winter is most certainly coming...

Stane Primary School: It's getting colder and colder every day! Get your hat, scarf and gloves on. Professor Plant: Great advice Stane Primary, make sure you stay warm!

Arkholme CE Primary School: We have had some frosty nights and most of the leaves have fallen off the trees. No change what so ever with the bulbs. Have a good day.

Broad Haven Primary School: Everything was frozen every morning this week. Frost and ice. The birds are hungry they are eating the sunflower seeds of the sunflowers we grew in the summer.

Hudson Road Primary School: Friday was a lovely warm afternoon and we did lots of garden maintenance getting ready for the winter and filled our bird feeders so they will have food in the cold winter days. Professor Plant: That’s lovely Hudson Road Primary. Well done for looking after wildlife in your garden.

Darran Park Primary: Despite the sunny weather, the temperature has been quite cold but not freezing Also the temperature has been quite consistent but it dropped a little bit on Friday. As well, to start the week off is has been raining, nevertheless, the rest of the week has been dry.

Carnbroe Primary School: The weather was dry but cold and damp this week. Although it didn't rain the soil in our plant pots was damp. Professor Plant: Hi Carnbroe Primary, well done for checking whether your plants needed watering. It’s likely that dew or frost has been forming on top of the soil this will be why the soil is damp even though it hasn’t rained.  

Bacup Thorn Primary School: We had a lot of snow Thursday night into Friday. Heavy snow throughout Friday making a wet but enjoyable time at break. We had some very large snow flakes falling.

Bacup Thorn Primary School: A cold start to the week, ending with an extremely wet day!

Darran Park Primary: The temperature has dropped and the rainfall has raised.

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: No rain in the week. Hotter on Monday than Thursday.

Auchenlodment Primary School: There is no record for Wednesday as we were off school for St Andrew's Day. Professor Plant: Hi Auchenlodment Primary, thank you for letting me know. A number of other schools let me know that it was St Andrew’s day as well.

Ysgol Pennant: Diolch am y Worm World! Dwin edrych ymlaen am y bylbiau i agor. Diolch am y bylbiau dwin hoffi cadw golwg ar y potiau. Professor Plant: Helo Ysgol Pennant, diolch am eich gwaith called ac am anfon lluniau! Cadwch ati gyda'r gwaith caled Gyfeillion y Gwanwyn!

Rougemont Junior School: Flowers are starting to sprout. Professor Plant: Wow Rougemont, that’s great news! A few other schools have said that their plants are sprouting, it’s earlier than last year so it will be interesting to compare the results!


Yes, you have guessed it, it's time to roll out our annual #MuseumAdvent Calendar at National Museum Cardiff.

Each year throughout December we like to highlight our fantastic collections and spread some Christmassy cheer.

So why not find out what is behind each door of our advent calendar by following the @CardiffCurator Twitter account and see what wonderful suprises we have in store for you behind each one. We have delved deep into our collections to find some great Christmas objects. This year the theme of our advent calendar is lines from Christmas songs and poems. See if you can work out which song or poem each line comes from.

We have started off the calendar with:

Diwrnod 1 #AdfentAmgueddfa: ‘Aur, thus a myrr a gafodd ef, gan ddoethion ddaeth o bell’. Aur Cymru o gasgliadau @Museum_Cardiff

Day 1 of #MuseumAdvent - ‘Five gold rings!’, 5 nuggets of Welsh Gold from @Museum_Cardiff collections



Well, now that the festive period is over and the decorations are coming down. We thought that we would put all of our Christmassy tweets together in this Storify for you to read.

Our conservation volunteers are helping to get Christmas underway at St Fagans. The first historic building to get the festive treatment was Cilewent Farmhouse originally from Rhaeadr Powys. The display reflects life as it was in the 18th century with most of the furniture dating to 1750. Preparations for Christmas would involve decorating the home with evergreen foliage gathered from the surrounding countryside, such as laurel, ivy, holly and yew. A tradition that has its origins firmly rooted back in our pagan past and continues to this day with the Christmas tree.

The evergreens stand out among the dormant trees in the museum grounds so it didn't take long to gather up enough to prepare the garlands for Cilewent.  We also created a bracket out of 4 sticks of even length (80cm) and to this attached more evergreen foliage and red ribbons. Red berries were very popular, but these dry out and fall off quickly. A recommended technique to help preserve their colour was to store the berries in salt water after picking, we haven't tried this yet, but we'll probably give it a go next year as a flash of red would definitely enhance the overall effect.

The garlands were much bigger than we anticipated and they soon turned into rather unwieldy evergreen snakes, but between us we managed to walk them across the site and secure them to the beams of Cilewent.

If you would like to try this out at home be careful with the holly, it can scratch, not just yourself but furniture and wallpaper as well, so remember to place a barrier of card or fabric between holly and any vulnerable surfaces.

Well, one house done, 11 more to do and only 20 days to Christmas!

As usual in this monthly blog post I’d like to show you some of the objects that have recently been added to the industry and transport collections.


The first object this month is a passport issued to Cardiff shipowner Robert McNeil for travel on the continent. It is dated 16 September 1896. Robert McNeil was the founder of the Cardiff shipping company McNeil, Hind & Company.


One collection accessioned this month consists of three certificates and two photographs. The certificates were all issued to William Challenger of Hafodyrynys, who was a colliery manager. The certificates comprise a Second Class Certificate of Competency, and a First Class Certificate of Competency both issued under the Coal Mines Act, 1911. This Act had set up a Mining Qualifications Board to make sure that colliery managers, firemen, deputies and other staff responsible for mine safety were suitably qualified and to issue these certificates of competency. The third certificate was issued to William Challenger electing him a Member of The South Wales Institute of Engineers in 1944. Also in this collection, are two photographs (both illustrated here).

The first is a group photograph showing the Llanhilleth Colliery Rescue Brigade, 1923-24, with some wearing rescue apparatus. The photograph is mounted onto card with a handwritten title and list of names. William Challenger appears in the photograph (seated front left) and was the captain.

The second photographs is a group photograph showing "Monmouthshire Education Committee Mining Students' Tour in Lancashire, 1922'. Photograph includes William Challenger (seated second from right) who later became a colliery manager. The photograph is mounted on card with title and names of students printed on it.

As mentioned in previous blog posts, Amgueddfa Cymru holds by far the largest and most wide-ranging Welsh-interest share certificate collection held by any public museum. This month we have added to this collection a share certificate for the Anglo-Belgique Shipping Co. Ltd. This company was based in Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff, and was established in 1916 by Evan Owen of Llangrannog and E.L. Williams of Penarth to take advantage of high war time shipping rates. They acquired the steamer Kyleness which was renamed Cymric Prince. When Williams left the partnership, Evan was joined by his sons Alwyn and Aneurin. Boosted by the post First World War shipping boom, by 1922 they were operating three steamships prefixed Cymric- The difficult years of the late 1920s caused the company to mortgage its two remaining ships to Barclay’s Bank which foreclosed on the mortgages in 1933, whereupon the company was wound-up. The distinctive name suggests an intention to trade with Belgian ports.


Finally this month, we have acquired a Tata Steel Port Talbot fortnightly works newspaper. It is Issue 221, and dated 28 April 2016. It would have been given away free to employees at Port Talbot works, and visitors to the plant.


Find out more about the industry and transport collections here on the monthly blog post.

You can also learn more about the collections on our web pages here.


Mark Etheridge
Curator (Industry & Transport)
Follow us on Twitter - @IndustryACNMW