Amgueddfa Blog: Ffotograffau Hanesyddol

Over the last few months we have added some interesting objects to the collections. As usual this month I’d like to share with you some of these, to illustrate the range of objects collected for the industry & transport collections at Amgueddfa Cymru.

Illustrated here is a debenture for The Western Counties and South Wales Telephone Company, Limited. Dated 6th May 1889. This company was formed in 1884, a few months after liberation of telephone regulations made regional networks feasible for the first time in the UK. It was one of the seven regional telephone companies that covered the UK in the 1880s and early 1890s prior to the National Telephone Co. Ltd. achieving UK-wide dominance. By 1888 the south Wales portion of its network extended from Cardiff and Newport, westwards to Swansea and Llanelli, with some connections to valleys towns – connecting all the major industrial and urban centres of the south Wales coastal belt.

This Western Mail Ltd., Cardiff, employees' Roll of Honour, 1914-1918, was almost certainly displayed in the company’s main offices in Cardiff. It lists the names of 152 men who served during the First World War, with the names of those who died picked out in gold. The roll of honour joins an important collection of objects related to Welsh industry and the First World War. These items plus others from the National collection can be viewed on this online database

We are not sure exactley why this fretwork of 'The Lord's Prayer' was made. It was however, made by Llewelyn Richards, a haulier at Lewis Merthyr Colliery. 

This brass object is a 'Turnip', and was used to protect a miner’s watch whilst he was working underground. It was used at Oakdale Colliery, and was donated along with an MSA self-rescuer, c.1989. Self rescuers such as these are still used at Big Pit National Coal Museum where they are part of the safety equipment given to visitors on the underground tour. These objects were both collected as part of St. Fagans Oakdale Workmen’s Institute re-interpretation project. You can find out more about this here.

We have acquired a few objects relating to the Mathews family. This oval shaped brass twist box has an inscription on the lid that reads ‘D.MATHEWS / GORSEINON 1897’. It belonged to David John Mathews, who was born on 7 July 1891 in Gorseinon. He died on 8 September 1959 of lobar pneumonia following massive pneumoconiosis at the West Wales Isolation Hospital in Upper Tumble. Coal miners were unable to smoke underground for fear of causing an explosion, so many chewed tobacco, and twist boxes such as this one were used to hold this chewing tobacco. They are usually oval in shape, made of brass and have an inscription on the lid (such as this example), although there are variations on this. A large collection of twist boxes can be seen on display at Big Pit National Coal Museum.

Along with the twist box, the Museum was also donated a photograph and newspaper cutting relating to the death of Ifor Mathews who was tragically killed in an accident at Great Mountain Colliery in 1936. Ifor Mathews had played rugby for Neath, Swansea, Carmarthen 'Quins', Llandebie, Penygroes and Cefnithin. The photograph was taken about 1926, and shows him wearing a rugby shirt. Can anyone identify the club?

Finally, this photograph shows a blacksmith with a horse, and dated from the early 20th century. The photograph was probably taken at a slate quarry in north Wales, possibly in the Blaenau Ffestiniog area. Can anyone help confirm or identify the location? 

   

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

Dyn wedi ymddeol, Dawns Perchnogion Car MG 1967 Hawlfraint David Hurn Magnum Photos
Dyn wedi ymddeol, Dawns Perchnogion Car MG, 1967. D.U. ALBAN, Caeredin. © David Hurn/MAGNUM PHOTOS

Mae Amgueddfa Cymru wedi derbyn rhodd anhygoel gan y ffotograffydd Magnum, David Hurn. Mae Hurn yn un o ffotograffwyr dogfennol mwyaf dylanwadol Prydain. Ac yntau bellach yn byw ac yn gweithio yma yng Nghymru, mae wedi dychwelyd at ei wreiddiau Cymreig – ac yma y bydd ei gasgliad o ffotograffau’n aros diolch i’w rodd hael.

Mae’r casgliad yn rhannu’n ddwy ran, sef tua 1,500 o’i ffotograffau ef ei hun sy’n cwmpasu ei yrfa o dros drigain mlynedd fel ffotograffydd dogfennol; a thua 700 o ffotograffau gan ffotograffwyr eraill o’i gasgliad preifat. Wrth sôn am ei rodd, dywedodd Hurn:

“Fy atgofion gweledol/diwylliannol cynharaf yw ymweld â’r Amgueddfa pan oeddwn i’n bedair neu’n bump oed. Dwi’n cofio’r cerflun drwg – y Gusan gan Rodin – a chasys yn llawn stwff oedd pobl wedi ei roi. Wel, bellach mae gen i gyfle i dalu rhywbeth yn ôl – bydd rhywbeth gen i yno am byth. Mae’n fraint o’r mwyaf.”

Detholiad Diffiniol o Waith Oes

Dros y ddwy flynedd ddiwethaf, mae David wedi bod yn dewis ffotograffau o’i archif ef ei hun sy’n ddetholiad o waith ei oes. Mae’r casgliad o tua 1,500 o brintiau newydd yn cynnwys gwaith a wnaed yng Nghymru, Lloegr, yr Alban, Iwerddon, Arizona, Califfornia ac Efrog Newydd.

Mae’n cynnwys rhai o’i ffotograffau enwocaf, fel Dawns y Frenhines Charlotte, Barbarella a Grosvenor Square.

Fodd bynnag, ei ffotograffau craff a gofalus o Gymru yw prif ffocws y casgliad. Yn dilyn rhodd hael David, Amgueddfa Cymru yw ceidwad y casgliad mwyaf o’i luniau yn y byd.

Y Promenâd yn Ninbych y Pysgod 1974 Hawlfraine David Hurn Magnum Photos
D.U. CYMRU. Dinbych y Pysgod. Y promenâd yn nhref glan y môr Dinbych y Pysgod, De Cymru. 1974 © David Hurn/MAGNUM PHOTOS

Casgliad Cyfnewid

Drwy gydol ei yrfa hir, mae Hurn wedi bod yn cyfnewid llun am lun â’i gyd-ffotograffwyr, llawer ohonynt yn gydweithwyr iddo yng nghwmni Magnum.

Mae’r casgliad pwysig ac amrywiol hwn o tua 700 ffotograff, sydd hefyd yn dod i law’r Amgueddfa, yn cynnwys gweithiau gan ffotograffwyr blaenllaw’r 20fed a’r 21ain ganrif.

Yn eu mysg mae Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eve Arnold, Sergio Larrain, Bill Brandt, Martine Franck, Bruce Davidson a Martin Parr, Bieke Depoorter, Clementine Schneidermann a Diana Markosian. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eve Arnold, Sergio Larrain, Bill Brandt, Martine Franck, Bruce Davidson a Martin Parr, a ffotograffwyr sy’n dod yn amlycach megis Bieke Depoorter, Clementine Schneidermann a Diana Markosian.

Bydd detholiad o ffotograffau o gasgliad preifat David yn cael eu harddangos am y tro cyntaf yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd o 30 Medi 2017 ymlaen. Bydd Llun am Lun: Ffotograffau o Gasgliad David Hurn yn lansio oriel ffotograffiaeth newydd yr Amgueddfa.

Casgliadau Ffotograffig yn Amgueddfa Cymru

Mae casgliadau ffotograffau Amgueddfa Cymru’n unigryw am eu bod yn cwmpasu cynifer o feysydd a phynciau, gan gynnwys celf, hanes cymdeithasol a diwydiannol a’r gwyddorau naturiol.

Mae hefyd yn cynnwys ffotograffau pwysig iawn, fel rhai o’r ffotograffau cynharaf i gael eu tynnu yng Nghymru gan y ffotograffydd arloesol John Dillwyn Llewelyn a’i deulu. Bydd rhodd David yn gweddnewid casgliadau ffotograffiaeth yr Amgueddfa ac yn creu cyfleoedd cyffrous i ehangu’r casgliadau mewn ffyrdd newydd.

Grwp ffitrwydd yng ngymuned ymddeol Sun City, Arizona 1980 Hawlfraint David Hurn Magnum Photos
UDA. Arizona. Sun City. Grwp ffitrwydd y tu allan ben bore yng nghymuned ymddeol Sun City. Ras can metr 50 eiliad i bobl rhwng 60 a 94 mlwydd oed yn y Senior Olympics. Roedd teimlad o hwyl a chymdeithas i'w deimlo'n gryf yno. 1980. © David Hurn/MAGNUM PHOTOS

Bydd yr arddangosfa yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd yn dilyn cyflwyniad o waith David Hurn yn Photo London, y digwyddiad ffotograffiaeth rhyngwladol a gynhelir bob blwyddyn yn Somerset House, Llundain. Wedi’i churadu gan Martin Parr a David Hurn, mae arddangosfa Photo London, David Hurn’s Swaps, yn dathlu pen-blwydd Magnum Photos yn 70 oed.

The Voices from the Archives series is based on recordings in the Oral History Archive at St Fagans National History Museum. Connected to the agricultural activities, demonstrations and displays at the Museum - they provide an insight into the lives and histories of farming people, the agricultural practices in the past, how they developed into contemporary agriculture.

Lambing in Pembrokeshire, 1984

March is lambing time at Llwyn-yr-eos Farm, the Museum’s working farm. Lambing in the past and present was described by Richard James, Portfield Gate, Pembrokeshire, south west Wales, in a recording made in 1984. Aged 79, he recalled lambing in an interview about his life in farming, but also described how it was being done on a farm in the area in the year of the interview. The following short clips are from the recording.

Pembrokeshire born and bred, Richard James had farmed at Lambston Sutton in the south west of the county. It stood between the large county town of Haverfordwest a few miles to the east, and the coastline of St Bride’s Bay to the west. The lowland coastal areas, warmer climate and lower rainfall made agriculture more diverse than in many other parts of Wales, with the keeping cattle and sheep and the growing of early potatoes and cereal crops. The coastal areas could be exposed to the winds and rain from the Atlantic Ocean though, and weather conditions could strongly influence lambing, to which Richard James refers in the first clip:

Richard James, Portfield Gate, Sir Benfro

When lambing was to take place was decided by when the ewes were put to the rams. Up until then the rams on the farm had to be kept separate from the sheep. It was always a concern that rams might break through a poor fence or hedge and cause lambing to start at the wrong time. Also, a ram of poorer quality or a different breed from another flock could also result in poorer quality lambs and reduced income. After mating, a ewe is pregnant for between 142 and 152 days, approximately five months or slightly shorter.

In this clip, Richard James describes at what time of year lambing took place on a local farm, and how it was being done by a farmer using a former aircraft hangar.

Richard James, Portfield Gate, Sir Benfro

The final clip is about working the day and night shifts:

Richard James, Portfield Gate, Sir Benfro

 

Ym Medi 2017 bydd Institiwt y Gweithwyr Oakdale yn dathlu ei gan-mlwyddiant. Wedi ei adeiladu yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, mi roedd unwaith yn ganolbwynt gymdeithasol bwysig i drigolion pentref Oakdale. Symudwyd yr adeilad i’r Amgueddfa yn 1989 ac i nodi penblwydd yr adeilad eleni, mae’r Amgueddfa wedi lawnsio prosiect #Oakdale100. Bwriad y prosiect yw ail-ddehongli’r adeilad a’i ddod yn fyw unwaith eto gyda lleisiau’r gymuned.

Fel rhan o’r gwaith paratoi, mae staff yr Amgueddfa wedi ail-ymweld ag archifau’r adeilad, gan dynnu ynghyd ffotograffau, cyfweliadau hanes llafar a gwrthrychau perthnasol. Dwi wedi bod yn edrych ar y casgliad ffotograffau yn benodol. Gyda chymorth yr Adran Ffotograffiaeth, rydym wedi digideiddio cannoedd o ddelweddau a oedd gynt ar gael ar ffurf negatifau yn unig. Mae’r ffotograffau hyn yn dangos ystod y digwyddiadau ar gweithgareddau a oedd yn cael eu cynnal yn y Stiwt – o ymweliad y Tywysog Albert yn 1920 i berfformiadau dramatig y 50au. Maen nhw hefyd yn dogfennu pensaerniaeth yr adaeilad a manylion yr ystafelloedd mewnol. Fy hoff lun i yw hwnnw o’r bachgen yn ei arddegau yn pori silffoedd y llyfrgell.

Yn ogystal â digideiddio’r deunydd sydd eisoes yng nghasgliad yr Amgueddfa, rydym hefyd wedi bod yn brysur yn ymgysylltu gyda’r gymuned yn Oakdale heddiw. Llynedd cynhaliwyd gweithdy galw-heibio yn y pentref i annog trigolion yr ardal i rannu storiau ac i sganio eu ffotograffau ar gyfer archif yr Amgueddfa a Casgliad y Werin.

Yn ddiweddar, rydym hefyd wedi agor tudalen Facebook ar gyfer y prosiect ac mae’r ymateb wedi bod yn anghygoel! Mae llu o bobl wedi cyfrannu eu hatgofion, gadael sylwadau a rhannu delweddau ar y dudalen. Yn ddi-os, mae Facebook yn adnodd gwych i ail-gysylltu gyda’r gymuned.

Os oes gennych unrhyw storiau neu ffotograffau sy’n gysylltiedig â Stiwt Oakdale, cysylltwch â ni. Byddem wrth ein boddau i weld unrhyw ffotograffau o bartion neu gigs yn y Stiwt yn ystod y 1960au-80au.

The first few months of 2017 has already seen Amgueddfa Cymru acquiring some interesting additions to the industry and transport collections. As usual this month I’d like to show you some of the objects that have recently been added to these collections.

This red brick is inscribed Ynysddu Brick Co. It was found fly-tipped at ‘Cyfarthfa Willow Cinder Tip’, Merthyr Tydfil, a tip used by Ynysfach Ironworks from around the 1830s, until 1868 when construction of the Brecon & Merthyr Railway severed access to the tip.

The brick was manufactured at Ynysddu Brick Works, which was closer to Cwmfelinfach than to Ynysddu in the lower Sirhowy Valley, Monmouthshire. The works operated for a limited period in the early twentieth century, it was not shown on the 1899 OS map, and had been demolished by the time the 1948 OS map was surveyed. The works was connected by a three quarters of a mile long tramway to Wentloog / Yr Ochr Wyth Colliery, from where it probably obtained its coal, and clay or shale. Closure of the colliery in 1920 may have caused closure of the brickworks also.

This oil on board painting depicts a miner with a pit pony, and is titled ‘Pit Pals’. It was painted by William Salton in the 1970s. We believe the artist was an ex-miner, but don’t have any further details. If anyone can help with further information, please get in touch.

This photograph album contains 77 black and white photographs showing the construction and refurbishment works at the docks in Swansea, Port Talbot and Briton Ferry. The photographs date between 1927 and 1935.

We were also recently donated another photograph album. This one contains 92 photographs taken between 4th May and 6th June 1957. The photographs show the installation of 33kv package type switchgear at Cardiff Power Station.

As mentioned in previous blog posts, Amgueddfa Cymru holds by far the largest and wide-ranging Welsh-interest share certificate collection held by any public museum. This month we have added three certificates to this collection

The first certificate is a Aberdaunant Lead Mining Co. Ltd. share certificate dated 31 March 1876. The company was registered in 1869 to reopen the ancient lead and zinc mine of the same name near Llanidloes, Montgomeryshire. The mine was worked on a modest scale until 1876 when it was abandoned, producing 150 tons of ore. Little was achieved in the first three or four years of the company’s existence and application was made in November 1872 to reduce its capital from £75,000 to £15,000 in 1872 following financial difficulties. Almost all recorded production occurred in 1873-75. Despite much development work, no further ore was produced and the mine closed in 1879. The shareholders resolved in 1879 to liquate the company but liquidation was not completed until 1898, and the company was struck off in 1902.

The next is a British Motor Corporation Ltd. share certificate dated 8 May 1965. The company was formed in 1952 to merge Austin and Morris motor vehicle production. Morris was the holding company that owned Nuffield which included MG, Riley and Wolseley. In 1965 BMC acquired the Pressed Steel Co. Ltd., a major body panel manufacturer previously part-owned by Morris. In 1966 BMC was renamed British Motor Holdings Ltd. and in 1968 merged with Leyland to form British Leyland. BMC owned a number of Welsh production plants and subsidiary companies, notably Morris Motors at Llanelli, and the Pressed Steel plant, also at Llanelli. Both were, and continue to be major employers.

The last certificate is a Carnarvonshire Great Consols Lead Mining Co. Ltd. share certificate dated 15 September 1884. The company was registered in 1881 to take over the operating of Llanrwst Lead- Zinc Mine. Work tailed off at the mine in 1883-84 and thereafter it was kept on care and maintenance until the extensive plant was auctioned off in 1887. The mine was not subsequently worked but was dewatered in the 20th century by the underlying Parc Mine and is now well-known for the rare exposure of nineteenth century pumping equipment in the shaft bottoms after over half a century beneath water.

This sculpture is titled The Crown Dragon / Y Ddraig Goron. It was made by the artist David Petersen in September 2011. It was commissioned by Crown Packaging UK Neath Works (former Metal Box Works) and made from can components manufactured at the works. The Metal Box Works at Neath was a major local employer with over 3,000 staff in its 1960s – 1970s peak, and as a manufacturer of tinplate can components was intimately connected with the deeply important Welsh steel and tinplate industries which supplied its raw materials. We are hoping to put The Crown Dragon on display at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea in time for St. David’s Day.

This Grovesend Steel & Tinplate Co. Ltd. World War 2 employee registration card issued to Stanley Thomas, a second helper in the tinplate works hot mills. At the start of the war, many substantial employers would have had identity and registration documents printed for issue to employees. Survivals are few and scarce. Their low survival rate is probably due to wear and tear of daily use and continually being carried in a pocket or wallet, and also potentially due to their being superseded by National Registration Cards which were issued by the Government to all members of the population on 1-2 October 1939.

 

 

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