Amgueddfa Blog

Forget Raindrops on roses, you can keep your whiskers on kittens…

With such varied collections that we have in the museum I can’t help noticing some fabulous objects.

Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we have had funding so we can enhance records and add images for you to view in Collections Online, soon you’ll be able to search the museum catalogue and discover your own favourite things.

These are a few of my favourites:

Image in chalk pastel on paper of Welsh rugby player scoring a try against the All Blacks

The Try that Beat the All Blacks by Frank Gillett (1874 – 1927)

What a fabulous picture this is! (I may be a little biased). This picture shows the first ever test match between the Wales and New Zealand rugby teams in 1905. Wales won 3 – 0 (a try was only worth 3 points in those days rather than 5 points as it is now).

Seated figurine of a mouse holding a disc

Roman copper alloy figurine of a mouse

This lovely little mouse (only 3cm high) was found in Loughor, or Leucarum as the Romans knew it. Is it nibbling some cheese, or has it found a biscuit somewhere?

Locomotive painted bright yellow and black

Electric locomotive

It might look like something from Thunderbirds, but this is an electric locomotive used in Glamorgan Haematite Iron Ore Mine (Llanharry Iron Ore Mine) from the 1960s. These locomotives replaced the use of horses for haulage in the mine.

Section of blue damask fabric with intricate silver thread embroidery

Close up of court mantua fabric

This shows detail of a dress from the 1720s. This is a very grand court dress (known as a mantua) which would have been worn for presentation at court by Lady Rachel Morgan the wife of Sir William Morgan of Tredegar House. Just look at the incredibly detailed embroidered silver thread on silk damask. The best thing about it I think, is that it was altered during the 19th century by one of Lady Rachel’s descendants, probably to wear as fancy dress! The dress will be on display in the new galleries at St Fagans National Museum of History in the autumn of 2018.

Jug with a cut out trellis-like design of circles and lozenges at the top, with a ring around neck from which protrude three bulbous spouts.

Puzzle jug made by the Cambrian Pottery c. 1800

What’s the puzzle about this puzzle jug? Try and pour from it, and you’ll end up with beer all over the place. To find out how these were made, and importantly, how you’d use it, check out this video by the V&A museum.

If you want to see more of the collections you can explore online or come and visit one of our museums. Not all of our items are on display, so before you make a special trip to see something specific, check that it’s on display first.

People's Postcode Lottery Logo

Diolch am rannu'ch sylwadau wrth gofnodi ei'ch data tywydd Cyfeillion y Gwanwyn. Mae'n ddiddorol clywed am eich profiad o'r prosiect. Rwyf wedi ateb y sylwadau o wythnos un yn isod. Cadwch ati hefo'r gwaith da!

Athro'r Ardd

 

Ysgol Y Traeth: Mae hi wedi bwrw glaw yn Abermaw wythnos yma ond dydi hi ddim yn

ofnadwy o oer.

Athro’r Ardd: Diolch am rannu eich sylwadau, cadwch lan hefo’r gwaith da!

 

Ferryside V.C.P School: Roedd yn wythnos sych a'r tymheredd yn gyson.

Athro’r Ardd: Dda iawn Cyfeillion y Gwanwyn, diolch am rannu'ch sylwadau.

 

YGG Tonyrefail: Wedi mwynhau.

Athro’r Ardd: Rwy'n falch o glywed hynny Cyfeillion y Gwanwyn.

 

St Robert's R.C Primary School: Our first week of records Professor Plant from Dosbarth Seren.

Athro’r Ardd: Diolch Dosbarth Seren, great work!

 

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hi this is Stanford in the vale primary school, we done this amazing project last year. I am R one of the gardening club members. I was the one that recorded and submitted this data last year. I loved doing this project last year, I hope I will this year to. I will be also teaching some of my friends how to do this project this year too. Bye Bye R.

Athro’r Ardd: Hi R, it’s fantastic to hear that you enjoyed the project last year and I hope you enjoy it even more this year! Well done for sharing your knowledge by teaching others. You will be able to see your results from last year on the website, and can compare them to your findings this year! Good luck.

 

Belvoir Park Primary School: Thermometer has broken so no record for temperature.

Athro’r Ardd: Thanks for letting me know Bulb Buddies. A new thermometer is in the post and should be with you early next week.

 

St Andrew's RC Primary School: It has been a cold week with low rainfall.
We had so much fun doing this job.

Athro’r Ardd: I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the project Bulb Buddies. Keep up the Good work!

 

Tonyrefail Primary School: We had to move our rain gauge on Wednesday as we realised it was very close to a shelter. There was no school on Monday.

Athro’r Ardd: Well done for noticing that the rain gauge reading was being affected and for finding a more suitable place Bulb Buddies. Good work!

 

Carnbroe Primary School: Hello Professor Bulb our names are B and F. We are the rainfall and temperature measurers this week. The weather this week has been dry, sometimes sunny and we have only had rain on one day!

Athro’r Ardd: Hi Bulb Buddies, thank you for sharing your weather observations with me! I hope that you are enjoying the project.

 

Canonbie Primary School: We really liked this week because everyone had a good time measuring rainfall and temperature. We liked using the correct scales to measure temperature in Degrees Celsius. We made sure that our results were accurate whilst having fun as well! It has been quite cold this week but the afternoons have been brighter-lovely fresh weather. See you next week.

Athro’r Ardd: Hi Bulb Buddies, I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the project! It sounds as though you are being very thorough in your investigation. Fantastic work!

 

St Kieran's Primary School: I have really enjoyed the planting of the bulbs and reading the thermometer and rainfall gauge.

Athro’r Ardd: It’s lovely to hear that you are enjoying the project! You might also enjoy comparing your results with those from other schools across the country by using the weather record graphs on the website.  

 

Whitestone Primary School: Children are excited about taking part in this project again this year.

Athro’r Ardd: Fantastic to hear, I hope they enjoy the project and that they engage with the resources on the website to further develop their knowledge and skills from last year.

 

Steelstown Primary School: We have been enjoying taking part in the project so far.
Everything is going successful at the moment. We are happy that we joined the project.

Athro’r Ardd: I’m glad to hear everything is going well Bulb Buddies. Keep up the good work!

 

Carnforth North Road Primary School: It was very muddy but we really enjoyed it.

Athro’r Ardd: I’m not sure if planting your bulbs was muddy, or if it was muddy when you collected your weather readings? I’m sure mud will have added to the fun in both cases!

 

Waddingham Primary School: This week the whole class read the temperature and rainfall measurements so we knew we were accurate.

Athro’r Ardd: Fantastic Bulb Buddies, it’s a good idea to take readings together to begin with to make sure everyone is getting the same answers. Good work.

 

Llanishen Fach Primary School: We've enjoyed being weather monitors this week.

Athro’r Ardd: You’ve done a fantastic job as weather monitors Bulb Buddies. I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the project.

 

Ysgol Bro Pedr: Our data is collected at the same time every day. We had two frosty early mornings, but it opened up beautifully by the time we recorded the temperatures. Tuesday was a washout!

Athro’r Ardd: Good work Bulb Buddies, consistency is important to scientific investigations. Keep up the good work!

 

Inverkip Primary School: Our temperature has been the same all week. We hope this will make our bulbs grow faster.

Athro’r Ardd: That’s very interesting Bulb Buddies. Are you able to check the thermometer in the morning, just to be sure that it is working properly? It’s likely to be colder in the morning than it will be in the afternoon. Why do you think that is?

 

Pembroke Primary School: We have a Vantage Pro2 weather station and we can provide more accurate data.
This will include daily low, high and mean temperatures and daily rain to nearest 0.2mm. I was unable to paste an image of records so typed below.
Monday 6th Mean temp 8.3 High temp 11.7 @13:30 Low temp 3.9 @ 06:00 rain 0.2mm
Tuesday7th Mean temp 9.3 High temp 12.1 @11:00 Low temp 4.1 @ 00:00 rain 3.6mm
Wednesd8th Mean temp 6.2 High temp 10.4 @14:00 Low temp 2.8 @ 07:00 rain 0.2mm
Thurs 9th Mean temp 10.4High temp 15.4 @12:00 Low temp 6.6 @ 00:30 rain 0.0mm
Friday10th Mean temp 10.9High temp 12.4 @13:00 Low temp 7.8 @ 00:30 rain 0.0mm

Athro’r Ardd: This is very exciting Bulb Buddies, thank you for sharing. There’s lots you can do with this data, including finding the average temperature and rainfall for the whole of November! Once you have this, you can compare your data to the average for the UK!

 

Betws Primary School: I think that the spring bulbs are growing up faster than last year.

Athro’r Ardd: You’ll have to watch your pots carefully, and let me know when you see the first signs of growth!

 

Auchenlodment Primary School: We are working hard to learn how to read scales and record the important data.

Athro’r Ardd: Fantastic Bulb Buddies, you are doing a great job!

 

Ysgol San Sior: Great first week.

Athro’r Ardd: I’m glad to hear it Bulb Buddies!

 

Arkholme CE Primary School: We are the first to record the weather and temperature and are bulbs are safely planted!!

Athro’r Ardd: Fantastic Bulb Buddies, thank you for your hard work!

 

Nearing the four-month mark since I stepped into National Museum Wales for the first day of my Professional Training Year (PTY) placement from Cardiff University, my goal of achieving new experiences in the world of marine invertebrate research is definitely underway. This is now taking form in the way of the Magelonidae, the shovelhead worms, a family of polychaetes with many unanswered questions hovering around them in regards to their ecology, taxonomy and behaviour.

Through starting with live observations in the museum lab in July of Magelona alleni, a rather chunky species of magelonid, my project has developed into some exciting discoveries regarding not only the feeding of these amazing worms, but also how they poo, hence the title of the blog post! As boring as worm defecation sounds, this is not the case when you watch how these amazing animals decide to actually get rid of their dinner (there will be more about the details of this in my next blog post when we have finished working on this interesting behaviour).

These findings have led me down a road of using many new techniques to be able to present my work in a professional and scientific manner. This includes scientific drawing using a camera lucida attachment on a microscope, photography in the way of time-lapse captures, film and image stacking, image editing, reviewing relevant literature, statistical analysis, dissection and SEM (scanning electron microscopy) to name but a few.

In addition to these skills I have learnt much about day to day tasks the museum carries out, including learning methods of curation for an impressive collection of marine invertebrates, holding over 750,000 specimens and having the opportunity to partake in sampling trips to collect more animals for the further development of my project and other projects around the museum. I have also settled into the role of tank maintenance for not only the shovelhead worms, but also some of our resident anemones, hermit crabs, starfish, sea potatoes and prawns. I have even tried my hand at outreach on one of the museum’s stands during the evening event ‘After Dark at the Museum’ with Cardiff University, which saw nearly 2000 people (mainly families) enjoy a hands on experience.

One crucial advantage that I feel I have obtained over these last few months is that I am starting to enjoy a great appreciation for the diversity of life in our seas, from the very tiny, such as organisms like diatoms and foraminiferans to the impressively large, like the young humpback whale skeleton on display in the museum, which I get the pleasure of walking past most days. All in all, my experiences so far have been beyond valuable and who knows what the next few months of research here will bring.

Find out more about how I got on when I first started at the museum

Helo Cyfeillion y Gwanwyn,

Diolch am yr holl waith yr ydych wedi gwneud ac am rannu eich lluniau! Roedd o'n hynod o galed i ddewis dim ond pum enillydd. Mae'r lluniau a ddewiswyd yn dod o ysgolion yng Nghymru sef ddim cymryd rhan yn y prosiectau estyniad Edina. Os ydych yn cymryd rhan yn y prosiectau estyniad Edina fydd eich llun hefo cyfle o ennill cystadleuaeth nhw, a bydd yr Edina yn cyhoeddi enillwyr yn fuan.

Dyma'r enillwyr:

Ysgol Carreg Emlyn

Severn Primary School

Shirenewton Primary

St Julians Primary

Ysgol Bro Hyddgen

Diolch yn fawr i bob ysgol a rannodd eu lluniau. Oedd o’n wych i weld y holl waith rydych wedi gwneud a'r hwyl gawsoch!

Cadwch lan gyda'r gwaith caled Cyfeillion y Gwanwyn,

Athro'r Ardd

Archibald H. Lee was the first Secretary appointed to National Museum Wales in 1909 and held the post for 44 years. His professional life began in 1899 when he entered the service of the Cardiff Corporation as a junior clerk in the old Town-hall on St Mary Street. During this time he would have worked on the City’s case for the establishment of a National Museum, so it must have been gratifying for him to join the fledgling staff of the new Museum.

After a few quietly productive years, the outbreak of WWI saw a large number of staff leave the museum for military service and Lee was no exception. He commanded a company of the 5th Welch Regiment and was awarded the Military Cross after the Battle of Gaza.

After the war, Lee resumed his position as Secretary and the Library holds a great number of photographs showing him at the forefront of important events and gatherings. In 1927 the new building at Cathays Park was officially opened by King George V and Queen Mary and Lee lead the Royal party up the steps to officially knock on the door with the ceremonial staff.

He established a life time bond with the Cardiff Naturalists’ Society when he joined in 1909, going on to hold the posts of Honourable Secretary, Council Member, President [1931-2] and finally Honourable Member in 1954. Some highlights during these years were helping to organize and celebrate the Society’s Diamond Jubilee, contributing an article titled Museums in Cardiff for the Society Transactions [1932] and being awarded the Honorary Degree of M.A. by the University of Wales [1937].

During WWII, he was an active member of the 16th Glamorgan Home Guard ‘National Museum Wales Section’. The Museum suffered some damage through enemy air raids on Cardiff and extensive precautions were implemented to protect the collections. These involved the transfer of important specimens to the basement strong room, sandbagging of sculptural and bulky exhibits, the protecting of all glass cases and windows with gummed strips, and night time ‘fire-watch’ duties, all of which  Lee would most likely have been involved in.

In 1953 Lee retired as Secretary with a civic luncheon held in his honour and the award of an O.B. E [Officer of the British Empire].

He passed away in 1970, aged 87 years.