English

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

Diolch am rannu eich sylwadau wrth gofnodi eich data tywydd i wefan Amgueddfa Cymru. Daliwch ati gyda'r gwaith caled Cyfeillion y Gwanwyn!

 

Eich sylwadau:

Ysgol Y Wern: Roedd Dydd Llun yn stormus a wyntog iawn.

YGG Tonyrefail: Roedd e yn wythnos gwlyb iawn.

Beulah School: Roedd llawer o law ar dydd Llun!

Rougemont Junior School: Heavy rain and sleet on Friday, hope our bulbs will enjoy a cold shower.

Rougemont Junior School: Our baby bulbs are safe and sound in their pots and we have them on display.

Trellech Primary School: We had lots of rain at the weekend so the rain fall on Monday was high. We can’t wait for our flowers to start growing.

St Paul's C.I.W. Primary: Hello pr.plant. We are proud of our work. Professor Plant: And so you should be St Paul’s, keep it up Bulb Buddies!

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: Really cold on Monday. A lot of Rain on Monday too. No Rain on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Ysgol Glanyfferi: Variety of temperatures throughout the week.(R, K and A).

Alston Lane Catholic Primary School: Thursday 17th November - the rainfall was 25mm but I could not upload this as only 20 and 30 were options on the databank. Professor Plant: Hi Alston Lane, when entering the reading please round the figure to the nearest 10mm. So you were right to enter 30mm! But a reading of 24mm would be entered as 20mm on the website. Ellel St John's CE Primary School had a similar problem: ‘Lots of heavy rain on Monday 14th November, we actually measured 31mm of rain but it wasn't available on the drop down menu.’ Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Ysgol Y Wern: Roedd hi'n oer iawn ar Ddydd Gwnener i gymharu ar ddechrau'r wythnos

Lawhead School: The plants were atrociously frozen. They were so frozen that when I tipped the pot out, nothing fell out of it. - J K and T L. Professor Plant: Wow, that is frozen! Don’t worry about your bulbs though, the soil will be insulating them against the cold!

Carnbroe Primary School: The weather has been very frosty and icy all week. On Thursday our class went out to check on the plants. The soil in our pots was frozen but have decided that our bulbs will still flower. Professor Plant: Well done for checking on your plants! I’m sure that your plants will still flower too. Lawhead Primary reported the same: Lawhead School: The week got colder towards the end. The soil in our pots is frozen solid!

Auchenlodment Primary School: After a wet and mild weekend it's been a very cold week. The plant pots have been covered with frost. Professor Plant: A few schools have noticed frost in their pots! I’m sure your bulbs are nice and warm buried in the soil. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.

Rougemont Junior School: Not sprouting yet but a few popping out. Professor Plant: Oh dear Rougemont, I hope they are sprouting! If it’s not a green shoot that you can see, but the brown top of the bulb, then you’ll need to put a few more handfuls of soil on top of them!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, we have noticed that some of the bulbs have started to pop up. Professor Plant: Hi Stanford in the Vale, do you mean that shoots have begun to appear? If so that’s great news!

Arkholme CE Primary School: It has been very wet as you can see in the data. It has been very cold, we have had our first frost of the winter. On three days of the week when we were collecting the weather data it was raining! Thank you. Professor Plant: Hi Arkholme CE Primary. Thank you for collecting the weather data even though it was raining. Be careful if the school yard is frosty! Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Llanharan Primary School: 7th - 11th November and 14th - 18th November results have been mixed up - is there any way they could be swapped please? Sorry! Professor Plant: Hi Llanharan Primary,  thank you for letting me know the data was mixed up. Not to worry, I have swaped these dates for you. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies|!

Auchenlodment Primary School: It was dry on Monday but there was a lot of rain over the weekend which was the 5mm recorded on Monday. We have felt the temperature drop over the week, it's getting very cold! Professor Plant: Well done for observing the weather over the weekend even though you are not taking readings on these days. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

St Robert's R.C Primary School: We had a busy week this week and we went on a trip to Cardiff Museum on Friday! Professor Plant: Hi St Robert’s Primary. Wow, I hope you enjoyed your trip!

Broad Haven Primary School: What a week we have had gales-rain-sleet-hail-sun-rainbows. The sea has been very rough with huge waves. Professor Plant: Wow Broad Haven Primary, you really have had a mixed week in terms of weather. It’s interesting to see the effect a strong wind can have on the sea!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: The weather has turned really cold today.
Been training people to do this experiment during the week. From R xxx Professor Plant: Hi R, thank you for training others to take weather readings, even in the cold! Keep up the good work Bulb Buddy!

St Clare's Catholic Primary School: A very chilly and wet week. We even have some snow today! Professor Plant: I hope you enjoy the snow St Clare’s Catholic Primary! Make sure you wrap up warm!

Ysgol Rhostyllen: We're really enjoying it! Professor Plant: Hi Ysgol Rhostyllen, I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the project. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Carnbroe Primary School: It was so cold on Wednesday that we decided to check our plants to make sure they were alright, they looked ok. It rained really heavily all day Thursday and the ground was very wet and muddy. Professor Plant: Hi Carnbroe Primary, well done for checking on your bulbs! The soil will be keeping the bulbs insulated against the cold. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.   

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: A lot of rain on Wednesday compared to Thursday and Friday.
It was colder on Wednesday compered to Tuesday. Professor Plant: Hi Ysgol Rhys Pritchard, well done for comparing the results throughout the week. You might find it interesting to use the maps on the Spring Bulbs website to compare your results to those from other schools!

Coppull Parish Primary School: Again the children made all the recordings with no supervision. Well done. Professor Plant: Fantastic work Coppull Primary!

Chorley St James Primary School: It was a very wet week in Chorley! The temperature stayed below 13 degrees. Professor Plant: Hi Chorley Primary, fantastic work! Why not use the graphs on the Spring Bulbs website to compare your results to those of other schools? Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

 

This week is Chemistry Week and our Preventive Conservation team got involved. Two local high schools (St Teilo’s Church in Wales High School and Cardiff High School) were invited to participate in a workshop with live demonstrations and hands-on activities.

We organized the workshop in a collection store and one of our analytical laboratories at National Museum Cardiff. Neither space is laid out for large numbers of people and it’s always a bit of a squash. But once we had squeezed the last of the year 12 and 13 students into each room and closed the doors, there was no escaping the exciting world of analytical chemistry.

The students learned about Wales’s largest and most important mineral collection, the challenges of caring for it, and some of the analytical tools that help us: X-Ray diffraction (XRD), gas detection tubes, infrared spectroscopy (IR) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). The XRD is part of the National Museum's own analytical facilities, operated by Tom Cotterell and Amanda Valentine-Baars in the Mineralogy/Petrology section. The other two technologies are covered by the curriculum and the students enjoyed the opportunity to prepare real samples, analyse them and interpret the results. To them, this made the subject a lot more real than just learning about them from books. It was also important that the analyses were undertaken not simply as a method per se, but in the context of answering genuine research questions at the museum.

What does chemistry have to do with the care of collections? We undertake our own research on objects and specimens in the collections, and we collaborate with researchers at universities. In addition, the act of preserving our common heritage often throws up problems, as objects degrade and conservators need to work out why, and how to stop the degradation.

Often we cannot do this on our own, in which case we work with partners to investigate, for example, the corrosivity potential of indoor pollutants and their effect on mineral specimens in storage at National Museum Cardiff. These partners include Cardiff University’s Schools of ChemistryEngineering and History, Archaeology and Religion (Conservation Department).

One of these collaborations sparked yesterday’s schools engagement project, run in conjunction with the museum's Conservation and Natural Sciences departments and kindly supported and funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry (South East Wales Section). The Royal Society of Chemistry provided an entire bench full of portable analytical equipment for the day, which the society's Education Coordinator, Liam Thomas, set up in the Mineral Store. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the project, additional support came from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Find out more about care of collections at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales here.

 

If you’re a regular visitor to our blog pages, you may have read about our work to improve the visitor experience for those who are blind or visually impaired. We’ve had training with Cardiff Institute for the Blind, worked with our Youth Forum to make our art galleries more accessible and even discovered a specially created exhibition from the 80s.

We were proud to host RNIB Cymru’s launch event introducing a series of Welsh-language Roald Dahl Talking Books. The RNIB’s Talking Books (neu Llyfrau Llafar yn Gymraeg) scheme offers a library of over 25,000 free audiobooks that helps create a lifeline to the outside world for people who are blind or partially sighted. The service’s 6,000 customers will now be able to listen to Dahl’s stories in Welsh for the first time.

At the launch, there were inspiring talks from RNIB staff, S4C announcer/Talking Books narrator Huw Charles and a long-time Talking Books subscriber who shared just how big a difference the service can make to people’s lives.

We were then treated to readings from The BFG and Jiraff, a'r Pelican a Fi by Melangell Dolma, a Welsh-language Talking Books narrator, who demonstrated how expressive and engaging Talking Books can be.

Following the event in the Main Hall, we ran brief audio description tours of our illustration exhibition, Quentin Blake: Inside Stories. The tours were designed to offer a taster of our audio description gallery tours, which are now on offer to the public. As the day was a celebration of Roald Dahl, we focused on Blake’s illustrations from two Roald Dahl stories.

First we explored artworks from The Twits, describing how Blake captures the mean and disgusting title characters using scratchy lines and drab watercolours.

To add a tactile element, we passed around several tools that Quentin Blake might use, including watercolour paint brushes, metallic dip pens and feather quills. The brave among the group were also given the opportunity to sample the scent of Mr Twit’s beard, a striking blend of sardines and Stilton cheese.

Finally we moved on to illustrations from Matilda, focusing in particular on Matilda’s tyrannical head teacher, Miss Trunchbull. The story is one of Roald Dahl’s most popular books and was a fitting end to the morning of Dahl-themed fun. The tour was then repeated for our Welsh-speaking visitors.

We were also lucky enough to welcome RNIB Connect Radio, who did a segment on the launch, including interviews with visitors and members of staff. The comments from CIB member and good friend (along with our number one canine visitor) Sian Healy showed how the tour made Quentin Blake’s work more accessible to people with visual impairments.

“Through the description that the guide gave us of what was in the picture,” she said. “I could piece it together and know what I was seeing. I got the feel of the whole energy of the painting. And that’s what Quentin Blake can give, that energy”.

Sian also said some very kind things about her role in helping us develop these tours, proving that, although we still have a lot to learn, we’re certainly on the right track.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being involved, getting to know the staff here, getting to know more about the Museum …It’s been lovely to have this sort of response from the Museum who have really embraced the idea of making the Museum accessible with these tours.”

Our audio description tours run once every other month. For more information and future dates, please call (029) 2057 3240.

The @CardiffCurator Twitter account tweets the latest news, research and events from the Natural Sciences Department at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. This can be anything from shells, insects, plants and fossils to minerals and birds. From specimens in our collections, to an insight of the research that happens every day just beyond the museum gallery walls. So what are our followers most interested in?

Here's a look back at the TOP TWEET and TOP MEDIA TWEET of each month during 2016 from the the account: TOP TWEETS 2016