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Programme  1999 - 2000

Programme for 2000 - 2001 here



All events will be at the Swansea Museum, and will commence at 7.30 p.m. (except for the St David’s Day Coffee Morning and the A.G.M.).


The ‘Zinc Families’ of Swansea.

By Dr Lawrence Holt, metallurgist and R.I. member, who has researched the story of Swansea’s ‘other’ industry and Its people.

Volume VII of ‘Minerva’ will be on sale at this meeting.



Fifty Years of collecting buildings at the Museum of Welsh Life.

By Mr Gerallt Nash. Assistant Keeper, Buildings and Commerce, The Museum of Welsh Life, St Fagans.



Clarence Seyler: Swansea’s Pioneer Analyst.

By Mr Nigel Robins, local historian



The Geological Evolution of South Wales: Swansea on the Eve of the (4,600,000th) Millennium.

By Dr Geraint Owen, Department of Geography.

University of Wales, Swansea.



Gower Field Patterns - Change and Continuity.

By Mr Bernard Morris. one of our Vice presidents.



The Annual General Meeting of the R.I.S.W. will be held at the Swansea Museum at 7.00 p.m. (note the time), followed by a short talk.



The Manor of Penmaen.

By Mr Edward Harris, solicitor, local resident, and expert on Gower (and other) manorial history.



The St David’s Lecture:Gwylmabsant . Feasts and Fairs.

By Dr Ilid Anthony. formerly Assistant Keeper, Material Culture, at the Welsh Folk Museum (now The Museum of Welsh Life), St Fagans.



St David’s Day Coffee Morning and Bring and Buy.

10.30 to noon. Tickets available from Social Committee Members and at the Museum, from early February.



Penllergare . A Victorian Paradise.

By Mr Richard Morris. whose book on this great and potentially restorable garden landscape is in preparation.



The parish of Llangyfelach: its History and Topography.

By Mr Jeff Childs, who has made a detailed study of the rural area north of Swansea.



The Summer Party: Tickets and further details from Social Committee Members and at the Museum during June.

The new series of R.I. lectures at the Swansea Museum will begin shortly and will carry us forward into the Millennium Year. The enclosed Programme card gives the details and shows that we can look forward with some pleasure to the darker evenings now approaching. We make no apologies for the evident historical content (that subject seems to encourage larger audiences) and it will be seen that we have a strong and varied band of speakers ready to address us.



The first lecture of the new session will be on Thursday 23rd September. when Dr Lawrence Holt will describe the growth of one of Swansea’s former major industries, one which has tended to be overshadowed by the Copper industry in many local histories. Dr Holt has made a particular study of the Zinc industry and its former part in this area’s economy, together with the personal histories of the people who owned and operated the once extensive Swansea Valley works.


On that evening Volume VII of our annual journal Minerva will be available for the first time, and an Order Form for copies at a reduced rate to members is enclosed with this Newsletter. We brought out the first volume of Minerva in 1993 and it quickly became established as a journal of Swansea history, making available and placing on record the results of valuable research on local interest subjects. Such journals not only provide a home for such worthwhile articles but also, by their existence, encourage yet more new and original work on Swansea and the many aspects of its past. The Editor of Minerva is Mrs Jennifer Sabine, who has guided its production most effectively since it first appeared.


Publication is an activity which benefits greatly from modern computerised technology, but it is still an expensive undertaking which depends greatly on our ability to cover the production costs through sales. The support of R.I. members is vital in this, so please do make sure that you buy your copy, and encourage your friends to do so also. You will find much worthwhile reading in it, and these volumes are already building up into a useful encyclopaedia of Swansea history. (The Order Form also offers a chance to catch up on any missing back numbers.)

Mr Gerallt Nash has responsibility for the reconstructed buildings at the Museum of Welsh Life, and he was at the Swansea Museum last October to launch the Gower Society’s Jubilee publication on Old Gower Farmhouses and their Families, an event which was attended by many R.I. members. He returns again on 7th October this year, this time to address the R.I. on the fascinating subject of his Museum’s activities in collecting interesting buildings for re-erection at St Fagans, buildings which would otherwise have been destroyed. We can hope to hear the latest information about the old Church of Llandilo Talybont and its wall-paintings, which were the subject of a memorable account in one of our last session’s lectures.


Our November speaker will be Mr Nigel Robins, who is well-known as an authority on many aspects of local history, not least as the author of books illustrating the Luftwaffe’s aerial reconnaissance photographs of Swansea and other South Wales targets, taken before and after wartime raids. His talk to the R.I. will be on a pre-war personality, namely Dr Clarence Seyler, Swansea’s first Public Analyst whose work played a major part in safeguarding the health of the townspeople. Despite his busy professional life, Dr Seyler was also an active member of this Institution and wrote expertly on the medieval manors of Gower.


The last of our 1999 lectures will be an outline account of South Wales geology, to be given by Dr Geraint Owen of University of Wales, Swansea. He will be reminding members that the new millennium which we are about to mark is but one of several millions which have already passed in the geological timescale. Once into the new millennium, our Programme continues with a similarly interesting range of speakers and subjects, together with the St David’s Coffee Morning and the Summer Party, both to be arranged for us by our Social Committee under the Chairmanship of Miss Enid Clarke.



Finally, we can record with great pleasure that our President, Mr Brian Simpson, was appointed M.B.E. in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June, in recognition of his dedicated service to a number of worthy causes. A distinguished banker, now retired, he was elected President of the R.I.S.W. in 1997, and had been the Honorary Treasurer for twenty-five years before that. We extend our congratulations to him on this well-deserved honour.


The Royal Institution of South Wales is an independent voluntary learned society which supports and helps to promote the Swansea Museum (which is part of The City and County of Swansea’s Museums Service). All who care about the heritage of Swansea and adjacent parts of South Wales are invited to join the R.I. (which is a registered charity). The Institution’s local history journal Minerva is published annually, and is available at the Museum shop.


The membership year commences on the 1st June. Membership rates are currently:

Individual 6.00 per annum
Spouse 2.00 per annum (extra).

applications for membership may be addressed to the

Membership Secretary, R.I.S.W. c/o Swansea Museum

SAl 1SN. Application forms are available at the Museum.


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