28 Ebrill 2015,
Again this month, a number of interesting objects have been added to the industry & transport collections. The photograph below was taken on 22nd July 1926, and shows a group of 29 slate quarrymen. The location is unknown, but it was probably taken at either Dinorwig or Penrhyn slate quarry. If you are able to help identify where the photograph was taken, or recognise any of the men we would love to hear from you.
These three ceramic pieces were designed and made by the artist George Thompson, a potter resident in Amlwch, Angelsey. They are inspired by the Parys Mountain copper mines.
Ceramic plaque with red ocre slip and copper glaze.
Ceramic pot with stand made from pink crank clay with graphite and copper glaze.
Ceramic dish with graphite, red ochre and orange ochre slip.
The photograph below shows the remains of a Cornish beam-engine house and chimney stack at Parys copper mine, Anglesey, 1964.
This is a diorama of Parys mountain copper mine from the museum’s collections. It was made about 1967 for display in the industry galleries at Cathays Park.
This medal commemorates the cutting of the first sod of the King’s Dock, Swansea. On the 20th July 1904 the Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert arrived in Swansea Bay. The yacht arrived at the Prince of Wales Dock where King Edward VII and Queen Alexandre disembarked. The dock was named ‘Kings Dock’ in his honour. After the ceremony the King and Queen rode through the streets of Swansea in an open top carriage. The Dock was official opened on the 20th November 1909. It covers 72 acres (29 ha), and is still in use today, being the main dock of the Port of Swansea.
Photograph showing congested shipping (both sail and steam) at King's Dock about 1910. Not long after the dock was opened.
The view below shows the King’s Dock. It was taken by the photographer John Eurof Martin and dates to the mid-20th century.
Curator: Industry & Transport
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27 Ebrill 2015,
We have made it to the Estación Científica San Francisco in Podocarpus National Park, Loja Province. Well, we made it but one of our bags didn’t, apparently having been left behind in Quito. We are hopeful that it will arrive tomorrow in Loja and we can arrange for a taxi to bring it the hour or so’s drive to the Estación. Meanwhile we are getting to know our new home for the next week.
The Estación is perched on the side of a narrow ravine in dense forest through which flows the Rio San Fransisco. All our routes into the forest start with a spectacular crossing of the river using a wire cradle suspended from a rope running through pulleys at either end high over the water. Progress is made by pulling hand over hand on the opposing rope until the other side is reached. Once over, the ground is very steep and densely forested. Our intial forrays into the near reaches of this wilderness indicate a spectacularly diverse fly fauna. . . and that is what we are here for. We have set our Malaise traps but the incessant rain is making other fieldwork difficult so we will have to wait for better weather to get further afield and explore more.
You can read more about Adrian's travels on our blog page
24 Ebrill 2015,
Having completed our work at Yanayacu we have moved further down the eastern slopes of the Andes to the town of Tena in Napo Province. Here at only 500m above sea level it is much hotter than in the mountains - a truly tropical climate. The town is placed on the last slight hills before the Andes sweep down and merge onto the flatlands of the Amazon Basin. West of here, the rivers are fast and furious having dropped 3000m or more in just 50km through the mountains whereas to the east they become sluggish and it will take another 3000km for them to drop the remaining 500m to the sea.
Our visit to Tena is necessary to complete administrative formalities and to obtain permits allowing us to move the specimens we have collected between different provinces within Ecuador. After three visits to the Ministry of Environment, numerous phone calls, support from a well-connected colleague at the newly established university in Tena and from colleagues in Quito we are still waiting for a positive outcome!
Josenir and I have to move on to our next study site in Loja Province and we have no chance or getting the permits through in time. Fortunately, Eduardo has to remain in the town to deliver a 3-day entomology course to the students at the university. The hope is that he can complete the formalities and bring our specimens with him when he moves back to Quito next week and we can take them from him when we pass through Quito on our way out of the country. Meanwhile Josy and I have a plane to catch….
Find out more about what Adrian has been up to by reading his past blogs.
23 Ebrill 2015,
Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales team up with British Institute for Geological Conservation for the 2015 RHS Show
This year, for the first time Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales had its own marquee at the Cardiff Royal Horticultural Society Show. The Museum has been represented at the show for several years, enabling us to share with the public many of our hidden treasures from the museum’s collections. Our theme, Tropical Plants: bringing the tropics back to Wales, provided an excellent introduction to the Museum’s Botany collections. Visitors marvelled at the coco-de-mer, the world’s largest seed (native to the Seychelles). Curator, Heather Pardoe, introduced show-goers to a selection of sumptuous eighteenth-century botanical illustrations, rarely on show to the public, originally painted in tropical countries including Australia, India, America and Java.
The highlight for many was the opportunity to hunt for fossils with experts from the Museum, led by Ben Evans (BIGC) and Head of Botany Chris Cleal. Young and old alike were thrilled to split rocks and discover Carboniferous plant fossils, dating back 300 million years. This year the fossil hunt was accompanied by a prehistoric reconstruction, created using tree ferns, horsetails and an amazing diversity of mosses. The Carboniferous garden was home for the weekend to our incredible Arthur the Arthropleura (a giant millipede from the Carboniferous period), another show stopper. Visitors could also see exotic insects, accidentally imported into Britain, held in the Museum’s Entomology collections, and learn about both the OPAL and the Spring Bulb projects. Over the three days of the show more than 5,000 people visited the Museum’s marquee, out of a record-breaking 24,000 visitors to the show.
We’d like to thank Waitrose Pontprennau, PJS Flowers and Miller Argent for supporting and sponsoring our activities and displays this year.
To find out more about the museum’s presence at the RHS show, why not read our Storify story
22 Ebrill 2015,
Mae ein neuadd ganoloesol yn codi’n gyflym. Mae'r gwaith yn canolbwyntio ar orffen ffenestri yr adeilad lleiaf o ddau. Adeilad B yw'r enw dros dro am hwn, ac yn y gorffennol fe allai wedi bod yn siambr wely’r tywysog (gan fod enghreifftiau eraill o neuadd a siambr gyfagos yn bodoli) neu yn gegin, a fyddai hefyd yn debygol o fod yn agos i'r neuadd (oherwydd pwy fuasai am wledda ar fwyd oer?).
Mae'r ffenestri yn Romanésg eu harddull, sy’n nodweddiadol o'r cyfnod. Yn gul ar du allan yr adeilad ond yn lledaenu’n sylweddol ar y tu fewn, mae’r cynllun yn manteisio i’r eithaf ar y golau naturiol. Mae dau reswm pam eu bod mor gul: mae ffenestri bach yn haws yw hamddiffyn na ffenestri mawr, ac felly roeddent yn elfen gyffredin mewn adeiladau amddiffynnol fel cestyll; ac yn ail, gan bod gwydr ffenest yn gymharol brin yn y cyfnod roedd ffenestri bach yn lleihau’r drafft oer a allai ddod i mewn. Carreg wastad sydd ar ben bob ffenest, ond gallai hefyd fod yn fwa cerrig – roedd y naill ddull yn gyffredin yn y cyfnod. Mi fydd caeadau pren dros y ffenestri i’w cau pan fydd plant ysgol yn aros dros nôs.
Yn ogystal â'r gwaith cerrig, mae'r gwaith o lifio pren i ffrâm y to wedi cychwyn yn ddiweddar hefyd. Camp grefftus tu hwnt yw ffurfio darn pren sgwâr o gainc coeden dderw. Dim ond mewn llinell syth y gall y 'band-saw' dorri, felly mae'r gainc yn gorfod cael ei lleoli yn union cyn cychwyn y gwaith llifio. Mae angen ei addasu i lan ag i lawr, yn ogystal ag i'r chwith ag i'r dde, oherwydd gall un toriad gwael effeithio ar y toriadau dilynol i’r fath raddau nes bod y darn pren yn annefnyddiadwy.