Road shows

The Senedd, Cardiff Bay  29th January 2008

Llanelli  – 22nd February

Monmouth – 6th March

Dolgellau – 18th March

Swansea Waterfront Museum – 19th April

Newport – 16th May

Caernarvon – 28th June

Blaenavon – 24th July

Haverfordwest – 13th September

Aberystwyth – 11th October

Llandrindod Wells – 1st November

Carmarthen – 29th November

Mold – 9th January 2009

Pontypridd – 28th February

Wrexham – 28th March

Llangefni – 25th April

Merthyr Tydfil – 16th June


ABERYSTWYTH ROADSHOW - 11 October, 2008 – Canolfan y Morlan

The second weekend of October saw the Women’s History Roadshow team, specialists and members descend on Canolfan y Morlan in Aberystwyth for the tenth event of the project .  Canolfan y Morlan proved to be a good choice of venue, being attractive, central, and well-known locally.

The Roadshow at Aberystwyth was linked to two other events over the same weekend,  and timed to complement them, i.e.  Ceredigion Local History Forum’s conference on the Saturday morning, and the AMC/WAW annual conference on the Sunday.   The general view seemed to be that the whole weekend’s activities were a success.  Attendance numbers at the Forum’s conference benefitted greatly from the presence of WAW members and personnel, the Roadshow talk given by Carol Byrne-Jones was packed due to the interest shown by Forum members,  and the general buzz created was beneficial to the atmosphere during the Roadshow.

As organiser, I was very pleased that Sue Jones-Davies, the new Mayor of Aberystwyth, was able to open our roadshow, and her warm support and endorsement of WAW’s raison d’etre  were much appreciated.  Sue Jones-Davies herself has had an interesting and varied career on stage and in films, and feels strongly that to lose our history as women is to lose our essence and identity.  She said:  “Having portrayed individual and individualistic women on stage and screen for a living, it seems to me vital that we are all aware of the danger of losing the sources of our history to skips and indifference.  One way of guarding against this is to visit the Women’s Archive Roadshows, and to do so laden with material to show and deposit.”

Apart from Catrin, the other specialists at Aberystwyth were Helen Thomas, with Jenny Sabine and Avril Rolph handling deposits, and Pamela Small from the National Library giving advice on the best ways of conserving and preserving documents at home.  Culturenet Cymru supported each specialist by scanning the material brought in their usual professional manner.  Luned Meredith and Gail Allen greeted each new arrival and ensured they filled in consent forms if they were intending to see one of the specialists about items they had brought for examination.  

Whilst they waited, visitors could partake of tea and cake dispensed by History Forum volunteers, view a range of displays of historical material,  watch the DVD about the Archive’s work and aspirations, or indeed buy books from Honno’s well-stocked stall, or Christmas gifts to support the Archive’s work from WAW member Angela Brunt.

Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press based in Aberystwyth ( has recently celebrated twenty years since its inception, and at the Roadshow, representatives formally handed over some of its archives to the National Library of Wales within the WAW collection.  Said Luned Meredith, a founder member:   “These archives document how a small independent publishing company has been run, along co-operative lines, for over 20 years now, and it’s essential that they  be kept in a safe environment.”  In the 21 years since Honno Press’s first book, An Autobiography of Elizabeth Davies, it has published the work of over 450 women and received many awards in recognition of its efforts in getting Welsh women writers into print, many of whom have gone on to become successful authors.  Deirdre Beddoe, President of AMC/WAW describes Honno as a “Welsh national treasure”  which “continues to contribute magnificently to the cultural history of women in Wales."

Sue is seen below being introduced by Catrin Stevens, core Archive member and specialist at Aberystwyth

Alyson Tyler representing Honno, handing over some of the company’s archives

to Sue Hamill and Rhiannon Gomer, from the Women’s Archive of Wales

One of the classic authors reprinted by Honno was Allen Raine, or Anne Adeliza Evans from Castell Newydd Emlyn, who wrote a large number of romantic novels at the turn of the 20th century and became one of the most popular authors of the time, selling over a million copies of her books in Britain alone.  Her stories were always based in Wales, featuring the Cardiganshire coastal area around Tresaith and the town of Newcastle Emlyn where she grew up.  Carol Byrne-Jones, from Hanes Emlyn History Society came along to the Roadshow with a substantial display of material illustrating the life and work of this extraordinary author.  She gave a fascinating talk to a packed room on the topic - “Who was Allen Raine?”.  For more information about this author, see  Carol Byrne-Jones will also take the display to the Carmarthen Roadshow on 29 November.

As well as the Honno archive, some of the other deposits at Aberystwyth were:

Other highlights amongst the material brought in by members of the public include:

Rhiannon Gomer

Field Officer for North and West Wales