Women’s Archive of Wales at the National Eisteddfod
Since 2012 the Archive has organised an annual session on women’s history, in Welsh with simultaneous translation, during the National Eisteddfod. Every year we seek to find a topic which is relevant to the area sponsoring the Eisteddfod. Thus, this far we have organised:
The Vale of Glamorgan (2012) – Dr Siân Rhiannon Williams discussed the history of Barry Training College and its remarkable Principal, Edith Evans, and former students reminisced about the period;
Denbigh (2013) – the women who worked and were patients at Denbigh Mental Hospital was Dr Pamela Michael’s topic;
Llanelli (2014) – the Archive’s current project, ‘Voices from the Factory Floor’ was introduced by Catrin Stevens, the project’s co-ordinator;
Meifod (2015) - Dr Dinah Evans presented a session on women’s contribution to the First World War;
Abergavenny (2016) – the tent was full to hear Dr Ryland Wallace discuss the Suffragettes in Monmouthshire and Dr Elin Jones tracing the history of Lady Rhondda.
This commendable tradition was continued at the Anglesey National Eisteddfod in 2017 when a large audience came to hear the actor and scriptwriter, Manon Eames, pay tribute to two maritime historians, who have contributed so much to our knowledge and understanding of Anglesey women’s link with the sea, namely her father Aled Eames and teacher and author, Robin Evans. Manon succeeded in conveying their infectious enthusiasm for the topic and peppered the talk with colourful examples of women’s activities, not only as captain’s wives but also as the pillars of society in the seaside villages and towns – as fisherwomen, stake-holders in ships and even as prostitutes. The long applause at the end of the talk was testimony to Manon’s splendid presentation. The meeting was chaired by Dr Elin Jones.