Dewi Bowen showing some documents to Deirdre Beddoe and Helen Thomas, while Steffan
Walker records his story.
(Photo Paulette Pelosi)
Merthyr Roadshow – 13th June 2009
After travelling the length and breadth of Wales since the launch of the Roadshow
project on 29th January 2008, the final Roadshow took place in Merthyr’s Cyfarthfa
Castle Museum. Our “Setting the Record Straight” exhibition was on display at Dowlais
library during the month before the Roadshow. The Merthyr branch of the Glamorgan
Family History Society dedicated their May meeting to “celebrating women in Merthyr
Tydfil”, which was very well attended and gave everyone a chance to look at the display
of some the items that the Archive has acquired thanks to the Roadshow project.
There was glorious sunshine on the day of our very last Roadshow and the room we
had at Cyfarthfa Castle was the grandest setting to date. Carolyn Jacob from Merthyr
Libraries had done a very good job of gathering up items from people who were unable
to attend and brought us postcards of colliery girls, photographs of women working
at the pithead and a copy of The Suffragette newspaper, dating from 1913.
For the last time, Deirdre Beddoe, Catrin Stevens and Jenny Sabine put on their ‘specialists’
hats, and Steffan Walker, Rhiannon Gomer and Avril Rolph once again provided technical
assistance. As well as Sue Hamill and committee members Gail and Helen, we also had
assistance from WAW members Margaret, Stephanie and Paulette. Glamorgan Record Office
were present to deal with deposits, and offer advice on conserving precious items.
Dewi Bowen, who had been an art tutor when Cyfarthfa Castle was still a grammar school,
visited us in his former staff room and shared stories with Deirdre Beddoe about
life in old Merthyr. He also donated a collection relating to his mother, Elizabeth,
who had been a nurse in the World War I.
The Merthyr branch of Glamorgan Family History Society was represented by Carolyn
Jacob, and family history tutor, Julie Daniel brought along information about accessing
newly available census records. Roseanne Reeves once again brought the Honno book
And then it was all over. During the Roadshow project we’ve heard so many fascinating
stories about women’s lives in Wales; some of the mimpressive, some intriguing, some
inspiring, some sad and some hilarious. All of them a valuable record of the past
that should be kept alive for the future.
Justine Hankins, Field Officer, South & East Wales