This Roadshow, held in Pontypridd Museum, was very well attended, thanks to some
very special guests and the central location. We also had very good media coverage
and a lot of support from family history tutor, Julie Daniel, in the run up to the
We were lucky enough to have writers Catrin Collier and Elaine Morgan who both came
along to speak to visitors. The deputy mayors of both Rhondda Cynon Taf and Pontypridd
Town Council also attended, as did Christine Chapman AM. We were also pleased that
Len “Rocky” James – brother of Channel swimmer, Jenny, came along with some of his
sister’s trophy cups and press cuttings.
Our usual experts on this occasion were Professor Deirdre Beddoe, Jenny Sabine and
Helen Thomas assisted by committee members and volunteers providing the technical
back-up. Glamorgan Record Office dealt with deposits and offered much appreciated
advice on conservation.
There were guest stands: Julie Daniel brought information on family history courses
and Jane Jones was there to represent the Pontypridd branch of the Glamorgan Family
History Society. Teas and coffees were provided by Pontypridd WI and Angela Brunt
had a stall selling various goodies to raise funds for AMC / WAW.
Local author, Catrin Collier, gave a very enjoyable and illuminating talk on her
adventures into her own family history, illustrated with slides from her collection.
The talk was very well attended and the hall was filled to capacity. Catrin was introduced
by the well-known author and journalist Elaine Morgan – who was also given an enthusiastic
reception. Elaine has a regular column in The Western Mail, and had written a splendid
piece publicising the archive and the forthcoming roadshow on 20th February, stressing
the importance of women’s history and the need to preserve the evidence of it.
As ever, Archive specialists got to see an eclectic range of items, including:
A child’s evacuation tag from World War II
References for a young woman going into service
Photographs and mementoes of Jenny James, the cross-Channel swimmer
An autograph book from 1912
A certificate of qualification as an “insane asylum nurse”
There was a very lively buzz throughout the day and we saw some fascinating items.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable day.
Justine Hankins, Field Officer, South and East Wales