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Friday, 30 November 2012

Piloting the Internet - Britain from Above





Enthusiasts viewing photograph albums from the Aerofilms Collection.
The first session of ‘Piloting the Internet-Getting the best form Britain from Above’ ran on Tuesday 20th November at the Royal Commission offices. A small but enthusiastic group gathered to hear about the project from its early origins to what it is now and what we’re hoping to achieve. There were two short presentations detailing the history and potential of the website with plenty of enticing pictures to whet their appetites!

Once the presentations concluded the group was eager to make use of the technology on offer, have a go on the website and conduct their own investigations. One attendee said that he had viewed the Britain from Above site when first launched back in June, he had been impressed with the content but the slowness we had in the first few days had put him off taking a closer look, however, now the website has settled down he says there’s no stopping him, especially since we’ve added more content!  The group were particularly impressed at the number of users and images we had already, but were incredibly excited at the thought of 95,000 images eventually being available online.

Britain from Above on your iPad.
The iPad proved especially popular with it’s easy to use browsing format and large clear images, two of the group using it were rather reluctant to hand it back! Everyone found something of interest, images of Aberaeron and its coastline proved very popular as some of the party have an on-going interest in coastal erosion in that part of the world.

Visitors also made use of the Royal Commission’s archive viewing some of the prints, photograph albums and images of Wales from the Aerofilms Collection, most of which were from outside of the Projects timeline, making a nice addition to the session. Enthusiasts had a keen rifle through pictures from the 1960s and 1970s and enjoyed comparing the online images to the later photograph albums.

All in all it was a compact, successful session that’s left me looking forward to the Penparcau day on the 7th December!


By Natasha Scullion

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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Getting the Best of Britain from Above





Piloting the Internet

‘Getting the best of Britain from Above


Friday 7, December, 2012
Penparcau Community Education Centre,
Aberystwyth, SY23 1SH

Interested in aerial photographs? Like to learn more about history? Want some guidance in using the internet?

Penparcau Community Education Centre is hosting two FREE sessions showing how to get the best from a spectacular online collection of aerial photographs of Wales, Scotland and England between the years 1919 and 1953.

The sessions will include:
• A short presentation about the project and what you can take part in;
• Have-a-go opportunity to explore the collection and add your own memories and comments;
• Free tea and biscuits after the session for all participants.

There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions, learn new skills, and explore the changing landscape of twentieth-century Britain.

There are two sessions:
Morning 10-12:30pm / Afternoon 2- 4:30pm

Places limited, to book please contact: Britain from Above Activity Officer
Natasha.scullion@rcahmw.gov.uk

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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Inside Welsh Homes: Y Tu Mewn i Gartrefi Cymru





Book cover of Y Tu Mewn i Gartrefi Cymru: Inside Welsh Homes.

On Wednesday, 5th December the Royal Commission will be holding a book launch for our latest publication ― Y Tu Mewn i Gartrefi Cymru: Inside Welsh Homes at 6pm in the Commission building at Aberystwyth. This evening event will offer talks by the authors ― Richard Suggett and  Rachael Barnwell ― book signings, the viewing of archive material in the library, as well as festive refreshments ― mince-pies and mulled non-alcoholic drink.

The evening promises to be a suitably festive start to the Christmas season and a good opportunity to buy lavishly-illustrated and expertly-written books as Christmas presents. There will be a 10% discount on all publications for Friends.  For further information, please contact: nicola.roberts@rcahmw.gov.uk  Tel: 01970 621248.

Location:
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales,
Plas Crug,
Aberystwyth,
SY23 1NJ

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Monday, 26 November 2012

Digital Past 2013 Opening Address Confirmed





Image from Digital Past 2012 conference, Llandrindod Wells.

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales are pleased to be able to announce that Justin Albert, Director of the National Trust Wales will be opening the 2013 Digital Past conference. Drawing on his experience both at the National Trust and National Geographic, Justin will be discussing strategies for digital communication and interpretation within heritage tourism.

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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Inside Welsh Homes Exhibition at Bedwellty House and Park





In Wales, the ‘best’ crockery is most often on display, arrayed in splendour on a dresser. The Welsh dresser shown in this kitchen at Nantclwyd House, Ruthin, has a typical set of ‘willow pattern’ plates and dishes, alongside are a variety of jugs suspended from ceiling hooks, all serving to show off the hospitality, cleanliness and family heirlooms of the household., NPRN 27555


Our ‘Inside Welsh Homes’ exhibition is moving on once again, this time to Bedwellty House and Park in Tredegar.

The exhibition opened earlier this month, and will be on show until the 4th January 2012.

For details about opening times and admission, please visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk, or call 01495 353370


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Monday, 19 November 2012

Twentieth-century Military Remains in Wales





Redundant tank used for target practice at Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire.


Wednesday, 21 November, 7.30pm.

Twentieth-century military remains in Wales:
A lecture by Medwyn Parry to the Fishguard Historical Society at Ysgol Bro Gwaun, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire.

WWII Pillbox overlooking the estuary of the River Dovey, Ceredigion.


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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Ynyslas Wreck Recording Maritime Archaeology





Laser Scanning in action - © Crown Copyright RCAHMW

Yesterday the Royal Commission together with the Robotics Section of the Computer Science Department at Aberystwyth University undertook laser scanning of a former slate-carrying vessel that is eroding out of the steep bank of the River Leri at Ynyslas near Aberystwyth. The vessel is one of three wrecks in the area, all of which were depicted on an Admiralty chart of 1892. They are thought to have been part of the Derwenlas slate-carrying fleet, responsible for transporting slates from the Corris and Aberllefenni quarries. The vessels became redundant following the arrival of the railway, and around 1868 were put to their last useful purpose as markers in the channel.

The wreck at low tide - © Crown Copyright RCAHMW

Recent monitoring of the wreck by the Malvern Archaeological Diving Unit highlighted the increased erosion and exposure of the vessel and it was therefore important to make an accurate record, both to provide benchmark data for future monitoring and also, in the worst case scenario, ensure preservation by record. Laser scanning was the ideal technology to use given the muddy and tidal environment as well as the 3-dimentional nature of the wreck, all of which would have made traditional recording both a challenging and time consuming task.


Detail of the wreck showing the treenail fastenings - © Crown Copyright RCAHMW

Find out more about the wreck here: http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/506769/details/UNNAMED+WRECK/

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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Piloting the Internet ‘Getting the best of Britain from Above’







1-3pm Tuesday, 20 November, 2012

A free session to boost confidence and skills when using the internet, the focus will be on the Britain from Above Project, an online aerial photographic collection showcasing spectacular images from Wales, Scotland and England between 1919-1953.

There will a short presentation about the project followed by a have-a-go session with plenty of opportunity to ask questions and learn new skills.

Free tea and biscuits after the session for all participants Places limited, to book please contact:
Natasha.scullion@rcahmw.gov.uk
Telephone: 01970 621200

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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

IfA/HLF Workplace Learning Bursary in Historic Building Survey and Interpretation





Lon Swan Chapel, Denbighshire
DS2009_155_002   NPRN 7565 -
© Crown Copyright RCAHMW

Hello to all the Royal Commission’s blog readers, my name is Ross Cook and I will be working at the Commission for the next year as part of an IfA/HLF Workplace Learning Bursary in Historic Building Survey and Interpretation. The aim of this placement is to equip me with the skills and expertise needed to work with historic buildings in the archaeological and heritage sectors, something I’ve always wanted to do and something I wish to pursue as a career.

It has been almost four weeks since the placement started, and in this time I’ve met all of the Commission staff, attended the staff Away Day, been learning about the work of the Commission and the data systems it uses. I’ve also been out on fieldwork in Denbigh with Buildings Investigator Susan Fielding, carrying our survey of sites for the forthcoming publication on Historic Denbigh.  Here I got to grips with using the Total Station and TheoLT in the survey of two chapels in the town, Lon Swan and Capel Mawr, and undertook a sketch survey of an ‘at risk’ industrial complex (smithy and later butchers) on Love Lane. A morning was also spent with Royal Commission photographer Iain Wright, photographing St Mary’s Church in the town, following which I was able to work-shadow Investigator Richard Suggett during his reconnaissance visits to possible tree-ring dating sites with Dan Miles from the Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory.  I’m now busy processing lots of data, producing illustrations and carrying out research following on from this fieldwork.

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Thursday, 1 November 2012

A People’s Oral History





What is Oral History?
Oral history is the study and documentation of history by collecting the memories of individuals and communities. Whether this be through audio or videotapes or by conducting interviews, it allows us to look at historical events, places and peoples with a fresh and personal perspective. Every story is important and deserves to be heard, so oral history can encourage and facilitate people to share their experiences, thus developing a richer understanding of the past. In particular, by recording people’s memories, we can learn not just about history, but about the way in which people connect with the past and how certain events, places, people and so on affected the people who engaged with them.

Community Stories:
I had an opportunity to sit in on some oral history being recorded earlier this year when I was shadowing the Royal Commission’s Medwyn Parry. We went to talk to a local resident, Hazel Jenkins, about her experiences and memories of Borth, Aberystwyth, during the Second World War. She used to help in the cafe of the West End Stores, where RAF personnel from MOS EE AA Ynyslas used to spend their evenings. Mrs Jenkins’ memories of working in Borth during the wartime give us a unique insight into the way the war affected those who lived there at the time and the general feeling of the village. In effect, this presents a fresh perspective on wartime in Wales and Borth itself.


West End Stores, Borth.
© Crown Copyright: RCAHMW DS2012_515_001
MOS EE AA Ynyslas Ancillary Building, Borth.
© Crown Copyright: RCAHMW DS2010_693_002

To read more about Mrs Jenkins’ story, please visit the People’s Collection Wales website.

Please feel free to contribute your own memories and experiences at:
http://www.peoplescollectionwales.co.uk/

Or to learn more about Oral History, the People’s Collection Wales and to tell your story in person, please come along to Memories Day on Saturday 3rd November at the Copper Kingdom Centre in Amlwch.

By: Sophie Gingell, CBA Community Archaeology Training Placement Holder with the Royal Commission


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