Monthly update, January 2020
Happy New Year!
Looking back at 2019, volunteers and supporters of Wireless in Wales Museum must be congratulated on a busy and successful year. The extending of the opening hours has enabled more visitors to call in, and the numbers attending the monthly lectures on Friday evenings have increased significantly. The Craft Mornings for children (and adults) are going from strength to strength and the quarterly Coffee Mornings are now well established. Our speakers are increasingly being called on to visit community groups around North Wales, travelling as far as Anglesey and the Wirral. Often, these groups then arrange a trip to the Museum to view the exhibition. Thanks to everyone for their efforts and dedication.
December Coffee Morning
We also received a number of exhibits during the year and we thank everyone for their generosity.
The Supersonic Radio Commodore de Luxe, manufactured in Zimbabwe in 1980 and used to listen to the BBC World Service from that country. The Sony ICF-SW7600 World Band Receiver along with the original box and instructions. A modern Tannoy domestic hi-fi speaker currently used for comparison with the Voigt Corner Horn from 1939. The BBC's 1930 Handbook and The Book of Practical Television from 1935 containing much technical information about television in that period, as well as instructions on how to build your own TV.
The Supersonic Radio Commodore de Luxe
Looking ahead to 2020, we note that the Museum is open every Friday, 11.00-15.00, and the first Saturday of every month during the winter. All are welcome to call for a paned (and cake sometimes) - as many people regularly do! If these times are not convenient, you can arrange a visit at any other time by contacting
Our lecture series is held on Fridays at 7 o'clock, at the Museum:
January 17th - David Crawford will talk about "The Transistor" on the Curator's Evening.
February 21st - John Barr will talk about "Construction of the Conwy Tunnel".
March 20th - Dr. Hywel Watkin will present the David Edward Hughes Annual Lecture, and talk about "The Cartographer Humphrey Llwyd of Foxhall".
April 3rd - Mike Farnworth will talk about "Welsh Sacred Wells - A living link to the pagan past".
May 15th - Alison Bromley will speak on "Researching your Family History".
June 19th - Eurig Jones will talk about "Our Wild Coast".
A warm welcome to all!
Monthly update, December 2019
Many thanks to David Roberts, a Radio Amateur who is a regular visitor to the Museum, who delivered two lectures for us recently, one at short notice due to unexpected circumstances. 'The Story of the Sun' was the subject of his first lecture and he began by talking about the importance of the sun to people throughout history. In Ancient Egypt, for example, people worshipped the sun as a god; Louis XIV of France in the seventeenth century was called the 'Sun King' and currently 14 national flags have a picture of the sun on them. He summarised the scientific advances in solar studies over the centuries, especially in the Renaissance period. Copernicus realised that the sun was the centre of the solar system, and not the earth as previously thought. In 1608, Hans Lipperhey invented a telescope, and in 1609 Galileo Galilei produced his 'perspective glass' and was placed under house arrest by the Inquisition for doing so. In 1661, King Charles II founded the Royal Society (for Improving Natural Knowledge), one of whose founders was Newton who was carrying out experiments on light. The King also established the Royal Greenwich Observatory in 1676, for navigation. David then went on to talk about more recent studies on the sun and other planets, referring to solar probes which photograph the sun as they pass - some of which are still in orbit. The Hubble space telescope has shown the location of the earth and the solar system in our galaxy - the earth is in the habitable area known as the 'goldilocks' area. The lecture concluded with a very lively question-and-answer session, which demonstrated the broad knowledge and interest of the audience in the field.
"A thread across the ocean, the first Transatlantic cable” was the subject of David's second lecture, when he summarised the attempts to connect south-western Ireland with eastern Canada by telegraph. Fredric Newton Gisbourne was the first to start the work by laying a cable from St. John's to Halifax in south-eastern Canada in 1852. In 1857 under the sponsorship of Cyrus West Field, experimentation began on the Atlantic Ocean. In the first two attempts, two ships carrying miles of cable each were sent to meet in the middle of the ocean, and the cable was lowered into the sea as they travelled back to their ports, but the attempt failed. In 1858 a cable was successfully laid in place, and Queen Victoria sent a message to the President of the USA and received a reply, but the cable broke shortly afterwards. Thomas Brassey sponsored the fourth attempt in 1865, when only one ship was used, but that cable was also impaired. In 1866 a new cable was produced and that was the "first Transatlantic cable", which enabled messages to be sent from Ireland to Canada and back. Cyrus West Field, because of his persistence over the years, was the one responsible for this achievement, and by the time of his death 10 cables spanned the Atlantic Ocean carrying ever-increasing traffic.
At the November Craft Morning, Carole demonstrated how to decorate bottles and place a light inside them. In the first photograph, Imogen, Ann, Tomos and Eva are working diligently. In the second photograph, they are displaying their bottles, and those of Hannah and Katie also. There is room for one or two others to join us on these Craft Mornings on the first Saturday of the month, if you wish.
Everyone is welcome to our lecture series at 7.00 pm on Friday nights at the Museum:
On December 13th, David Crawford will present
"A Night of the BBC Test Card and music".
January 17th is the Curator's Night, and David Crawford will talk about
On February 21st, John Barr will talk about
"Building the Conwy Tunnel".
On March 20th, Dr. Hywel Watkin will present the David Edward Hughes Annual Lecture, and will talk about
"Humphrey Llwyd the Cartographer from Foxhall".
Monthly Update: November 2019
The 2019-2020 lecture series commenced with a talk by Dr. Frank Nicholson on “What glaciers have done for us”. A very timely subject after the funeral of the Okjokull glacier in Iceland in August and on the exact day of the global protest against climate change led by Greta Thunberg and young people. Dr. Nicholson showed us beautiful glaciers in different parts of the world today and described the Ice Age over Europe and Wales 18,000 years ago. The impact of the Ice Age is seen in the landscape, with the glacial valleys, corries, ridges and deposits that underpin the soil and aggregates we use. Present day glaciers are an important source of water for hydroelectricity generation but the water can flow to the sea and raise the sea level, which would then threaten many islands and cities around the world and force people to move. He suggested that if the ice cap on Greenland melted the Gulf Stream would stop and Wales would be much colder.
The Open Doors weekend at the Museum was busy with visitors from far and wide. Thanks to everyone who supported our Coffee Morning on the Saturday.
Our Craft Mornings on the first Saturday of every month are growing in popularity, with adults as well as children now attending. Plums were the theme of October's Craft Morning as it coincided with the Denbigh Plum Festival. In the first picture, Tomos, Eva, Imogen and Zoe are making plums from clay.
And here's the finished work.
Judith and Heather are pictured painting cotton shopping bags with plums and other autumn items, led by Avril. Thanks to Carole for organising.
We would like to thank our Museum Mentor Susan Dalloe for her guidance and support to us since the beginning of Wireless in Wales. We wish her well as she moves to a new job in London. We welcome Carly Davies who will be taking her place and look forward to working with her.
We would like to thank Clwyd Wynne for being Chair of the Committee for some years. We appreciate his contribution to the development of the Museum. We welcome Carole Lomax as our new Chair and thank her for her activity on behalf of the Museum.
Also, thanks to the new volunteers who have recently joined us.
All are welcome to our series of lectures at 7.00 pm on Friday night at the Museum:
On November 15th, David Roberts will talk about
"A Thread across the ocean, the first Transatlantic cable".
On December 13th, David Crawford will present
"An Evening of the BBC Test Card and music".
January 17th is the Curator's Evening, and David Crawford will talk about "The Transistor".
We also plan to hold a Quiz Night in the near future. Watch the website for details.
Our Christmas Coffee Morning with Stalls will be on December 7th at Eirianfa, in conjunction with Vale of Clwyd Mind and St.Thomas's Church Guild, 10.00-12.00. Everyone is welcome as always.