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July 2009

Look above: look within

Posted by Steve Burrow on 30 July 2009
The growing queue beside the big red banner that advertised the event.
Sue demonstrating the total station.
Geoff introducing some visitors to building survey.
A chance to look at some of the Royal Commission's older survey equipment.

Festival of British Archaeology 2009

On Wednesday and Thursday this week (29th and 30th July) Sue Fielding and Geoff Ward from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales demonstrated building recording at St Fagans. Thanks to them, visitors had the chance to record a 500 year old house, Hendre’r Ywydd Uchaf, which once stood near Ruthin in the Vale of Clwyd.

I couldn't get to the event myself,  but Adam Gwilt who helped organise things sent in this report.


"Geoff has been getting people to look more carefully at the way the house was built and showing young and old alike how to measure and draw the exposed timbers of a wall partition inside the house.

Sue has been enlisting the help of people, using the ‘total station’ survey equipment. Using a laser beam to record the dimensions and details of one of the rooms, a 3D drawing of the room has grown in front of our eyes on the laptop computer screen. 

On Wednesday, the stream of people was slow but constant, though the torrential rain all day affected the numbers of visitors. After early showers on Thursday, the much improved weather brought people to us in significant numbers, at times queuing to enter the house to see what was going on! 

We used a red flag banner to let visitors know that something was going on in this house in the large museum grounds, while the additional building trail developed for the Festival has helped some children to hunt for evidence relating to the long use of this building.

The event was a great success with Sue commenting: ‘Many children have really enjoyed using our new survey equipment to generate an immediate visual and digital drawing of this historic house. I was really pleased that the Royal Commission was asked to contribute to the Festival events hosted by the national museum.’ "

Pop Peth exhibition opens on Saturday!

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 30 July 2009

Sally conjuring colours

Posted by Steve Burrow on 29 July 2009
Dyeing wool
Sally at work in the roundhouse, dyeing wool.
Natural dyes
Just one of the amazing colours that Sally produced during the course of the day. All from natural dyes.
Colourful wool
The full range of colours.
Drop spinning
Sally demonstrating drop spinning.

Festival of British Archaeology 2009

More photos from finished events... This time Sally demonstrating dyeing with natural dyes.

The orange comes from madder, the yellow from weld, blue from woad, and green is a mix of woad and weld.

The magic flute

Posted by Steve Burrow on 29 July 2009
Making a bone flute
Gareth at work on the bone flutes in the Celtic Village.
The replica flutes
The finished flutes.

The lower of the two is Gareth's replica of the possible Neolithic flute from Penywyrlod.

The topmost one is his replica of the White Castle medieval flute.
Sally and whistle
Sally getting a note from the replica Penywyrlod whistle.

I haven't had the chance to catch up with her to see whether she thought this would actually have been a viable instrument.

Festival of British Archaeology 2009

A few photos from last weekend's "Magic flute" event in which Gareth Riseborough tried to make replicas of a medieval and a possible Neolithic flute.

He was successful in both projects. The medieval flute plays very well and looks fantastic. The Neolithic whistle looks the piece, but is very difficult to play - no fault of Gareth's there, the reason he was trying to replicate the original was to see whether it was actually a whistle, or whether it might have been simply a dog-chewed bone.

Art Cart

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 29 July 2009

The art cart starts this Saturday in Oriel 1, St Fagans:National History Museum from 11 until 1 and 2 until 4. We will be creating art works inspired by the new exhibtion Pop Peth Music & Me and making collages based on the Goddess Durga.

When you are enjoying a break in Bardi's Cafe or the Resturant, why not draw or colour in a picture? The pictures below show the kind of activities available for your enjoyment!




Colourful Pasts

Posted by Ian Daniel on 28 July 2009

Thanks to everyone who joined us last weekend and took part in the activities at the Celtic Village and St Teilo’s Church. My roundhouse has never been so colourful! The walls look amazing, full of your wonderful artwork. Many of you also joined Tracey and Nia in St Teilo’s Church and had a go at re-creating the wall paintings there. If you missed the activities then remember the Festival of British Archaeology continues here this weekend, 1-2 August.

Memorable gigs continued...

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 28 July 2009

I've been collecting some more favourite gigs - Abby loved Sam Phillips at Joe's Pub Theater in New York City because of the intimate venue and awesome musicians, the mysteriously named 'M' enjoyed (what 'M' can remember of it anyway) The Undertones way back in 1979 in Aberystwyth...Iwan couldn't choose between Gorky's in Resolven and the last gig from Ffa Coffi Pawb in Llanelwedd in 1993.

Owain's best gig was Datblygu and Albert Hoffman also in Aberystwyth in 1993 or maybe 1994... Carla loved Take That recently in Cardiff and Ellie danced on the stage with Chuck Berry in Liverpool in 2004!

As mentioned in a previous post, my favourite gig was seeing Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth) in Amoeba Records in San Francisco. It was a promo show for his solo album 'Trees Outide the Academy' which had just been released and I went on my own on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Thurston and his band came on late, with the set list written on a paper plate... it was amazing...

Meic Stevens

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 28 July 2009

Meic Stephens was chatting to Gari Melville last Saturday in Oriel 1, St Fagans:National History museum. He discussed, amongst other things, his new album on the way, what kind of music he's been listening to and who would play him in a film about his life - Robin Williams apparently.

St Teilo's Church - the book blog

Posted by Mari Gordon on 28 July 2009
St Teilos cover

At last, the first review for Saving St Teilo's has come in.

Reviews make me nervous but in a good, exciting way. I never really dread seeing them but it is a truth universally acknowledged (in publishing at least) that you can't keep all of the people happy all of the time. So, sooner or later we'll get a stinker. But not this time –

"Gerallt Nash’s book also conveys a spirit rarely found in museum publications – pride and joy, craftsmanship and passion, a genuine sense of adventure and achievement. It makes the reader not just want to see St Teilo’s, but also to wish that they had rolled up their sleeves and lent a hand in its rescue."

To read the rest of the review go to


What's your most memorable gig?

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 27 July 2009

As part of the Pop Peth/ Music & Me exhibition at St Fagans:National History Museum, we would like to know what's the most memorable gig you've ever been to. Once the exhibition opens, there will be cute ticket-shaped feedback forms for anyone to fill in, but in the meantime post your thoughts/memories below!

I've been asking staff members what their favourite gigs have been and it has ranged from Kylie to Gil Scott-Heron & Amnesia Express. We would love to know your favourite gig too!(mine's Thurston Moore)

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