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As part of the redevelopment project at St.Fagans National History Museum, we wish to open our doors to volunteers and invite them to work alongside the Preventive Conservation team, helping to care for the collections on open display in the historic houses. There are hundreds of objects on display ranging from furniture, textiles, pottery and agricultural equipment. Providing plenty of opportunities to share a skill or learn something new.


Caring for this site is no mean feat, we currently have 26 furnished properties including a castle. Plus there are 4 new buildings on the way, including a medieval hall and the Vulcan pub! So plenty to keep us busy. The Museum is also open throughout the year and can have up to 700,000 visitors during that time, which means we are kept on our toes making sure everything continues to look good, day in and day out.

This work is a combined effort, involving staff from many different sections, which often goes on behind the scenes unnoticed by visitors. However, we wish to change this and provide opportunities for volunteers to assist us, not only in the care of objects, but also contribute to interpretation and help inform the public.


We are currently refurbishing one of the cottages on site, aiming to provide a comfortable and creative work space for our new collection care volunteers. We hope to start recruiting in May so if you're interested, I'll be posting more updates as the project continues to progress.

Preventive conservation and collection care. Our objects come in all shapes and sizes and range of materials.

Volunteer project. Rag rugs, from the collection, being used as inspiration to help recreate authentic rugs for the historic houses.

Some of the largest objects we care for at St.Fagans belong to the agricultural collection.

We’re in the process of preparing objects to go on display in the new galleries that are being built on the site of St Fagans.  #makinghistory  

As the textile conservator, I have come across three objects that, though they are kept in the textile store, are not exclusively made of textile but have paper components and have botanical specimens attached, neither of which come under my area of expertise.  Hence, I’ve roped in my two colleagues, the  Senior Conservator Archives and the Senior Conservator Natural Sciences and the three of us will now jointly treat these objects. 

Joint projects are always a great opportunity for sharing skills and learning from colleagues so we’re all really looking forward to this!

Portfolio consisting of paper, botanical specimen and textile

Fragile? and the youth forum

Sian Lile-Pastore, 17 March 2015

Our design inspiration
Our design inspiration

The youth forum in National Museum Cardiff has been working on lots of different projects, but RIGHT NOW they are putting together a publication to tie in with the upcoming contemporary ceramics exhibition Fragile?. This publication is going to be alternative guide to the exhibition and will contain interviews with artists along with some superb articles looking at ceramics, vinyl, death and murder.

We have had some help from lots of museum staff along with interview and writing tips from Emma Geliot (editor of CCQ magazine) and layout and design work planning with Liz Price from Chipper Designs.

We hope it's going to be all ready for the opening on April 18th, but there's still a lot of work ahead! it's just like being on Press Gang (90s tv reference...)

@DyddiadurKate - Corddi Menyn

Mared McAleavey, 13 March 2015

Fel amryw ohonoch dwi’n siwr, dwi wrth fy modd yn darllen @DyddiadurKate ac wedi dotio sut gall brawddeg fer neu gwpl o eiriau ddadlennu cymaint am fywyd a diwylliant teulu a chymuned.

A finna’n gyfrifol am y casgliadau bywyd cartref, ei chyfeiriadau at y gwaith dyddiol o gadw ty a dyletswyddau’r fferm sy’n fy niddori fwyaf. Dwi’n mwynhau’r cyfle i drydar lluniau ar fy nghyfrif @SF_Ystafelloedd er mwyn rhoi cyd-destun gweledol i’w chofnodion syml, megis:

                “golchi yn y boreu”

                “berwi pen mochyn”

                “pobi bara ceirch y boreu”

Ddoe bu Kate yn “corddi”, a gan fod gennym dâp cyfan yn ein harchif sain o atgofion Kate am gorddi a gwneud menyn ar fferm Tyhen, dyma sbardun i mi ymhelaethu a dyfynnu peth o’r cyfweliad.

Roedd y llaethdy, neu’r "dairy” chwedl Kate yn “oer, oer” gyda “meinciau cerrig fel ryw silffoedd cerrig.” Byddai’r llaeth yn cael ei hidlo i mewn i bot llaeth, gyda “slentsen” yn gaead iddo. Llechen gron oedd hon, wedi ei phrynu yn Chwarel Ffestiniog, i arbed “llwch a gwybed” rhag heintio’r cynnwys. Byddai’r llaeth yn sefyll yn y pot “am ryw dri d’wrnod … a’i droi o bob dydd ‘n te. Oedd hynny’n bwysig i chi ga’l y lliw yn y menyn yr un peth ‘n te.” Yn aml iawn byddai’n cymryd mwy o amser i dwchu’r llaeth yn y gaeaf a byddai’n rhaid “dod a fo ar y pentan wrth y tân i gadw’r gwres i fyny.”

Nid corddi â llaw fyddai’r teulu, “oedde ni’n Tyhen yn corddi efo ceffyl … y gwerthyd [sef y echel haearn o’r pwer ceffyl, y tu allan i’r adeilad] yn dod trw’r wal i’r sgubor ac wedyn o’dd o’n rhedeg ar bwlis wedyn i fewn i’r dairy.” Byddai un person yn gofalu nad oed y ceffyl yn symud yn rhy gyflym, a’r llall yn cadw llygaid ar y fuddai. “O raid ni stopio ryw ddwy waith ne dair yn dechre wedi roi ryw ddau dro ‘n te i ollwng y gwynt o’r fudde ne fyse’n byrstio … Fydde ne wydr bach i chi wel’ be’ fydde fo ar torri’n fenyn … Mynd reit ara deg wedyn am blwc ie ‘dyn fydden hel yn fenyn i gyd yn top ychi … Pan ddoi’r gwydyr yn glir, dene chi ‘di darfod ‘n te.”

Only two weeks to go Bulb Buddies!

Penny Tomkins, 13 March 2015

Hello Bulb Buddies,

Well, you have been busy! A further 78 flowering records have been entered this week bringing us to a total of 175 flowers!


For those of you still waiting for your flowers to bloom here are some helpful tips:

  1. Your plants have flowered when you can see all of their petals, without the outer casing that protects them while they are developing (see the picture to the right).
  2. Remember to measure in mm!
  3. Measure from the top rim of your plant pot to the highest point of your flower.
  4. Remember to record the date when you enter your flowering record on the National Museum Wales website!
  5. Please leave comments when you enter your records, this is your chance to tell me what you’ve liked or disliked about the project!
  6. Please send pictures! I have been able to share a few pictures posted by schools on Twitter. If your school doesn’t use Twitter maybe your teacher could email pictures to me!

There isn’t long to go now, only two more weeks of collecting and entering weather data!

Remember, the 27th of March is the deadline for entering all of your weather data. You must do this to achieve your Super Scientist certificates and be in for a chance of winning a museum nature trip!

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies

Professor Plant


Your comments:

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: We were very excited this week as there were lots of buds on our crocuses. The weather has been getting warmer and today the first crocus flowers opened in the sunshine and we had to measure them carefully, H and J. Prof P: Well done H and J! I hope you have enjoyed studying the development of your plants. There are other experiments you can do that demonstrate how your flowers respond to light and heat. I will send these to your teacher but you can also find them on the website under ‘Professor Plant’s investigation ideas’. Keep up the good work!

Rivington Foundation Primary School: On Monday we had snow! And on Thursday we were on a school trip. Prof P: Well Rivington Foundation Primary School, you’ve had quite an exciting week! And you still managed to document your weather records, thank you very much!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Still no sign of bulbs in pots flowering yet, we think the ones in the ground are doing better, as the roots have more space to grow, unlike the pots which have restricted space! It’s lovely and sunny here today, with a good sunny forecast for the weekend. When we return to school on Monday we should hopefully start to see our bulbs flowering. Prof P: Hi Stanford in the Vale Primary, I’m pleased to hear that you are observing other plants and discussing the effects of environment on growth and development. I hope the sun over the weekend spurs on your plants, it shouldn’t be long now so watch them closely!

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: The bulb's still have not came out yet but one of them is almost out. Prof P: It shouldn’t be long now Our Lady of the Peace Primary! Watch the flower buds carefully to see how they open. The spathe will begin to split lengthways as the bud grows! If your teacher has a camera you might be able to take pictures that show the different stages of the bud flowering!

Thorn Primary School: We are very sorry but we were unable to submit plants data this week as there was building work taking place at school and we could not safely get to the thermometer and rain collector. We will be fine to collect our data this week. Prof P: Thank you for letting me know Thorn Primary School, and not to worry! I look forward to seeing your data next week.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: My name is T and my flower was first to open. It was outside when it opened but when we brought it inside it opened even more. We were amazed. Even our teacher was amazed. Prof P: Hi T. I’m glad that you have been studying your plants so closely, they are fascinating things! Did you discuss why the flower reacted to being moved inside? I suspect your classroom was a lot warmer than the playground!!

Swiss Valley School: Hello how do we record the mystery bulbs please? Prof P: Hi Swiss Valley School. You can record the mystery bulbs flowering dates for your own records in the class room, but there is no need to record them on the NMW website. Schools that are taking part in the Edina Trust extension projects were given an extra 20 daffodil bulbs to plant in the ground, and those schools are asked to document the flowering dates for these on the Edina Trust website. This is so that they can compare the flowering dates of those in the ground to those in pots and think of reasons why these might be different. Have you noticed differences in the development of your mystery bulbs to your bulbs in pots? Can you think of reasons for this?

Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn: We enjoyed measuring them. Prof P: I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the project Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn! Keep up the good work.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: All our crocus have flowered and they are looking so pretty. What a lovely week of warmer weather, and finally the rain came today, we are so in need of more rain.....we looked at the weather data as a group and noticed Oxfordshire have had little rain this year! Prof P: Hi Stanford in the Vale Primary. What a lovely post, and it’s nice to see a positive spin on rain! I’m glad that you are using the resources on the map to study readings from other schools! You can also use the Met Office WOW website to look at readings in other areas.

If you look closely at this picture you can see that only one of my Daffodils has opened. The others are still mostly or completely covered by a protective layer called a spathe.