Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales


The first object this month is this wages book from Roath Power Station. Roath Power Station was owned by the Cardiff City Electricity Department until Nationalisation, when the Central Electricity Generating Board formed. It was situated on a site on the corner of Newport Road and Colchester Avenue, and began supplying electricity in 1902. It was essential in supplying electricity to the new fleet of electric trams that began running in Cardiff from 1902, and a Tram Depot was situated close by on Newport Road. This aerial view from the Tempest Collection shows the site in the 1950s after the construction of the two concrete cooling towers were completed in 1942.



Last year we were donated a copy of the design for the Lesbians & Gay Men Support the Miners Group badge that was produced in 1984. The events from 1984/85 were recently depicted in the film ‘Pride’. We have now been donated two of the original designs for the badge. This complements a number of objects in our collection including a 30th anniversary badge manufactured in 2014.


Also relating to the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike we have been donated this month this ‘Cardiff Miners Support Committee’ mug. It was manufactured by the Welsh Beaker Company in about 1985. It was purchased by the donor at a benefit gig at Cardiff Students Union, whilst a student at Cardiff, to support the miners during the 1984/85 strike.


Finally we need your help to identify this lovely view of a Victorian boating lake. It was taken by the photographer J. Owen of Newtown who had won a prize for his photography at the National Eisteddfod on 1889. The lake is currently unidentified but it has been suggested it might be the lake at Llandrindod Wells, or possibly Lake Mochdre at Newtown. If anyone is able to help confirm the location we would love to hear from you.



Mark Etheridge
Curator: Industry & Transport
Follow us on Twitter - @IndustryACNMW

Exhibition review by Museum's Youth Forum.

As youth forum members we were able to help input our opinions into the design of the temporary exhibition and have been able to see it develop from a drawing on paper to a physical form. Today we have examined the exhibition and have evaluated the information and items displayed.


The National Museum Wales have been tasked with commemorating the WW1 centenary. Personally, we believe that the exhibition is very interesting as it gives an insight into the medicinal history starting from Ancient Greece right up to the 21st century. We enjoyed the exhibition overall. The video grabbed our attention the most and we were able to see a visual aspect of medicinal practice with a humorous touch.


The exhibition has a number of different displays which hold valuable information about medicine and the different tools used to carry out medical procedures such as amputations. It contains a silent video in both Welsh and English that shows a few medical procedures from the Roman times. There are some replicas of medical items in the display case that have been used such as a Face Mask used in World War One to disguise facial wounds. 


There is also a small game on an iPad that tests your knowledge of the information in the exhibition. This together with the video has proved to be a success with the general public. Some reviews say that they liked “the doctor video” and a young person enjoyed it when the doctor was “cutting the leg off”.


By Joel Powell, Emma Jones and Hannah Sweetapple.

It’s been another busy lambing season down at Llwyn yr Eos – we really hope you’ve enjoyed watching all the action via #lambcam.  This year, as well as welcoming lots of excited visitors to the farm to see our mums and babies, there’s been a couple of new additions to the programme. We ran our first ever Lambing Experience Day Courses and were really pleased to get great feedback that included 'a once in a lifetime experience'! They're something we hope to build on in 2017 - so watch this space!. Our Learning Team also organised lambing tours for schools, with over 600 children visiting (some of whom were lucky enough to witness births happening!).

The lamb-o-meter clocked up 186 at close of play – there’s a few stragglers left to deliver, but we’re on course for a total of 204 births. For those of you who like some stats, here goes…

  • Lambing 204 from 114 ewes gives a lambing percentage of 178% (which is good).
  • The vast majority of those are happy, healthy and with their mothers.
  • But we’ve also lost a few along the way…
    • One set of twins were a late miscarriage.
    • One lamb too premature to survive.
    • 2 failed to thrive and died at a few days old.
    • 2 stillborn.
    • 1 accidentallly smothered by its mother.
  • So far we have ended up with two lambs being bottle fed:
    • One was born very poorly and had to be hand reared from the start.
    • The other was from a set of twins where the mother had mastitis and only had enough milk for one lamb.
    • Both of them are bouncing around happily now.
  • There’s also been a couple of bonuses – two ewes that we thought were carrying singles delivered twins!

So here’s a few of this year’s cutest pictures to keep you going till next year……

Here at St Fagans the winter has passed and spring is on its way – here at the Derwen Bakehouse we can hear the lambs bleating in the fields as we work. We’ve had our annual facelift, and with painting and repairs all done it’s time to coax the oven back into life. (The oven is affectionately known to us as Idris the fire breathing Dragon - he can be a temperamental beast sometimes!)

Traditional Welsh baking is a vital part of what we do here at the bakehouse, which started life as a family run business in Abersytwyth. It was originally built in 1900 by Evan Jenkins, a local farmer, as a business for his two daughters, Catherine Jane and Mary Elizabeth.  My mother Christine had the honour of re-firing the oven and baking the first batch of bread when the building was re-opened here at the Museum in 1987. Although she sadly passed away last summer we still use the recipes that she and museum researcher Minwel Tibbott worked so hard to collect.

Over the winter, myself and the team have been developing ideas to add some new products to our range. We are surrounded by fruit herbs and veg in the museums gardens so there’s plenty to inspire us. Some of my favourites so far have been rhubarb bread, pear and chocolate cake and Pembroke Buns. 

But it’s nearly Easter and here at the bakehouse some things never change – we’ll be spending Good Friday crossing and glossing the buns (with a bit of sampling for quality control of course!!!). We’re looking forward to meeting all our customers again over the coming months. The smell of fresh bread brings back fond memories for many people - so if you’re in the Museum, follow your nose to the bakehouse and come and say hello.


Blog by Katrina Lloyd.

This week marks the centenary of the St Fagans Red Cross VAD Hospital which opened in the grounds of St Fagans Castle on 22 March 1916. This blog looks at three examples of needlework made by serving soldiers from the collection, including a delicate piece of beadwork hand-crafted by a patient at the St Fagans auxiliary hospital.

Patchwork chest of drawers cover (1883)

Richard Evans from Llanbrynmair served with the Army in India. While stationed there in 1883, he supposedly made this striking patchwork chest of drawers cover as a present for his mother. The back is marked with a handwritten dedication in black ink: Rhodd i fy mam Sarah Evans 1883 (A gift for my mother Sarah Evans 1883).

The bold geometric design is stylistically very similar to other patchworks made by soldiers of this period. The Victoria & Albert Museum has a large bedcover in its collection attributed to Private Francis Brayley, whose regiment was based in India between 1864 and 1877. Both Richard Evans and Francis Brayley made their patchworks from thick woollen cloths, likely to be off-cuts or remnants of military uniforms.

Needlework was considered a very useful skill for soldiers to learn, not only to maintain and repair their kit, but also as a method of relaxation – a distraction from the temptations of alcohol and gambling. Textile crafts were also used as occupational therapy for injured soldiers, as depicted by the artist Thomas William Wood in his painting of Private Thomas Walker. Held by the Hunterian Museum, the painting shows the convalescing soldier stitching a patchwork quilt from his sick-bed.

Sweetheart pincushion (1914 - 1918)

Private Brinley Rhys Edmunds from Barry died of dysentery while imprisoned at Konigsbruck in September 1918. During the War, he made this heart-shaped pincushion for his mother – possibly at a military training camp or barracks. The centre of the pincushion features the insignia of the Welsh Regiment and the motto Gwell Angau na Chywilydd (Better Death than Dishonour). Known as ‘sweetheart’ pincushions, many thousands have survived in museums and family collections, although very little is known about their production and distribution. The uniformity of these pincushions suggests they were produced as craft kits for soldiers and civilians to assemble.

Beadwork butterfly (1918)

Corporal Walter Stinson, a painter from Battersea, was a patient at the St Fagans Red Cross Hospital in early 1918. While recuperating from injuries sustained in France, he made this intricate butterfly belt buckle from tiny glass beads. It seems that he and his fellow patients made and sold similar pieces in aid of the Evening Express Prisoners of War Fund. The following note was published in the Western Mail on 19 April 1918.

Yesterday’s total of £38 15s 6d sent to the Evening Express Prisoners of War Fund included… £10 from the patients at St Fagans Red Cross VAD Hospital (proceeds of bead work).

According to Walter Stinson’s descendants, the Prince of Wales bought one of his pieces at an exhibition in Cardiff. He was discharged from the Army on 3 December 1918 for being no longer physically fit for service.

To discover more about the use of textiles and needlework to commemorate, celebrate, mourn and heal during the First World War, take a look at Amgueddfa Cymru's online collections database. And as we continue to mark the centenary of the St Fagans Red Cross Hospital, follow the hashtags #Hospital100 #Ysbyty100 on Twitter.