Cymdeithas Hanes Resolfen History Society

A web log for the Resolven History Society which publishes articles and stories related to Resolven and the immediate surroundings.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Question of Elf and Safety

The Annual Members night was a suitably merry and festive affair again this year. For some years the Society has relied on its own members to contribute items of seasonal or historical interest since it was obvious that numbers in meetings were sometimes fewer in December owing to competing attractions.

John Watson kicked off the evening with some quizzical views of Wales. John showed pictures of Welsh castles and historic building which ordinarily would be fairly easy to interpret, but not this time, and the angles of the slides gave each member a torrid time in solving the puzzles.

Trefor Jones then followed with a brief introduction to Punch Magazine. He explained that he had been bequeathed a large set of Punch Almanac editions after his father. He then gave  a brief history of the Magazine with its satirical but largely the establishment view of it s time. He explained that Punch magazine or "The London Charivari", largely invented the political cartoon and was a treasure trove as to the social and political attitudes of previous centuries.To illustrate the point he read a section on "Christmas Toys" from the 1910 edition, which betrayed attitudes to the role of girls in society which would be almost alien today. Mr Phylip Jones then took the opportunity to talk briefly on the changing nature of Christmas in modern Wales. He noted that social attitudes to the festive season in Wales largely changed after the second world war, before then the largely religiously nonconformist Welsh society tended to give it little attention.

Caryl Rees gave a short item on a collection of Bibles that were in the possession of her brother in  law, including one in Russian and one almost uniquely in shorthand. This was followed by a snippet from Daphne Gadd on her favourite subject - the Titanic.

The second half of the meeting consisted of the History Society's unique take on a Christmas quiz. Members were invited to answer enough questions in order to win chocolates and Christmas crackers ( of which the hat was to be worn) until supplies eventually ran out an hour later. This was accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies which rather dulled the capacity of the quizzers to catch the chocolate thrown by the quiz master, being a case of elf and safety!!

The President, Mr Phylip Jones thanked everyone who had contributed to the evening, and wished everyone the compliments of the Season.



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