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.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WW1 Commemoration

As I'm sure everyone is aware, next year will herald a flurry of events marking the beginning of hostilities in the Great War. Each community throughout the land will be marking this in some way. The Committee has been discussing various ideas for projects regarding this matter and our Secretary has attended a meeting convened by Mr Paul Hinder of Neath Port Talbot Borough Council  regarding gaining grant aid. There is quite a lot of money available via the National Lottery, with a specific pot for Wales.Importantly this avenue will exist until 2019. Mr Hinder was truthful in pointing out that demand would be great and schemes would be most likely to be successful if they have an unique selling point i.e. being original. Last year, Mr Jonathan Skidmore spoke to us on his project regarding the war memorial in Resolven and therefore it is sensible that this probably popular option should not be duplicated.

Mr Hinder has also pointed out to other organizations in Resolfen that if one scheme was put forward from the village as a whole then this was more likely to gain grant aid. Mr David Richards of the Royal British Legion in Resolven has broached the question of a joint bid and his proposal was put to the members prior to the commencement of the members' night. It was agreed that we would participate in any joint venture and Mr Trefor Jones also agreed to represent the Society in any future joint meetings of interested parties.

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.