Tag: Wales

Sitting for Bernard

November 12, 2017 0 Comments
Sitting for Bernard

For over forty years, and with increased energy since 1990, Bernard Mitchell has been collecting people.  The people are artists and writers working in Wales, and his means of collecting them is the camera lens.  Many people have seen parts of his great project, the Wales Arts Archive, over the years.  In the 1990s the […]

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Dillad dychmygol Brexit

October 20, 2017 0 Comments
Dillad dychmygol Brexit

Yn y stori draddodiadol a addaswyd gan Hans Christian Andersen yn 1837, mae pawb yn y ddinas yn llygadrythu ar ddillad newydd yr Ymerawdwr – y gair yw eu bod  yn anweledig ond i bobl dwp – nes bod bachgen bach yn dod sy’n ddigon diniwed ac eofn i ebychu, ‘Ond does dim dillad amdano!’ […]

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Is it time for a National Trust of Wales?

September 1, 2017 2 Comments
Is it time for a National Trust of Wales?

There was a time when the National Trust was invulnerable and beyond criticism.  Its aims are so obviously virtuous, and the experience of visiting its sites so rewarding that anyone bold enough to question its ethos or ways of working would have been seen as eccentric.  The Trust is still one of the most popular […]

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John Ystumllyn: an African in 18th century Eifionydd

August 27, 2017 7 Comments
John Ystumllyn: an African in 18th century Eifionydd

It wasn’t his real name, ‘John Ystumllyn’, but one the locals gave him. Another was ‘Jac Du’ or ‘Jack Black’. How he arrived, unwillingly, in north Wales is obscure. What is certain is that his origins were in Africa, and that he found a home for himself and his family in the Criccieth area in […]

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R. M. Lockley, coastwalking pioneer

June 3, 2017 2 Comments
R. M. Lockley, coastwalking pioneer

Preparing for a talk about coastwalking in Plas Brondanw in a week or two I’ve been thinking about the origins of the practice of walking around the coast of a country, and specifically Wales.  When, I wondered, did coastwalking start to become a conscious mode of walking for travellers and tourists?  Rebecca Solnit, in her […]

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Magnus Maximus, man and memory

November 21, 2016 2 Comments
Magnus Maximus, man and memory

Doing some research recently on the Roman fort and settlement of Segontium I found myself face to face with a Roman emperor, Magnus Maximus.  His story is interesting but not unusual.  Later memory of him, especially in his guise as Macsen Wledig, is singular. His face stares out of coins he had minted to cement […]

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Peter Lord’s ‘The Tradition’

October 8, 2016 0 Comments
Peter Lord’s ‘The Tradition’

In front of me is a copy of The artist in Wales, the first book to attempt a full conspectus of art in Wales, past and present.  It was written in 1957 by David Bell, when he was Curator of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery.  It’s a drab volume, even taking into account the austere […]

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Wales and whales

August 29, 2016 3 Comments
Wales and whales

Last week several very unusual sightings of long-finned pilot whales were recorded off the coast of Wales. Pilot whales rarely leave the deep sea, but cetologists think that these examples were following food – they eat squid and small fish – that have also wandered on to the continental shelf. Today whales and other sea mammals […]

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A curious traveller in north Wales

August 20, 2016 0 Comments
A curious traveller in north Wales

There’s an excellent collaborative research project in train at the moment, led by Bangor University, called European travellers to Wales.  Its workers are busy unearthing accounts by tourists – writers and artists – from the Continent who visited Europe between 1750 and 2010.  At the same time another project, Curious travellers: Thomas Pennant and the […]

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Kyffin Williams the writer

February 5, 2016 5 Comments
Kyffin Williams the writer

The text of the 8th Kyffin Williams Annual Lecture, given at Highgate School, London on 1 February 2016. First, I’d like to thank David Smith and Highgate School for inviting me to give this year’s Kyffin Williams Lecture.  It’s very fitting that Highgate remembers Kyffin so loyally, because he was always grateful to the school […]

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