Connecting people with places will be the theme of this year’s National Trust in Wales offering at the Eisteddfod.
A vibrant programme of talks, music and objects that reflects the work of the charity across Wales will feature in stories and discussion about finding new ways of making special places more accessible and relevant as a living cultural resource in Wales.
Launching the programme, Justin Albert the National Trust Director for Wales, said:
“Through this programme we want to share with the people of Wales some of the challenges that we face and to think about what we might do differently to strengthen connections between people and the rich national heritage in our care.
“It is also a celebration of what makes Wales distinctive and an invitation to help shape the Trust’s future contribution to the life of the nation.”
Such distinctiveness will be marked by all the talks being Shed Talks – look out for the National Trust shed with the neon lights opposite the Senedd – and the sound of a conch shell being blown 15 minutes before the start of each live event.
The blowing of the conch shell is in reference to the practice, common in some upland Welsh farming communities, for using these shells as trumpets blown to summon farmers back to the house, for instance at mealtimes or when visitors called. The shells were brought home as gifts from the tropics by seafaring relatives. This practice is being symbolically resurrected for the Eisteddfod to summon people to the stand to hear one of our talks and join in the debate.
Justin Albert will be in conversation with distinguished Welsh Broadcaster Dei Tomos at BayArt, 54 Bute Street, Cardiff, CF10 5AF. Justin Albert will be sharing his thoughts and ambitions for how the National Trust in Wales can continue its vital conservation work and what opportunities there are to make deeper connections between people and place.
Guto Roberts –Tales of Cwm Idwal
In this talk Guto Roberts the Partnership Officer for the National Trust, will launch Cwm Idwal’s new information pack that has grown from the important partnership between the National Trust, Snowdonia National Park and Natural Resources Wales. It provides new and vital information on the special character of Wales’ oldest National Nature Reserve with details on how people have influenced the landscape, the history of place names, the geography and biodiversity of the area, and how this special place has inspired many in the arts
Twm Elias – Place names in Wales
During 35 years of organising and running courses at the Snowdonia National Park Centre, Plas Tan y Bwlch, Twm Elias has developed a broad range of interests in the environmental and cultural heritage fields. He is a prolific author and regular broadcaster on radio and TV on subjects such as wildlife, folk-lore and agricultural history. He has a deep interest in appreciating and protecting Welsh place-names.
Siân James – The Miners’ Strike: In conversation with Dr Tomos Owen, Cardiff University
Siân James is from the Swansea Valley and was a young mother when the Miners’ Strike began in 1984; she then began volunteering to feed and support families in the coal mining communities. Following the Strike she campaigned for women’s rights and was elected a Labour Member of Parliament for Swansea East (2005- 2015). Siân continues to campaign for women’s rights, community causes and social justice. Tomos Owen is a lecturer in the School of English, Communication & Philosophy at Cardiff University. He has a research interest in different aspects of Welsh literature.
Andrew Green – A National Trust for Wales?
Andrew Green is a writer, blogger and walker. Between 1998 and 2013 he was Librarian of the National Library of Wales. Andrew’s blog – Gwallter, has become an essential resource for taking the cultural temperature of Wales http://gwallter.com/
Cywion Cranogwen – ‘Flow’ *talk is organised in partnership with Literature Wales
Cywion Cranogwen are a group of women who have something to say. They came together last year and have since been sharing their poetry around Wales. They aim to blend poetry with art and music to create original performances that pay homage to familiar and less well known female heroines. Their first touring show, launched at last year’s National Eisteddfod in Anglesey was called ‘Corddi’ (Churn). At this year’s National Eisteddfod, they’ll be launching a new tour based on a series of poetic works that flow from source to sea.
Jacqui Mulville – Making the Past Present: From Future Animals to Guerilla Archaeology
Jacqui Mulville is Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University and created Guerilla Archaeology in order to share her passion for the past with the public. She combines her specialist knowledge of archaeological science with her love of arts in her festival outreach. From Shamans to Bog Bodies to antler working, her innovative workshops have been voted as one of the ‘top 20 things to do at Glastonbury 2017’ and attract thousands of people each year to reassess their view of the past.
11am and 6pm Manon Steffan Ros – 12 Stories in Time
(Artist in Residence at the National Trust’s Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd)
Like many who have lived in and around Bethesda, Manon Steffan Ros grew up with an acute awareness of the troubled history surrounding the family home and business interests of Lord Penrhyn. Most notably the Penrhyn Quarry Strike (1900-03) and its tumultuous relationship with the local community whose legacy has lasted for several generations. Even though many of her peers would not visit the castle and saw doing so as a form of betrayal, Manon volunteered in Penrhyn Castle when she was a teenager but left after being told not to discuss the darker side of the castle’s history. But Penrhyn Castle is changing. Manon’s 12 Stories use a combination of fictional writing, poetry, music and artistic interventions in the castle to respond to Penrhyn’s past, present and future. Her work is a frank and honest reflection of the real Penrhyn story which has even resulted in her questioning her own identity, the history we learn and the stories we tell.
There will also be objects on display throughout the week, showing the breadth and innovation of the heritage and conservation work being done by the National Trust in Wales, and the opportunity for informal conversation with staff and volunteers.
- Printed copies of the programme available from 3 August. Online details at http://bit.ly/2JORYF9
- Because of the limited size of the Shed, some of the talks are taking place outside of the Maes perimeter at Bay Art, 54 Bute Street, Cardiff CF10 5AF.
- Simultaneous translation will be available for all talks from Welsh to English and all live events are free.