Sunday, April 8, 2018

All the Presidents Men and Women

No this is not a reference to the 1976 film about the Watergate Scandal and no it does not include Robert Redford or Dustin Hoffman, but it does include a few scandals and a few hero's and gives some thoughtful insight into the history of the Society and the changing history of the way people view science, culture and wildlife over the ages.

The President's pages are now all live on the website and the Society history section is now substantially complete so what does all of  this tell us.

One thing is that we have a lot of information available about some fascinating people and it has been a real pleasure to explore all of this and share it with the people of Cardiff and through the internet the world.

In doing this I have amassed a personal archive of over 1000 images, snippets of information and I have created 117 webpages with about 350 images on them totally a bit over 70Mb if information (which admittedly is a very small number in terms of file sizes these days)

Robert Drane, Thomas Henry Thomas, William Adams

Interestingly in these days of social media and where GDPR regulations are coming into force to ensure that people's personal details are kept private, it is the earliest presidents who were the easiest to research as the details of the daily lives of the forward thinking people who formed the Cardiff Naturalists' Society were documented on an almost daily basis in the local newspapers of which there were many, covering what was at that time a relatively small, but fast growing town.

The details recorded about people's attendance at scientific lectures and the events of the Society in those early days would probably have people reaching for lawyers in order to sue someone these days.

Eleanor Vachell, Franklen G.Adams, Henry Heywood

The research into those early years was massively helped by the wonderful National Library of Wales Newspapers on-line site. it is fantastic how those early newspapers (up to 1919 as far as I can tell) are scanned and OCR'd to make the information available

Also the fact that we as a society agreed and made available our Reports and Transactions to be scanned into their Welsh Journals on-line site was a wonderful boon. The same scanning and OCR process has made searching for information about former members much easier than reading through about a meter of bookshelf every time I wanted to look something up. One note on this is that not all journal copies are coming up in the searches.

The National Library have been made aware and they say that they have scanned and OCR'd them all, but there is a problem with some metadata which is preventing some issues appearing. Hopefully they will sort this out sometime soon and I will be able to perform another set of searches to see if anything more comes up

A H Lee and unknown junior member, A H Trow, A W Sheen

The Glamorgan Archives have also been wonderful and a number of the pictures have come from materials that we have deposited at the archives and are available for any bonafide researcher to make use of.

Things got harder to research after about the 1950's  whilst the society was still thriving at the time, the level of coverage in local newspapers started to drop and by the 1970's things seem to get very hard and it is not until the 2000's where we start to find information getting easier to find again in the internet age.

I suspect that gap will be filled in in some way with the scanning of further publications and a lot more information coming onto the internet, but there are likely to be gaps still in those years where the telephone took over from letter writing and there is nothing to place in the archives.

Sir Cyril Fox, Canon Charles J Thompson, Charles Vachell, A W Sheen

Also in those years the fragmentation of scientific interests led to many more specialist groups being setup and a loss in the overall place that a local general natural history society had in Cardiff's culture. Such is not uncommon, but also not always the case, but one thing is clear from my experience is that the published press have a much lower interest unless a story that could grab a headline is placed on their plate with little work for them to need to do.

Other institutions have been very helpful as I have come across items that relate to things in their collections and I would like to list some other information sources and institutions that have been particularly useful or helpful at this time (there are yet more people or institutions which are individually thanked within the pages)
  • National Museum of Wales 
  • Cardiff University
  • Guernsey Museum
  • Dr Mary Gillham Archive project
  • Vachell Family Archives
  • www.cardiffparks.org.uk 

Linda Nottage, Mary Gillham, Peter Price

Noting recent privacy aspects, we have left it up to living people as to whether they want a page in the system and some have not yet decided or got around to providing a set of information that they are happy with. There are also a few people who I have struggled to find any information about (mostly in that information blackout age) and I need to continue the search, but that will have to be as a much lower priority project.

So I may well come back and update some of those pages and it's worth keeping an eye out for updates. 

Andy Kendall
Publicity Officer and 113th President 



Saturday, April 7, 2018

Many thanks to the Archives

As regular readers of these blog posts will know we have been exploring the history of the Society and we have had a lot of help along the way from the staff and volunteers of the Glamorgan Archives

It was a real pleasure to give a talk to them recently an as an added attraction they brought some of the CNS materials out from the archives for us to have a look at.

One day I hope to go back and spend a week or two reading it all and looking for some more interesting stories

Especial thanks to Fiona Diggins (on left in the bottom picture) for setting it all up



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

100 Presidents on-line

The title says 100 Presidents on-line.

However it's not actually true, there are 104 if you count them one way and only 97 if you count another



The way I have been posting these updates is from the sequence of Presidential occupancies and not the actual web pages.

I have just posted Presidential occupancy 100 that being Dr Joyce Lloyd who I am glad to say I knew and was a lovely person to talk to about wildlife adventures she had had, and someone who said she enjoyed hearing about my adventures as well. However Presidential occupancy 101 Mrs Mairead Sutherland is already on-line as we had a wonderful obituary of her in electronic format and it was easy at the start of this project to create that page.

There are some others already on-line out of sequence so the number of presidential occupancies is 104

However the number of files that have gone on-line is just 97 for the simple reason that some presidents were in post for a number of years, and that some were presidents for more than one term, just not in sequence

There are a few people who are still living who have not agreed for a profile to go on-line or have just not managed to get around to providing one. Anyway I'm still saying that 100 are on-line, and there are just 15 left to do to complete the project

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Thomas Henry Thomas Paintings

As many readers of this blog will know we have been exploring the past of members of the society though the ever increasing Presidents Pages. Tthough this we have had some interesting internet comunications and some more fascinating information has come to us.

The family of Charles Tanfield Vachell and Eleanor Vachell  made contact with the society via our Twitter account showing us some interesting pictures of them and other pictures tht were in an album belonging to Eleanor

In these we spotted a picture by another of our former Presidents T. H. Thomas and after some emails back and fore we are able to now share with you some colour pictures by the illustrious artist and former president

We are very happy to have these to add to the information that we have about Thomas as the web pages we put together were a little "grey"

So now in colour (click images for larger versions)

Glamorgan in Purple and Gold from Quantox, Somerset ...


An Umbrella shop in ??? ...


Pandy Mill nr Bettws Y Coed in Winter...


We are extremely grateful to the Vachell family for sharing these treasures from their family archives with us and we hope to be able to continue this relationship in order to bring you more fascinating history of not only the Society, but of Cardiff and Wales as well

Monday, February 26, 2018

75 Presidents and counting

I got so wrapped up in the project that I forgot to make a post when 75 Presidents were on-line

So now there are 82...

There is also some wonderful news in that the Family of Eleanor Vachell known to the family as Alie have been in touch and have offered some more information and pictures and have confirmed the family archives are well and being cared for by the family.

So we have been able to add some more previously unseen and previously published pictures to the Eleanor Vachell page which gives a much more detailed picture of her as a young woman and as a developing scientist under her Father's guidance










It's certainly worth another look at that Page and at the Charles Vachell page to take in some of the new pictures




We are really appreciative of the generosity of the family in sharing these (and more to come) pictures and we are happy that the role that this influential family had in the development of Cardiff is once again being recognised








Friday, February 23, 2018

Cwm Ivy

For those who missed the fascinating talk by Corrinne Benbow on the Cwm Ivy saltmarsh last night, you can find out about how this National Trust site was transformed here

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/projects/coastal-adaptation-in-action-at-cwm-ivy

Corrine has also kindly provided some links to YouTube video's that were made during the project so far.


2014 


2015

Thursday, December 28, 2017

50 Presidents now on-line



Back in November I commented that as part of our 150th Celebrations I was putting information about each of our presidents onto our website

At that point I had reached 25. now I have reached the milestone of 50 presidential write-ups on the site and learned an awful lot about the society and the history of Cardiff at the same time

I have continued to learn and am sharing it in the hope that others will find it as interesting as I have done, or at the very least it will be of use to future researchers and harder for people to ignore the truth of the past (as I have found in some academic white up's of some events)

I've added


  • The president who served in three wars as a doctor running three major hospitals as he did it 
  • The president who was the first director of the National Museum but did not live to see it built
  • The president who rented 2 islands (Grassholm and Skomer) to protect them for the future
  • The president who lost an eye in WWI
And many more

Why not take a look at http://cardiffnaturalists.org.uk/htmfiles/150th-08.htm and read about it for yourself

There are a lot of interesting people to come, but it is taking time to do this and I hope you will not mind me taking the rest of this 150th year to complete the task

Of course in so much work there may be mistakes I have made or information or links between people I have not found. if you spot anything please just drop me a note via the contact form (top right of the page) and I will happily sort things out 

Regards
Andy Kendall





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...