Activities


A Keir Hardie Day School

Old Town Hall / Red House February 6th 2016

A report by Huw Williams

On a drenching wet day which was relentless, some seventy people turned up, some travelling from London and other parts of England, from all parts of South Wales and from Merthyr Tydfil, to attend a commemoration of James Keir Hardie’s death as at September 1915. It was appropriate that the Day School should have been held at Merthyr Tydfil where he was Member of Parliament, the first Labour MP in Wales, 1900-1915.

Huw Williams, Merthyr Tydfil WEA Branch Chair, welcomed and introduced the day and Gerald Jones, MP for the Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney Constituency, provided further words of welcome and introduction. After Huw set the scene for Hardie as a Merthyr Tydfil citizen, a key note address was made by Sir Deian Hopkin, one of the foremost Labour historians and educationalists in Wales, in positing a new appreciation of Hardie. Joe England, of Merthyr Tydfil origins and a former WEA tutor, followed and provided a specific facet of Hardie’s quest for justice in backing the iron moulders at the Dowlais Iron Company in their protracted strike of 1911-12.

After a delightful lunch provided by new cafe franchise, JOL’s, and a chance for visitors to view this iconic and restored public building at the heart of Merthyr Tydfil’s town centre, Dr Martin Wright and Dr Daryl Leeworthy provided further insights to Hardie’s rich life and work: Hardie as a politician and as an internationalist.

Sixty delegates were counted at the afternoon session and Huw has received several emails and texts of gratitude on a most enjoyable and informative day.

Gelligaer Historical Society: History Conference

LLancaiach Manor House, Saturday 19th March 2016

A report by Huw Williams

On a fair, early spring day, albeit “Super Saturday” in Six Nations’ Rugby terms, over fifty delegates attended a full day school, one that is now a fixture in the calendar of this manor house and of the Gelligaer Society. Several WEA members from Merthyr Tydfil branch were in attendance, either as a guest speaker, or in staffing several tables of historical materials as a back cloth to the talks in the conference room. Chair of the Gelligaer Society is Annie Owens, a long standing WEA tutor and who presided over years of classes at Pontsticill for the Association, resulting in a fine local history of the Taff Fechan area.

Two illustrated talks in the morning covered First World War chapel memorials including several examples from Merthyr Tydfil, followed by a wide ranging review of sacred mountain sites across South Wales. After a delightful buffet lunch, the afternoon was taken up by a critique of the Western - in print and in film - as an iconic means of interpretation of early 20th century North America. Last but not least, Huw Williams ended the Conference and provided an over view, with extracts from contemporary sources, of Industrial Merthyr Tydfil.

Friendships were renewed and new contacts made; sales of books and materials from the several stalls were made. The day was highly enjoyable and a credit to the organising skills and stamina of the Gelligaer Historical Society.


Previous classes


Lectures Sept - Oct 2018
Lectures Summer Extension 2018

Lectures Summer Extension 2018

WEA @ Merthyr Tydfil

Spring Term 2017

Tuesday mornings: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at Canolfan Soar » 
All welcome.

  • 10 January 2017 Huw Williams's Riotous Welcome Back
  • 17 January 2017 Huw Williams More Riotous Behaviour
  • 24 January 2017 Jeff Childs on Churches of Gower
  • 31 January 2017 Colin Thomas Putting Welsh History on Television
  • 07 February 2017 tba
  • 14 February 2017 Jeff Childs on Pontardawe
  • 21 February HALF TERM BREAK
  • 28 February Paul Carr on Music
  • 07 March 2017 tba
  • 14 March 2017 Peter Davies Researching and Delving
  • 21 March 2017 Huw Williams's FINALE!

This term tutor: Huw Williams

WEA @ Merthyr Tydfil

Autumn Term 2016

Tuesday mornings: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at Canolfan Soar » 
All welcome.

  • 27 Sep 2016: Welcome & Introduction
  • 04 Oct 2016: Peter Florence: Cultural Attaché
  • 11 Oct 2016: Colin Thomas on The Dragon and the Eagle
  • 18 Oct 2016: Huw Williams on Merthyr Tydfil: Wider Views
  • 25 Oct 2016: Half Term
  • 01 Nov 2016: Jeff Edwards on Aberfan
  • 08 Nov 2016: Huw Williams on Merthyr Tydfil/Aberdare (I)
  • 15 Nov 2016: Huw Williams on Merthyr Tydfil/Aberdare (II)
  • 22 Nov 2016: Paul Carr on Making Local Music
  • 29 Nov 2016: Maggi Dawson on Glass Ceilings
  • 06 Dec 2016: Drawing It Altogether

This term tutor: Huw Williams


WEA @ Merthyr Tydfil

Summer Term 2016

Tuesday mornings: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at Canolfan Soar » 
All welcome.

  • 12 Apr 2016: The Spanish Civil War: two films
  • 19 Apr 2016: Ceinwen Statter on Merthyr writers
  • 26 Apr 2016: Arnold Jones on Merthyr, Music and Mormons
  • 03 May 2016: Mary Owen on J O Francis - a Merthyr playwright
  • 10 May 2016: Steve Brewer on The South Wales Blitz
  • 17 May 2016: Chris Parry on Georgetown
  • 24 May 2016: Ceinwen Statter on the Italians in South Wales
  • 07 Jun 2016: Joe England on the Puddlers
  • 14 Jun 2016: AGM and 'declutter'
  • tba: Visit to Cardiff Castle

This term tutor: Ceinwen Statter

WEA @ Merthyr Tydfil

"HAVE AND HAVE-NOTS"

Ten classes into Spring 2016

Tuesday mornings: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at Canolfan Soar » 
All welcome.

  • 12 Jan 2016: Huw Williams on David Davies, Llandinam click here»
  • 19 Jan 2016: Huw Williams on David Davies, The Ocean
  • 26 Jan 2016: Aled Eirug on Conscientious Objection
  • 02 Feb 2016: Joe England on Merthyr Tydfil (1)
  • 09 Feb 2016: Joe England on Merthyr Tydfil (2)
  • 16 Feb 2016: Joe England on Merthyr Tydfil (3)
  • 23 Feb 2016: Huw Williams on the Bute Dynasty (1) click here»
  • 01 Mar 2016: Huw Williams on the Bute Dynasty (2)
  • 08 Mar 2016: Jeff Childs on Roath, Adamstown, Splott
  • 15 Mar 2016: Jeff Childs on Llangyfelach Parish

Lead Tutor: Huw Williams