Amgueddfa Blog

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve won the Investing in Volunteers Award for the third time.

Investing in Volunteers is a UK quality standard award in Volunteer Management.

We couldn’t have done this without the hard work and dedication of our amazing staff and volunteers. Thank you!

Having poured over our final assessment reports our highlight was to read…

“Volunteers commented that they felt that their contribution was meaningful, and that they enjoyed their roles. The majority of volunteers remarked on how welcoming the organisation is.  One volunteer said it made them feel part of a family.”  

Volunteers donate their time, skills, expertise, and enthusiasm to Amgueddfa Cymru year after year. We're a charity, and your support helps to enrich and bring a fresh perspective to our national museums.

If you would like to get involved, please visit Get Involved with Amgueddfa Cymru | National Museum Wales

@WCVACymru

#InvestinginVolunteers 

 

In September 2021 I was given the chance to work with the Llangorse Textile as part of my master’s degree placement at the museum. The Textile, is dated to the 10th century, made from linen and silk, and is embroidered with fine motifs; however it was discovered charred and waterlogged after the crannog in which it was found had been destroyed by fire. It is very delicate and vulnerable to harm owing to the fire damage. For more information on the Llangorse Textile, please see the list at the end of the article.

The project I was set was to create new mounts for the undecorated pieces of the textile that aren’t on display, so they can be stored safely. They had been previously stored on boards with specially cut out depressions and covered with mesh and film to protect them. In the years since, the fragments had shifted slightly and so I was charged with making new mounts to keep the fragments safe.

Preparing the new mounts (Photo: L. Mumford)

The new mounting method had already been devised by the conservators at the museum (and used to display the decorated pieces of the Textile in the Gweithdy Gallery at St Fagans) by the time I arrived. Following this method, I cut out pieces of board to fit the shape of each textile fragment so they could be slotted together like a jigsaw puzzle. This was an important part of the process because this method of mounting allows the pieces to be moved around and reinterpreted.

The board was covered in specially dyed jersey fabric which has a slight knap that holds the textile fragments to the surface without the need for sewing to secure it, as this would damage its fragile structure. This was then trimmed, and a calico backing sewn down to neaten it.

Transferring the Textile onto it's new mounts (Photo: L. Mumford)

After the mounts were made, then came the daunting part – transferring over the pieces of textile from their old mount to their new ones! I consulted the original conservation notes to ensure loose pieces were located in the correct position; a tricky exercise as the Textile is an almost uniform black colour owing to the charring. Instead, the direction of the warp and weft of the small pieces, as well as their shapes were used to position them correctly. This was the part of the process that took the longest and required the most scrutiny!

Empty mount with stitched in label (Photo: E. Durrant)

All museum objects have assigned numbers, so that they are easily identifiable and therefore the next task was to create labels for the Textile. Because the pieces are so fragile, I created small tags and sewed them to the calico backing of the mounts so they can easily be tucked away when being stored or displayed but can also be accessible in the event they need to be consulted. This means that the tags won’t drag across the surface of the Textile. For added security in case the tags got lost, I also wrote the numbers on the calico backing.

Finally, it was time to think storage. As the problem with the old storage method was slippage, that was the main factor that needed to be addressed. The nap of the jersey halted movement to a degree, but it wasn’t enough. Therefore, I packed an archival box with foam and pinned around the freshly mounted textile pieces; the heads of the pins holding the mounts in place. The foam will help to reduce shock and by placing pins around the pieces I have ensured that they can’t move within the box.

A completed box of newly mounted Textile pieces (Photo: E. Durrant)

It was a thrilling opportunity to be able to work on such a unique piece of Welsh heritage and I would like to thank all the museum conservation staff for being so welcoming and sharing the wealth of their knowledge.

Further Reading/References:

Amgueddfa Cymru. 2007. The Llan-gors textile: an early medieval masterpiece. Available at: https://museum.wales/articles/1344/The-Llan-gors-textile-an-early-medieval-masterpiece/ [Accessed 4 January 2022]

Lane, A. and Redknap, M. 2019. Llangorse Crannog: The excavation of an early medieval royal site in the kingdom of Brycheiniog. Oxford: Oxbow Books

 

Urban Meadow at National Museum Wales

We’re pleased to announce that we have received a grant from the Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Grant Scheme!

The grant money is to help communities and their local environments. Our proposal was to improve the landscape around National Museum Cardiff. The urban meadow is to be reinvigorated and enriched with further habitats and the carpark will have it’s planting levels increased. We will develop the spaces to support biodiversity, part of our response to declaring a state of global climate and ecological emergency.


The funding has allowed the creation of my post – Museum Garden Co-ordinator – to oversee the project and will allow us to buy all the tools, materials and plants needed. The garden’s development and maintenance will be volunteer led. The publicly accessible garden will link with our museum collection and strengthen our relationships with community partners. We will create a space with educational value to school groups and visitors alike. Public consultation has taught us that visitors want more green space and hands-on interactions so we will be able to provide this.

 

Gardening volunteer roles will be advertised soon on museum.wales/getinvolved or you can follow us on twitter for updates @AmgueddfaVols

Any questions?

Contact us on gwirfoddoli@amgueddfacymru.ac.uk | volunteering@museumwales.ac.uk

 

Bee Orchid illustration. Jennah-Kate Morgan 2022

Hi Bulb Buddies,

Thank you for sharing your weather data and photos! We’ve been posting ‘comment of the week’ on Twitter and I’ve shared these with you here.

I’ve enjoyed reading your comments and hearing your observations on the weather. It’s exciting to hear that some plants have started to grow! I’ve shared some of your comments below.

Remember to watch your plants closely over the coming weeks, to see how they develop. We only ask for height measurements on the website once the flowers have fully opened. But you could keep a record of your plant’s weekly growth for fun?

In the coming weeks we’ll be analysing the data entered so far to predict when our plants might flower! Please enter all the data you’ve collected so far to the website as soon as you can, to help ensure that our predictions are as accurate as possible.

If you’ve missed some days or you aren’t taking part in the project but would like to follow it with your school, the MET Office WOW website can be used to collect and share weather readings for your area.

Please share photos, drawings and information on actions you are taking around climate change with us through email and Twitter.

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

 

Your Comments:

Hendredenny Park Primary: Rain gauge fell over and thermometer broke. Prof Plant: I’m sorry to hear your thermometer is broken, do you have another you can use? If not let me know and I will send you a new one.

Glyngaer Primary School: Very wet and rainy this week.

Pil Primary School: There was a lot of rain at the beginning of the week and the temperature was very cold this week.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: We have been having a lot more rain this week and has been colder.

Pil Primary School: The temperature was nearly the same all week. There wasn't much rain, only on Monday.

Darran Park Primary: It has been very cloudy this week. With a bit of misty rain.

Oaklands Primary: A wet week this week and a few more bulbs are peeping through the soil. Prof Plant: Fantastic Bulb Buddies, I’m glad to hear that your plants are growing.

Darran Park Primary: The weather has felt quite cold this week. We had more rain at the beginning of the week.

Our Lady of Peace Primary: My data entering elves are self-isolating!

Gavinburn Primary School: We have loved keeping weather records this term. It has been a mild Autumn with not a lot of rain. Merry Christmas Professor Plant.

Glyngaer Primary School: Not sure yet but we think we see a tiny bit of green in one of our pots. Looking forward to checking when we get back from Christmas holidays. Prof Plant: Fantastic Bulb Buddies, let me know if you were right!

Oaklands Primary: Quite a warm week this week. We’re hoping it’ll be colder for Christmas!!

 

Hi Bulb Buddies,

Thank you for sharing your weather data to the website. I’ve attached some of your comments below. It’s interesting to hear your observations on the weather and I’m excited that so many of your plants have peeked through the soil.

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

 

Your Comments:

 

Carnbroe Primary School: We have found that 6 of our plant have green shoots.

St Michael's RC Primary: We aren't in school today so we are submitting now in case we forget later!

Ysgol Y Ddwylan: Diweddglo sych i wythnos gwlyb.

Fleet Wood Lane Primary School: Not that much rain this week. Last day of school today! see you next year. p.s merry Christmas and a happy new year!

St Mary's Primary School (Cardiff): The daffodil bulbs started to grow. We have put some leaves on top to protect them from the cold.

Ysgol Deganwy: Four more plants have started to come out of the soil.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Temp is rising and we are getting a bit more rain. MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Llanharan Primary School: Colour starting to show on some of the Crocus

Glyngaer Primary School: It was very damp and it had been a bit stormy.

Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School: We had snow on Monday 29th November! Prof P: I hope the snow was fun Bulb Buddies!

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School: This week our rain-gauge froze this week. Prof P: That’s exciting Bulb Buddies. Did you thaw the ice to take your rain measurement?

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: The rain is starting to appear, and the temp is dropping.

Pil Primary School: It rained all week and it was quite cold.

Hendredenny Park Primary: We were late on Tuesday so we did it at half past two instead.

St Michael's RC Primary: The sky looked a funny colour today, we thought it would rain or snow but it was dry all day.

Henllys CIW Primary: Some of our bulbs are trying to push through.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: It was very cold on Monday and lots of rain on Wednesday!

Ysgol Deganwy: 1 plant has started to grow by 1cm.

Moffat Academy: This week was dry and sunny but the temperature was quite cold and windy. The week went fast.

Moffat Academy: Rainy week but the rain collector was tipped over frequently. On Monday we had a snowy day.

Fleet Wood Lane Primary School: It has been cold this week!

Cilfynydd Primary: We think we have more than the mystery bulbs growing. Prof Plant: That’s exciting Bulb Buddies. I’d love to see a photo of your mystery mystery bulb!

Glyncoed Primary: Some of our bulbs have started to grow.

St Mary's Primary School (Cardiff): We are starting to see that some plants are starting to grow now. Hopefully these will grow fully soon!

St Patrick's Legamaddy: More of a wet week this week with Storm Barra.

St Joseph's Cathedral Primary (Swansea): Our plants were affected by the heavy wind. Some of the soil has been blown out of the pots and some of the bulbs are showing. We will put some soil on top again. Prof Plant: Welldone for looking after your bulbs Bulb Buddies!

Ysgol Deganwy: 1 more plant has started to grow.

Oaklands Primary: It was quite a wet week but still warmer than last week. We have noticed that some of our bulbs are starting to peep through the soil!

Glyngaer Primary School: It was much colder than the temperature we recorded. It was very windy and it made it feel very cold.

Oaklands Primary: It's been a really dry, but very cold week here. We've had frost and we are hoping for some snow on the weekend.

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School: This week has had high and low temperatures!

Oaklands Primary: We hope that our bulbs aren't getting too swollen by the rain. It's been a wet one here this week! Prof Plant: I’m sure your bulbs will be Okay. If you notice water collecting at the top of your pots the soil may be saturated and you could tip the excess out.

Ysgol Chwilog: diolch am help efo talgrynu

Gavinburn Primary School: There wasn't much rain and it was fun learning how to do the weather records. Prof Plant: I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the project Bulb Buddies.

Glyncoed Primary: We were not in school on Thursday and Friday so didn't collect any data.

Gavinburn Primary School: It was a mild week. We enjoyed doing the weather records.

Glyncoed Primary: Our Mystery Bulb has sprouted!!

Willow Green Academy: Gradually got colder as the week went on.

St Michael's RC Primary: It’s felt much colder this week!

Willow Green Academy: Rainfall early Monday Morning. No fall after.

St Michael's RC Primary: It feels like there’s been more rain than there actually has! Prof Plant: It sounds like you’ve had a drizzly week Bulb Buds.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: It was very cold today!

Darran Park Primary: The weather has been sunny and dry for 4 days and on Friday the temperature has dropped and it has rained.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: It’s been a cold week especially on Thursday - they say we have snow forecast for next week! Prof Plant: Was the forecast right Bulb Buddies? Have you had snow?

Pil Primary School: It has been very cold and windy this week and there was no rain. We have enjoyed recording the rainfall and temperature this week.

Canon Peter Hall C of E Primary School: All done before midday.

Ysgol Tudno: Do we empty the rain gauge every day? Prof Plant: Yes please Bulb Buds, empty the rain gauge after taking your readings Mon-Fri.

St Joseph's Cathedral Primary (Swansea): Everything has been ok this week. We need to make sure that children don't move our plants.

Outwood Primary Academy Kirkhamgate: It was windy. It was cold. It snowed at the weekend. We saw the green tips of five shoots. We covered some of the bulbs with more soil as they were not covered. We are working as a team in school. Prof Plant: Fantastic Bulb Buddies, keep up the great work!

Llanharan Primary School: We have started to see daffodils and crocus begin to sprout in several of the pots.

Fleet Wood Lane Primary School: Merry Christmas PS-thank you for the card

Pil Primary School: The temperature didn't change much this week. We liked reading the thermometer this week.

Hendredenny Park Primary: On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we took the measurements late because we were practising our Christmas concert.

Outwood Primary Academy Kirkhamgate: It feels cold. It's windy. DRY. It's been damp.

Logan Primary School: It has been quite mild weather this week.

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School: It was a very wet week!

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School: We love our garden gang!
Our Lady of Peace Primary School: Sorry we're late we didn't know how to send this information at first, but we've got the hang of it now. Prof P: Well done Bulb Buddies, keep up the good work.

Gavinburn Primary School: It was a very dry starter week. We enjoyed doing the weather records

YGG Tonyrefail: It's been a dry week. Wythnos sych yr wythnos hon!

Henllys CIW Primary: Sometimes there is dew still in the pot in the afternoon and not rain.

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School: It was drier this week.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: What a dry week! The temperature seems to be dropping.

Canon Peter Hall C of E Primary: Data taken between 9 and 10 in the morning.

Glyngaer Primary School: It was grey, boring, damp, drizzly, cloudy and gloomy. Although it drizzled all week our water gauge didn't collect even half a mm of water.

Pil Primary School: The weather has been very mild this week with some rain. We liked recording our results!

Carnbroe Primary School: No shoots as yet.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: The temperature was higher on Thursday and Friday than usual!

Cilfynydd Primary: We have one plant pot with two plants growing. They are starting to grow really tall. Prof P: Fantastic news Bulb Buddies!