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Exhibition review by Museum's Youth Forum.

As youth forum members we were able to help input our opinions into the design of the temporary exhibition and have been able to see it develop from a drawing on paper to a physical form. Today we have examined the exhibition and have evaluated the information and items displayed.

 

The National Museum Wales have been tasked with commemorating the WW1 centenary. Personally, we believe that the exhibition is very interesting as it gives an insight into the medicinal history starting from Ancient Greece right up to the 21st century. We enjoyed the exhibition overall. The video grabbed our attention the most and we were able to see a visual aspect of medicinal practice with a humorous touch.

 

The exhibition has a number of different displays which hold valuable information about medicine and the different tools used to carry out medical procedures such as amputations. It contains a silent video in both Welsh and English that shows a few medical procedures from the Roman times. There are some replicas of medical items in the display case that have been used such as a Face Mask used in World War One to disguise facial wounds. 

 

There is also a small game on an iPad that tests your knowledge of the information in the exhibition. This together with the video has proved to be a success with the general public. Some reviews say that they liked “the doctor video” and a young person enjoyed it when the doctor was “cutting the leg off”.

 

By Joel Powell, Emma Jones and Hannah Sweetapple.

It’s been another busy lambing season down at Llwyn yr Eos – we really hope you’ve enjoyed watching all the action via #lambcam.  This year, as well as welcoming lots of excited visitors to the farm to see our mums and babies, there’s been a couple of new additions to the programme. We ran our first ever Lambing Experience Day Courses and were really pleased to get great feedback that included 'a once in a lifetime experience'! They're something we hope to build on in 2017 - so watch this space!. Our Learning Team also organised lambing tours for schools, with over 600 children visiting (some of whom were lucky enough to witness births happening!).

The lamb-o-meter clocked up 186 at close of play – there’s a few stragglers left to deliver, but we’re on course for a total of 204 births. For those of you who like some stats, here goes…

  • Lambing 204 from 114 ewes gives a lambing percentage of 178% (which is good).
  • The vast majority of those are happy, healthy and with their mothers.
  • But we’ve also lost a few along the way…
    • One set of twins were a late miscarriage.
    • One lamb too premature to survive.
    • 2 failed to thrive and died at a few days old.
    • 2 stillborn.
    • 1 accidentallly smothered by its mother.
  • So far we have ended up with two lambs being bottle fed:
    • One was born very poorly and had to be hand reared from the start.
    • The other was from a set of twins where the mother had mastitis and only had enough milk for one lamb.
    • Both of them are bouncing around happily now.
  • There’s also been a couple of bonuses – two ewes that we thought were carrying singles delivered twins!

So here’s a few of this year’s cutest pictures to keep you going till next year……

We are 6 months old now and still going strong.  We have achived loads in that time, such as treating 130 objects and sorting out the support collection so we can use the objects on site.  We have also produced handcrafted soft furnishings to help improve interpretation in the houses, plus introduced traditional skills back into the historic buildings by using herbs to protect our textiles from pests and creating rag rugs to keep the dust down. Not to mention learning to spin the wool from our sheep.  Phew what a lot!

We are now well settled into our cottage at Llwyn yr eos farm at St. Fagans and even reinstated the open fireplace, which has been a welcome boost to the heating on colder days this winter.  Also it's good for toasting teacakes!

Yesterday we put our work on show during a one day seminar in Cardiff ' Small Changes Add Up' organised by the the Wales Council for Voluntary Action and the Museum. Here are some photos

 

There have been lots of comments about the warmer weather we have had over the last week. The MET Office reported that Thursday the 17th of March was the warmest day of the year so far with temperatures reaching 17 degrees. Silverdale St. John's CE School commented that “Thursday was the hottest day since December”. Many of you also made a connection between the warmer weather and your plants at long last coming into bloom!

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Cawsom glaw dydd Llun a Dydd Mercher cawsom wythnos sych a braf redden yn ein t-shirt. Wythnos braf ers hir iawn. Wedi bod yn aros yn hir am y blodau i agor. O'r diwedd! Rydym ni wedi cael wythnos gynnes, sy'n helpu i'r blodau dyfu.

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: Most of the crocus bulbs have now flowered and we have been busy measuring them. 3 of the daffodils in the bed have also flowered and there are a lot more in the bed and the pots which will flower soon. The weather is starting to get warmer now.

Arkholme CE Primary School: It was a warm week and some of the bulbs have started to bud and we are going to be watching them carefully.

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: Lots of flowers this week so we have been busy measuring them. Most of the bulbs have flowered and they look very pretty. The weather is getting warmer and we have had some sunshine. We think that Spring is nearly here.

Professor Plant: Thank you for your up-date The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary. I would like to share your comment from week 9 here, this shows how quickly the weather changes, as in week 9 you were reporting wind and snow! The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: It was very exciting this week, as we noticed that nearly all the crocus plants had buds. It has been very windy this week and there has been heavy rain during some nights. This morning it snowed. When we went to check the plants this afternoon, the snow was almost all melted and 3 crocus flowers were out so we were able to measure our first flowers.

 

I’ve enjoyed receiving updates on your plants, thank you Bulb Buddies!

Severn Primary: Lots of yellow and purple flowers - we have taken photos!

Stonehouse Primary School: Everyone was so excited when we went round for our dinner and passed the pots and saw our first crocus open.

Shakespeare Primary School (270mm):  Dear professor plant the daffodils are doing really good mine's the tallest so far. From S

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Flowering this year is a bit later, compared to last years!

Maesycoed Primary: Our crocuses have finally flowered hooray!!!

 

I have also enjoyed hearing about the different experiments you have been doing:

Mellor Saint Mary CE Primary School: When I moved my crocus into the light it flowered faster

Darran Park Primary: This week's growth has been 12cm so it has increased by 2 cm in a week

Maesycoed Primary: All of our class daffodils and crocuses have now flowered but the other class we were experimenting with, their daffodils haven't flowered but their crocuses have. Their yard is in shade most of the day and is cooler than ours.

The Bulb Team Rougemont Junior School: We planted 25 bulbs in a grid and all of the daffodils have flowered well and they are looking very healthy. Our daffodils in pots are slow to flower and look very small. We will send you a photo of our grid.

Professor Plant: I’m excited to hear you have been comparing plants in the ground to plants in pots Bulb Team. I would very much like to see a photo of your planting grid! I’m surprised to hear about the difference in size between your daffodils. Perhaps some of the mystery bulbs (Tete-a-Tete Daffodils) I sent you were mixed in with the Tenby Daffodil bulbs?

The Bulb team Rougemont: We are interested that our daffodils have small heads is this because they are a particular variety?

Professsor Plant: Hi Rougemont Primary. You were sent Tenby Daffodils, Whitewell Crocus and the mystery bulbs were Tete-aTete Daffodils. Tete-aTete are a miniature daffodil and so will be much smaller that the Tenby Daffodils.

Rougemont Junior School: My crocus is very thin and does not have many leaves. Why is this?

Professor Plant: Hi Rougemont Primary. Your Crocus plants will be much smaller than your Daffodils. They are small, thin, delicate looking plants. The leaves are also quite different to those of your daffodil, and are much thinner. If you have found that your Crocus is thinner and has less leaves than the others planted by your class, it could be because your bulb was smaller. Plants are all unique and even the same types of plant will be slightly different from one another.

 

And I have been interested to receive updates on the weather in your areas. St. Michael's Primary School reported severe flooding: "On Wednesday 9th March we had lots of rain which caused some flooding in Marston and the surrounding area". And about other activities you are involved with, Drumpark Primary ASN School reported that they had been “busy preparing for our Fairtrade Bake-off. We won a special trophy for doing extra hard work!”. Well done Bulb Buddies!

 

Many of you were very excited to let me know that your plants were the first to flower at your school:

F from Ysgol Pentrefoelas (10th March): Hwre! Dyma'r blodyn cyntaf i agor o'r holl botiau!!

C from Newmains Primary School (14th March): Our first daffodil!!! The same pot also gave us Crocus number 1.

R from St. Michael's Primary School (11th March): This is our first flower!

L from Bickerstaffe CE Primary School: Mine was the first to flower.

Willow Lane Catholic Primary School: This is our first crocus bulb to flower

 

Some of you let me know that your plants haven’t yet flowered. Hopefully your plants are just taking their time, but if you haven’t had any sign of growth yet it is unlikely that your plants will grow now. I planted four pots with one Daffodil and Crocus in each. One of my Daffodils didn’t grow a bud and so couldn’t produce a flower, and one didn’t sprout at all. Sometimes this can be a result of poor conditions, such as not enough light, water or warmth. Sometimes it’s the soil or a defect with the bulb. I’m sorry if your plants don’t flower, I know it’s disappointing.

T from St Robert's R.C Primary School: I'm still waiting for my Crocus to flower!

E from St Robert's R.C Primary School: I'm still waiting for my daffodil to flower.

Bent Primary School: Our bulbs are growing slowly. They are about 9 cm high.

Brisbane Primary School: Our Daffodils still show no sign of growth!! We think the soil and location has worked against us.

East Fulton Primary School: All of our bulbs are growing but three!

Burnside Primary School: Most of our crocuses in the pots died even though we watered them and took care of them. DEAD.

Professor Plant: Hi Burnside Primary. I can see from the flowering records that 25 of the Crocus at your school have flowered! The life-cycle of these flowers is quite quick and they only flower for a short period. But the bulb itself will have stored lots of nutrients to help it grow again next year. There’s information on how to care for your bulbs so that you can re-plant them next year here: http://www.wikihow.com/Cure-Daffodil-Bulbs-for-Replanting . You can also look at the 'make your own origami booklet' resource on the Spring Bulbs for Schools website. This tells the story of 'the secret, undercover life of a bulb'.

Arkholme CE Primary School: Some of the bulbs from last year have flowered.

Professor Plant: I’m glad Bulb Buddies, maybe you can re-plant this year’s bulbs for next year too!

 

We also had some lovely comments sent in with the flower records. Thank you to everyone at St Robert’s Primary School, I have included your comments below.

"I can't believe it!!!"

"I liked the project!"

"I liked growing the bulbs!"

"Thank you for the bulbs!"

"Thank you Professor for the bulbs!"

"Thank you very much for my lovely bulbs!"

"I want to say thank you for my bulbs!"

"I like my pretty Crocus."

"I would just like to say that I think my Crocus is very pretty."

"This was so much fun thank you!"

"I would like to say that I liked planting my flowers thank you!"

"I loved doing this thank you. I really enjoyed planting the bulbs."

"I love my flowers thank you!"

"This was an amazing experience. Thank you!"

"I thought it was cool!"

"I love my Crocus!"

"Thank you for sending us the items to do this project!"

"I love my Daffodil Thank you!"

"Thank you Professor I love my Crocus"

"Thank you for letting me take part."

Professor Plant: You are welcome Bulb Buddies. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the project and that you care for your plants.

 

Gwaith da iawn Cyfeithion y Gwanwyn. Good work Bulb Buddies.

Guest blog by St Fagans Youth Forum members - Amy Gifford, Kate Gregory & Beth Ivey-Williams - live from Bryn Eryr!

Hello everyone. We’re the St Fagans Youth Forum and today (12 March) we’re helping to build an Iron Age bread oven at Bryn Eryr. Ian, the Museum’s Interpreter, has been busy researching traditional building methods and the history of bread ovens through time. In this blog, we’ll take you through part one of the process. So if you fancy building your own pizza oven for your garden at home, follow our guide below.

Step 1

Use wooden stakes to mix local ‘clom’ (clay), water and sand to a thick dough. Patience and perseverance essential! Some would say it’s quite therapeutic; a weird kind of stress buster!

Tip from Amy: “Go with your gut instinct. You’ll know when the dough is at the right consistency.”

Step 2

Mix dry sand with water. Use the mixture to build a dome (former) in the centre of the oven base. Ian pre-made the base out of clay and a flat stone. When building the dome, even out the sides for a rounded finish. Don’t use too much water.

Tip from Beth: “You’ll have to get your hands dirty, but it’s just like building a sand castle.”

Step 3

Build-up your dome to a rounded arch.

Tip from Kate: “Keep warm as you work. Your hands will get very cold as you sculpt the wet material.”

Step 4

Smooth off all the sand and cover your dome with strips of damp newspaper. This is a bit like papier mâché.

Step 5

Cover the dome with the clay mixture you prepared earlier in step 1. Let it set for two days.

Step 6

To be continued!