Press Releases

Messing about with boats!

Fflat Huw Puw Exhibition
National Slate Museum Llanberis, 1 - 30 July 2006

On first hearing the words 'Fflat Huw Puw', you may think that it's a reference to a posh bayside living area, but if you or your children have been to school in Wales, chances are that you'll know the song 'Fflat Huw Puw' as one of the quintessential Welsh songs of all time.

The song was written by J Glyn Davies (1870-1953) – a scholar, musician, poet and a keen model boats enthusiast. His most famous song is Fflat Huw Puw, - a 'flat' being a type of sailing barge once peculiar to the River Mersey and associated waterways, and it is probable that it is for his volumes of children's songs that John Glyn Davies is best remembered today as Dr David Jenkins, Senior Curator at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, explains:

"In Cerddi Huw Puw (1923), Cerddi Robin Goch (1935) and Cerddi Portinllaen (1936), he captured something of the spirit – and the hiraeth – of the Welsh as sailors in the days of the sailing ships but John Glyn Davies was one of the most remarkable figures of his age. He was born in the Liverpool in 1870 where his father was in business. He was lecturer and head of the department of Celtic at Liverpool University from 1907 until 1936 and through his upbringing in the port city of Liverpool and holidays spent at Edern on the Llŷn Peninsula, he developed a keen interest in the sea and ships."

That interest led him to build model ships for his son Gwion to sail on Sefton Park lake in Liverpool at the turn of the century. Now, for the first time, and now, these models, recently donated to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales by the wife of the late Gwion Davies (J Glyn Davies' son) can be seen in public since they were made almost a century ago.

Part of the collection will be on show at the National Slate Museum until 30 July and to launch the exhibition, the museum will have a family day on 1 July between 1pm and 4pm, packed with activities ranging from paper boat making to singing to rope tying demonstrations. So why not spend the afternoon messing around with boats with us at the National Slate Museum?

The exhibition will then be shown at both the National Waterfront Museum and the National Eisteddfod in Swansea at the beginning of August.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales operates seven national museums across Wales. These are National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales celebrates its centenary in 2007. For more information go to our 07 pages.

Entry to all the museums is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Notes to Editors : For more details contact Julie Williams on 01286 873707