ROYAL INSTITUTION OF SOUTH WALES
The Friends of Swansea Museum
President - Jenny Sabine
Secretary - Helen Johns
Treasurer - Lyndon Morris
The Royal Instiitution 2011-12
The Royal Institution of South Wales is the body which publishes the Swansea
History journal. It was founded in the 1830s as a philosophical and literary
society, and in l841 opened the museum, running it for more than 100 years.
Nowadays, the R.I.S.W. acts as the Friends organisation for Swansea Museum,
supporting events and purchasing objects. This year bones of the extinct New
Zealand Moa bird have been conserved and a number of fine books in the museum
library rebound with R.l. funding - the latter has also attracted funds from
the Gower Society, and is ongoing. In addition the RISW has purchased the 1852
South Dock painting, Swansea ceramics and a photographic glass plate by Calvert
Richard Jones showing Mumbles in 1850
The evening lectures for 2011-2012, organised by the late Bernard Morris, included= "Restless Planet - Volcanoes & Earthquakes" by Dr. Geraint Owen, "Robert Morris & the first Swansea Copper Works" by Dr. Louise Miskell, "The Wildlife of Sand Dunes" by Dr. Michael Isaac, "People and Historic Events in the Swansea Pottery" by Helen Hallesy, "Swansea 300 Years Ago" and also "The Old Town of Swansea & the People who ran it" by Gerald Gabb. The Annual President's Invitation Lecture was by Professor Gareth Stratton on "Sports and Exercise Science - from Playground to Podium", and the President, Lyndon Morris, also organised the Lunch Time Talks related to the Centenary of Captain Scott's Antarctic Expedition and the role of Edgar Evans - Julian Salisbury related the theme to Cardiff, Gary Gregor spoke on Edgar Evans, Martin Price on Dr. Edward Wilson and Dr. Peter LIoyd Jones on illness and disease during the expedition. There was also a joint lecture with the Glynn Vivian Friends by Janet Walker and Richard Taylor on "The Postcard Albums of an Edwardian Lady in Swansea". A day school entitled "An Introduction to the History & Natural Features of Swansea" was addressed by Gerald Gabb (history), Prof. Huw Bowen (industry), Dr. Vernon Williams, the organiser (geology), and Dr. Michael Isaac (seashore biology), with subsequent field trips led by the last two speakers.
In addition the R.I.S.W. Social Committee organises fund-raising and social events, often with
musical entertainment: the Christmas social evening, the St. David's Day coffee morning and
"Spring into Summer", as well as providing refreshments at museum events. The Annual Outing
for members and friends went to the Medieval Ship and Transporter Bridge at Newport. The local history book fair in October drew more than 2,500 people.
The British Association of Friends of Museums (BAfM) has accepted the R.I.S.W.'s
to hold its Annual Conference at Swansea in September 2014. Preparations are in full swing.
A working group has framed roles and specifications for Council members and has reviewed the
R.I.S.W, constitution, in readiness to apply in 2014 as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, a
joint Company and Charity. Membership is interesting and enjoyable, and is also a way of supporting the museum and maintaining local interest in the city's heritage. Numbers are growing. If you would like to join the R.I.S.W. go to the members page