Local History Bookfair 2017

This year’s Local History Bookfair is on Saturday 28th October, at Swansea Museum and it is a bit special.

Colin Riddle will be present, the author of “Swansea a Photographer’s Dream”, a brand new book of very special images he took in the 1960s – turn left as you enter the museum and the room you are in is mightily enhanced by his pictures… you might think the book a perfect Christmas present for anyone who knows Swansea. 


The same might be said of the new Swansea History Journal / Minerva, Volume 25, 2017-18. The cover photos of the people and tiny houses of Swansea’s “courts” in about 1912 lead into an article on them, and others on a goldminer, a shipbroker and shipowners, the Countess of Huntingdon and her chapels, a Wind Street innkeeper, reservoirs near Felindre and the nearby area, early concrete buildings, Salubrious Passage, two local historians, models of the town, a murderer, William Dillwyn, early aviators, a copperworks manager and a marine scientist. 


All available R.I. publications, including Journal back numbers, will be there. There are price reductions on recent Journals (£5 not £6) and offers for anyone buying more than one back number. The Bernard Morris volume “The Pleasure of Unravelling Secrets” is down from £15 to £10. And the appeals for second-hand books to sell on the R.I. table have borne rich fruit – thanks are due to members and others – there is masses, including many copies of documents, articles & maps. Prices are low because we want to sell, and to raise money to print next year’s Journal. But we also want to stimulate interest, and some items are even “free to good home”. And a copy of David Farmer & Brian Lile’s excellent book on James Livingston is free with ANY purchase. 


A varied programme of MINI-TALKS by authors (Geoff Brookes, Ann Marie Thomas, Geoff Lewis, Colin Riddle & Bill Bytheway) runs in the Exhibition Gallery from 11.00 and is rounded off with a talk by John Powell on the Mumbles Railway at 1.30. Ann Marie’s is a launch of her new book. 


And then there are the stalls, 47 of them this year, laden with fascinating things and with knowledgeable folk behind them to talk to. Six book dealers, including Joss Mullinger from Castle Cary & Jeff Towns (whose bus will be parked outside). Sixteen authors including Helen Hallesy whose book on commemorative Swansea pottery is only a month old. Five history societies. Swansea Museum itself will put out some interesting items. Two publishers (including Parthian for the first time), the Royal Commission, the Penllergare Trust, the Family History Society, Oxfam, the Historical Association, West Glam Archives, Pontardawe Heritage Centre, the Griffith John Foundation & South Wales Record Society. Plus historic maps and postcards. 


Last, but certainly not least, the R.I. Social Committee will be serving refreshments through the day. Why not stay & sit & chat? There will be interesting people to talk to.

We are grateful to all the R.I. Social Committee, the volunteers running the R.I. Table, to John Powell for co-ordinating the talks, to the National Waterfront Museum for the loan of tables, and, not least, to Barry Hughes, the Swansea Museum manager, and all the staff, for their help.


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