The Iron Masters of Merthyr- Fact and Fiction.

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 The Iron Masters of Merthyr- Fact and Fiction. – Saturday April 28th 15:00 Angel Inn

Book Tickets: £8

In the 18th Century five men created the biggest industrial city civilisation had ever seen. They were the Iron Masters, masters of metal and men. Their cannons saved a kingdom, forged the greatest empire in the world and changed the history of the human race.

Merthyr Tydfil, a town where the furnaces burned day and night, the sun seldom pierced the soot filled sky and the Iron Masters ruled without pity.

Nye Vaughn, a humble farm boy from Llangadog, walked to Merthyr to find his destiny, unaware that a war was coming which would engulf the known world and make bold men rich. To fight Bonaparte, Britain needed cannons, thousands of them. Vaughn built the largest foundry of them all and made his fortune but, when the world changed, the iron behemoth he constructed turned on him.

Author Graham Watkins surprises and entertains with the real stories behind his Welsh historical novel ‘The Iron Masters’.

Yn y 18fed Ganrif creodd pum dyn y ddinas ddiwylliannol fwyaf a welodd wareiddiad erioed. Nhw oedd y Meistri Haearn, meistri ar fetel a dynion. Achubodd eu gynnau mawrion deyrnas, creu’r ymerodraeth fwyaf yn y byd a newid hanes dynol ryw .

Roedd Merthyr Tudful yn dref lle’r oedd y ffwrnesi’n llosgi ddydd a nos a’r haul yn methu torri trwy’r caddug yn yr awyr a lle’r oedd y Meistri Haearn yn rheoli’n ddidrugaredd.

Cerddodd Nye Vaughn, crwt fferm o Langadog, i Ferthyr i chwilio am ei ffortiwn heb wybod fod rhyfel ar fin dod y byddai’n traflyncu’r byd a chreu cyfoeth i ddynion dewr. Er mwyn ymladd yn erbyn Bonaparte roedd angen gynnau mawrion, miloedd ohonynt. Adeiladodd Vaughn y ffowndri fwyaf oll a gwnaeth ei ffortiwn ond, wrth i’r byd newid, fe drodd y behemoth a greodd arno.

Mae’r awdur Graham Watkins yn diddori ac yn synnu gyda’r straeon gwir sydd tu ôl i’w nofel hanesyddol ‘The Iron Masters’.

Suffragettes – a talk by Judith Barrow

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Suffragettes – a talk by Judith Barrow  – Sunday 29th April 14:00 Fountain Fine Art Gallery

Book Tickets: £5

In her talk Judith Barrow covers the struggles that women had to endure to achieve full equality regarding suffrage; the right to vote. And she explains how the 1918 Representation of the People Act seemed a major victory for the suffragist movement, but why there were women who still saw the act as a betrayal.
Includes readings from her novel “A Tiny Hundred Threads”

Suffragettes – araith gan Judith Barrow

Disgrifiad byr

Yn ei haraith bydd Judith Barrow yn trafod y brwydrau bu’n rhaid i ferched eu goddef er mwyn ennill yr hawl i bleidleisio. Bydd hi’n egluro sut y gwelwyd Deddf Cynrychiolaeth y Bobl yn 1918 yn fuddugoliaeth enfawr i etholfreintiaeth ond paham roedd menywod yn ystyried y ddeddf yn frad.


Further Description

The move for women to have the vote really started in 1897 when Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women’s Suffrage.  She believed in peaceful protest.

However, Fawcett’s progress was very slow and in 1903 the Women’s Social and Political Union was founded by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia. They wanted women to have the right to vote and they were not prepared to wait. The Union became better known as the Suffragettes. Members of the Suffragettes were prepared to use violence to get what they wanted and were quite happy to go to prison.

From 1909 the women, demanding the status of political prisoners, began to refuse food. The government’s response was to forcibly feed them but became concerned that the women might die in prison; thus giving the movement martyrs. But then Asquith responded with the Cat and Mouse Act. This allowed the Suffragettes to go on a hunger strike but when very weak they were released from prison. If they died out of prison, this was of no embarrassment to the government. And, because of the state of their health, the women were unable to take part in the struggles. However, as soon as they regained their strength, they were re-arrested for the most trivial of reason and the whole process started again. This, from the government’s point of view, was a very simple but effective weapon against the Suffragettes.

But then Britain and Europe was plunged into World War One in August 1914 and, in a display of patriotism, Emmeline Pankhurst instructed the Suffragettes to stop their campaign of violence and support in every way the government and its war effort.

The work done by women in the First World War was to be vital for Britain’s war effort. It was this that many believe, was the turning point and the 1918 Representation of the People Act seemed a major victory for the suffragist movements.

But this wasn’t the whole truth and many saw the act as a betrayal; it still classed them as second-class citizens to men. The 1918 Representation of the People Act gave all men over the age of 21 the right to vote (and aged 19 if the men had been on active service in the armed forces – an important point to note!)

Women only achieved full equality regarding suffrage in 1928.

Dame Millicent Fawcett is to be the first woman to be honoured with a statue in Parliament Square.  The equal rights campaigner, who dedicated her life to getting the women’s vote, will stand alongside Sir Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela. Theresa May has said Dame Millicent “continues to inspire the battle against the injustices of today. It is right and proper that she is honoured in Parliament Square alongside former leaders who changed our country. Her statue will stand as a reminder of how politics only has value if it works for everyone in society.”

Tudor Wales

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Tudor Wales – Sunday 29th April 12:30 at Fountain Fine Art Gallery

Nathen Amin, author of ‘Tudor Wales: a Guide’ and ‘The House of Beaufort’ and Mari Griffith, author of ‘Root of the Tudor Rose’ discuss Tudor times in Wales.

Moderator:  Graham Watkins

Book Tickets: £8

Cymru yn oes y Tuduriaid. Sul 29ain Ebrill 12.30. Oriel y Ffynnon

Bydd Nathen Amin, awdur ‘Tudor Wales’ a ‘The house of Beaufort,’ yn trafod oes y Tuduriaid yng Nghymru gyda Mari Griffith, awdur ‘The Root of the Tudor Rose.’

Nathen Amin’s first book Tudor Wales was released in 2014 and was well-received, followed by a second book called York Pubs in 2016. His third book, the first full-length biography of the Beaufort family, The House of Beaufort, was released in 2017 and became an Amazon #1 Bestseller for Wars of the Roses. He is currently working on his fourth book, Pretenders to the Tudor Crown, for release in 2019.

Nathen is also the founder of the Henry Tudor Society and has featured discussing the Tudors on BBC radio and television, as well as in print and online media across the UK. He has a degree in Business and Journalism and now lives in York, where he works as a Technical Writer.

Mari Griffith turned to writing historical fiction in retirement after a working lifetime of producing, promoting and presenting a variety of programmes on the staff of BBC Wales.  Her first novel Root of the Tudor Rose became an Amazon best seller and she followed that with The Witch of Eye, the story behind the most sensational treason trial of the 15th century.  Both books were featured as a ‘Book of the Month’ by the Welsh Books Council and Mari is currently working on her third book.


Tudor Wales

Cyhoeddwyd llyfr cyntaf Nathen Amin sef ‘Tudor Wales’ yn 2014 a chafodd dderbyniad da. Dilynodd ail lyfr ‘York Pubs’ yn 2016 a chyhoeddwyd ei drydydd  lyfr, bywgraffiad o deulu Beaufort, ‘The House of Beaufort’, yn 2017 ac roedd ei lyfr ‘Wars of the Roses’ yn  llyfr mwyaf llwyddiannus Amazon #1. Mae ar hyn o bryd yn gweithio ar ei pedwerydd llyfr, ‘Pretenders to the Tudor Crown’; caiff hwn ei gyhoeddi yn 2019.

Trodd Mari Griffith at ysgrifennu ffuglen hanesyddol ar ôl ymddeol o’i gwaith fel cynhyrchydd a chyflwynydd amryw raglenni BBC Cymru. Roedd ei llyfr cyntaf, ‘Root of the Tudor Rose’ yn llyfr mwyaf llwyddiannus Amazon a dilynodd hwnnw gyda ‘The Witch of Eye,’ stori’r achos brad mwyaf cyffrous o’r 15fed ganrif. Mae Mari ar hyn o bryd yn gweithio ar ei thrydydd llyfr.