The history of Swansea stretches back to the establishment of a Viking trading post at the mouth of the River Tawe and the settlement was granted a charter following the Norman conquest. In the 18th and 19th centuries the town grew rapidly through the development of coal mining and copper smelting in the area and is today the second largest city in Wales.
In this book local author Lisa Tippings reveals the hidden history of Swansea, from its mediaeval and industrial past to the present day. From stories of intrigue and murder, shipwrecks off the coast, the Victorian asylum, the many places of worship and drinking establishments, to its literary and artistic connections, not least Dylan Thomas, its role in the Women’s Suffrage movement and its industrial heritage in which pottery played an important role alongside copper production, Swansea has a rich and varied past.
Secret Swansea explores the less well-known episodes and characters in the history of the city through the centuries. With tales of remarkable characters and unusual events, fully illustrated with photography, it will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of this city in South Wales.
Amberley Books £14.99
Never mind the faces here – for the moment at least. Take a look at the bus behind this group. The bus operated out of the company’s now long-gone Brunswick Street depot. In 1972 the bus was chosen for a very special assignment. The vehicle, a Willowbrook bodied AEC Regent V, was through the bus company’s clever painters, given an all-over paint job as a public house. This was something that hadn’t been seen in Swansea before and caused quite a stir when out on the roads. The transformation was conjured up by Truman’s beers to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. Anyone boarding the bus for a pint on their way home from work would have been disappointed however for the transformation didn’t continue inside. The vehicle survives to this day and is currently on display at Swansea Bus Museum and Transport Heritage Centre at Viking Way, Winch Wen, which is open to the public each Sunday from 11am -3pm. Oh yes, the faces. The group includes members of the staff of SWT who were respon-sible for the all-over design as a country pub, Truman representatives and to complete the picture a young woman. The image is one of more than 300 offered up by Swansea the time of our lives, the latest and 21st consecutive book from David Roberts. On sale now, it captures some fantastic glimpses of Swansea in the past as well as offering candid shots of the social side of our lives. For details on how to obtain a copy or share pictures for a possible follow up book this year, visit www.bryngoldbooks.com or phone 01639 643961.
BOOK SALE MUMBLES METHODIST CHURCH
There will be a book sale in Mumbles Methodist Church – behind Theo’s Coffee Shop from Saturday 20 April to Saturday 27 April from 10.00 to 16.00 daily.
HOW TO PICK THE PURR-FECT PET-FRIENDLY HOLIDAY
To help would-be stay-cationers, Olivia has put together her top tips on picking the ultimate pet-friendly holiday.
Consider your pet’s temperament – most cats and certain dogs might not feel comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. Consider whether your pet would be less stressed with a pet-sitter or boarding than coming on holiday.
Pick pet-friendly – Narrow your search to look for pet-friendly accommodation. Check for details like the size of the property, whether there enough space for your pet, if the outdoor space is securely enclosed, and whether there are hazards like ponds to be aware of.
Research the local area – make sure there are plenty of dog-friendly trips and locations nearby, like pubs that allow dogs (some even offer dog menus) so you can bring them along for the fun.
Consider travel time – lengthy journeys can be stressful for many pets, so keep travel as short as possible, and plan in plenty of rest breaks along the way. If travelling to other countries, consider how they will cope with the journey. If they are likely to get stressed, consider staying closer to home. For detailed tips on getting your pet used to travel, visit www.pdsa.org.uk/car-travel
Make plans for vet care – visit your usual vet before you go to get the right preventive care for the area you’re visiting. For instance, some diseases and parasites such as ticks can be more common in certain areas. Note the details of a vet near your holiday home – hopefully you won’t need to use them, but, should anything happen you’ll be glad you have them handyTop-up on training – even the best-behaved dogs will benefit from occasional training top-ups. Make sure they respond well to commands such as leave, stay and recall. This way you can keep them safe when out and about, such as walking near cliffs or wildlife.
Stick to usual routines – although things will undoubtedly be different while you’re away, try to stick to usual times for feeding and walking as much as possible. Bring everything you need from home as familiar objects will help your pet feel more comfortable.
With some careful planning and preparation, you and your pets can enjoy some wonderful breaks together.
PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. www.pdsa.org.uk
PDSA has been operating in Swansea since 1933 and currently has a Pet Hospital on Viking way, as well as a mallerPet Clinic in Llanelli. Together these facilities, and our dedicated veterinary teams, provide a vital lifeline for local pets in need. Every year we help over 9,000 pets from the Swansea area, providing more than 70,000 treatments, which range from routine vaccinations to life-saving emergency surgery. It costs around £1m annually to fund our services in Swansea Bay, and as our charitable veterinary services don’t receive any government funding this is all provided through generous public support.
FORGET ME NOT CONCERT
There will be a concert in aid of Forget Me Not, a local charity which provides day care facilities for carers of people who suffer from dementia.
The Concert features the Pontarddulais Male Choir, Parti Llwchwr and Three in Harmony a local trio featuring well known soprano Claire Hammacott. The concert takes place on Saturday 6 April at Siloam Baptist Church, Killay starting at 19.00. All proceeds go to Forget Me Not.
Tickets cost £10 each and are available on the door or phone 01792 205106.
MARIE CURIE DAFFODIL COFFEE MORNING
Marie Curie will be holding their spring coffee morning at Norton Village Hall on Saturday 30 March from 10.30. Admission cost is £2 and includes tea or coffee and a Welsh cake. There will be stalls plus cards and treats for Mother’s Day and Easter. Proceeds will go to supporting the work of Marie Curie in providing end of life nursing car and support.
The PT&DAOS presents The Producers – A Mel Brooks Musical at the Princess Royal Theatre, Port Talbot from Tuesday 9 April to Saturday 13 April at 19.00.
As internationally accomplished Welsh actor from the area, Michael Sheen (above right) states “having supported my home town society for a number of years, whilst working on Broad-way and in Hollywood, I very much enjoyed seeing the society’s excellent production of the award-winning Priscilla Queen of the Desert during April 2017. My father, Meyrick Sheen, who previously served as Chairman of the Society for several years, has kept me informed about the annual performances in Port Talbot at the Princess Royal Theatre and also within the Swansea Bay area.
My best wishes to the society and cast members for The Producers which is a laugh-out-loud, out-rageous crowd-pleasing farce and has been a smash hit since its 2001 debut.
There is no shortage of show stopping musical numbers with Mel Brooks’ signature humour able to keep audiences in stitches. This is definitely a “show to see” and I hope I will be able to attend (having previously seen it on Broadway) as I am presently due to be in the UK at the beginning of April”
Tickets from box office 01639 763214.
CRAFT FAIR ST HILLARY’S CHURCH
There will be a craft fair at St Hillary’s Church Hall, Killay on 30 March from 11.00 to 14.00.
Entry is FREE and there is plenty of parking and refreshments will be available including home-made soup.
There will be lots of stalls to browse and buy from – hand-made cards, cakes, jams and preserves, knitted and crochet items, jewellery, scarfs, wooden plaques personalised while you wait and much more. There will be a raffle in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
RHS REVEALS HIGHLIGHTS FOR FLOWER SHOW CARDIFF 2019
The RHS Flower Show Cardiff will return to the Welsh capital with a celebration of spring from
12 – 14 April.
As a key show theme, features will highlight the benefits of gardening and outdoor spaces. The National Botanic Garden Wales’ Gardd Lles, meaning ‘Wellbeing Garden’, provides secluded seating areas for contemplation and mindfulness. Meanwhile, Grow Cardiff will also promote the benefits of community gardening with a vibrant display created by patients from the Grow Well project and local gardening group Billy’s Green Fingers.
British wildlife is also embraced with Into the Nest by The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales which features a design from a bird’s perspective as it explores a variety of games to help visitors identify some of Wales’ iconic bird species. RSPB Cymru will be back with snail-friendly Maenor Malwen, made up of shell-like curves and circles as families can discover UK land and water snail species hidden within.
The popular Floristry Bench introduced in 2018 will also be back, curated by Swansea-based florist Sharon Dower. Working from her home studio, Sharon runs a floral design business creating bespoke wedding creations as well as training new florists. Sharon will be running demonstrations and workshops throughout the show, showcasing beautiful masterpieces with seasonal flowers.
For more information or to buy advance tickets for the RHS Flower Show Cardiff visit
Friday 12 and Saturday 13: 10am – 5.30pm Sunday 14: 10am – 4.30pm (plant sell off 4pm)
Advance tickets: £12.00 (RHS members £11.00) On the day: £15 (RHS members £13)
Each paying adult may bring two children aged 16 and under free of charge – no ticket required.