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RSA Wales & Western Region
Archive of Previous Events

Tue 1st Nov 2011
END OF AN ERA - situation report

Venue: Wales & West of England

In November 1966, RSA Western Centre was established primarily for Somerset Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset.. The Western Centre became the Western Region in 1974 and soon integrated with Wales, holding meetings in Cardiff and arranging events throughout the Principality. A South Wales sub-section was established with Wales and West working in harmony.

It was not until 1995 that Western Region formally covered Wales, Avon, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Hereford and Worcester (South West Region was now covering Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, West Dorset, North Dorset and Purbeck).

The ensuing years have seen countless events organised and run by the WAW Committee successfully promoting and enhancing the aims and objects of the RSA. Details of these can still be viewed on its website

The RSA Trustees have now decided that on 31stDecember 2009, Wales & Western Region, together with its Committee will cease to exist. It will be replaced by RSA Cymru Wales and RSA West.

RSA Cymru Wales will have the same status as the other devolved nations and from 1 January 2010 will be served by a project panel appointed by Chris Luffingham Network Manager, Youth, Online, South West and Wales & West.

Sat 19th Jun 2010

Venue: Wales Millenium Centre


Wed 9th Dec 2009
Annual Dinner FULLY BOOKED

Venue: House of Commons Westminster

Speaker: RT Hon Alun Michael JP MP FRSA, Member of Parliament for Cardiff South & Penarth


Sat 5th Dec 2009
Innovations in Prison Working

Venue: Rhosygilwen Mansion North Pembrokeshire SA43 2TW

Speaker: Phil Forder FRSA & Aonghus Gordon FRSA, Arts Interventions Manager at HMP/YOI Parc & Arts and Education,


Thu 24th Sep 2009
Wales : an innovative learning country CANCELLED

Venue: Twyn Yr Hydd, Neath Port Talbot

Speaker: Rod Ashley, Marc Real, Kath Durbin, Alison Jenner FRSA, BBC Wales, Post-14 Officer, Bridgend County Borough Council, Community Education Officer, Swansea

Sat 19th Sep 2009
Celebrating Art in the Garden

Venue: Urchfont Manor College, Urchfont, nr Devizes, SN10 4RG

Speaker: Professor Ron George, Head of Bath Spa University's Corsham Court Campus at Corsham Court

Image shows L to R:
Prof Michael Pennie, Sasha Ward, Fenella Elms and Prof Ron George.


Sat 12th Sep 2009
Roman Cotswolds, Where did the money come from?

Venue: Chedworth Village Hall & Chedworth Roman Villa (optional)

Speaker: Dr.Neil Holbrook, Director of the Cotswold Archeological Trust


Fri 28th Aug 2009
Songs on a Summer Evening, recital and masterclass

Venue: Rhosygilwen Mansion North Pembrokeshire

Speaker: Jeremy Huw Williams FRSA Phil Forder FRSA


Sat 25th Jul 2009
AGM 2.00 for 2.30 pm preceded by Talk 'The Energy Outlook'

Venue: Theatr Brycheiniog - Brecon Theatre

Speaker: Dr Carole Nakhle,, author of 'Out of the Energy Labyrinth'

An open meeting was held after the Agm where the proposal to establish a separate RSA Cymru entity. A summary of the results is as follows.

2009 RSA Wales and Western Region
Open Meeting of Fellows of the Region
Theatr Brycheiniog Brecon Theatre 25th July 2009

We have convened this meeting hastily to enable Fellows of the Region to discuss the issues raised in Matthew Taylor's email of 14 July in advance of the RSA Trustee Board Meeting on 27 July. Although under the circumstances our meeting cannot be representative of the Fellowship of the Region, your feedback is very important and I will email your feedback for the attention of the Trustees over the weekend.

Your Committee is arranging a further Open Meeting of Fellows of the Region to consider these issues on Friday 4 September at a venue to be decided.

In order to reflect back accurately to the Trustee Board your views, I would be grateful if you would complete this form and hand it in before you leave this afternoon.
22 people attended of whom 18 signed in as Fellows. Of these, 14 returned completed forms (10 from Fellows in Wales, 4 from Fellows in the English counties.
35 apologies were received from Fellows in the Region

1) I am in favour of reflecting a Welsh identity in the future structure of the RSA and advise the RSA Trustee Board on Monday to resolve (please tick one)

3 votes (21%) to split the existing RSA Wales and Western Region by setting up a RSA Wales entity (of unspecified nature) as proposed
9 votes (64%) to maintain the status quo while putting in place a process of consultation with and through the RSA Wales and Western Region Committee with the full regional Fellowship to determine how the Fellowship might move towards a new structure without putting present achievement at risk
2 votes (14%) to maintain the status quo
(total 78% against immediate split)

2) Add any further comment you wish
(first option)
I would support the establishment of a Welsh Region.
(second option)
unlikely to have enough members in Wales to make it viable at the moment, but am in favour of moving gradually to a more devolved structure albeit with strong interregional links
there is no clarity on what is proposed, therefore one cannot support a "pig in a poke" If Wales were made a full Region, then I would support it.
I have written to Matthew Taylor with my specific views on 23 July. Please note that my letter was sent by email. Please therefore clarify the structure and modus operandi (Mervyn Bramley).
As a person living on the borders I value the cooperation between Wales and Western Region. There is not enough information on the entity!
The lack of clarity of what is being proposed for RSAWales is very disconcerting. Fellowship needs to consulted properly and not in a rush, with clear issues. People need to feel ownership.
(third option)
I feel this is a waste of time better spent doing things for RSAWAW. No objection to forming a subcommittee/panel/steering groups, one each for Wales and West of England, which people have been free to suggest all along within RSAWAW, and then get on a do something instead of talking about it.

I confirm that I am a Fellow of RSA within the Wales and Western Region
(All Fellows who completed this Form signed it. Individual Fellow names will not be disclosed)
Dr Eric Albone, Chair, RSA Wales and Western Region

Summary of Response to the Proposal for a Separate RSA Wales
Eric Albone to Matthew Taylor for the attention of Trustee Board 20th July 09

Following receipt of your email I consulted many of our Committee (some are on vacation), discussed the issues, and asked them to email directly to you. I have also circulated all Fellows in the Region (and not just those in the Principality) as this proposal impacts Fellows in all parts of our Region. Two or three days does not allow much time for discussion. We are however holding an open meeting for Fellows on 25 July following our AGM in Brecon.

In summary, I urge the Trustee Board
not to rush to a precipitate decision on 27 July

instead to put in place a process of consultation and engagement with the whole Fellowship across the Region (many in the English counties would agree with an ultimate separation of the region) which looks at the whole shape of the regional structure in Wales and the adjoining English counties and how the RSA can move towards new structures while not putting present achievement at risk.

to note that we would look forward to working with the RSA JAS in progressing the process of consultation and regional Fellowship engagement on this basis

A week's consultation is far too short a time frame in which to reach a sound decision on such an important and complex matter, and I join other members of our Committee in urging the Trustee Board not to make a precipitate decision on 27 July. To make a decision without being confident of its soundness, and at this pace your evidence base can only be very fragile.

In addition, there is absolutely no need for an impatient rush and indeed very good reason to take sufficient time to set in place a process of consultation and Fellowship engagement to ensure that when decisions are made they are sound and are not destructive. I would be very keen for our Committee to be involved in such a process.



Mon 29th Jun 2009
The Upturn: your part in its rise

Venue: Village Hotel & Leisure Club, Cardiff

Speaker: Andy Green, Writer and Lecturer


Sat 27th Jun 2009
"Issues of Tidal Energy Capture in the Severn Estuary"

Venue: OneZone, UWE, Frenchay Campus

Speaker: Dr Mervyn Bramley Dr David Bird Professor Sue MarriottTom Appleby

The outcomes of the Not-a-Bore meeting are now on line on the UWE website at

Sat 20th Jun 2009
Are Gardens Art?

Venue: Veddw House Garden Devauden Monmouthshire

Speaker: Stephen Anderton, Garden Correspondent of The Times;

Image shows L-R Bridget Rosewell FRSA, Anne Wareham FRSA, Stephen Anderton, Charles Hawes

Are gardens Art?
- a joint discussion between the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce and The thinkinGardens Group on Saturday 20th June 2009

We met in Anne Wareham's thought-provoking garden at Veddw House in Monmouthshire, to assess the artistic status of gardens. In 1944 Pevsner asserted that gardens were Britain's major contribution to the visual arts. So, why aren't they taken more seriously as art? Would they be if they weren't so dominated by the plants and the gardening? Controversial stuff!

Anne briefly explained the ethos of her own garden where she has movingly responded to the historically transitory nature of local rural settlements and created a landscape rich in meaning. She opened the debate by describing garden visitors as a breed primarily concerned with plants and housekeeping. 'The exceptional visitors are those that stand and look'. The guest speakers, who definitely fall into the latter category were Bridget Rosewell, professional economist and artist, and Stephen Anderton, author and garden correspondent of The Times.

Both speakers agreed that gardens could be art. (It was perhaps a pity that there was no speaker opposing the idea.) They both drew parallels with recognised arts. Installation art for example is site specific, three-dimensional, transformation of perceived space, which is what we, as garden designers, do. Stephen found many significant shared characteristics between gardens and other art forms colour, texture, light, space etc - but gardens also 'have to handle time, (which makes them so very special)' and context, which many arts do not.

To be considered art Bridget believed that a garden must have a message such as at Veddw, Little Sparta or Stowe and should be 'carefully thought out and involve learning, skills, practice, time and not a little luck. It should both ask a question and answer it. Art is difficult, intellectual and hard work'. You may think all this sounds a little exclusive, but Stephen's reply would be: 'The best of any art form is per se elitist'. As to our perception of gardens, Bridget felt that cultural and historical influences have prevented people taking gardens seriously as art. In fact the absence of any critical language which relates to gardens positively discourages informed discussion. Stephen wanted people to be educated about design issues, but this must be done without 'smacking the bottoms of hobby gardeners'.

Neither considered that bodies such as the National Trust, National Gardens Scheme or English Heritage championed the artistic cause of gardens, therefore thinkinGardens is valiantly fighting a lonely battle to get gardens seen as a source of intellectual debate, provocation and constructive criticism.

The ensuing discussions were as lively as tradition demands. What is art anyway? In the 18th century, art meant skill and without the vast amount of prosaic gardening practised there would be no residual skills base. Another more modern meaning of art is creativity. This suggests evening class art rather than Damien Hirst or Tracey Emin. Surely in aspiring you also achieve? Much must also be in the mind and the eye of the beholder and the responses they bring to the equation. A concensus emerged that gardens would be taken more seriously as art if they were reviewed on the arts pages of papers rather than in the populist gardening magazines and TV makeover programmes which serve the principles of good garden design so poorly.

As garden designers we welcomed the discussion since it recognised many issues with which we routinely deal. Of course, not every garden is striving to be art and most gardens are simply ritualistically maintained spaces fulfilling a function for human beings, whatever that may be. The natural charm of plants can also incline gardeners to rely visually on them rather than the design. 'Chacun a son gout'. Inevitably, we also encountered the enfant terrible statement that you could have a garden without plants but why would you want to?

The moment creativity steps into a garden it has the potential to be artistic. Given time, thought, and skill it could be great art. Is there even the need for a message? Abstract paintings can simply be combinations of shape and colour, so why not gardens too? As for the gardeners and the plants, we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are gardeners, who are also designers, creating serious garden art: Tom Stuart Smith and Dan Pearson to name but two.

So, Are gardens Art? The event should certainly stimulate the debate, but in the end our response is simple. Stephen said, 'There is no battle; there is an extra which is on offer' and that 'extra' is the artistic quality which we as designers seek to create.

Lesley Hegarty and Robert Webber
The Hegarty Webber Partnership

Tue 26th May 2009
Re-launch of Regional Library Project

Venue: The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud Gloucestershire GL51DF.

Speaker: Marc Lee, Treasurer RSAWAW

Sat 16th May 2009
WNO Tour, talks and performance Queen of Spades


Wed 6th May 2009
Open Forum for RSAWAW Fellows

Venue: Holland House Hotel, Cardiff (24-26 Newport Road, CF24 0DD)

Speaker: Dr Eric Albone, Chairman RSAWAW


Tue 21st Apr 2009
Bristol City Network - Arnolfini, Interaction, Education.

Venue: Bordeaux Quay, BS1 5UH

Speaker: Chris Luffingham, Networks Manager - Online, South West, Wales and West

Wed 8th Apr 2009
Public Forum on Severn Estuary

Venue: Holland House Hotel, Newport Road, Cardiff

Speaker: Rudi Plaut FRSA CBE Panel Chair

Report as second PDF below.



Fri 3rd Apr 2009
Charles Darwin - an inspiration for the 21st Century

Venue: Clynderwen Pembrokeshire & Darwin Centre Pembrokeshire

Speaker: Prof Anthony Campbell FRSA, Professor in Medical Biochemistry at Cardiff University

Tony Campbell addresses a spellbound audience


Tue 17th Mar 2009
Bristol City Network Speakers Corner

Venue: Bordeaux Quay, BS1 5UH

Speaker: Chris Luffingham, Outreach Co-ordinator

Tue 17th Mar 2009
Bristol City Network Speakers Corner

Venue: Bordeaux Quay, BS1 5UH

Speaker: Chris Luffingham, Outreach Co-ordinator

Thu 12th Mar 2009
Social Evening for Fellows in Wales

Venue: Taliesin Centre Swansea University

Speaker: Rudi Plaut CBE FRSA Sybil Crouch FRSA, Former Wales & west Committee Members


Sat 7th Mar 2009
Public Forum on Severn Estuary

Venue: Bristol - UWE, Frenchay Campus (Q block, room 2Q49),

Speaker: Prof Jim Longhurst - Panel Chair, UWE Co-Director, Institute for Sustainability, Health and Environment

Some atmospheric images of the event

A report has been compiled by Dr Eric Albone appended Item 3 below.

Article from People & Scence authored by Eric Albone, Bob Foster and Kay Powell as last PDF below.

The Bristol Severn Estuary Public Forum is now also on line on the UWE website and includes the PowerPoint presentation





Mon 23rd Feb 2009
Tour and Dinner at the House of Commons

Venue: House of Commons Westminster

Speaker: WAITING LIST FOR PLACES, MP for Carmarthenshire W & Pembrokeshire S

Picture shows Guests of Honour being presented with a gift of Welsh wine at the end of the evening. L-R Rod Ashley (Committee Member), Rt Hon Peter Hain MP, Celia Kirkby (website co-ordinator and co-organiser), Nick Ainger MP who was our official host for the evening, Rt Hon Alun Michael JP, MP, FRSA, Dr Eric Albone (Chairman RSAWAW).

Over fifty RSA Wales and Western Fellows and their guests enjoyed a splendid evening in the House of Commons at the invitation of Nick Ainger, MP, Member for Carmarthenshire West and South Pembrokeshire, and were delighted to welcome as Guests of Honour the Rt Hon Peter Hain, MP, Member for Neath and the Rt Hon Alun Michael, JP MP FRSA, Member for Cardiff South and Penarth, himself a Fellow of the Society.

Over drinks on the Terrace, it was as always amazing to encounter the wealth of expertise and experience represented within the Fellowship, to get to know each other and to talk about opportunities which that Fellowship offers to work together to the common good. The Dinner which followed was excellent and ample, at the end of which all three Members of Parliament in turn addressed the gathering with wit and frankness.

Nick Ainger, our host, spoke of his experience on the Commons Treasury Select Committee which had turned out to be far more engaging and significant than he could have expected when he joined it in 2007, and related how he had been amazed by the lack of understanding of some of the senior bankers he had encountered both of the complex financial products they were trading and of the wider community in which they operated, and what this implied for the nation's predicament.

Both Peter Hain and Alun Michael welcomed the RSA Wales and Western Region's focus on the potential of using tidal energy from the Severn Estuary to provide a source of renewable energy which would both be secure and make a substantial contribution to meeting the nation's carbon targets. Peter Hain stressed urgency of the situation and the huge contribution a Severn Barrage would make to this end.

After saying something about his work with the Internet Governance Forum and on the Welsh Affairs and Justice Select Committees, Alun Michael went on to say how important he felt the public forums RSAWAW would shortly be mounting in Bristol and later in Cardiff on the options for generating energy from the Severn's huge tidal range, whether from a barrage or in other ways, were. It was essential in his view that decisions should be evidence based and that members of the public should be involved in sifting that evidence and forming their own opinions as part of the democratic process. Nothing could be more important.

The evening ended with heartfelt expressions of appreciation to Ron and Celia Kirkby for all they had done to make it such a success.

Eric Albone

Sat 6th Dec 2008
Alternative Energy Sources : Tidal, Wind, Microgeneration and World Perspectives

Venue: The Methodist Hall, High Street, Thornbury BS35 2AQ

Speaker: Bill Gill (Chair)

Sat 6th Dec 2008
"Blood and Stuff"

Venue: The Methodist Hall, High Street, Thornbury BS35 2AQ

Speaker: Trevor Williamson (Chair)

Mon 17th Nov 2008
Sustainable Urban Transport:

Venue: UWE Street Café, Frenchay Campus BS16 1QY

Speaker: Professor James Longhurst and panel, Co-Director, Institute for Sustainability, Health and Environment

Tue 11th Nov 2008
For you - new opera by Michael Berkeley & Ian McEwen

Venue: Sherman Theatre Cardiff

Speaker: Ian McEwan, Michael Berkeley and Director Michael McCarthy,, Author, Composer and Director of For You

Mon 6th Oct 2008
Tour and Dinner at the House of Commons


Speaker: Nick Ainger, Member for Carmarthenshire W & Pembrokeshire S

Top: Chairman Dr Eric Albone (R) present an appreciative gift to Rt Hon Paul Murphy MP

Below: Treasurere Marc Lee (R) presents an appreciative gift to Rt Hon Alan Michael MP

Sat 12th Jul 2008

Venue: Brislington Enterprise College

Speaker: James Wetz FRSA, Visiting Fellow at Bristol University Graduate School of Education, Fellow of the Centre for Social


Sat 14th Jun 2008
RSAWAW Annual Dinner

Venue: At-Bristol, Harbourside Road BS1 5DB

Speaker: Prof Peter Odell, Prof Peter Odell, FRSA, Professor Emeritus of International Energy Studies, Erasmus University, Rott


Fri 16th May 2008
Angela Vivian Memorial Lecture

Venue: AXA Centre Stoke Brierly Bristol

Speaker: Michael Braungart, Visiting Professor at UWIC, Cardiff,

Thu 15th May 2008
Angela Vivian Memorial Lecture

Venue: UWIC Cardiff

Speaker: Michael Braungart, Visiting Professor at UWIC Cardiff

Fri 7th Mar 2008
Lord Mayor's Charity Gala

Venue: Arts Wing Grand Theatre Swansea

Speaker: Councillor Susan Waller, Lord Mayor of Swansea

This was a very successful evening which raised £1600 for the Lord Mayor's Charity Fund. A cheque was presented to the Lord Mayor by Ballet Russe Principal Dancers Luiza Garieva & Evgeny Truposkiadi accompanied by Yuri Demakov Artistic Director, Chika Temma Director and Prima Ballerina, Ron Kirkby FRSA Organiser and RSA deputy Chairman, Marc Lee FRSA RSA Treasurer, Celia Kirkby FRSA Director Ballet Russe.

The Lord May Cllr Susan Waller said she was most appreciative of the efforts of Ballet Russe and the RSA.

Thu 15th Nov 2007
'Behind the headlines the other truth about care homes for older people'

Venue: Glastonbury Care Home, Glastonbury CANCELLED

Speaker: David Sheard, Dementia Care Matters

Wed 17th Oct 2007
'Behind the headlines the other truth about care homes for older people'

Venue: Elliscombe Care Home, Wincanton

Speaker: Professor Julienne Meyer, Help the Aged and City University

Mon 15th Oct 2007
Japan Society Award

Venue: Mandarin Oriental London

Speaker: Dr Eric Abone, Chairman RSAWAW & Clifton Scientific Trust

Although not strictly speaking an RSAWAW Event, we are delighted that Chairman Eric Albone has been awarded the Japan Society Award 2007 which was presented at their Annual Dinner in London. Picture shows L-R Phillida Purvis, Eric Albone, Miyako Yoshida (Ballerina joint award winner) HRH Duke of Gloucester Patron The Japan Society, Yoshiji Nogami Ambassador of Japan, President The Japan Society

Japan Society Award Ceremony 2007; Eric Albone Text
15 October 2007

Your Royal Highness, Your Excellency, Members of the Japan Society, Distinguished Guests, I do thank you from the bottom of my heart for the signal honour of this Award, not only for myself but also for the many colleagues in Japan and in Britain with whom I am working to establish these UK-Japan Young Scientist Partnerships.

Yes, our most recent UK-Japan Young Scientist Workshop in Kyoto this summer, mentioned in the Citation, was a tremendous success. Not only were the school students thrilled to work with the Japanese scientists and engineers, but they gave of their very best, and by living and working together in mixed teams with an endpoint of giving public presentations of their achievements, they very rapidly built bridges of friendship and understanding which will certainly endure. These are life-changing experiences.

Here are a few school student comments following an earlier UK-Japan Young Scientist Workshop we ran.
I have learnt loads, not just about science but an awareness of the world
It has made me realise how much differences we all have, yet we all have so much in common and can enjoy our differences instead of having conflicts
It has changed my attitude a lot. I thought the Japanese were lovely people and I have realised there is so much to learn about the world
I want to learn more about science and continue our friendship. I cannot express my feeling. I am very, very, very glad to take part in this Workshop
At the beginning of the week, communication was a problem, but now it has been overcome and everything is exciting.

Science, its creativity and its application offer a potent and largely unrecognized cultural bridge between young people in our two countries. Britain and Japan share so many concerns in common and in a world made small and vulnerable by science and technology, it is a bridge for our century. And not only for the young people. It becomes a bridge too for the teachers and the scientists who take part.

We are delighted by the support and encouragement our work is receiving from many colleagues in Japan as well as in Britain who share this vision. Again I do thank the Japan Society for your recognition of the contribution I and many colleagues are making in this area.

Your Award is very greatly appreciated.


Mon 8th Oct 2007
Red Violin Festival - RSA Lecture Recital

Venue: Wales Millenium Centre Cardiff

Speaker: Dame Janet Ritterman & Madeleine Mitchell FRSA, former Director Royal College of Music

Picture shows L-R
Jeremy Huw Williams FRSA
Dame Janet Ritterman
Ron Kirkby FRSA
Madeleine Mitchell FRSA

Thu 27th Sep 2007
Teaching Citizenship; Engaging Law

Venue: University of Bristol, Graduate School of Education, Berkeley Square, Bristol

Speaker: Prof Martin Partington, CBE, FRSA,, Emeritus Prof of Law, University of Bristol, a Barrister and for five years a Law Commissioner for E


Wed 5th Sep 2007

Venue: Waterton Technology Centre Bridgend

Speaker: Austin Matthews MBE


Sun 26th Aug 2007
Romeo and Juliet (UK première production)

Venue: Westonbirt School, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8QG

Speaker: Jeremy Gray FRSA, Director

Wed 15th Aug 2007
'Behind the headlines - the other truth about care homes for older people'

Venue: Oaktree Care Home, Yate, nr Bristol

Speaker: Martin Green,, Chief Executive of the English Community Care Association


Sun 29th Jul 2007
Ballet Russe Summer School Coppelia

Venue: Grand Theatre Swansea

Sat 14th Jul 2007

Venue: Ivy Bush Royal Hotel Carmarthen

Speaker: Nick Ainger MP, former Under Secretary of State for Wales


Sat 2nd Jun 2007

Venue: Arlington Arts Centre Newbury

Speaker: David Savoury, Host

Mon 21st May 2007
Fellows Induction Day

Venue: Grand Theatre Swansea - Arts Wing

Speaker: Ron Kirkby, Dr Eric Albone, Jan Brady, Chairman RSAWAW

Sat 20th Jan 2007
Annual Dinner Extra with Ballet Russe

Venue: Arts Wing Grand Theatre Swansea

Speaker: Ron Kirkby, Chairman RSA Wales & Western Region


Sat 28th Oct 2006
Annual Dinner

Venue: Grand Theatre Swansea

Speaker: Ron Kirkby, Chairman RSA Wales & West

Tue 24th Oct 2006
Library Launch

Venue: RSA Bristol Centre UWE

Speaker: Ron Kirkby, Chairman RSA Wales & West

RSA Wales & Western Region launched its unique new Fellows' Library at the Bristol Centre on Tuesday October 24th 2006 at 3pm. Over 70 books were donated by Fellows many of whom were able to attend the launch.

The picture taken in the Lady Chapel at University of the West of England shows many of the authors with their books.

The Library consists entirely of donated books written by Fellows or their families making it a very personal and special "Fellows' Library". The diversity of topics already donated has been quite amazing and shows clearly the strength of the RSA through its Fellowship.

Any Fellow who would like to add to the Library is asked to donate one autographed copy and a loan copy. Please send them to:-
Jan Brady Centre Manager
RSA Bristol Centre
Room M25
St Matthias Campus UWE
Oldbury Court Road
Fishponds Bristol
BS16 2JP

Cataloging, listing and organising the loan of books and access to the library is in hand and details will be posted on the Library section of this site as soon as possible .

In addition to sending the books to Bristol, I would be grateful if each author/donor could email title author's name short biog and synopsis to (resident in West Wales) so that it can be posted on our website.

I take this opportunity to thank all authors/donors for making this library such a wonderful success and look forward to even more authors donations and plan to have another celebration to mark the 100th donating author.

Ron Kirkby
Chairman RSAWAW


Sat 7th Oct 2006
Cinderella - Ballet by Prokofiev

Venue: Grand Theatre Swansea

Speaker: Swansea Ballet Russe, The Classical Ballet Company of Wales

Tue 26th Sep 2006
New Fellows Induction Day

Venue: RSA Bristol Centre UWE St Matthias Campus

Speaker: Ron Kirkby, Chairman RSA Wales & West

Sat 16th Sep 2006
RSA Cymru Debate - are you being served?

Venue: Borough Theatre, Cross Street, Abergavenny

Speaker: Sarah Dickins Chairing Panel, Broadcaster

The RSA jointly sponsored a debate with Miller Research at the Abergavenny food Festival, The Topic was "are you being served?"

Is big bad? does small provide us with the the right choice and range? Can the supermarket and the small shop coexist in your local town centre? Broadcaster Sara Dickens Asked a distinguished panel whether communities are really getting what they want from today's retailers.

The panellists were

Joanna Blythman an Investigative journalist and author of Shopped-the shocking power of British Supermarkets.

Clive Beddall OBE former editor in chief of "The Grocer"

David Davies MP for Monmouth and Assembly member

Jackie Riley Association of Town Centre Managers.

The debate got off to a lively start with some discussion about a hot local topic- the proposal of a large National chain to build a supermarket on Abergavenny's cattle market Much of the audience was very much against this and there were some concerns expressed about a local council's role as landowner and planning authority. David supported the idea that there needed to be some review of planning legislation

Joanna strongly felt that supermarkets had far too much power and that their arrival in a town effectively was responsible for the demise of all the local shops in the town.

Clive obviously spoke for the supermarkets defending their role in bringing a wide range of goods and services at an affordable price to a increasing part of society which hitherto they would not be able to access.

Jackie spoke eloquently about the role of the ATCM in forging economic regeneration in market towns by bringing together all interested parties including local and national retailers to work for the best interest of the town

There were a number of interesting points made from the audience including the predicament of local farmers and producers.

Concerns were expressed about the effect that recent supermarket openings had had on other towns in South Wales, There was also mention of some independent research that showed that the opening of a food only supermarket in the centre of Malvern had had a very positive impact on the economic regeneration of the town to the benefit of other retailers in the Town

The Debate did not come to any conclusions but certainly generated a lot of interest and some strong views which will continue to be a hot topic of debate not just locally but nationally with the current OFT investigation into Supermarkets

Nigel Burton FRICS.FRSA

Board member Abergavenny Food Festival


The Food festival was a great success again in its 7th year,

Early returns indicate that over 30,000 tickets were sold for day entry to the 4 main venues this does not include tickets sold for all the individual events or the visitors to the festival who did not visit the 4 main venues but took advantage of the free street markets etc


Mon 28th Aug 2006
"The Jewel Box"

Venue: Westonbirt School near Tetbury

Speaker: Bampton Classical Opera, Director


Sat 19th Aug 2006
Outdoor Music & Firework Spectacular

Venue: Three Counties Showground, Malvern

Speaker: West Midlands Region event

Sat 8th Jul 2006
Open Day at BIBIC Cymru

Venue: Usk Monmouthshire

Sat 8th Jul 2006

Venue: UWE Bristol

Speaker: John Bull, Former Deputy Chair Peak District National Park


Tue 13th Jun 2006
State of the Environment in the South West - joint event EA / RSA / UWE / BA

Venue: University of West of England, Frenchay Campus, Bristol(main lecture theatre, 2B025, B Block_cl

Speaker: Dr Mervyn Bramley OBE Chair + Panel see (see pdf file below), Engineer and Environmentalist

A detailed report is available at



Fri 5th May 2006
Angela Vivian Memorial Lecture

Venue: Bristol Zoo Gardens

Speaker: Phil Butterworth, Simon Williams


Sat 29th Apr 2006
Charity Dinner with Ballet Gala in aid of BIBIC

Venue: Swansea Grand Theatre Arts Wing

Speaker: Ron Kirkby, Julie Spencer-Cingoz, Chairman RSAWAW CEO BIBIC


Fri 7th Apr 2006
Gower - Britain's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Venue: National Waterfront Museum Swansea

Speaker: Malcolm & Ruth Ridge, Chairman & Secretary Gower Society

Tue 14th Mar 2006
Your Money or Your Life


Speaker: Dr Tony Calland, Chairman BMA Wales


Tue 7th Mar 2006
How and Why Does Fairness Matter? John Maynard Keynes Lecture 2006

Venue: Bristol University Lecture Theatre 3, Faculty of Arts

Speaker: Ken Binmore CBE FBA FRSA, Emeritus Professor of Economics UCL

Tue 28th Feb 2006
To ASBO or not to ASBO - that is the question

Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Speaker: Peter Clarke, Children's Commissioner for Wales, Mark Powell, solicitor, a, Children's Commissioner for Wales - and others


Thu 24th Nov 2005
RSPCA International Work and Objectives

Venue: RSPCA Llys Nini Animal Centre Swansea

Speaker: Jackie Ballard, Director General RSPCA

Jackie Ballard opened her talk with a brief history of the RSPCA from its inception in 1824 when a group of concerned individuals including Richard Martin and William Wilberforce held early "Coffee House Challenge" meetings in Old Slaughter's Coffee House in St Martin's Lane Westminster to discuss ways of improving the lot of working animals particularly horses in London.

Today the organisation has over 300 uniformed Inspectors, numerous hospitals and clinics and around 250 Branches each a separately registered charity in England & Wales (Scotland has its own SSPCA).

The International Department has a budget of around £1M of a total of £84M spend each year. The focus is on education and training except where major disasters require immediate direct assistance from RSPCA staff. Priority areas are in Europe - mainly the EU accession countries and southern Europe - and parts of Asia including China and Taiwan. The RSPCA works closely with other agencies including IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) and does not duplicate effort in places where other reputable organisations are already active.

Eurogroup for Animal Welfare was founded by the RSPCA to bring together animal welfare organisations in EU countries and after a period based at RSPCA HQ in Sussex, we now have fourteen staff based in Brussels working with other EU animal welfare groups on such issues as live animal transport. The main thrust of the work is to develop legislation within the EU to raise standards of animal welfare.

Jackie answered questions on various aspects of her talk. She mentioned the well-established connection between cruelty or uncaring attitudes towards animals and similar behaviour towards children and said that RSPCA Inspectors were trained to look out for child abuse when dealing with complaints about animals in a domestic setting. The first child cruelty prosecution (in New York) had been taken using animal cruelty legislation and this led to the setting up of the NSPCCs both here and in the United States.

The day had started with a tour of the RSPCA Llys Nini Animal Centre and its Chairman Sally Hyman gave a short talk about its work. Llys Nini is a Branch-run Centre taking in animals from the whole of South Wales and sometimes further afield, including seals which have a feeding and rest period prior to being transferred to the RSPCA's specialist centre in Norfolk. Inspectors and Animal Collection Officers are based at the Centre and their case animals are boarded and nursed back to health pending court cases.


Tue 15th Nov 2005
Enterprise Britain: Creativity, Invention and Innovation in the 21st Century

Venue: IMAX Theatre, Bristol Harbourside

Speaker: Chair: Dr Adam Hart-Davis FRSA Panel: Ben Taylor, Professor David Kirby and Professor Helen Haste, Panel Debate


Sat 12th Nov 2005
Annual Dinner

Venue: The Swan at Hay Hotel Hay on Wye

Speaker: Peter Florence FRSA, Director, Hay Festival


Tue 1st Nov 2005
Enterprise Britain: Creativity, Invention and Innovation in the 21st Century

Venue: IMAX Theatre, Bristol Harbourside

Speaker: Rab Bennetts OBE, , RIBA 2005 Award Winner (Bennetts Associates for the Jubilee Library in Brighton, Sussex_close

Sat 22nd Oct 2005
The conservation of carnivores

Venue: Rosalind Franklin Room, At-Bristol

Speaker: Professor David Macdonald, Founding Director of the Wildlife Conservation Unit, University of Oxford

Coming away from David Macdonald's immensely impressive presentation, no one could be in any doubt of his reputation as pioneer and world leader in researching the scientific underpinning on which any effective solution of the myriad of conservation issues which beset the 21st century must depend. Over the past thirty years he has created from nothing a formidable research organisation "providing practical solutions to conservation issues", although as he constantly stressed, there are no easy answers to nature's complexity.

In his own words, to manage wildlife effectively, one must develop deep understandings both of animals, their social structures and their ecology, and of peoples. His first-love was the red fox, and the challenge was provided by the spread of rabies across Europe in the 1970's for which the red fox was the major vector, and there was talk of vaccination programmes. For him, each fox had to be understood as a complex individual living in complex and fascinating relationships with other foxes and with his/her environment. David went on to discuss the European badger and its highly social life... he has observed 27 badgers to live in one sett and 43 in one territory!.. and the way in which attempts by government to reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis by culling have all failed, not least he believes... based on his research of badger communities pre and post cull... because proper attention has not been given to the perturbations of the social structure of the remaining badgers which enhance the spread of the disease.

His talk went on to report on how his work on the endangered Ethiopian Wolf has levered substantial funds into the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Project, on the superfecundity and "polyandry" of the American mink and the ways in which this species has been responsible for the demise not only of the European mink but also the water vole, a species which he believes was already on a "tight-rope" of survival as the result of agricultural pressures. Remarkably however, it seems that the presence of otters alleviates the lot of the water vole in these situations and David went on discuss the role of "inter-guild" aggression between predators, for example between coyotes, the red fox and the kit fox in north America, and between lions and cheetahs in Africa in relation to conservation.

These are but a few impressions of David Macdonald's talk. Above all he conveyed his fascination for the natural world in all its complexity, and the need to understand its intricate detail and to use this knowledge to inform our actions as a society if we are not to do irreparable damage to our world.

Tue 18th Oct 2005
Enterprise Britain: Creativity, Invention and Innovation in the 21st Century

Venue: IMAX Theatre, Bristol Harbourside

Speaker: Professor Joe McGeehan, Centre for Communications Research, University of Bristol


Mon 3rd Oct 2005
Enterprise Britain: Creativity, Invention and Innovation in the 21st Century

Venue: IMAX Theatre, Bristol Harbourside

Speaker: Dr Adam Hart-Davis FRSA, TV science and technology presenter


Sat 27th Aug 2005

Venue: Westonbirt School

Speaker: Dr Jeremy Gray, FRSA, Artistic Director


Country house opera often suffers from the availability of only a tiny orchestra. Bampton Classical Opera brought a small but adequate group of musicians from the London Mozart Players to provide a quality orchestra for the performance of L'Infedeltà Delusa, given at Westonbirt in Gloucestershire on 27 August 2005.

The atmosphere of Westonbirt proved highly conducive to the performance of this Haydn rarity, which while well sung throughout, became very lively and hugely amusing during its second half.

Bampton is to be congratulated on operating at such a high level on the proverbial 'shoestring'. The audience was substantial and appreciative the performance outstanding value at £25 a seat, though attendees had, in fact, to bring their own seat.

The RSA Wales and West chose to be associated with this event and it was most certainly justified in doing so. Maybe another year the Society could arrange one of its sessions around the Westonbirt evening and this is now under consideration.

From Westonbirt, Bampton went on to perform at the Buxton Festival, I hope with equal success.

Marc Lee

Sat 9th Jul 2005
Annual General Meeting

Venue: The Swan at Hay - Hay on Wye

Speaker: Susan Bell OBE FRSA, Chief Executive National Forest

This year's AGM was held on the Wales / England border. Business included the formal announcement of Clayton Heycock as Treasurer and Dr Eric Albone as Deputy Chair.

The formal proceedings were followed by a most interesting talk by Susan Bell about the history and development of The National Forest in Derbyshire.

We were lucky to have beautiful weather so the excellent lunch was preceded by aperitifs in the gardens. Susan continued to answer numerous questions and join in discussion about The National Forest throughout the meal.

Eric Albone presented flowers to Susan Bell

Sat 25th Jun 2005
The Place of Archaeology in the 21st Century

Venue: Corinium Museum Cirencester

Speaker: Dr Neil Holbrook, Director of the Cotswold Archeological Trust


Sat 25th Jun 2005
Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru - Abertawe a'r Clych

Venue: Abertawe - Swansea

Speaker: Ron Kirkby, Chairman RSA Wales & Western Region

21st century Swansea came to a halt on a busy Saturday afternoon in June 2005 for the proclamation of the Eisteddfod - a festival that dates back to the 12th century. Following the parade through the city by the Gorsedd of Bards, civic dignitaries and local organisations, the proclamation ceremony for the 2006 Eisteddfod, which will be hosted by Swansea, took place in the Gorsedd Circle in Singleton Park.

An Eisteddfod is a competitive meeting or festival in which prizes are awarded for excellence in literature, music, arts, crafts and other accomplishments. There are local and regional eisteddfodau in Wales in addition to the National Eisteddfod which is held alternatively in North and South Wales during the first week of August in every year. It is the foremost festival of the Welsh people, sponsored by Welsh Local Authorities, the Welsh Language Board, business firms and private individuals.

The first competitive festival of which there is a reliable record was the great eisteddfod held by the Lord Rhys ap Gruffydd at Christmastide in 1176 in his new castle of Cardigan. Two chairs were awarded, one for poetry which went to North Wales and one for music which was won by a South Walian. The title Eisteddfod was established in about 1451 under the noble Gruffyd ap Nicholas in Carmarthen.

During the 19th century the eisteddfodau were developed into week-long festivals with their competitions proclaimed at least a year in advance. By its Constitution, the National Eisteddfod exists to safeguard the Welsh language and to promote Welsh culture. That is why Welsh is the official language of the Eisteddfod, for the festival exists to help the children of Wales to realise their heritage.

The Royal Society of Arts Wales & Western Region were honoured to be invited to be in the procession and attend the ceremony. Chairman Ron Kirkby and his wife Celia, a Director of Swansea's Ballet Russe, were dressed in costume of the 18th Century, representing the founding of the RSA by William Shipley in 1754.

We are grateful to The Grand Theatre Swansea for providing the costumes.

Cymdeithas Brenhinol y Celfyddau ddiolch i Ddinas a Sir Abertawe ac i weithwyr Theatr y Grand i gyd.

Wed 15th Jun 2005
Visit to Big Pit National Mining Museum Blaenavon

Venue: World Heritage Centre at Blaenavon, Gwent


Thu 9th Jun 2005
The Road to Reality

Venue: Town Hall, Cheltenham (RSA in association with Cheltenham Science Festival)

Speaker: Sir Roger Penrose, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford


Thu 2nd Jun 2005
Bath - working today in an historic city

Venue: Holborne Museum of Art Bath

Speaker: Bel Mooney Panel Leader, Writer & Broadcaster

As an occasional visitor to Bath my perception was of a place where parking was worse than London and you got lost trying to find your way back to the M4 - so it was fascinating to hear the views of residents who were in the main in love with their very special city in spite of the difficulties associated with its unique status.

Bel Mooney a passionate fan of Bath and a non-driver, championed its convenient situation and easy access to London, the South coast, Wales and M4 / M5 links.

There were undoubtedly some disadvantages to living in a city where temporary notices to direct sponsored walkers through the shopping area, so as not to lose trade on a Saturday afternoon, were not permitted due to its heritage status - but most people felt this was justified by the unique atmosphere of the city with individual shops rather than the look-alike shopping malls in most other majors towns in the UK.

Some speakers felt that the powers of the authorities to enforce restrictions relating to the heritage status were too rigorous and without imagination but the overall feeling was that the balance was about right.

March Lee FRSA of Cityforum summed up the discussion and invited Ron Kirkby Chairman of RSA Wales & Western Region to give the vote of thanks to Bel Mooney and her fellow panellists Annette Martin of Bath Aqua Glass and Tessa Strickland of Barefoot Books for a stimulating discussion.

Thu 26th May 2005
Visit and Tour of Wales Institute for Sustainable Education

Venue: Centre for Alternative Technology Machynlleth Powys.

Speaker: Phil Horton BEng MSc CEng MIEE, Special Projects Officer CAT

RSA Wales and West visit to the
Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT)
at Machynlleth, Powys, 26 May 2005

The Wales Institute for Sustainable Education is a project that is intended to provide a state-of-the-art environmental education centre in which a wide range of participants may learn and appreciate the principles of sustainable development. The Institute will put into practice many of the technologies which have been developed at CAT over the last thirty years.

A party of some thirty Fellows, partners and friends enjoyed an informative and interesting visit to CAT where they were hosted by Phil Horton, the Special Projects Officer, who is responsible for the development of the WISE project. The initial tour of the site proved most relevant to the five objectives of the RSA.

Moving towards a zero-waste society was well demonstrated by the extensive use of recycling and composting techniques which seek to reduce waste in all areas of activity. Buildings demonstrating approaches such as waterless toilets, natural controlled ventilation, super insulation and passive solar design proved fascinating, as did the rammed earth wall construction and the energy-efficient glazing, which gave maximum natural day lighting as well as a passive heat gain.

Encouraging enterprise is a theme which permeates the whole WISE project, beginning with its use of a partnering contract model bringing on board all contractors, designers and consultants from an early stage. The use of biomass heat and power linked to a district heating system and the national grid is particularly innovative.

Advancing global citizenship is very much a CAT objective as well as an RSA one. The new Institute is being designed to help businesses to acquire the sustainable development skills which are necessary to meet the challenge of carbon dioxide emission cuts, including the use of green transport systems using sustainable fuel sources. (The entrance to CAT is by means of a water-powered cliff railway.)

Fostering resilient communities is a theme implicit in the whole work of the WISE project which explores the complex interaction between land use, energy, food production, buildings, transport, waste management and people. Some of the relevant technologies here are the biological, zero energy input sewage treatment systems, minimising electromagnetic radiation and the use of low embodied-energy materials such as earth and hemp.

Developing a capable population is the very essence of the purpose of the whole WISE project as it aims to provide teaching and accommodation facilities in which students and conference participants can learn about this whole range of sustainable development issues.

Overall the day's experience showed that the RSA could learn much about its objectives through a closer relationship with this enterprising organisation. CAT is open daily from 10am to 6pm (or dusk in winter) telephone 0845 330 8355 for more information.


Wed 18th May 2005
"A Fortunate Man Revisited"

Venue: Techniquest Cardiff


Sun 8th May 2005
Angela Vivian Memorial Copse - declared Local Nature Reserve

Venue: Manor Road Community Wood Keynsham


Wed 4th May 2005
Angela Vivian OBE Memorial Lecture

Venue: RSA London

Speaker: Sir Michael Bisher, Andrew Mawson & Martyn Lewis in the chair.

The Great Room at the Society's House in John Adam Street was packed to capacity for the first Angela Vivian Memorial Lecture given in memory of Angela Vivian OBE, FRSA Chair of the RSA Wales and Western Region who died suddenly while in office this time last year.

Penny Egan, RSA Executive Director, in welcoming everyone announced the launching of the Angela Vivian Award with the Community Action Network, supported by EDS and Microsoft. £10,000 will be awarded to someone who, against all the odds, has set up a community project; the winner, like Angela, will be a 'do-er', not a 'talker'. The details of the project are attached. It is very much hoped that as many as possible will apply for the award.

The evening was chaired in great style by Martyn Lewis and heard two outstanding lectures by Andrew Mawson, President, Community Action Network and Sir Michael Bichard, Rector, University of the Arts London on "Breaking through red tape: how entrepreneurs get things done". Although coming from opposite corners a general consensus was reached that it was by individuals who believed passionately in their ideas and had the courage to fight for them that progress was made. Such a person was of course Angela herself. Full details of the text of these lectures can be found on the RSA's website under lectures.

Next year the lecture will take place in the RSA Wales and Western Region

Simon Fordham

Sat 16th Apr 2005
Tsunami Orphans fundraising Gala in partnership with Ballet Russe

Venue: Ysgol Griffith Jones St Clears Carmarthenshire

Speaker: Ron Kirkby, Chairman RSAWAW

The Tsunami fundraising events organised in St Clears Carmarthenshire by RSA Wales & West jointly with Ballet Russe were a great success with a cheque for £1234 being sent to SOS Children's Villages. FOSTERING RESILIENT COMMUNITIES

Children's Ballet Masterclasses were given in the afternoon by Ballet Russe's Georgian Education Officer Irene Gogladze to 52 children from absolute beginners to some already working their way through the ballet exams. They were watched by proud parents and everybody had a great time. After the classes, Principal Dancers from Ballet Russe gave a short performance especially for the children. DEVELOPING A CAPABLE POPULATION

The evening Ballet Gala given by Ballet Russe dancers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldavia, Japan and England was attended by Nick Ainger MP, Christine Gwyther AM, The Mayor & Mayoress of St Clears Dr Edmund and Mrs Brenda Davies and an audience of more than a hundred some of them seeing ballet for the first time. A party from Dol y Felin Care Home included one lady coming up to her 102nd birthday. ADVANCING GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

We were especially pleased to welcome Michael Riding FRSA a trustee of SOS and his wife Ellie; they had made the journey from Bristol to be with us in West Wales. Later in the year to coincide with World Orphan Week, Michael has offered to give a presentation on SOS to RSA Fellows
Watch this space.

Ysgol Griffith Jones gave us their premises and the services of their caretaker free of charge as well as providing free administrative assistance, photocopying and helping with distribution of material to other schools in the area for which we are extremely grateful. All other services from dancers to drivers, technicians and ticket printing, manning the doors and marshalling the children were provided voluntarily. ENCOURAGING ENTERPRISE

We are pleased and proud that the RSA was able to arrange this event in collaboration with several other organisations and to raise a useful sum of money to help with the long-term care of children orphaned by the Tsunami.

Ron Kirkby

Pictures show (1)Viktor Pivovarov leaping in Tarantella from Harlequinade(2)Irene Gogoladze Ballet Russe Education Officer (3) Children's Masterclass

Thu 14th Apr 2005
South Wales' Place in the pioneering of photography

Venue: The Orangery at Margam Park near Port Talbot

Speaker: Richard Morris MPhil FRPS

Tue 18th Jan 2005
Classical Ballet Scholarship

Venue: Grand Theatre Swansea

Speaker: Ron Kirkby, Chairman RSA Wales & Western Region


Kerry Birkett from Chesham Bucks and Rie Sasaki from Osaka Japan are pictured receiving flowers from RSAW&W Hon Secretary Dr Eric Albone (left) and Treasurer Clayton Heycock after having been presented with Classical Dance Scholarships by Chairman Ron Kirkby.

RSAWAW Committee awarded these scholarships, which bring with them a bursary of £1500 per year, after Ballet Russe the only resident Russian Ballet Company in the UK had held extensive auditions from over 50 applications worldwide.

The ceremony took place at Swansea's Grand Theatre where the company is based after a performance of La Fille Mal Gardée in which both students took small parts.

Attending the ceremony were local dignitaries from the City & County of Swansea, Fellows, friends and the Directors and dancers of Ballet Russe.

Kerry and Rie are now both touring with the company and we will watch their progress with interest. The previous Ballet Russe trainee is now in her second term at the prestigious Russian Perm Choreographic School.

The Committee feels that encouraging the Arts at the grass-roots is an important part of the RSA's mission and will continue to look for other areas to encourage in the same way. For more information about Ballet Russe

2nd photo shows Kerry and Rie dancing in La Fille Mal Gardée

Tue 21st Dec 2004
Inaugural Planting of Angela Vivian Memorial Copse

Venue: Forest of Avon

Speaker: Ron Kirkby, Chair RSA Wales & Western Region

The planting of the Angela Vivian Memorial Copse took place at Manor Road Community Wood Keynsham and was attended by more than thirty Fellows, family, friends and representatives of the community to whom the RSA is most grateful for allowing the copse on such a magnificent location.

All were agreed that Angela was definitely looking down on us as the day was graced with brilliant sunshine although the days before and after were all wet and miserable.
A final toast "raise a glass" to Angela was made and just to put the finishing touches on everything Sue Greatorex the local Curate arrived to bless the newly planted trees (Angela's brand of networking this time! Dog walkers had alerted Sue).

When the trees are established, seats will be sited at the side of the copse overlooking a large wildflower field and natural pond.

Wales & Western Committee would like to thanks all those who contributed so generously to the copse - full list follows.

Eric & Kumyul Albone
Tony & Audrey Bamber
Jan Brady
Jim Brookes
Alan Carter
Patrick Darley
Alan Evans
Simon Fordham
Lt Cdr Ret I & Mrs FK Hamom
Irene & Darius Hopkins
Celia & Ron Kirkby
Sir Donald & Lady Maitland
Margaret & Rudi Plaut
Bryan Rice-Manley
Mary Roe
Denise & Eric White

Wells Cathedral Collection

The picture shows Barry Vivian and daughter Penny planting the first tree.

Sat 13th Nov 2004
RSA Wales and Western 250th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Dinner

Venue: Bristol Zoo Gardens

Speaker: Sir Donald Maitland, GCMG, OBE, FRSA & Dr Jo Gipps, OBE, FRSA,, Director, Bristol Zoo Gardens

The 250th Anniversary Annual Dinner held in the splendour of Bristol Zoo Gardens was a huge success. Over seventy Fellows and guests attended and were treated to a champagne reception and excellent meal. Guest Speaker Sir Donald Maitland was given a commemorative engraved plaque to mark the 250th year of the RSA. He most generously decided to present the plaque to Dr Jo Gipps FRSA Director of Bristol Zoo for permanent display at the Zoo.

A special raffle in support of the Angela Vivian Memorial Copse was drawn by Barry Vivian FRSA and raised the magnificent total of £300. All prizes were donated by RSA Wales & West Committee.

Sound effects were organised by Mr & Mrs Lion and family, the local residents.

A vote of thanks was proposed by Ron Kirkby to Jo Gipps and his staff for the magnificent evening

Text of Sir Donald Maitland's speech on


When I first heard the phrase 'global citizenship' I was somewhat disconcerted. Various questions arose in my mind. Was this a reference to something which already existed or to some kind of aspiration? Was this an appeal to humanity to build relationships on common interests, shared ambitions and respect for the rights, duties and ambitions of our neighbours and especially people of other races? If this were indeed the intention, the political leaders of the day must have been dismayed when they eventually realised how formidable was the task they had set themselves. And we can only speculate about the point of view of our far-sighted and ambitious predecessors who had the courage and the wisdom to establish this Royal Society and whom we honour this evening.

We face a completely different set of circumstances today and we may not fully realise how fortunate we are. As we meet this evening such major contentious issues as divide the world, and where there is conflict, are for the most part being contained by the skill and wisdom of those whose duty it is to use the structures and the instruments our immediate predecessors put in place in the years following the Second World War. These have been refined since then in the light of experience and are no doubt being looked at with care and some concern by many political leaders. I believe that we in the RSA can take some credit for our advocacy at an early stage of this kind of approach to the solutions of some of these important issues.

In the European Union the major issues which will influence our policies in the years ahead are being handled in my view with care, skill and patience. It is fortunate that such problems as have arisen in the recent past which affect relationships between the major powers are being looked at with the same care and concern If this does indeed reflect the current state of international relationships, we should look back at the recent past and cast an eye to the future in order to learn from our experience and equip ourselves for the challenges of the years to come.


Thu 14th Oct 2004
The Battle for Britain; Conflicts of Interest in the Countryside

Venue: Clifton Pavilion, Bristol Zoo Gardens

Speaker: Prof David Bellamy, OBE, Author & Broadcaster

Tue 12th Oct 2004
State of Queer Nation

Venue: Cheltenham Town Hall

Speaker: Peter Tatchell

Tue 21st Sep 2004
"Biting the Bullet: How e-learning can help 'develop a capable population'"

Venue: Sketty Hall, Swansea

Speaker: Professor Norah Jones, University of Glamorgan


Wed 8th Sep 2004
The National Assembly of Wales and Cardiff Bay - A Guided Visit


Sat 3rd Jul 2004
RSA Wales & Western Region AGM

Venue: Dylan Thomas Centre, Somerset Place, Swansea

Speaker: Mr Sean Keir, Principal Officer, Dylan Thomas Centre

Guest speaker's topic: "The Life & Works of Dylan Thomas".

Details to follow.

Tue 8th Jun 2004
RSA English Regional Devolution Project final conference

Venue: Taunton Racecourse, Somerset

Wed 19th May 2004
"The Sights and Sounds of Wales"

Venue: Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru/The National Library of Wales, Penglais Hill, Aberystwyth

Speaker: Mr R Iestyn Hughes, Head of Archive

Broad remit

From its establishment in 1907 the National Library of Wales has taken a wide view in its acquisition of printed, visual and sound material that represents Welsh and Celtic life and culture. This has resulted in what is now an extremely significant collection of books, newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets, pictures, maps, films, broadcast output from both radio and television. Acquisition has been helped by the legal requirement for copyright deposit copies of books and by licences for off-air recording; other material may be donated or purchased. The 2001 amalgamation of the Cardiff-based Sgrin collection of audio/visual material with that of the National Library established the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales within the management structure of the National Library, but with a separate and identifiable controlling body representing both parties equally. The Archive's Head is Iestyn Hughes who works within the Library's Department of Public Services under Rhyddian Griffiths.


Films form a challenging element in the collection with material dating back to the late 19th century being acquired, preserved and presented for current and future use. Formats include 8,9.5, 16 and 35mm silent as well as sound, black and white as well as colour. The collection includes material representing Wales and Welsh life, Welsh film productions and both Welsh and English language presentations; some material has been purchased from the British Film Institute archive. Each item in the collection is catalogued in detail to assist in research and interpretation. There is great importance attached to ensuring awareness and availability of the collection to the public as a whole and to researchers and television producers. A national film tour of Wales is undertaken each winter.


Television produces some 4,000 hours of material each year which is specifically of Welsh interest; most of this is recorded, catalogued and stored. The total Welsh output of S4C, together with the station's broadcast log, is available, whilst the station's output is monitored against the S4C Code of Practice and reports sent to the station's Performance Group. The Wales Video Gallery features purpose-made interviews with people who have made a significant contribution to Welsh life. The collection of sound and radio material begins with an 1899 first recording (originally on cylinder) in Welsh, continues with 78rpm discs from 1901, through 33rpm discs and open-reel tape and a tape cassette to the modern CD. Storage of these sensitive items is in copper-lined humidity-controlled secure vaults in order to protect the collection from electro-magnetic interference.

The Drum

The Library has recently built a 100-seater Auditorium which is enclosed in a stainless steel clad Drum and provides an intimate listening and viewing environment using the latest equipment. Public performances here will be both unusual and stimulating.

Further information: contact Iestyn Hughes or Mari Stevens on 01970 632828

Fri 23rd Apr 2004
New Fellows Lunch

Venue: The Hall, Sand Road, Wedmore, Somerset

Thu 22nd Apr 2004
"Risk is Not Just a Four-Letter Word: Some is Actually Good for You"

Venue: Bristol & West plc, Bristol

Speaker: Prof. Heinz Wolff

Thu 1st Apr 2004
"Wales: The Rebirth of a Nation"

Venue: Techniquest, Stuart Street, Cardiff

Speaker: Lord Morgan of Aberdyfi, FBA, FRSA

Tue 9th Mar 2004
"The New Wales Millennium Centre: Golden Nugget or Lead Balloon?"

Venue: Techniquest, Stuart Street, Cardiff

Speaker: Judith Isherwood, Chief Executive, Wales Millennium Centre

Tue 2nd Dec 2003
"GM Crops - Should they be grown in the UK?"

Venue: Wessex Water, Claverton Down, Bath

Speaker: Mr Patrick Holden

A lecture by Mr Patrick Holden, chaired by Mrs Karen Morgan OBE.

Sat 29th Nov 2003
Wales & Western Region Annual Dinner

Venue: Grand Theatre, Swansea Arts Wing

Speaker: William Wilkins CBE

[picture] Guest Speaker William Wilkins addresses Fellows and their guests on Artes Mundi

Wales & Western Regional Dinner went further into South and West Wales than ever before, with a well-attended successful evening in The Arts Wing of Swansea Grand Theatre. A relaxing and very convivial wine reception preceded an excellent and varied menu which was much enjoyed by all. A surprise performance after the main course by Principal Dancers of Swansea's Ballet Russe gave us Romantic Duet (Chopin), Russian Dance (Tchaikovsky), and The Witch (Mussorgsky), three contrasting pieces of magical ballet.

Dessert and coffee followed with an enlightening talk by Guest Speaker William Wilkins CBE on Artes Mundi the new visual arts competition open to artists throughout the world, which, as chairman, he hopes and intends to make as prestigious as the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. A major exhibition of works by the finalists will be displayed at The National Museum and Gallery of Wales in Cardiff from February to April 2004.

William was also able to touch on the financial problems facing the National Botanic Garden of Wales, explaining the very pertinent point that having been set up under the Thatcher Government as a self-supporting enterprise it is now suffering from the policy of free-entry to public museums and galleries elsewhere.

At the conclusion of the evening, Chairman Angela Vivian gave a vote of thanks to William Wilkins, Ballet Russe, Chef, Manager and all the staff of The Grand Theatre for making the evening so memorable.

Thu 6th Nov 2003
"Life on Mars with Beagle 2"

Venue: IMAX Theatre, @-Bristol, Harbourside, Bristol

Speaker: Professor Colin Pillinger FRS, Open University & Lead Scientist of the Beagle 2 Mission

A joint lecture for The BA Bristol and Bath Branch with the RSA Wales and Western Region and St Mary Redcliffe Journey Into Science.

Beagle 2, a spacecraft named after Darwin's ship, is the lander of the European Space Agency's Mars Express Mission. In December 2003 it will touch down on Mars to search whether life has ever existed on the planet.

Tue 4th Nov 2003
Public Consultation on "Rethinking Crime & Punishment"

Venue: The Glamorgan Building, Cardiff University

Introduced by The Rt Hon Lord Coulsfield (John Taylor Cameron) PC in conjunction with Professor Michael Levi.

Thu 30th Oct 2003
Joint RSA/University of Bath Lecture

Venue: University of Bath

Speaker: Mr James Naughtie

Thu 16th Oct 2003
"What is Disability in the Workplace and Why We All Need to Take Account of It"

Venue: Unum Provident Lifestyle Protection Centre, Bristol.

A Panel Debate.

Sat 11th Oct 2003
"An Education for the 21st Century"

Venue: Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution

In association with Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Clifton Scientific Trust.

This meeting proved very successful with nearly 50 participants from a wide area attending to hear a most interesting and well known panel of speakers.

Each of the excellent contributors made practical and imaginative proposals for the improvement of the present secondary schools system. There was a general agreement regarding the problems caused by the tight restrictions at present imposed by the National Curriculum. The proposals ranged from possible changes to the science curriculum, to better ways of presenting it with international participation, to a reorganisation of the school to remove teaching from its silo mentality to teaching the pupils to think.

There was good participation by questions after each address, and very lively discussion groups to conclude the day. These are sure to stimulate wider debate hopefully leading to positive pressure and action for the improvement of the educational system.

Rudi Plaut

Thu 9th Oct 2003
"The Future of the Media"

Venue: GWR Broadcast Centre, Bristol

Speaker: Mr Ralph Bernard CBE

Wed 17th Sep 2003
"Global Change and the Earth System: A Planet under Pressure"

Venue: The Business School, UWE, Bristol

Speaker: Dr Will Steffen

Sat 13th Sep 2003
RSA W&W New Fellows Lunch

A personal invitation to all New Fellows by Chair Mrs Angela Vivian OBE to meet with herself and other committee members at her Somerset home in Wedmore.

A very successful "At Home" saw Angela Vivian Chair RSA Wales & Western Region, together with Committee Members, greet and entertain some twenty new Fellows to the Region. Her generosity was much appreciated and the afternoon put her unique seal on the forging of new friendships.

As Angela commented "The sun shone, conversation flowed freely and much valuable networking was done. Altogether a most agreeable Saturday afternoon!"

Sat 5th Jul 2003
Wales & Western Region AGM

Venue: The Masonic Hall, Church Street, Wedmore

This meeting included a presentation by Councillor Chris Clarke OBE: "Getting the most out of Opportunities for the Region in the 21st Century".

Minutes of the 2002 AGM are available by request (send large SAE to Ron Kirkby).

Fri 27th Jun 2003
"Successful design & manufacture in rural areas"

Venue: Intec, Parc Menai, Bangor and Plas Penmynydd, Llangefni, Anglesey

The lecture was followed by Fellows evening buffet.

Tue 10th Jun 2003
Corporate Social Responsibility

Venue: Bristol & West plc, Bristol

Tue 27th May 2003
Science and Religion in the 21st Century

Venue: St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol

Speaker: Rev Dr John Polkinghorne KBE FRS

See also:


Sat 17th May 2003
Siegfried Sassoon Day: "The Making of a War Poet"

Venue: St Andrew's Church, Mells, Somerset

Wed 7th May 2003
Photography at Lacock: 'From Fox Talbot to the Microchip'

Venue: Lacock Abbey, near Chippenham, Wiltshire

This whole-day visit and presentation began with a guided tour of Lacock Abbey, followed after lunch by a personal tour of the historic village, before re-assembling in the recently-refurbished Manger Barn for the presentation, Photography from Fox-Talbot to the Microchip by Michael Gray, Curator of the Fox Talbot Museum, introduced and chaired by Professor Sir Michael Berry, FRSA, FRS, Chairman, Fox Talbot Museum Advisory Body.

Thu 17th Apr 2003
Swansea's Ballet Russe / Choreography and Copyright

[Picture 1] L to R: Yuri Demakov explains a technical point through Mikhail Vorona with George Jowett seated, to an audience of Fellows.

[Picture 2] Dancers go through their paces before an entranced audience of Fellows

More than forty Fellows and guests attended the Arts Wing of The Grand Theatre Swansea for an extremely interesting talk on Choreography & Copyright by Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Yuri Demakov. He was assisted by George Jowett an expert on copyright who opened the proceedings and Mikhail Vorona Director of Ballet Russe who interpreted. Fellows were fascinated to hear explanations in Russian by Yuri being translated into English by "Misha" which kept them spellbound.

This was followed by a session in the studio watching the dancers going through their daily routine of exercises. After a pleasant lunch all returned to the studio for the first rehearsals of Ballet Russe's new production of the original Russian version of La Fille Mal Gardee together with the children from the Wendy Weaver Dance School. The rehearsals were filmed by Cwmni Da for S4C's Arts Programme "Y Sioe Gelf" and were broadcast on Sunday 4th May.

First Night of La Fille Mal Gardee will be on Wednesday 25th June at The Grand Theatre Swansea

Commented one Fellow at the end of the day: "This was the best RSA event I have ever attended" which speaks for itself.

See also:

Thu 27th Mar 2003
"Beyond Freedom: Censorship and Taboo"

Venue: University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath

Speaker: Bel Mooney, Journalist and Author

A Joint Lecture in association with the University of Bath, Chaired by Prof Sir Donald Maitland, GCMG OBE FRSA

Thu 27th Mar 2003
"The Future of the Media"

Venue: GWR Broadcast Centre, Bristol

Speaker: Mr Ralph Bernard CBE, Executive Chairman, GWR Group plc

Thu 13th Mar 2003
"The Devolution Dividend"

Venue: University of Glamorgan Business Centre

Speaker: Lord Morgan of Aberdyfi

Thu 6th Mar 2003
"Crime-Writing: Fact and Fiction"

Venue: The Council Chamber, Cardiff University

Speaker: Prof Bernard Knight CBE FRSM

Fri 28th Feb 2003
"Is there an International Community?"

Venue: University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath.

Speaker: Lord (Douglas) Hurd of Westwell CH CBE PC

A Joint Lecture in association with the University of Bath, Chaired by Prof Sir Donald Maitland GCMG OBE FRSA

Mon 3rd Feb 2003
Visit to Swansea Institute of Higher Education

Presentation by The Principal providing an overview of contextual framework of SIHE with visits and presentations of Institute's work, architectural stained glass, photography and motor sport engineering.

Sat 30th Nov 2002
Annual Dinner

Venue: Wessex House, Bath University

Speaker: Mr Humphry Crum Ewing, Fellow, Royal United Services Institution, Council Member, Chatham House. Formerly of No 10

[Picture 1] Humphry Crum Ewing addressing the Annual Dinner

[Picture 2] Attentive fellows appreciate a subtle point made by the speaker!

How Secure Are We In These Islands?

Introduced by Mr Marc Lee, FRSA, Chairman, Cityforum Ltd.

The Regional Annual Dinner, organised by Marc Lee and chaired by Angela Vivian, took place in Bath on 30th November with Humphry Crum Ewing, formerly of No. 10, as guest speaker. "How safe are we in these islands?" was the subject:- many interesting and pertinent observations were made in his thought-provoking talk, leading to questions from the floor which brought a better understanding of our current situation in the world. The evening was a huge success, proving yet again that there is no substitute for personal contact between Fellows and their guests in a friendly convivial atmosphere.

Next year it is Wales' turn to host the Annual Dinner which will be held in The Grand Theatre Swansea.

Fri 25th Oct 2002
The Role of The House of Lords in the 21st Century

Venue: The Mansion House, Bristol

Speaker: Lord Williams of Mostyn QC, Leader of The House of Lords

Chaired by The Earl of Stockton, MEP FRSA.

Report by Dr Eric Albone FRSA Secretary Wales & Western Region

One wet evening in October, some seventy Fellows and guests assembled in the splendid surroundings of the Bristol's Mansion House to hear the Lord Williams of Mostyn, QC, Leader of the House of Lords, discuss the Role of the Lords in the new century.

Lord Williams' presentation left no doubt how removed from reality is the "fun and mischief" stereotype of the Lords. Starting from the premise that law making is too important to be left to the Commons, Lord Williams highlighted the great importance of the Lords' power to "make the Government think again".

He related how in practice the Lords works longer and harder than the Commons, and takes considerably more time revising legislation than the Commons, where the guillotine procedure, absent from the Lords, often prevents whole sections of Bills being debated; every member of the Lords has the right to be heard however long it takes, and members include people of formidable expertise in virtually every subject under the sun.

We heard that the Lords is an institution in transition and already, now the hereditaries have largely gone, the dynamics have changed and the House more readily flexes its muscles. There are proposals for example for prelegislative scrutiny which facilitates input at an early stage before attitudes are set, and for the use of a grand committee of the whole House which will free up more time in the House for debate.

Amidst the flux, it became clear how important it is that the considerable merits of the Lords be preserved. As one speaker from the floor put it, "In reforming the Lords, my plea is that you retain a composition that responds to the long term interests of this country, rather than displaying the short term attitudes often found in the Commons." Lord Williams agreed.

Mon 30th Sep 2002
Historic Margam

Organiser Clayton Heycock FRSA

On a fine autumn day, thirty four Fellows and guests enjoyed an historic tour of Margam near Port Talbot in South West Wales.

The day commenced with a visit to the Nineteenth Century Margam Castle, the family mansion of the Talbots. After a walk in the park with its picturesque lake and its varieties of trees, the morning ended positively with visits to the Chapter House ruins and the longest Orangery in Britain.

The afternoon with its stops at the recently opened Fuschia House; the twelfth century Abbey Church containing the Mansel family tombs and a beautiful selection of hand-made vestments; the Stones Museum with its historic collection of sixth-seventeenth century inscribed stones, provided further glimpses into the history of Margam.

Our guide was John Adams former Chairman Port Talbot Historical Society and formerly Advisory Teacher at Margam Park who had an immense knowledge of local history which enabled everyone to obtain a series of valuable insights into the history of Margam.

Coffee and Welsh cakes at the Castle, lunch in the Orangery and then afternoon tea in the Abbots Kitchen, completed a truly remarkable day.

Sat 6th Jul 2002
Annual General Meeting 2002

Venue: Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Canton, Cardiff

Speaker: Ms Kay Powell, MSc, FRSA, Chief Planning Officer, National Assembly for Wales

Topic: 'Planning in Wales - the Spatial Challenge'

An interesting and informative lecture was given after the AGM by Ms Kay Powell

This was followed after lunch by a guided tour of Chapter Arts Centre, which is one of the most innovative in Europe.

See also:

Lecture topics in the 2002 programme included: 'Planning for Retail Development - is it necessary?, held at Cardiff University; 'Religion and Art Today', held at Wells Cathedral; 'Edward Jenner, His Life and Legacy', held at the Edward Jenner Museum, Berkeley, Glos., 'The RSPCA in Wales', held in Brecon and Swansea; 'Wired Wedmore: E-Citizen Culture Change in a Rural Community', held at Wedmore, Somerset, and 'Zoos: A Vision for the 21st Century', held at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

RSA Student Design Awards 2002

In the 2002 list of RSA Student Design Awards there were twenty two prize-winning students from Wales and Western Region, Their names and institutions are listed below. We send these young people our heartiest congratulations and best wishes for the future.

Susan Hewer said of the entries: There were some quite excellent responses to the varied and challenging briefs which demonstrated invention, wit and a great deal of creative thinking...Many of the projects showed a good deal of conceptual thinking and concentration on process beyond mere style-driven solutions. .

You can visit the Student Design Award Online Exhibition at

Winners from RSA Wales and Western Region

Name Institution Award
Margareta Jonson, Mark Joyce; Hilde Oveeide Bath Spa University Highly Commended: Graphics Section
James Day Somerset College of Arts and Technology Winner: The Shiseido Co. Ltd Attachment Award Packaging Section. 2,000 + accommodation & salary.
Arthur Gaitskill Somerset College of Arts and Technology Shortlisted: New Designs for Old Section
Graham Hutchings University of Wales College Newport Winner: The HEAD Trust Travel Grant of 2,000. Interactive Media Section
Gareth Moore University of Wales College Newport Highly commended in the same section
Neil Giddy Swansea Institute of Higher Education Highly commended: Product Design Section
Andrew Carter University of Wales Institute, Cardiff Winner: Ford Motor Company Travel Award of 500 and The Bugatti Trust Travel Award of 250, Transport Design
Nathan Hillier University of Glamorgan Winner: DS Smith Attachment Award Structural Packaging Section, 2,500
Nicholas Seymour University of Wales Institute, Cardiff Winner: Reebok Attachment Award Footwear Section, 5000
Clare Heathcote Somerset College of Arts and Technology Winner: The Worshipful Company of Weavers Travel Award of 500. Furnishing Textiles Section
Julie Sands University of the West of England Shortlisted: Home Furnishing Section
Gemma Tucker Somerset College of Arts and Technology Shortlisted: Home Furnishing Section
David Kang Gil, Emma Jenkinson, Karn Supaviriyakui Theodosia Tsoumba University of Bristol Highly Commended: Engineering Design 2000/1
Raheem Biviji, John Charlton, Wee Siong Tan and Adrian Chi Cheung Yeung University of Bristol Highly commended in the same section


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