Three Talks on Tuesdays

Towards the end of 2011 Dot had the bright idea of a number of talks over a few months, on the broad theme of “Ideas and Idealism”.

Speakers were arranged, but would you believe it? There was no suitable venue available within Barry for such things!

So we hired a room at the St Andrews Golf Club! Not an ideal location, as it was just the other side of the Barry Docks Link Road, and with the onset of darker evenings, the conservatory-type room provided a large and black view.

Still, it had a bar that served coffee, and as a venue it was fine.

Our first speaker was Stephen K Jones on Tuesday 20th September, with a talk entitled “Brunel : Works in Wales”. Stephen has long been interested in the study of history, notably under the heading of Brunel in South Wales. Born in Cardiff and now living in the Vale of Glamorgan, he has been professionally engaged in economic regeneration since 1987, latterly in new technology and business innovation. As well as engineering and industrial history he has co-written five books covering aspects of local history in Cardiff and Wenvoe.

As an engineer, I understood this talk!


Our second talk was on September 24th when Rev, Dr. Stephen Wigley gave a talk on “Christianity and Culture”. THIS Stephen is a Methodist Minister currently serving as chair of the Wales Synod. He is married to Jenny, a priest in the Church of Wales, and they have two teenage sons, David and Andrew.

He has an interest in historical and systematic theology and has written three volumes on Barth and Von Balthasar. Among his other interests are sport and music.

As an engineer, this talk was way above my head!


The third talk on October 22nd was by Prof. Gareth Williams and was entitled “Communities : Building Identity and Sustainability”. Gareth grew up Welsh in North London. His mother was from Neath and his father from Abercynon. He remembers his father telling him about going to hear Aneurin Bevan speak at the Abercynon Workman’s Hall. Gareth is currently a Professor of Sociology at Cardiff University. He has written and published widely on long-term illness, health inequalities and Public Health Improvement.

And as an engineer, I understood more of this one!

Even with the cost of hiring the venue, the talks just covered the costs, and by the time the third talk happened, we had a nice little audience of “regulars”. With hindsight, there are a few things that we will change if we can when we run the next series of talks in 2012. We have decided to stick to Windsor Road for running events in the future for all sorts of reasons – it will establish our identity more clearly for a start. And we’ll try and organise tea and coffee facilities so that there will be opportunities to chat with the speaker and audience in a more relaxed format after the event.

But a huge thanks to our speakers for giving up their time to be part of our inaugural “Three Talks on Tuesdays”.  We like that name, we like the concept and we’ll definitely run another series in the future.

Once again something different brought to you by Canolfan Porthceri Centre.

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