February marks LGBTQ+ History month and Ceredigion Museum has been working with local organisation Aberration to unveil and record fascinating and untold stories of Aberystwyth.
These stories form part of the museum’s ‘It Happened in Aber’ project, which will allow people to listen to the untold stories that have shaped Aberystwyth.
This project was made possible thanks to the ’15-minute heritage’ funding, a partnership between The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service.
Carrie Canham, museum curator, said: “For too long the LGBTQ+ community has been marginalised, or even completely concealed, in history. Ceredigion Museum is keen to share the stories that have lurked in the shadows, to celebrate the diversity and rich LGBTQ+ heritage of Aberystwyth with pride.”
The LGBTQ+ stories researched and recorded with by Jane Hoy, of Aberration, include historic and modern-day characters from the town, including famous academics, poets, mariners, dancers and a spy!
“We are delighted to be working so closely with Ceredigion Museum contributing to ‘queering up’ the museum with lively local stories and events,” said Jane.
Aberystwyth has certainly played its part in developing the LGBTQ+ community in West Wales and Sarah and Rosie, founders of Aberystwyth’s ‘Wrecked’ nightclub for women, have documented their fond memories of their venue in the town: “It became a fun and safe haven for lesbians who travelled there from all corners of the county”.
Ceredigion Museum staff and volunteers will be continuing to document stories linked to the LGBTQ+ community, as well as stories linked to specific locations in the town, until April.
From May onwards, The ‘It Happened in Aber’ stories will be available to enjoy in podcast format on the museum’s website as well as forming a digital walking tour of the town, allowing people to listen and enjoy the stories whilst walking around the locations in Aberystwyth.
Councillor Catherine Hughes said: "It's fantastic that Ceredigion Museum is providing us with an opportunity to enjoy the history and the important contribution of the LGBTQ+ community in Aberystwyth. This is such an important project to document our local heritage. We look forward to listening to all the stories."
If you can’t wait until the summer, join this years’ virtual Aberration - Between the Lines event on Friday, February 26 from 7pm, when the ladies of ‘Wrecked’ will be sharing some of their stories.
For further information or to share your untold story, contact Sarah Morton, Ceredigion Museum’s sustainability officer, at Sarah.Morton@ceredigion.gov.uk.
The leading provider of apprenticeships in the hospitality industry in Wales is supporting a charity that provides financial relief to alleviate poverty for people who work or have worked in UK hospitality.
Cambrian Training, which has its headquarters in Welshpool and offices in Llanelli, Builth Wells, Holyhead and Colwyn Bay, has become a corporate member of Hospitality Action, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the sector.
The company plans to hold events, when it’s safe to do so, to raise money for and to promote awareness of the charity’s work.
“We think that supporting Hospitality Action is the right thing to do in these very challenging times for the industry,” said Arwyn Watkins, OBE, Cambrian Training’s managing director and president of the Culinary Association of Wales.
“Members of our own hospitality team have first-hand experience through working with apprentices that there is a pressing need for us to do everything that we can to support colleagues in the industry.
“There are significant things, such as organising gourmet dinners and other events, that we can do across Wales to raise money for Hospitality Action when the pandemic ends.
“As the largest provider of apprenticeships in the hospitality industry in Wales, Cambrian Training wants to be a leader and we will be encouraging our apprentices to get involved.”
Giuliana Vittiglio, Hospitality Action’s fundraising and marketing manager, said: “Since the pandemic struck, we’ve helped countless hospitality families put food on the table, pay their bills and care for their children.
“The outbreak of Covid-19 has seen a consistent demand for our services and we’re especially grateful to Cambrian Training Company for reaching out to lend a helping hand.”
Hospitality Action offers counselling, advice and signposting to people facing mental health challenges or dealing with illness, bereavement, debt or addiction. It also runs an outreach programme to keep loneliness at bay for hospitality retirees.
When the first national lockdown began last March, Hospitality Action helped many thousands of hospitality households in financial crisis. Just as in March, today millions of hospitality workers can’t go to work and many thousands have lost their jobs for good.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the charity has worked tirelessly to help as many people as possible by providing emergency grants to keep food on the table, to assist vulnerable industry retirees access local support and by providing mental health resources for those who have struggled during the crisis.
To learn more about the charity visit: www.hospitalityaction.org.uk
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