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proved a success, and the following year the Corporation took over the undertaking, and enlarged its scope by the addition of a small lending and reference library. Three years later, the infant institution was removed to more commodious rooms in the old headquarters of the Young Men's Christian Association in St. Mary Street, where a back room on the top floor was allocated for a museum. Little can be gleaned as to what this room contained, but the fact that £50 were voted for glass - cases implies a collection, and the report of the following year notes with pleasure the considerable number of gifts thereto. The collection seems to have consisted of fossils and other naturalhistory objects, but it is not clear whether it was opened to the public at stated times. Perhaps to no one was the Museum more indebted in these early days than to Mr. Philip S. Robinson-the 'Phil Robinson' of several popular works on natural history -who was librarian in 1867-8; and to him in great measure is due the founding of the Cardiff Naturalists' Society, one of the chief aims of which was the development of the collection. In 1871, it monopolised the whole storey and was opened to the public two evenings a week. A few years later, the need for more commodious premises became urgent, and this led to the erection of the older portion of the present Central Library in Trinity Street, which was opened in 1882 as a Free Library, Schools of Science and Art, and Museum, the latter again occupying the top floor. This was in every way a change for the better, and was almost immediately followed by the important Menelaus Bequest of paintings, which, with Vicat Cole's Noon on the Surrey Hills,' already presented by the late Sir Edward Reed, M.P., formed a grand nucleus for a fine art collection. A substantial beginning, too, was made for the collection of Nantgarw and Swansea porcelain, which is now a notable feature. At the time it was confidently expected that the new building would be ample enough for many years,

but the phenomenal growth of Cardiff in the 'eighties' soon proved the contrary. Within a few years, each department called for more accommodation, and the increasing urgency of the call compelled the Corporation to far-reaching measures. First, the Schools were

removed. Then, with a view to the early removal of the Museum, the Museums and Gymnasiums Act was put into force, and, equipped with an income derived from a d. rate, it was created a separate department; and, in order to provide increased temporary accommodation, much of the space vacated by the Schools was allotted to it. But even so, it was evident that the entire building would fail to meet the needs of the Library, and this resulted, in 1895, in an extension covering a larger area than the original building.

Meanwhile the rate had been doubled, and a site in Park Place purchased for a new museum. Plans and designs were prepared, and after considerable delay all was ready for building operations, when, in 1897-an eventful year for Cardiff-the Corporation requested the Committee to stay its hands pending negotiations, which had a successful issue, for the acquisition of the Cathays Park as a site for a new town hall, museum, and other public buildings. Viewed in the light of subsequent events, the abandonment of the Park Place scheme was fortunate, for during the following ten years the collections grew at a rate probably not surpassed in any other provincial museum. In 1893, the top storey of the present building sufficed to hold all that the Museum possessed, but within six or seven years the lower rooms were so crowded that nearly half of the basement of the whole block had been requisitioned for storage purposes. A few years later, additional accommodation had to be sought elsewhere. The top storey of a neighbouring business premises was rented as a zoological work and store room, and this was followed by a corridor and eleven police cells in the new Law Courts and three large



rooms in the new City Hall. It is beyond question that, had the proposed Park Place museum been built, the Corporation would, at the present moment, be confronted with the need of further accommodation in the near future; and apart from this, the building would have been of little use for a national institution. Coincident with the acquisition of the Cathays Park, the movement for a national museum for Wales gathered strength. In the preparation of new plans, the possibilities of the future in this respect were kept steadily in view. The site was large enough for any contingency. The first portion to be erected of the proposed building was designed on a scale which would befit it to form part of a national museum, but it was impossible to carry it out with the means at the disposal of the Committee-hence further delay. Here again Fortune smiled behind a frowning mask, for when the decision went forth in 1905 that the national institution should be at Cardiff, the noble site in the Cathays Park was still untouched, and thus allowed of the erection of a building designed outright for a national museum, and with ampler means for its realisation. The Welsh Museum, it may be mentioned here, is managed by a Corporation committee under the chairmanship of Alderman Illtyd Thomas, J.P., and an advisory body, consisting of gentlemen selected for their special knowledge, with Dr. C. T. Vachell, J.P., for their chairman. The staff consists of a curator, zoologist, general assistant, two week-day and two Sunday attendants, and a messenger.

The present Museum is far from being an ideal one. The rooms are small and congested, and many of the glass-cases in their turn are overcrowded with objects. Under these difficult and trying conditions, it is impossible to arrange the collections in a systematic manner or to display them to full advantage, and few of them can be shown in their entirety; but the best has been done to make the exhibited selections as varied and representative as possible. Natural history

especially suffers from the want of space. Very little can be shown beyond the collection of the birds of Wales, which is one of the most popular features of the museum. The whole of the geological collections, which a few years ago occupied most of the floor of the Natural History Room, have been removed. To attempt to further crowd the rooms with exhibits would seriously impede the movements of visitors at holiday times, the number of whom on those occasions. often considerably exceeds a thousand a day, and not rarely more than double that number.

Our space here forbids anything approaching a full description of the collections. The reader must be content with a hurrygraph'; but, as he is presumed to be an antiquary, we shall now and again linger at the cases of antiquities and kindred objects, especially those of Welsh interest.

Entering from Trinity Street, the spiral stone staircase to the museum rooms is reached at the end of the entrance corridor. On the walls of the lower flight are sundry old maps and views relating to Wales, mostly engravings. From the first landing, the two Antiquities Rooms are reached by a short passage, the walls of which are covered with portraits, mostly old prints, of Welsh celebrities, and in both (passage and landing) are a few casts of Welsh pre-Norman decorated monuments, of which more presently.

In the wall-cases which line three sides of the First Antiquities Room, is a collection of objects now obsolete or rapidly passing out of use. These bygones' tell of old-fashioned Welsh domestic life, customs and industries, and of the times before cheap transit and elaborate machinery. Simple and homely in form and decoration, they are as a rule the productions of the village smith, carpenter and turner, and not a few were home-made. In forming the collection, the cherished end is the reproduction of typical old Welsh interiors, in which many of these bygones' will be displayed in their proper setting. With this in view, examples of old

furniture and other large things have been acquired
which cannot be exhibited at present for want of space.
Old-fashioned fire-producers as flints-and-steels,
pistol strike-a-lights, tinder-boxes, and the like-are the
subject of one of the cases, and among them are two
simple pocket tinder-boxes, each formed of a short length
of cow's-horn, and containing a bit of flint and tinder.
These were in actual use fifteen years ago, the one in
Gower, and the other in Pembrokeshire, the owners'
pocket-knives serving as 'steels.' These are followed
by the story of the lamp, beginning with a mounted
shell from Lapland and two oyster-shells with their
wicks, from Gower, and ending with early forms of the
modern lamps with upright wicks. Next comes a fine
assortment of rush-light holders, nearly all Welsh, with
original bundles of prepared rushes and iron gressets
for melting the fat wherewith they were soaked. The
series of lighting appliances ends with a selection of
candlesticks of various types. Some dips,' made at a
farmhouse near Laugharne, are now a rarity, for home
candle-making is truly a bygone art.
In other cases,

as also on the window-sills of the room, are displayed
various appliances and utensils relating to the old-time
fireplace and cooking, as pot-cranes or 'sweys,' pot-
hangers, kettle-tilters or 'lazy-backs,' turn-spits, roast-
ing-hooks, toasters, 'crocks,' skillets, and so forth.
The laundry is illustrated by hand-mangles, some
elaborately carved, from Scandinavia, England and
Wales, and by Welsh wooden gauffering-machines and
Italian irons. Other cases are devoted to common
Welsh wooden ware and household miscellanea, utili-
tarian and ornamental. Perhaps the most interesting
of the bygones,' and the most characteristically
Welsh, are the carved spoons, of which there is an
excellent and varied assortment. The decoration of
some is simple and crude; others display chip-carvings
and piercings of tasteful design and fine execution.
Some bear dates and initials; most, hearts and kindred
devices, for these spoons were gifts of rural swains to

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