Can You Help?

Occasionally the Society gets enquiries where a response is requested from members and all viewers of this website.Such items are posted here.  Please reply to the individual directly if you can help. 

July 2020

Swansea History Journal / Minerva

 Volume 28 2020/21 – a bumper edition and available now !

The Swansea History Journal or Minerva has been published by the Royal Institution of South Wales, annually, since 1993. Over the last six years it has amounted to 160 pages, or just short of that. This year (Volume 28) we are up to 184 – almost a book, and still only £8!

So how do I get a journal? – Perhaps by post?

Many people buy their copy at the September History Day or the October Local History Bookfair at Swansea Museum. The RI has decided that it is prudent to cancel both this year.

It could be that we can get supplies to Cover to Cover and W.H. Smith in Mumbles, or to Swansea Museum which aims to re-open in September, - and you can call at one of those.

But if you want a bit more certainty, ORDER BY POST

(each copy costs £8, plus £2 for postage & packing, making £10 in all)


[1.] EITHER – send a cheque through the post, made out to RISW, with the slip below

     (or a note with the same information) to Gerald Gabb, 38 Woodland Avenue, West Cross, Swansea  SA3 5LY

Name  ________________________________

Address ____________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________        phone   _________________________

Please send ______  copy/copies of the new Swansea History Journal / Minerva

[2.] OR – make an online cash transfer

to the Royal Institution of South Wales the Swansea Building Society account number is: 00029500 

sort code:   23-65-32 please code the transfer “SHJ” and give an indication of your surname, eg SHJ/Williams

and then email Gerald Gabb – g.gabb@ntlworld.com - to give notice of the transfer so that your copy can be promptly despatched

[3.] OR – call at 38 Woodland Avenue, West Cross SA3 5LY

with cash or cheque in an envelope (£8 per copy) – please ring in advance so that your copy can be ready for you – 01792/613262 and if puzzled on any of this, do ring or email.


October 2019


All you motorcycling fans can possibly help with this one.  What date are these fine machines and where is the location.  Suspicions are Briton Ferry, but you may know better! - If you have any information please contact NAS member Paul Richards c/o our contact page 


April 2019

This postcard was recently purchased off fleabay.  Pencilled on the back was 'Neath?' and the purchaser is curious to know if the house is, or was, in the Neath area. Can you help? If so please contact    shopawend@hotmail.com 


October 2018

Following on from his book on WW1 - Jonathan Skidmore is in the early phases of a similar volume for WW2 - Can you help him?




August 2017



Wed, 16 Aug 2017

 Ian Evett


My name is Ian Evett.  I was born in Neath General Hospital in 1942 and brought up in Ormond St, Briton Ferry. I attended Neath Grammar School from 1953 to 1960.  My wife Gill (nee Gibby) is from the Cimla and a former pupil at Neath Girls’ Grammar School. We have lived in England for the last 40 years but have always kept close contact with Neath through family and our oldest (and best) friends.

My father, Alan, worked for Neath Rural and Borough councils, retiring as Deputy Borough Treasurer in the 70’s.  This concerns a little story that he told me when I was growing up.  I recall vaguely that it was corroborated by a distant relative, my Auntie Ethel (Elwell) who lived in Ynysymaerdy Rd.

At some time, I think it must have been in the 1920’s or 1930’s, an engineer came from up North (I think Yorkshire but possibly Lancashire) to work in some kind of supervisory capacity in civil engineering in the Neath area. One day, he went out to inspect some works that were being carried out by a team of navvies.  For some reason he was unsatisfied with the work that they had (or, perhaps, had not) done and he gave them a severe dressing down.  As he stomped away from the site, one of the navvies picked up a clod of soil and threw it at his departing back. It either hit him or was a near miss: in either case, the irate Northerner turned around and shouted “who shot muck at I?”  I don’t know whether or not anyone owned up, but from that day forth, our irascible immigrant was known as “Ooshermuckerdie”.

We all know that we Welsh have something of a penchant for colourful and appropriate names. From Briton Ferry I can recall others such as “Anna Mae Wong”, “Mary Anna Wack” and “Bollerupertilla”.  But I think that this one is rather special.

The reason for my seeking help from the Antiquarian Society is that I do not know anyone else who has heard of this delightful story!  My father passed away in the 1990’s and my Auntie Ethel long before that. I definitely did not dream it (who would?) and I would be delighted to learn of anyone who could confirm it and, perhaps shed some more light on the Northern engineer.  Where did he come from?  What was his real name?  Did he settle in Neath?  If so, does he have descendants in the area?

Ooshermuckerdie – now that’s a real nickname.

Ian Evett


Bramley, Hampshire

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