A message from the Finnish embassy launches Horatio Clare on a voyage around an extraordinary country and an unearthly place, the frozen Bay of Bothnia, just short of the Arctic Circle. Finland is an enigmatic place, famous for its educational miracle, healthcare and gender equality – as well as Nokia, Angry Birds, saunas, questionable cuisine and deep taciturnity. Aboard the icebreaker Otso Clare gets to know the crew, and explores Finland’s history and character. His most recent books include Down to the Sea in Ships and Myths and Legends of the Brecon Beacons. Chaired by Peter Florence.
Up Top was the name given locally to the Mid Wales Mental Hospital above Talgarth; a double meaning like 'round the bend', which often located asylums elsewhere – out of sight and out of mind. Purcell’s hitherto untold history, based on archives and oral testimony from staff and patients, shows how mentally ill people were treated through the 20th century. At first the ‘lunatic asylums’ relied on a strict regime of fresh air and bromide. Then they became ‘mental hospitals’, trying desperate measures like leucotomy, deep sleep narcosis and electro convulsive therapy. Then the word ‘mental’ was dropped and ‘psychiatric hospitals’ moved into the era of heavy drugs and psychotherapy. Finally, community care took over. The history of the Mid Wales’ was typical of many institutions that lie as ruined monuments to our attempts to help the mentally ill.
From Waterloo to Whitby, St Pancras to Stirling, these are the marvellous, often under-sung places that link our nation. Blending his usual insight and authority, Jenkins examines the geography, architecture and symbolism of these glories of our national heritage.
From schools to universities to industry, the voices calling for more creativity in UK classrooms are getting louder. Research is conclusive that creative activities have outsize impacts on well-being, self-esteem and other cognitive abilities. In a new book, Natural Born Learners, Alex Beard examines the frontline of 21st century schools from Silicon Valley and learning with robots to his own experience in an inner-city London school. He offers suggestions of a different way forward. Black Mountains College is a project to create a new kind of liberal arts university and teacher training college in Powys to meet the challenges of future generations and a warming planet. It proposes a radically different kind of undergraduate experience – its director, Ben Rawlence, will explain. They are joined by Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education in the Welsh Government. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
Cunliffe’s classic study of the ancient Celtic world was first published in 1997. Since then huge advances have taken place in our knowledge: new finds, new ways of using DNA records to understand Celtic origins, new ideas about the proto-urban nature of early chieftains' strongholds. Cunliffe explores the archaeological reality of these bold warriors and skilled craftsmen of barbarian Europe, who inspired fear in both the Greeks and the Romans. He investigates the texts of the Classical writers and contrasts their view of the Celts with current archaeological findings.
You don't need to roar to be heard...Join author and illustrator Ed Vere for a fantastic storytelling event celebrating daydreamers, quiet courage and the importance of being true to yourself. Ed will be live drawing characters from his new book and introducing children to the charms of Leonard the Lion and his best friend Marianne, who just happens to be a duck.
A fun, thought-provoking and interactive event for children and their parents!
As Wales marks the centenary of the end of the Great War, author of the Oscar-nominated film Hedd Wyn, and a number of volumes on the Welsh literature of the Great War, Professor Alan Llwyd of Academi Hywel Teifi and Dr Aled Eirug, Morgan Academy, author of two forthcoming publications on the opposition to the War in Wales, will discuss the Welsh response to the call to arms and the effect of the War on the calls for peace. The discussion will be chaired by one of Wales’ leading poets, broadcaster and leading member of Cymdeithas y Cymod (Welsh Fellowship of Reconciliation) Professor Mererid Hopwood, who is also a member of the campaign for the establishment of a Wales Peace Academy.