COMPARED to their male counterparts, relatively little is known of the many thousands of women who were convicted, often for petty crimes, and transported to Australia by the British Government during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The plight of the Welsh women in their midst will be discussed by Aberystwyth University criminology lecturer Dr Lowri Cunnington Wynn at the National Eisteddfod on tomorrow (Aug 8).
In a lecture entitled From Wales to Botany Bay: Female Criminals from Wales, Dr Wynn will discuss the history of Welsh women convicts in Australia, the crimes they committed, their stories and backgrounds, and what happened to them once they reached their destination.
“Little is known about the women who were transported to Australia and what is cannot be trusted,” said Dr Wynn.
“The history of transporting British “criminals” to the British colonies is a colourful one. Between 1788 and 1868, around 162,000 convicts were transported for their “crimes” by the British Government to various penal colonies in Australia. More is known about the male convicts but an account of the 24,000 women who were transported, often for petty crimes, provides only a snapshot of their experiences.”
Speaking of the Welsh women convicts who found themselves at the other side of the world for stealing a shawl or a dress from their mistress, Dr Wynn said: “There isn’t a great deal that gives close accounts of the women’s experience and what is known is clouded by women’s social status as second class citizens and biased historical accounts authored by men.
“Welsh women convicts were not looked upon favourably, but rather as symbols of Eve in the Garden of Eden and her fall from grace. Most were portrayed as whores, luring men to their beds with their “shameless” behaviour. But as is often true, these stories are biased and reflect the opinion of women at that time.”
In her lecture, Dr Wynn will also provide social and historical context to the plight of those Welsh women who were transported and the rationale behind transportation.
The lecture takes place on the Aberystwyth University stand at the National Eisteddfod at 3.30pm on Tuesday, August 8 and is part of a week-long programme of events hosted by the University during the Eisteddfod.
Police appeal following Aberystwyth RTC
POLICE are investigating a road traffic collision which occurred at approximately 6.20pm on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.
A silver MG ZT, which had been reported as stolen, collided with another vehicle in Rhydybont, Aberystwyth.
The occupants of the MG walked away in the direction of Min Y Ddol.
Police would like to speak to the man in the image as he may have information that could assist the police investigation.
Anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to report it by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”
Family pay tribute to Aberporth man
THE FAMILY of Phillip Rasmussen, from Aberporth, who tragically died in Spain on April 1, have paid tribute to the 47-year-old.
They said: “We are devastated by the loss of Phillip, and he will be dearly missed by us all.
“Phillip was a loving husband to Elissa and father to Rhys, Beci and Dylan.
“He lived life to the full and will be remembered for his energy and passion towards all aspects of life. He was a keen sailor, cyclist and loved to travel.
“He began his professional career as a chartered accountant and spent the last ten years working as Chief Financial Officer for IQE plc, a role which he truly loved and made his own.
“We would like to thank everyone for their support at this difficult time. It has meant so much to the whole family.
“We would now like time to grieve and would ask to be given privacy in which to do so.”
Big Welsh Walk aims to tackle loneliness and isolation
THE BIG WELSH WALK takes place in June to promote the benefits of walking groups; reducing loneliness and isolation, as well as improving fitness and general wellbeing.
Starting in Devil’s Bridge, Ceredigion on Saturday (Jun 2) there are four walks to choose from, ranging from 6 to 20 miles. Participants can challenge themselves through the stunning landscapes, highlighting breath taking scenery along the way.
Most of us will experience loneliness at some point in our lives. For many people, especially the older generation, this isn’t a fleeting experience, but one that can define and shatter your life. The need for action is increasingly understood and Ramblers Cymru is working hard to combat this through leading local walking groups.
Within in the UK, research shows that more than 9 million people always or often feel lonely, that around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month and up to 85% of young disabled adults – 18-34 year olds – feel lonely.
With around 20 million adults also failing to meet UK government recommendations for physical activity, walking is the obvious answer to help combat loneliness and isolation whilst also maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ramblers Cymru is working to change this by encouraging people to join their local walking group.
Local resident of Ceredigion, Dwynwen Belsey, walks with Aberystwyth Ramblers each week. She said: “It’s well-established that walking is good for you, but it also helps people develop social skills, and build confidence too.
“Life has its ups and downs and walking helps because it has a therapeutic effect,” explains Dwynwen. “The difference walking with the group has made to me, is fantastic. I have the confidence to volunteer through leading walks and helping maintain the public footpaths so that more people can enjoy the benefits of walking”.
Director of Ramblers Cymru, Angela Charlton, said: “It’s inspiring to hear about groups like Aberystwyth Ramblers and the fantastic work they are doing locally to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Ceredigion. Loneliness and isolation is becoming a real issue people from all walks of life in Wales are faced with. Our vision in Ramblers Cymru is to work towards combatting this and ensuring we encourage people to use group walking as a way to a healthier lifestyles, mentally and physically”.
You can find out more about the local walks led by Ramblers Cymru by visiting www.ramblers.org.uk/wales and to join the Big Welsh Walk www.ramblers.org.uk/bigwelshwalk
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