Members’ Section


Information on forthcoming  Events

Committee 2016 - 2017

Deirdre Beddoe President

Jenny Sabine Chair and Vice President

Avril Rolph Secretary and Vice President

Gail Allen Treasurer

Sue Thomas Membership Secretary

Caroline Fairclough Editor

Catrin Stevens

Sue Trevelyan-Jones

Shan Robinson

Elin Jones

Val Wakefield

Dinah Evans

Catrin Edwards

Emma Naughton

Stephanie Brown

Co opted members

Susan Edwards

Rhian Diggins

Jen Wilson

Yvonne Jardine


Gail Allen (Treasurer)

I moved to Wales in 1968, having been brought up in London. In the 1980s I was a member of Swansea Women's History Group with Ursula Masson and Jen Wilson. Our research included women working in Bridgend munitions factory during the war; women in the miners' strike in 1984/5; and women conscientious objectors. Three short videos resulted from our exploration of these topics.

My commitment is to the history of ordinary women, though of course women's lives are never boringly ordinary, and are often extraordinary. However, I'm not a historian nor an academic nor an archivist nor a museum person. I keep the financial accounts, I trot off to the bank with your membership cheques, and do other background admin tasks. Every organisation needs at least a couple of people like me doing practical work behind the scenes!

Deirdre Beddoe (President)

I grew up in Barry and now live there again. I am committed to rescuing the lost history of women in Wales and to making their story available to a wide audience, and I have researched and written a number of books on both British and Welsh women’s history. I have also worked in television and radio and given talks and lectures to a range of audiences.

Having taught throughout my career, most recently in the History department of the University of Glamorgan, I am now Emeritus Professor of Women’s History at that university, A founder member of Archif Menywod Cymru/ Women’s Archive of Wales, I am now its President. I was very honoured to recently receive the Western Mail Val Feld Award for services to the history of women in Wales.

Natalie Davies

I live in Bangor and work as a researcher for the School of Social Sciences (Bangor University) and the Centre for Mental Health and Society.  I moved from Newport in South Wales last September, to join the Women’s Studies course.  I am in my second year of study, and hope to complete my Master’s degree next autumn.  My research interests include feminist theory, violence against women, feminist activism and mental health.   My first attempt at practising Women's History, was in preparation for a presentation at the Women's Archive Annual Conference.  I examined women's experiences of the recession in 1980s South Wales, and the 'alternative' discourse of recession in women's liberation magazine Spare Rib.  My interest in Women's history is growing all the time, and I look forward to being able to learn more from my colleagues at the Women's Archive of Wales.

Susan Edwards (Glamorgan Archivist)

I have been the archive advisor to the Women’s Archive since the early days and served for a period on the committee. As head of the Glamorgan Archives I meet regularly with my colleagues across Wales and can promote the Archive, arrange exchange of collections and respond to queries face to face. My office has administered the recent HLF grant for the Roadshows project on behalf of the Archive.

Caroline Fairclough (Editor)

I have a long standing interest in women’s history, particularly in books of advice for women which I have collected spasmodically over many years. To my shame I have never done anything about developing this interest any further. However now that I have retired I hope to make some use of this material.

For nearly 20 years I was a teacher of EAL in Newport and the Gwent counties. My first career was as a museum curator specialising in social history. I am currently the Newsletter and Website editor for WAW.

Betty Foster

Originally from Stockport, moved to Anglesey in 2002 to follow sailing and walking interests with family.  Retired from Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in 2012.   

Interested in Welsh Women's history; currently involved in MA Womens' Studies at Bangor University where I was first introduced to WAW

Current interests are travel, voluntary work (with North Wales Cancer Network Patients Forum)  I have two sons, three grandaughters and one grandson.  

Elin Jones

Founder member, gained PhD from Aberystwyth for research on the work of Llywarch ap Llywelyn, Prydydd y Moch (fl 1170 – 1220). Taught at Ysgolion Cyfun Preseli, Rhudfelin and Cwm Rhymni before taking up a post as Education Officer at the National Museum of Wales. Since 1995 she has worked as an independent consultant in history and education for, anong others, the BBC, Cadw, The National Museum of Wales, ACCAC, DCELLS and DYES, the QCA and Ofqual. She is also chair of Hafal, the mental health charity.

Shan Robinson

I am Welsh Library and Special Collections officer at Bangor University Library. I have a BA in social studies, and am currently writing my dissertation for the MA in women’s studies. My research theme is Dilys Davies and the history of Welsh women’s education. I have recently joined the committee of the Women’s Archive of Wales in order to strengthen the North Walian ties with the Association. I was born and bred in the village of Tregarth, situated at the foot of the Ogwen Valley, where I have raised two beautiful daughters.

Avril Rolph (Vice President & Administrative Secretary)

I worked as a librarian in London for 30+ years until moving to Wales in 1996 where I worked with Ursula Masson at University of Glamorgan, researching the Women’s Liberation Movement in 1970s & 80s South Wales – which led to the formation of AMC /WAW in 1998.

My roles in AMC / WAW have included Secretary, Collections Officer and Chair and I was part of the Project Management Group responsible for overseeing the HLF-funded Wales Women’s History Roadshow Project. I was honoured to be offered the post of Vice-President in 2010.

Now retired from working as a subject librarian at Swansea University, I’m still actively involved in research projects on the British women’s movement of the 1970s and 80s and I remain particularly interested in 19th & 20th century women’s history (especially lesbian history) and in women in pre-history.

Jenny Sabine (Vice President & Chair)

Having started working in libraries, then doing clerical work while my children were young, I made a late career change to museums and worked for 16 years in the Swansea Museum Service. A late developer in other ways too, I did an Open University degree in my 30s and a MA in Museum Studies in my 50s. I’ve spent most of my life in Swansea, but have also lived in Ontario, Canada, and Wyoming, USA. I am now retired, live on Gower, love walking and am a passionate gardener.

I am a founder member of AMC/WAW, as collections officer, then as secretary, member of the Project Management Group dealing with the women’s History Roadshow project, Newsletter editor, and now Chair. It was in Laramie, Wyoming, that I first discovered women’s history and I have been hooked ever since. My particular interests are in 19th century women in work, especially in Swansea, women travellers including those on the Overland Trail in America, and women gardeners.

Catrin Stevens

I was a researcher into rites of passage at the Welsh Folk Museum, and then Head of History at Trinity College Carmarthen. Currently I am a freelance writer, translator, editor and project worker, working in particular on educational materials in history for children and Welsh language projects. I have researched women in religion in Wales and published several books and articles on aspects of Welsh history.

I have worked in a voluntary capacity in several national movements; for example: National Chair of Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin (Welsh medium playgroups association); and President of Merched y Wawr (women’s movement), during which time I directed a major oral history project on women in Wales; I am on the Executive Board of the National Eisteddfod, a trustee of Cronfa Glyndŵr, County Treasurer of Rhag (Parents for Welsh Medium Education) and a school governor. I am a fluent Welsh speaker and serve AMC/WAW as its Welsh-language Co-ordinator.

I am married and live in Loughor near Swansea. I have two daughters and two grandsons.

Sue Thomas

I am originally from Rochdale, Lancashire but have lived in Swansea for about 31 years. As a mature student I studied at Swansea University, completing a degree in Sociology and Social History, and later an MA in History. My specific research was based on a women’s refuge for “fallen women” and allowed me to pursue my personal interest in women’s history. I have worked in Swansea University library for about 11 years, initially working in both the South Wales Miners’ Library and the Archive department. I now work solely in the Archives, and during my time there I have gained the MSc/Diploma Archives Administration qualification in order to become a qualified Archivist. Outside of work my family and I particular enjoy supporting the local rugby team.

Sue Trevelyan-Jones

I was born and brought up in Kingston-upon-Thames and in my late twenties went out to South Africa and spent 15 years there, returning to live in north Wales in 1989 where I worked as a lecturer in further education for 15 years and for 11 years part time for Bangor University.

I joined the AMC/WAW committee in 2010 to ensure there was representation from north Wales though I have no qualifications in history, just a strong interest, particularly in women’s history. For too long ordinary women have been invisible in history, so WAW’s work is very important to ensure the record of women’s history in Wales is not lost and to recognise that herstory is as valid as history!

Val Wakefield

I came from Cheshire to Anglesey eighteen years ago, but had spent a lot of time in Wales before that, mainly sailing and walking in the area. Very soon after I came to live in Wales I spent two weeks at Bangor University at the “Ysgol Haf” starting to learn Welsh and this has continued throughout my time here. My career was in the heavy chemicals industry, working mainly for BP Chemicals in a variety of positions from Buying to HR. When I decided to study for a BA degree in “Internet, Learning and Organisations” (socio-technology rather than the intricacies of technology itself) at Bangor University in 2002, it came as a shock to move from industry to the realms of academia. Having adjusted, and completed the BA. I then became addicted and since that time have studied literature and creative writing, coastal studies, completed computer and photography sessions and am now at the final dissertation stage of the MA Women’s Studies course researching women and technology. Quite an eclectic mix of studies but mostly with a strong feminist interest, which has led to a serious interest in women’s place in history and their achievements. My great desire is to research my family history and to find, what I strongly suspect are, my Welsh ancestors.