Celebrating the Centenary of the University Building One day Conference

An image of the Main University building at its opening in 1911.An image of the Main University building at its opening in 1911.To commemorate the opening of the Main University Building in Bangor in July 1911, and the importance of the role of the quarrymen of north Wales in establishing the University, a Conference 'The need for education in Wales- the reaction of the north Wales’ Quarrymen' is to be held at Bangor University, to study the significance of education in the lives of the quarrymen and their families.

The Conference on Saturday 19 November 2011 is open to all and begins at 9.30 in the Main Arts Building. A buffet lunch is available for all those attending and the conference is expected to finish at about 2.45pm. The event is free, but participants are requested to register in advance by contacting Lynne Hughes (tel: 01248 382776 email l.hughes@bangor.ac.uk).

Speakers include Professor Merfyn Jones, Dr David Gwyn, Marian Gwyn and Menna Baines. Translation facilities will be available.Papers are
Professor Merfyn Jones : “Tomen a thwll – dyna i Gyd”? Cloriannu cyfraniad y chwarelwyr
Dr David Gwyn: “The best and only school” – the quarry? The slate industry as an education
Ms Marian Gwyn: The Writing Slate – the Penrhyn Estate & Education
Ms Menna Baines: Ar Lechen Lân: Caradog Prichard a’i yrfa 

University Registrar Dr David Roberts said: “The link between the slate quarrymen of north west Wales and the establishment of the University in Bangor is one of the great, inspiring features of this University’s history. The Penrhyn quarrymen – and many other working people of north Wales – gave, often from meagre wages, to support the campaign for higher education in north Wales, and  we’re looking forward to spending the day discussing the  significance of their contribution.”

Bangor University Symphony Orchestra also present a special Concert to celebrate the centenary on Saturday 26 November at 7.30 pm in the Prichard-Jones Hall, playing three pieces composed in the year of the Building’s opening.

More information about the building and its official opening is described in a special exhibition of documents from the University Archive. The Exhibition is open to all and is on show in the Vice Chancellor’s corridor, Main Building until 16 December. Ends

The University began in an old hotel, the Penrhyn Arms, but that accommodation quickly became too small. Funds for a new building were raised locally, with the bulk of the money coming from ordinary people from across north Wales, though £20,000 did come from the government. The citizens of Bangor contributed £6,000 to the building fund and Friars School contributed £50 for a statue of Goronwy Owen, which can be seen on the University tower. Funds for all the extra details, down to the cost of the opening reception were raised from donations.

Publication date: 11 November 2011