Speakers - 30 May - Evening

Speaker profiles

Manon Eames

Manon Eames is the daughter of the late, prolific and highly respected Welsh maritime historian, Aled Eames. Manon has worked in Wales as an actress, presenter and writer for many years.

She was founding member of Theatr West Glamorgan/Gorllewin Morgannwg, and also worked with Hwyl a Fflag, Bara Caws, Frapetsus, Cwmni 3D and Theatr Clwyd. She has appeared on TV, including Holby City, The Bench and Talking to the Dead and for several years played DI Williams in Pobol y Cwm. She has also appeared in films including Streic, Lois, Nice Girls, Ar y Tracs, and co-presented the gardening programme Y Clwb Garddio for almost a decade.

For television Manon wrote the series Y Stafell Ddirgel, and three series of the historical drama Treflan. She has been writing and storylining for Pobol y Cwm and Gwaith Cartre for the last five years.

For the stage, she adapted Alexander Cordell’s novels for Clwyd Theatr Cymru : Rape of the Fair Country, (Production of the Year Liverpool Daily Post 1997), Hosts of Rebecca and Song of the Earth, and also wrote the plays Porth y Byddar and Drowned Out for Clwyd. She was Writer in Residence for the National Youth Theatre Wales from 2008 - 2010. In 2016 her play Swansea’s Three Night Blitz played to packed houses at the Grand Theatre, Swansea. Her film Eldra won many awards including 5 Bafta Cymru in 2001, including Best Drama; Best Film, Moondance International Festival Colorado 2002; Best Film Cardiff International Festival 2001, Film Four Audience Award; FilmFest Kansas City Audience Favourite Foreign Film 2003; Wurzburg Film Festival 2003 Best Film.

Manon has just published her first novel Porth y Byddar. 

Catrin Stevens

Catrin is former Head of History and Welsh History at Trinity College, Carmarthen and now works as a freelance researcher and author. She has published many books and articles for adults and children on aspects of Welsh History and customs.

She is Chair of Archif Menywod Cymru / Women’s Archive Wales and she wrote the book which accompanied its HLF funded project Voices from the Factory Floor (2017).

She is also the Project Manager for its latest project: Canrif Gobaith / Century of Hope, celebrating a centenary of women’s heritage in Wales.

Currently she is working on a book based upon 750 oral history interviews in Welsh about women in Wales between 1920 and 1960

Ross Aitken

Ross Aitken is Chairman of the Coker Rope & Sail Trust which has just restored the only working Victorian Twine Works in England.

For hundreds of years the twine was used to stitch Coker Canvas sailcloth together, the Navy’s preferred sails.

At eight he was disappointed that his father chose to be a headmaster and not follow the family tradition, since the fourteenth century, of being at sea.

His ancestor was Captain of the ship, known as the floating brothel, that took ladies from mainly London prisons to supplement the life of convicts in Australia.

Ross produces cider using his 120 year old press. He worked (allegedly) for British Petroleum for ten years first on oil rigs on the North Sea & then setting up their first uranium exploration programme. He then worked for the European Commission for thirty years.