Culture & Entertainment

Look Before You Leap

How has the cultural and social life of people in Powys changed since 1891 and how do we entertain ourselves now compared to then?

Death still touched the lives of many of the 2002 diarists as it had done with their Victorian forebears, with funerals still being an important observance. But there were also births, weddings and anniversaries to celebrate.

Sports were as important to modern day Powys people as they had been in 1891 - compare the Brecon ladies gymnastic team of 1891 to Jo Weale's diary of her medal winning experience at the Commonwealth Games in 2002. But the traditional country sports so much in evidence in Victorian Powys were felt to be under threat in 2002; one of the issues brought to the fore by people on the Liberty and Livelihood march.

Many of the pastimes remained the same, with modern day people enjoying walking and excursions. And what would a Victorian holidaymaker expect compared to people today?

The social life enjoyed by a young Victorian man can be seen in the diary of William J Bufton, set against the variety of social activities enjoyed by our diarists. Who was the local celebrity who took up residence in Powys in the late Nineteenth century? What were the people of Machynlleth enjoying in 1891 at their local theatre compared to the type of performances people see today - what would a modern day film going audience make of a magic lantern show?