What’s on in Cardiff this weekend: 28/29/30 November 2014

If you’re looking for a wide variety of things to do this weekend, look no further than the borders of yon fair Cardiff. We’ve got Christmas markets! We’ve got techno! We’ve got plays! We’ve got literary events! We’ve got a Christmas cabaret! We’ve got grime!

So, that’s basically saying there’s a lot on this weekend. Have a great one, wherever you end up!


28/11 – THE BOILER HOUSE OFFICIAL LAUNCH PARTY (The Boiler House, Papermill Road) 5pm

Get over to the Boiler House for the long awaited re-launch of the new The Boiler House Graffiti Project space! The crew have been toiling away for months preparing the space, and this event is a chance to come and see the freshest event space in Cardiff, enjoy some good beers, listen to good music and hang out with great people.

The Grand Opening features a sensory overload of an exhibition by the UK and NYC based Graffiti crew ILC. Featuring Dash, Shady, Crase, Nawt, Voms, Daps, Dak, and Best.  MUSIC / DJs: Rich Roast (Born to Rock / Peaceful Progress); Dan Jose (Unity crew – London); Alex Kidd (We Run Tings)

The Boiler House is a not-for-profit community interest project. They host pop-up events and graffiti workshops for all ages.

Boiler House launch Facebook event page

28/11 – CARDIFF POETRY EXPERIMENT (Butetown History and Arts Centre), 7pm


Join Cardiff-based writers and artists on Nov. 28 at 7 pm at the Butetown History and Arts Centre for an evening of experimental poetry with readings from Wanda O’Connor and Andrew Duncan plus a performance of an avant-garde piece from composer-theorist-writer John Cage.

BHAC Facebook page


See our post about this event from earlier this week for more info 🙂

Tickets £10.50 adv, for more see Mary Bijou Facebook event page

28/11 – PYRAMID SCHEME II (Printhaus Workshops, Canton) 7pm

Did you miss the massive literary / arts / music-fest that was PYRAMID SCHEME 1? Well, lucky for you, they’re doing another one!



  • RICHARD OWAIN ROBERTS // All The Places We Lived (Parthian, 2015)
  • DAN TYTE // Half Plus Seven (Parthian, 2014) http://dantyte.com/
  • HOLLY MüLLER // A novel, Krampus, coming soon. http://www.curtisbrown.co.uk/holly-muller/
  • JOAO MORAIS // Winner of the 2013 Terry Hetherington Award for Young Writers.
  • AND LIVE FROM MANCHESTER // CHRIS KILLEN //The Bird Room (Canongate, 2009) and In Real Life (2015) http://www.iamhavinganicetime.com/


28/11 – PLASTICIAN (Boulevard presents; Buffalo) 10pm

Oh my days. This is one for the raving crew! If you’re after a night of sick grime’n’bass, get to Buffalo late Friday night.

More info including links to Plastician’s Rinse FM show on the Boulevard presents Plastician Facebook event page

28/11 – SURGEON (Holodeck; Clwb Ifor Bach) 10pm

If you prefer your beats to be 4/4 in nature and hard enough to drill through concrete, head to Clwb Ifor Bach for some pounding techno courtesy of long-standing Cardiff techno night, Holodeck. Okay, they may have had a bit of a hiatus, but they’re back, baby!

Holodeck present Surgeon Facebook event page


29/11 – The Cardiff Christmas Bazaar (The Abacus) 11am – 6pm

On Saturday November 29th, in conjuction with Somewhereto_, ProMoCymru, and The Modern Alchemists, ON iiiT brings you The Cardiff Christmas Bazaar! A broad mix of Christmas market stalls full or art, crafts, gifts, cards, face painting, creative workshops and performances, this festival in a day is the ideal way to spend a Saturday, whether it’s for Christmas shopping or just a fun day out.

The Abacus, a fantastic space situated in the heart of Cardiff, less than 5 minutes from central station. This not-for-profit fundraising market is raising money for Y Care International ICS, giving young people skills, hands on experience and the opportunity to progress in life. Expect an array of arts, crafts, delights, gifts, workshops and performances. The perfect place to get presents and inspiration.

The Cardiff Christmas Bazaar
Saturday 29th November 11-6pm
The Abacus, Wood Street, CF10 1ER

Christmas Bazaar Facebook event page
 29/11 – Jailhouse Pressure – The Prisoner Within (Butetown History and Arts Centre) 7.30pm

Bringing together members of the general public and people who have mental health problems with the aim of producing art exploring creative avenues.

More info including how to reserve seats at The Prisoner Within Facebook event page


Tickets £10.50 adv, for more see Mary Bijou Facebook event page


30/11 – Mind Christmas Crafternoon (The Four Bars at Dempseys) 1pm – 4pm

An afternoon of Christmas crafting to raise money for Mind. Come along and get creative and eat cake. £3 entry for crafters, £1 entry for non-crafters (those just coming for the cake!)

Crafternoon event page

30/11 – Kula Christmas (Temple of Peace) 9.30am

If you’re after a day of spiritual wellness, get to the Temple of Peace on Sunday for an inspiring day of yoga, raising the vibration for peace on our beautiful planet. The day will consist of the following sessions: a balancing combination of yin and yang yoga, meditation and a blissful sound bath.

Sounds good right? More info at the Kula event page


Well, that’s about it. Apart from…

AND DON’T FORGET: STREET FEAST CARDIFF IS ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHTS AT THE DEPOT: the cheeky buggers at the Depot have started charging on the door, so get in before 7.30pm and save yourselves £2 entry. More information at the Street Feast Cardiff Facebook page

Also, if you’re looking for something to do on Monday night, may we recommend the following…

1/12 – Chapter Moviemaker (Chapter Arts Centre) 6pm

Chapter MovieMaker is a monthly event where we screen and chat about short films with the people who made them. Admission is free, but tickets still need to be collected from the box office at Chapter, and it’s often best to reserve/collect them early (Cinema 2 only has 57 seats).

More information at the Chapter Moviemaker December event page

That’s all for this week. Have a grand weekend all!


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Celebrate the festive season with Mary Bijou’s Nut Cracking Christmas!

Our friends over at Mary Bijou are putting on a Christmas Cabaret this weekend, to get you in the festive mood! Presenting, the Mary Bijou Nut Cracking Christmas Cabaret!

Mary Bijou Christmas

Mary Bijou Cabaret & Social Club presents Mary Bijou’s Nut Cracking Christmas!

Mary Bijou Cabaret & Social Club are bringing their unique style to Four Elms with a Christmas Cabaret on the 28th and 29th November 2014.

Mary Bijou brings together top circus and cabaret performers to bring you an intimate, immersive, circus cabaret show, where the audience are encouraged to dress up and become part of the cabaret family for the evening.

We will have food to purchase, a bar and mulled wine.

So start your Christmas party season off piste and in style with a night of wintery cabaret and dodgy Santa comedy with their newest show, Mary Bijou’s Nut Cracking Christmas. Come in your finest Christmas clobber or the best Nut Cracker camp and join Mary Bijou for a night to remember.

Date: Friday 28th & Saturday 29th November
Doors: 7:30pm
Show: 8:00pm
Duration: approximately 2 hours including interval

Location: NoFit State, Four Elms Road, Cardiff CF24 1LE

Tickets: £10.50 in advanced, £12 on the door available here: tickets from NoFit State Circus
Age: appropriate for 16+

Food menu: We have the menu! Get your chops round this:

Seasonal mezze platter £8 including:
Beetroot hummus, winter veg pakora, faux gras (vegan pate), roast cauliflower/hazelnut salad, courgette/chilli/lemon salad, locally baked bread and some delicious sweet treats!

My mouth is watering! Take a look at some of their daring performers…

mary bijou christmas mary bijou christmas mary bijou christmas mary bijou christmas

Still need convincing? Check out their cabaret from last year…




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Yet more of those Humans of Cardiff

humans of cardiff

The Humans of Cardiff project that Wales Online are running has been posting some lovely pics of Cardiff residents out and about in the city. Here are some of my recent favs!

“I’m a nanny. I’m really passionate about bringing up children, nurturing their soul and their creativity, bringing up the next generation properly, with love, care, you know, not being stuck in front of a TV.”
“We’ve known each other for 13 years and like to live life to the full. We would advise each other to never change.”
“My earliest memory is looking at Sydney Harbour Bridge.”
“In my childhood I had a fear of darkness. Not any more but I have bad memories of darkness. I was left home alone when I was a little girl and I was scared a lot, you know, just for a couple of minutes. It was nothing serious, but it left something.”
“I’ve lived in Cardiff for eight years. I love the people. The local police always come and visit me because they love me. They come over for tea.”
“I’ve always wanted to jump out of a plane! I’m the least athletic or sporty person ever, but I think it would be quite freeing.”
“I’ve got little Cavalier dogs that I rescue. I’ve got one called Rosie and she adores feathers. She’ll play with these for hours.”
“I’ve played football with John Hartson.”
“My old man lives in America, but he’s back next week. We haven’t been together in Cardiff since 2009.”
“This is my nephew. He makes you laugh, he makes you smile. If he wakes you up at six or seven in the morning, that’s fine, I’m more than happy for him to do so. He’s the light of our world… and I hope he doesn’t grow up.”
“The biggest struggle I had to go through was my nan dying. I’m still grieving about that now. My life has got pretty rough since then as well. My stepdad became ill, he had to have a triple bypass and a kidney transplant. He’s still rough, he’s on tablets but hopefully soon he’ll be able to get back into work.”
“Back in the eighties the Hell’s Angels used to run the fly posting and they used to do it through violence. “And then all the hippies started to hit back and, you know, got rid of them. “Then a lot of councils started legalising it and actually making a profit on it. “So, you know, none of us have to run around being chased by coppers anymore.”
“I was standing on a crate trying to paint a little corner and I fell backwards, went to protect myself from falling, fractured my finger and tore some of the ligaments in my shoulder. “But it’s okay ‘cos we’ve got cricket now for the next six weeks. I’m an avid cricket fan so it gives me an excuse in front of my missus to say ‘Aww, I’ll watch the cricket then’.”
“I’ve been coming to this park for the best part of 65 years. I used to come here when the Taff swim was on. I used to come down and watch it. I never understood how they didn’t catch anything, it wasn’t the cleanest water in those days.”








Happy in my skin!

I was going to title this post ‘Happy in my skin – calendars of beautiful naked women make a great Christmas gift’ but I thought that might sound like the site had been hacked, so I just went with Happy in my skin instead.

What am I on about? Good question.

A couple of months ago, I received an email from a friend asking if I fancied going skinny dipping somewhere off the coast near Cardiff, as part of an art project. I’m a big fan of being naked in the sea, but I was busy that weekend. I joined the Facebook group anyway – a group called Happy in my Skin, which set out to do the following things. Here’s some info about them, the event they held, and where you can buy the calendar with the gorgeous photos that were taken of the day!


Happy in my skin is an all-female skinny dip raises awareness around body image and confidence.

Two Welsh (Cardiff)-based artists are out to change how women perceive their bodies – by featuring a mass skinny-dip on a calendar

They say they want women to answer the question: Am I happy in my skin?

And if the answer is “No”, they want to know why not, and what can be done to change that.

happy in my skin

Hazel Anderson and Leah Crossly invited women to an all-female skinny dip – and now are creating a calendar using images from the event. They say that Happy In My Skin is a creative investigation in to what it takes to be happy in the body that women have. Over one weekend they invited women to take part in an all female skinny dip, one in Brighton and one in South Wales. 60 women took on the challenge.

Leah, a visual artist and photographer, says: “We want to show women of all shapes and sizes, fully expressed and celebrating being in their body. We imagined it was possible that if we got enough women together and we all stripped naked, both physically and metaphorically we might change something in the way that woman perceived herself.”

Hazel said: “Women aged from 18 to 69 stripped off and ran in to the sea. It was a beautiful sight. We didn’t really imagine what a transformative experience it would be for some people who took part.”

Hazel’s Mum Jean took part, after surviving breast cancer and getting the all clear earlier this year. She was doing it to support her daughter and was surprised at how much fun she actually had. Afterwards she said, “It was exhilarating and liberating to be so free!’

Ellen Groves took part and said: “As I walked down to the beach my legs were like jelly, I felt as though I was walking towards an actual nightmare. When I was safe under the cover of the waves, I turned to look at the women wading in behind me. It was the most beautiful and inspiring thing I have ever seen. Every inch of every body was beautiful. I had to accept that I was not the exception, that we were all beautiful. I have never felt as free as I did marching back out of that sea.

And Suzi Dorey added: “After the first bit of sheer terror, dropping the towel and heading into the water, something clicked in my mind. It felt exciting and exhilarating. I was charting new territory, and I felt the power of the group of amazing supportive ladies and I felt POWERFUL. Not vulnerable at all.”

The organisers say: “We can make a difference. We can change how we relate to our bodies and be a part in changing how someone else relates to theirs.

“There are unrealistic, unattainable ideals of female beauty in the media every day. Where are the healthy, fit, curvy, dimpled, wobbly pictures of normal, happy women? Why is that such a terrible thing to aspire to? We are alive and that is beautiful. Let’s start celebrating that.”

There’s a lovely video about Happy in my Skin on the Kickstarter page – where you can order yourself a lovely calendar! The photos are absolutely magical. Get a move on though – not many hours left on the Kickstarter! Happy in my Skin Kickstarter

Hazel And Leah are planning a UK tour of all the images from the day. They will be doing the event again next year, so if you feel brave enough, join the Happy in my Skin Facebook group, where the discussion is carrying on!


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FREE EVENT: Meera Vijayann, The Pierhead Thurs 20 November 2014

Meera Vijayann began using digital media to tackle sexual violence in the aftermath of a tragic Delhi rape-and-murder case. In 2013, she won the CNN IBN Citizen Journalist Award for her reporting in the aftermath of the Delhi rape case. Her articles and blogs have appeared in the Guardian, CNN, Forbes, Open Democracy, IBN LIVE, The New Indian Express and other major media outlets.

She’s COMING TO CARDIFF to speak at the Pierhead in Cardiff Bay as part of the National Assembly’s Women in Public Life initiative at 6pm on Thursday 20 November 2014. AND IT’S FREE!

If you need convincing to go along to this, watch her TED talk

Vijayann spoke as part of the TEDxChange session at TEDxHousesofParliament, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is a Change Manager at Ashoka India, and as an elected member of the inaugural class of +SocialGood connectors, she facilitates dialogue between entrepreneurs, innovators and institutions to tackle global issues around gender rights and sexual violence.

To book your place at the talk, RSVP: Assembly.bookings@wales.gov.uk / 0845 010 5500 / 01492 523 200

Celebrating Diwali at the Wales Millennium Centre

Happy Diwali! (for last week). We sent photographer Lili Piggott along to the Millennium Centre to join in their celebrations.

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Meaning ‘series of lights’, Diwali (Deepavali in Tamil) signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period with the main festival night of Diwali coinciding with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month karthigai. The Centre’s celebrations took place on the 23 October, the main festival night.





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The evening included Tamil music and dance, the ancient and modern stories of Diwali with storyteller and performer Dr. Chamundeeswari Kuppuswamy and Wales Tamil Sangam’s young singers and poets.

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There was also  a fire display outside the building with a short fireworks finale.

More info on the event: http://www.wmc.org.uk/TakePart/diwali/

Lili Piggott is a second year Photojournalism student at the University of South Wales.
More work can be found at @LiliRose_PJ or contact by email at L.P_Photography@yahoo.com


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The Urbanistas launch in Cardiff! Meet-up #1 TONIGHT Weds 12 November 2014

A pretty exciting event is taking place in Cardiff tomorrow night – the launch of the Cardiff chapter of the Urbanistas, a women-led network empowering collaborative people to act and do “urban” in more social ways. Read on for info of their first Cardiff meeting, this Wednesday evening…



Who are the Urbanistas?

We are a fast-growing network of disruptive and collaborative women across the UK and Australia, who all share a passion for cities and believe in making everyday life in them better for everyone.

Now we are in Cardiff!

We launched at the end of September and will be having our first Expo Meet at 5.30pm on Wednesday 12 November in the gorgeous surroundings of Gallery Ten (big thanks to Cat Gardiner).

If you want to find out more about Urbanistas, check this out.

If you are interested in meeting like-minded women, sharing and hearing about ideas that help make cities thrive, want help with a project or idea, or are simply curious – please come along to our very first Urbanistas Cardiff meet up!

So how does it work….? 

You bring or “exhibit” your idea/project and invite participation from your fellow Urbanistas. What we need to know is what you are looking for to take things forward. It is important that you have an “ask”.

If an Urbanista can and wants to help, she will offer you her help and it’s up to you to take her up on that offer to collaborate/co-create the outcomes.

You then go and “think” and “do” together to get the project or idea off the ground outside the meet. What we’d like is for you to update us at the next Urbanistas meet to see how it’s going and what needs to happen next.


  • Light-bulb moment about an idea or project
  • Tell us you are bringing it to the next meet
  • 5-10mins to talk us through what it is, why you want to do it, what you need
  • You ask for help, support and/or collaboration
  • Urbanistas ask questions and pledge help – only pledge if you are willing and able to give it
  • Help can be anything from a contact, idea, resource, something to read or watch, time etc.,.
  • You go and do your thing together
  • Next meet you bring an update and say what needs to happen next and if you need more help
  • Tell us what we can do to promote and communicate about it

We have had three exciting projects submitted – one is a web app to promote tourism in Wales; one is an idea for a non-profit literary press similar to the New York-based Tiny Hardcore Press and one is to use crowd funding to install a blue plaque to commemorate Lady Rhondda, who was an equality activist in her day. 

Urbanistas Expo Meets tend to follow this format but it is very open and flexible to your needs:

1. Welcome & Introductions

2. News and Update from Basecamp

3. Feedback from Ideas and Projects

4. Expo

If you can’t come but would like to be kept informed of the next event, please sign up to the mailing list. If you have any other contacts in your network who you think this would appeal to, please forward the details.

For more information on Urbanistas please follow us on twitter @UrbanistasCDF and @UrbanistasUK and visit our website http://urbanistasuk.wordpress.com/

The Urbanistas event is organised in Cardiff by the Satori Lab: they help government and third sector organisations give a better deal to the citizen by helping them with a shift in culture from traditional and hierarchical to adopting radical new models for service design, culture change, and public sector innovation. https://www.facebook.com/TheSatoriLab


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Empty Walls Festival 2014 – an update

Photographer David Allen heads back out onto the streets of Cardiff to get the latest murals and other art attacks that have hit our city in the Empty Walls Festival 2014.

Read his first post about the festival here: Empty Walls Festival 2014 the murals so far


dale grimshaw 1 dale grimshaw2 dale grimshaw 3 dale grimshaw 4




David de la Mano 1 David de la Mano 2 david de la mano 3 David de la mano 4 david de la mano 5




Ekstraternek 1 Ekstraternek 2 Ekstraternek 5 Ekstraternek 4 Ekstraternek 3



Hyuro 1 hyuro 4 Hyuro 3 Hyuro 2




Run 1 run 2 run 4 run 3 run 5




Helen smith 1 helen smith 4 helen smith 3 helen smith 2



Looking good, Empty Walls!

Visit David Allen’s blog or catch him on Twitter @Dai_PhotoJ_USW
Empty Walls Project website


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“I made my passion into my profession” – Anna

Today, We Are Cardiff gets hula hooping and aerial gymnastic-ing with Anna Sandreuter, founder of the Crashmat Collective performance company.


In 2002 I had just finished Circus School in London (where I had moved from Austria to study) and there was a job add in the Stage to go on tour with Big Fun Circus, so I came to Cardiff and had an interview in a studio on Kings Road. Two weeks later I had bought a van and given up my room in London. That same year I got involved with NoFit State Circus, who had set up their tent in Bute Park and were creating a big show called ImMortal…

For years I was based here, but constantly touring and didn’t really feel as though I was spending that much time here. In between tours I would go off to Barcelona or India or Australia. I worked on ships for a while in the Caribbean, but in 2010 I started thinking it was time to create my own company, so I started two somehow- Crashmat Collective and Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club.

I am a circus performer, trainer and director. I made my passion into my profession. I am currently directing a show called Façade, with my company Crashmat Collective, we are in rehearsals for our upcoming tour of Wales and London. It is a theatrical circus show, during which the audience get served a three course meal by the performers, who’s characters are all waiters in a restaurant. It’s a really fun show to do. I also founded the Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club. I am lucky to have had great support from many arts organisations to make these things happen.

Other hobbies include going to live music gigs, shows, I love travel, going places in my camper van or further afield. I love coffee, dancing and yoga. I like markets and charity shops. I like sewing. I’m not great at relaxing, but at home I have a nice cup of tea with honey to relax. I never really watch television, but occasionally I choose something on i player. I generally read before sleep, that’s the thing that switches me off from everything else.

I have a love-hate relationship with Cardiff sometimes, but there are many things in Cardiff that I love … mostly they are the independent art and food things that go on … Sunday mornings at Riverside market, Barkers Coffee, the Penylan Pantry, the parks, Chapter, Milgi, Pipes beer fests, pop up kitchens … many are run by friends and go hand in hand with arty happenings, they are the things I like supporting … Spillers records, Dirty Protest, live music gigs, Gwdihw, Printhouse, Green City, Waterloo tea, theatre gigs.

On a rainy day I think the Arcades in Cardiff are special, architecturally and historically, and they are fun to explore.

If they were into sports or circus I would recommend going to classes at NoFit State, if they liked food I would recommend any of the above mentioned places, if they liked the outdoors I would send them to the west coast or the Gower.

Anna Sandreuter studied at The Circus Space, London. Before founding her own company Crashmat Collective and the Mary Bijou Cabaret & Social Club, she toured with Nofit State Circus for three years in the internationally acclaimed performance of ImMortal. Anna performed on tour with NoFit State Circus Parklife, co-production with National Theatre Wales Mundo Paralelo (dir. Mladen Materic Tattoo Theatre, France) which performed at London International Mime Festival Jan 2012, Labyrinth a resident show at the Eden Project, Willi Dorners Bodies In Urban Spaces Swansea, Norfolk and Norwich Festivals own Spiegeltent show Les Enfant Perdus. She also featured in the film “Y Syrcas” (dir. Kevin Allen) on S4C this Christmas. Since 2002 she has worked as a freelance circus coach and has taught hundreds of circus classes at NoFit State Circus and around the world. Anna specialises in vertical rope and hula hoop and loves a nice cappuccino. 

Anna was photographed at rehearsal by Joseph Singh (SnapPopAndRock) 


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Cardiff A-Z: L is for Llandaff

Katie Hamer gets into the spirit of the season, checking out the historic district of Llandaff…

The City Cross at Cathedral Green, Llandaff

I’d heard rumours that Llandaff is one of the most haunted places in the UK. Deciding to investigate further, I armed myself with a camera and also some ghost-detection equipment, in order to join John Hutch on the Llandaff Ghost Walk. What, you may be wondering, did I discover?

By day, Llandaff has the sleepy respectability of a village from out of Agatha Christie. But by night, it takes on much more sombre feel, as the landscape recalls past traumas. Indeed those more grisly moments of Llandaff’s history came to life for me on the ghost walk, thanks to John Hutch’s awesome powers of storytelling.

Llandaff Cathedral


Llandaff’s history spans as far back as the Romans, and there is evidence of Roman burials beneath the walls of Llandaff Cathedral. History books illustrate how it became embroiled in the bloody battles of Owain Glyndwr in the fourteenth century. Later on, in the seventeenth century, Llandaff was again thrown into conflict, as Oliver Cromwell and his army of Roundheads, fought to bring down the monarchy.

This is where we met for the walk

Llandaff Cathedral itself has a checkered history. It’s taken the brunt from uprisings, going as far back as the Norman conquests of the eleventh century. Only Coventry Cathedral was more badly damaged by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War.

As recently as 2007, the Cathedral again suffered damage, when its spire was struck by lightning. The strike blew the brass weathervane clean off the roof, and destroyed the electric church organ.

Was this an act of God, as parishioners had allegedly been praying for a new church organ? Whether act of God or simply act of nature, the full impact of the new organ echoing around the Cathedral grounds as John recalled ghost stories certainly added to the atmosphere, and sent shivers down my spine.

The Cathedral at night

The mist rolled in as we followed John down the footpaths, and through the fields and woodlands. He recalled so many different stories, and in such a magical way, that I wouldn’t be able to recall them all to you now.

Perhaps, the most sinister of them all is about a black faceless figure that watches people unawares, before gliding towards them faster than any human could run. Who could that be? John offered an explanation for this ghost after we reached the graveyard. His delivery of this story was perfect, that I wouldn’t want to steal his thunder, so to speak, by providing a spoiler!

A woodland trail by torchlight
John recalls one of his many ghost stories


Not all the ghost stories are fully polished and explained. In some cases we simply do not know the origins for the ghostly visitors. What makes the accounts fascinating are the number of unrelated sightings of the same apparition.

However, it appears that ghosts do not perform on cue, so sightings from beyond the grave cannot be guaranteed on the walk. Then again, there is always a chance that you might experience something otherworldly, or that an unexplained image could appear in a photograph. I didn’t spot anything in my photos, but I’d love to hear from you, if you think you can!

John touched upon how scientists have tried to explain away the paranormal with logic. For instance, it’s part of how we are as humans to be scared of the dark, to fear dying and what we may or may not face after death. From the very earliest age, we are trying to understand the world around us.

The weir

Interestingly, when those of a sceptical or scientific leaning have experienced these phenomena for themselves, they often become willing converts.

For many people, when faced with the unknown, negative emotions such as fear become as real as fact in a way that happier, more positive feelings rarely do. The resultant sense of panic leads us into the fight or flight mode. More often with ghosts, it’s flight.

Another line of thought is that, when a traumatic event takes place, a memory of that moment is forever etched upon the atmosphere of that place. It is then replayed, as a permanent recording on the Earth’s magnetic fields, to be observed by particularly receptive individuals.

Llandaff graveyard

Whatever the causes of these hauntings, they have certainly captured our imaginations, and our desire to recount stories about them will be around a long time after we are.

So, if you’re curious to hear the stories of ghosts past, while surrounded by some of the most magical settings Cardiff has to offer, I’d well recommend the Llandaff Ghost Walk.

You can find more information on ghost walks, and also how to sign up for them here:

The Cardiff History and Hauntings website: http://www.cardiffhistory.co.uk/index.php?p=1

And also on Facebook:

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your spooky experiences, so feel free to share them in the comments below. I hope you also enjoy spending a few minutes looking at my gallery.

Back in the Cathedral grounds



Outside the Cathedral






People on the streets of Cardiff for Halloween 2014 – photo blog

Peppe Iovino hit the streets at the weekend to snap these photos of Cardiffians in some pretty scary fancy dress. Were you out there?! (Don’t) Hug me, I’m scared

Halloween night out


Halloween night out


Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out

Halloween night out


See the full set of photos here on Facebook: Halloween revellers by Peppe Iovino


Other Halloween content:

Did you hear our Halloween radio show? Listen below!

Also read about our investigation into Cardiff Royal Infirmary



About the photographer: Peppe Iovino is a Photojournalism student studying at the University of South Wales, based in Cardiff. He was born in Naples, Italy and is very passionate about the storytelling power of photography. He has lived in many different European cities, but now has come to Cardiff to commit to study in the field he loves. You can find Peppe’s other works on his Twitter @PeppePhotoJ_USW.

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A tribute to Dennis Dutch: Mr Clark’s Pies

Last week, Dennis Dutch, founder of the last remaining Clark’s Pies shop in Cardiff, passed away.

He was 84 – not a bad age at all. I met him a couple of years ago, when we interviewed him for the We Are Cardiff film. He also wrote (with the assistance of his daughter) an amazing piece about his life history and the history of his shop in Grangetown.

Dennis Dutch – I always knew I wanted to join the family business

photo by Adam Chard

You can watch Dennis in the We Are Cardiff film below. We had great fun interviewing him, he was such a gentleman. Though he’d been ill for a few years and was slowing down, he was still sweet and charming and told us some amazing stories about Grangetown. It was a shame we only had 40 minutes for the film. We could have filled the whole thing with him!

What a guy. Was a real privilege to have met him. RIP.