The history of Tyndall Street – and the lost community of Newtown, “Little Ireland”, Cardiff

Looking into the history of our great city of Cardiff, there are a few areas that are long gone, their communities dispersed. One of those areas is Newtown, or “Little Ireland”, an area that sprung up in the early 1830s, but was demolished in the 1970s.

One of the things you may have heard about Newtown is that it was the location of Cardiff’s first race riot: a dubious claim to fame. Race riots aside, Newtown was the much beloved home of a close-knit community of mostly Irish immigrants. Here, we’ll explore some more of the history of the area.

(Bute Docks / Newtown)

In terms of location, Newtown occupied a small area, situated roughly between Splott and the area that was then known (and still is, by locals) as the docks. Early maps show Adamsdown (to the west of Splott) being part of Newtown, but for locals, the Newtown they lived in was just six streets: Tyndall, Street, Pendoylan Street, Roland Street, North William Street, Ellen Street and Rosemary Street. Today, that area is part of Atlantic Wharf.


Mary Sullivan, Chair and Co-Founder of the Newtown Association, has written for us about Newtown before. This is Mary, photographed in the Newtown Memorial Garden.



Here’s her introduction to the area:

“It all started with The Great Irish Famine during the 1840s. Thousands of people lost their lives and thousands more faced starvation and destitution. During that time Cardiff was going through rapid development and the Marquis of Bute made arrangements to bring over a large number of Irish families (mostly from west Cork) to provide the labour to complete the building of Cardiff Docks.”

The Marquis of Bute (he was the Second Marquis, in case you’re counting – 1793-1848) was already the richest man in the world at this time, with thanks to Welsh coal. In 1846, the Marquis shipped over 10,000 starving Irish as “cheap, passive labour to build docks and railways, undercut Welsh wages and scab on strikes” (the hard words of Dic Mortimer).

Regardless of the circumstances, after the Irish arrived in Cardiff (which had a population of 15,000 at that time), suddenly nearly 40 per cent of the town became Irish. There were other ‘Irish’ neighbourhoods of the city, but the Marquis settled many of them into purpose-built housing in an area that was close to the docks: thus, the Newtown community was born.


(view over Newtown and the Dowlais Steel Works in the background – photo by Old Cardiff Pics on Twitter)

The area was cramped, to say the least. In its heyday, there were 200 houses, as Peter Finch writes; “jammed, insanitarily, back-to-back, in the sliver of ground between the main rail line and Tyndall Street. A warren of bedrooms used in relays above cramped, over-occupied parlours and damp, unventilated kitchens were home to more than a thousand desperate immigrants.”

Most of the men and some of the women initially worked on the the building of the docks. Once the docks were complete, the people of Newtown continued to work in or around the busy sea port of Cardiff.

The men became dockers, steel workers, foundry or factory workers. The women (the ones not at home looking after children) worked in some of the many other small manufacturing industries, like the Cigar Factory, or in local offices as shorthand typists and clerks, or in the retail industry as shop assistants.

(Bernice Murphy, the babysitter / Newtown)

(photo by Newtown)

Pigeon fanciers from Newtown Cardiff – John Donovan in the middle. Kiiki O’leary right and Jim O’lough left

(Newtown pigeon fanciers / Remember Old Cardiff)

Newtown had everything you’d expect any neighbourhood to have: several corner shops, plus a few public houses. One you may have heard of was controversially removed from its location a few years back, to be moved, brick by brick, to St Fagan’s: the Vulcan.

the_lifeboat_newtown_cardiff(The Lifeboat pub, Newtown / Remember Old Cardiff)



(photo: Duke of Edinburgh / Remember Old Cardiff)

Another pub was the Duke of Edinburgh on Ellen Street, long since demolished and gone. At the centre of this photo, you’ll see a Newtown legend (in the flat cap): the boxer ‘Peerless’ Jim Driscoll, who returned to Newtown after his boxing career was over, to run the Duke of Edinburgh pub with his wife Edie.

Driscoll was British featherweight champion and won the Lonsdale belt in 1910, is a member of the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame, the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He was born and lived on Ellen Street in Newtown, and even at the height of his fame, remained firmly rooted in his home community. You can probably judge the extent of his fame by his funeral. He died of pneumonia in 1925 (aged 45), and in excess of 100,000 people lined the streets in Cardiff to see the funeral procession. There was a military-led procession through the main thoroughfares of the city, and businesses stopped trading temporarily as a mark of respect.

(Jim Driscoll / photo from Wales Online)

At Newtown’s core was St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, built in the 1870s, with a school attached to it. The locals prayed together, had their baptisms, weddings and funerals there.

(St Paul’s Church, interior)

(Hagerty – Duggan wedding at St Pauls / Newtown)


(Altar Boys / Newtown)

There were other churches, like the old All Saints Church, on the corner of Ellen Street and Tyndall Street.



(photo Ellen Street / Remember Old Cardiff)

(Nora and Helen / Newtown)

Although the conditions might have been poor, residents remember the streets being alive, with a sense of fun and carnival always in the air.

“I have memories of Hancock’s Draymen with their two big shire horses delivering beer to the Fitzy’s Pub at the top of our street, and of being woken up most mornings by Sammy the Milkman who yodelled as he cycled his way through the street to make his doorstep deliveries,” remembers Mary Sullivan.

“Throughout the week we had a variety of tradesmen selling their wares. Gypsies would come around door to door selling pegs and lucky charms. Then there was the baker, the greengrocer, the fishmonger and Robbo, the ice cream seller on his motorbike, who was later replaced by Mr Dimascio in his van. I also remember Mr Cox who came over the bridge from Union Street  to sell custard slices from the back of his green van. There was also the pop seller; the laundry man, the salt and vinegar man; the coalman and the essential ‘Jim The Ashman’ with his famous ashcart – keeping  the streets clean.”

(Newtown local rubgy team outside St Paul’s / Newtown)

Despite this, as early as the 1930s, Newtown had been condemned as a slum, and the council planned to remove all the residents and replace the housing in the 1970s. Plans were brought forward after a young boy, Phillip Joliffe, aged 4, from North William Street drowned after falling from a bridge over the junction canal between the West and East docks. Most people living on the estate agreed the houses needed to be replaced, but they were divided on location: most of the older people wanted new buildings on the same site, but younger residents were keen to move to other estates in Cardiff.

The Council chose the second option, and in 1966 everyone moved out and the buildings were taken down, disbanding the tight-knit community that had existed for 125 years.

Dan O’Neill – columnist for the South Wales Echo – wrote an impassioned letter about the demolition of Newtown. “Today Newtown, ‘Little Ireland’, is as distant a part of our past as Troy except that there is nothing now left to remind us of that area seen in the minds of those who lived there as a sort of shining Shangri La,” he wrote.

“Irish mythology speaks of an enchanted land, an Isle of the Blessed. That is how the people wrenched from their homes thought in exile of their beloved Newtown.
They flattened the Duke of Edinburgh, the pub where Newtown’s most famous son, Peerless Jim Driscoll, breathed his last. The other pubs too. And the houses and St. Paul’s Church, built in the 1870s, the centre of the community. No need for a policeman in Newtown when the priest walked by. Hard men would touch their foreheads, fights would miraculously end.”

newtown ladies

(Newtown ladies / Mary Sullivan)

Peter Finch details the Newtown that stood just prior to demolition: “In 1966 it had 169 falling-down houses, two pubs and a garage. Half its population called themselves Welsh rather than Irish, but their names – O’Sullivan, O’Leary, Burns, O’Shanahan, Dwyer – gave away their origins. A proposal that the district should be rebuilt where it stood was unaccountably defeated. Families were dispersed to Ely, Pentrebane, Trowbridge, and Llanrumney. The community broken. In 1970 St Pauls, the church, the school and the presbytery, went too in order to make space for the Central Link Road flyover, the route from the changing city to the redeveloping bay.”

As Mary Sullivan remembers it: “Life in Newtown was at times tough, tempestuous and tragic, but there was a lot of love and laughter in those streets and – most importantly of all – an overwhelming sense of community.”

Somewhat remarkably, the strong sense of community survived, and compelled ex-residents to form The Newtown Association. Their aim was to record the history of the Newtown community, to keep its memory alive, and to provide the people of Cardiff with a source of educational archive material about the Newtown community.

You can see the archives of this project on the Newtown Association’s website, where they are still encouraging former residents to share stories and photographs of their time there. So if you or your family were from the area, get in touch with them!

In March 2004, the Association unveiled a permanent memorial to the significant part which the people of the community played in the development of Cardiff. Each year the Association celebrates St Patrick’s Day with a programme of events that includes a few minutes of quiet reflection at the memorial garden in Tyndall Street (just next to the Etap hotel).

(Newtown memorial – photo from Wikimedia)


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Struggling to find a home in Cardiff? Join the Homes for Wales campaign

Kevin Howell, Director at CIH Cymru, is here to talk the roof over your head. Bricks and mortar. HOUSES. If you’re struggling to find a home and care about the lack of affordable housing in Cardiff, read on about this campaign!

Kevin Howell Homes for Wales photo

Hi! I’m Kevin. Here’s a question. How’s your housing situation? Are you:

  • Finding it hard to save for a deposit to buy your first home?
  • Struggling to find a house share in the location you want?
  • Living with the folks, but desperate to move out?
  • Stuck in a home no longer suitable for your growing or shrinking family?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then you are a victim of the housing crisis.

In Wales, house prices have increased by more than six times the average person’s income since 2008. Experts say we need to build 12,000 new Welsh homes a year. Last year we built just 6,955 hew homes; better than the year before, but far from what we need.

Across Wales the need for new homes is not distributed proportionally. It’s estimated that Cardiff requires nearly 30 per cent of the total projection. If you are already struggling to find a home in Cardiff, it’s likely going to get worse.

My organisation, the Chartered Institute of Housing, has joined up with several others – including Community Housing Cymru, Welsh Tenants, the Residential Landlords Association and Shelter Cymru, who agree that the housing crisis affects us all and the only solution is a political solution.

In Wales, the National Assembly (our law-making body – elections are coming up in May for this, folks!) has shown a great level of interest in housing, and the Welsh Government has shown good leadership in the last five years. It has introduced new housing laws, regulations and opportunities including tenancy reform, mandatory private landlord licensing, Help to buy Wales (supporting people to buy their homes), bringing empty homes back into use, and introducing a UK-first homelessness prevention duty, and all with cross party support.

I’m passionate about building on this progress, making sure that housing is a top priority for the next Assembly term too. The solution to the crisis is more investment and continued recognition of the role our homes play in our lives, in our economic, social and environmental wellbeing.

So what can you do to help? Well here are five things for starters:

  1. When they come knocking, ask your Assembly candidates how they plan to tackle the housing crisis;
  2. Like the Homes for Wales facebook Homes for Wales Facebook and get a @homesforwales twibbon;
  3. Add your pin to the Homes for Wales website;
  4. Join us at 13.00 on 4 March at the Senedd, and march for the housing housing rally;
  5. Tell a friend about Homes for Wales.

We want to end the housing crisis and build a stronger Wales. Housing is about much more than bricks and mortar – it is about people, communities, and infrastructure.

Please add your voice to the Homes for Wales campaign; the more the merrier, the louder and the stronger!

I’ll see you at the rally.


The Homes for Wales rally begins at 13.00 on Friday 4 March 2016, at the Senedd. The rally will march to the Hayes for an afternoon of campaign activity and fun. More information on the Homes for Wales website.

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Total Recall! Newport2Calais Refugees Fundraiser Film Night! 5 March!

Love Total Recall? Who doesn’t. Want to help the refugees in Calais? Again, who doesn’t. Lucky for you, Pump Action Doll House Pop Up Cinema is in the mix to COMBINE these two diverse things into ONE NIGHT OF ACTION!

total recall

Roath’s own Pump Action Doll House Pop Up Cinema is immensely proud to be fundraising for Newport2Calais this March to help get well needed aid to the swelling humanitarian crisis on our doorstep.

The Roath Park Pub will once again be transformed into a cinema to screen the universally adored cult classic Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Donations will be taken on the door and a variety of cinema snacks including hot dogs and popcorn will be available.

All proceeds will go to Newport2Calais who organise regular aid runs to the refugee camps and are in desperate need of funding.

Vital stats:

Total Recall – being shown at The Roath Park Pub (170 City Road, Cardiff), 5 March, 19.00.

Total Recall Event Facebook page

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The Green Days Project

Rob Khoo tells us about his work for the Innovate Trust’s Green Days Project.

green_days_project - 25

You may have seen some of my pictures on the We Are Cardiff blog before (photos of Llandaff Cathedral and also of visits to the National Museum with my daughter).

My day job is working for Cardiff based charity Innovate Trust, which supports adults with learning disabilities. My job role is volunteer co-ordinator on the Green Days project – a Big Lottery funded project that carries out environmental conservation work in Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taff.

We work closely with the community park rangers, and the work that we carry out with them is becoming increasingly important as time goes on and council budgets are cut; we carry out all sorts of tasks such as coppicing, hay raking, invasive species clearance and biodiversity surveys.

Mushrooms, Green Days Project  green_days_project - 24  Green Days Project Green Days Project Green Days Project green_days_project - 19 Green Days Project

And the locations are fantastic – we are so lucky in Cardiff to have such an array of wonderful outdoor spaces for such a compact city, I’ve lived in Cardiff all my life and the rangers have taken me to loads of places that I had never heard of! I’ve also learned so much more about the local wildlife from the rangers – I’m particularly looking forward to slow worm spotting in the summer in Grangemoor park.

We’re always on the lookout for new volunteers to join in with us on activities. If you think you would be interested in coming out with us, please contact Rob at or phone on 02920 382151

Green Days website

Twitter – @GreendaysP

Green Days Facebook

Green Days Project Green Days Project Green Days Project Green Days Project Green Days Project Green Days Project Green Days Project


Grangemoor Park, Green Days Project Green Days Project Green Days Project Green Days Project

Green Days Project

Green Days Project Green Days Project


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Donate clothes to help the homeless – pop-up clothing stall on 5 March

I know, from previous experiences, that We Are Cardiff readers are super generous people. You’ve donated money / time / toiletries / clothes / books. You’ve helped vulnerable women at Christmas time, abandoned dogs all year round, supported Doctors Without Borders, and you’ve supported the homeless time and time again.

Well guess what – you’ve got another chance, this time, through The Street Store’s pop up, which is being run in Cardiff by the Sustainable Studio. It’s the first one in Wales. You can donate any unwanted clothes you have and help a person who’s homeless or in need.


What they need:


  • Waterproof coats
  • Warm jackets / fleeces
  • Jeans and trousers
  • Brand new underwear / socks
  • Hiking boots

Nice to haves:

  • Nice tops / t-shirts / cardis
  • Hats  / scarves / gloves
  • Rucksacks
  • Comfy casual shoes

Please donate only good quality items that still have some life left in them!


Friday 4 March: St Mary’s Street Market, 10am – 5pm

Alternatively you can take donations to:

The Sustainable Studio, Dumballs Road, which will be open 1/2/3 March – times tbc – check the SS website for details).

St Mary’s Street Market

The event is being held in conjunction with The Wallich homelessness charity who will be on hand to provide advice and support. The charity supports current and former rough sleepers as well as people who have moved into its hostel accommodation after losing their homes.

So get your stuff together and go donate! This is a great cause. If you’re looking for an excuse for a spring clean, then this is the perfect one.

NB: if anyone’s feeling motivated to spring clean but doesn’t know where to begin, I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up recently … and highly recommend it.


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The Escape Rooms Cardiff

We sent roving reporter Ellie Philpotts to the launch of The Escape Rooms Cardiff. Here’s what went on!

escape rooms cardiff

Geek chic is pretty celebrated in popular culture these days. Nerds worldwide can rejoice as science fiction, tech and gaming is now officially worth shouting about, not hiding away. And now, the tribe of geeks who double up as Cardiff residents can put their passions into action, with the brand new Escape Rooms Cardiff.

If you don’t yet know what the Escape Rooms are, I’ll try to set the scene. Basically, they’re a real-life escape game in which two to five players work together to find hidden clues and solve mysteries in order to escape a themed room within an hour. There are plenty of nooks and crannies, all of which could potentially hold the key to unravelling the puzzle. Forward-thinking and teamwork are the ingredients to success. (Admittedly, I wouldn’t know. I definitely needed a little help.)

They make a welcome addition to the city’s ever-growing entertainment scene. Sure, the abundance of bars, cafes, shopping centres, restaurants and art galleries here aren’t exactly boring, but sometimes we all need somewhere to release our inner techie.

With this in mind, I eagerly trotted off to their Media Launch Party. Having grandly opened their doors to the public the previous Friday, following months of preparation, they’d been fully booked, so I was expecting big things.

And it definitely delivered! I might as well throw a disclaimer in here – I am definitely not techy. Uploading We Are Cardiff articles to the site is just about as much as I can manage. But yep, even I enjoyed the evening and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

The entire thing is shrouded in mystery, before you even start the gaming. The Escape Rooms aren’t immediately obvious – they’re on the second and third floors of 119 St Mary Street in the city centre, and I did manage to walk past it a few times. I don’t want to give too much about the games themselves away, but here’s one non-so-subtle hint I think is justified: they’re above Costa.

The layout is split into three rooms – The Tomb; Finding Sherlock; and The Heist. If you’re a novice or a Cumberbitch, it’d make sense to start off in Finding Sherlock. Described as ‘the private office of the world famous Sherlock Holmes,’ it’s where it’s up to you to solve the clues he’s left for Dr Watson – since he’s conveniently gone missing himself. I’ve got to say it definitely looked the part. It seems three’s definitely not a crowd here – this one’s ranked 3/5 in terms of difficulty, with 3 also the best team size.

If you’ve proven to the world that you’re not going to remain Sher-locked in, it may be time to try your hand at something a tad more challenging. In The Tomb, make like Howard Carter and unscramble the ancient-themed puzzles, featuring realistic décor like a pharaoh and mummy in all their glory. If you’re feeling extra ambitious or just plain smug, The Heist is the place to be. Here, you and ideally four others adopt the role of bad, bad people who’ve broken into a museum to steal the collector priceless diamond. Working best if you split into a two and a three, you’ll have to sneak the goods out – but the laser trap in the vault is there to mix things up. Side note – if you’re arty, which seems to apply to many a Cardiff resident – you’ll appreciate the designs in themselves, from Mona Lisa and The Scream, to less iconic but equally aesthetically-pleasing others.

My favourite was Finding Sherlock, and yep I’ll confess the comparative easiness had something to do with it! It still got me thinking though, but I did manage to ask the faces behind the idea some of my burning questions.

The managers Calum Jones and John Lugsdin previously worked together in the field of finance. Which is all good. But even the keenest of mortgagers could hardly deny that gaming is just so much more fun. They agreed. So, they went careering into a new career direction, in setting up Cardiff’s first Escape Rooms. The building had remained derelict for the past 18 months, so they’d found the ideal venue to get to contributing to our city centre’s changing face.

As with every capital city, Cardiff is home to a vast range of people, but I’m sure they’d all come away from Escape Rooms Cardiff satisfied. Whether you’re a student; family; group of friends; or on the hunt for a quirky date venue, you’re bound to have found it here. It’s also perfect as an after-work alternative for a bit of team bonding. John told me a corporate group drove down all the way from Pembrokeshire to be the first to trial it out!

Calum’s looking to expand the Rooms, and keeping an ace up his sleeve, he has big plans for the fourth space. Judging by the Escape Rooms Cardiff’s recent successes – it’s appealing to mystery lovers far and wide throughout South Wales, with 100 players at January’s local Comic Can taking up six-minute versions of the challenges, many pros becoming victorious in just half the allowed time; and they’ll also be back at Cardiff Comic Con in March, Swansea’s Comic Con in May and Newport’s Geekedfest this August – I’m sure this will pay off.

Interested? Check it out – prices start at £17 per player in a team of five. You won’t be disappointed!

The Escape Rooms Cardiff – website

The Escape Rooms Cardiff – Facebook


Ellie Philpotts Thanks Ellie! More from us soon …

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What’s on in Cardiff! HALF TERM EDITION! 15-21 February 2016

Oh holy moly, it’s HALF TERRRM! Ready?? There is SO much stuff going on. Gigs! Lectures about Victorian buildings! Clothing fairs where you can buy KILOS of vintage clothes! Dubstep! Techno! Go go go!

What’s on

Mon 15 Feb – Curry, Comedy, and Candidates. In Cardiff!

curry and spices

Hosted by Cardiff’s Green Party, this is their Cardiff and Vale fundraiser in Cardiff centre – enjoy a veggie curry feast with a belly full of laughs from quiz-master-comedian Dan Mitchell. Only £15, all welcome.

19.30 | Vegetarian Food Studio. Cardiff, 109 Penarth Road, CF11 6JT | Curry, Comedy, and Candidates Facebook event



£5 entry | 18+ show | The Moon Club, Womanby Street | Black Tambourines Facebook event


Tues 16 Feb – Juke Open Mic Night: Superheroes and Villains

superheroes and villains

It’s the first proper themed night for this Open Mic night – Superheroes and Villains. This isn’t limited to the sparky, comic book characters but can be interpreted in whatever way you want. Maybe think about the heroes and villains from the past like Dracula or Jack Sparrow, or you could think about real life people who you think fit these titles. Get out your capes and eye masks and celebrate the age old battle between good and evil!

19.00 | Little Man Coffee | Superheroes and Villains Facebook event  | Juke Open Mic WordPress


Tues 16 Feb – Half term tropical encounters at Cardiff Castle

William Burges and Lord Bute were fascinated by exotic animals which is why they feature in the decoration throughout the Castle. In this interactive session, there is the chance to see and hold live exotic animals such as snakes and lizards, a skunk and meerkats. Find out more about their natural behaviour and habitats through this fun presentation.

£3  |  10:00 |  Cardiff Castle | Half term tropical encounters Facebook event


Weds 17 – 18 Feb – Half term at Cardiff Castle – Warrior School!

An exclusive opportunity for children to learn how to sword fight under the expert tuition of The Warwick Warriors. This special sword school is held indoors in the atmospheric Undercroft.

Prices vary | 10:00 |  Cardiff Castle | Warrior School Facebook event



Beautiful music! Hosted by Sound Nation and Clwb Ifor Bach

19:30–22:30 | Clwb Ifor Bach, Womanby Street | C DUNCAN Facebook event


Weds 17 Feb – Let Spin, by Jazz @ Dempseys

A very welcome return to Jazz @Dempsey’s for the terrifically distinctive and talented outfit LET SPIN: MOSS FREED on guitar, CHRIS WILLIAMS on alto sax, FINLAY PANTER on drums, and RUTH GOLLER on bass.

21.00 | Dempseys | Jazz @ Dempseys Facebook event


Thurs 18 Feb – Celt Tap Takeover and Meet The Brewer

Brewdog are psyched to be getting the guys from Celt down to showcase some of the fantastic beers they have to offer. Don’t miss out on the chance to talk everything beer with the guys from Celt!

15.00 | Brewdog Bar, Westgate Street | Celt Tap Facebook event


Thurs 18 Feb – Wine and Chocolate

The Apothecary Cardiff invite you to an intimate event that will share with you the joys and benefits of Chocolate (There are some, we promise!)

Guests will be provided with treats all through-out the evening, while also being entertained with a guest talk from Jacques, Chocolatier and creator of Coco Caravan – providing pairings of Chocolate and Wine. As well as a talk from Herbologist and Apothecary owner Michele Daramat on the benefits of good chocolate. Tickets are available instore.

19.00 | The Apothecary, 18 Llandaff Road, Cardiff | Wine and Chocolate Facebook event


Weds 18 Feb – Lecture: Cardiff’s Victorian Buildings

Cardiff is rich in 19th century architecture, and this lecture looks at buildings of all types throughout the city. It also looks at the architects themselves and explores the diversity of styles that characterise the period. Call 029 2087 8100 to book tickets.

18.00 | Cardiff Castle | Cardiff’s Victorian Buildings lecture Facebook event




From humble origins in Detroit, raised on a healthy diet of Motown, Jazz and early Hip Hop – Terrel Wallace (aka Tall Black Guy aka Yusef Rumperfield) has become a standard bearer for the current hip hop beats scene. Through a steady stream of productions filled with incredibly clever sample flips and deft production chops, he has won fans across the world, including Gilles Peterson, Lefto, Anthony Valadez, Jazzy Jeff, Questlove and countless others. With the tangible beginnings of worldwide recognition, Tall Black Guy has established himself to be one of the most influential producers working today. He’s had releases with Gilles Peterson’s label Brownswood Recordings, bstrd boots, First Word Records, Roy Ayer’s label Ubiquity Records and his own imprint Tall Black Guy Productions (TBGP).

21.00 | Gwdihw Cafe Bar, Guildford Crescent | Modula Beats tickets


Sat 20 Feb – Cardiff Anarchist Bookfair 2016 Ffair Lyfrau Anarchaidd


Bookfairs are the anarchist movement’s shop window and main gathering space outside protests. Just like last year, there will be three workshop spaces for talks and discussions, and a main hall of stalls, plus creche, bar, cafe and more. In the evening there will be a benefit gig and social. If you’d like to host a talk or workshop, or have a stall, please get in touch:

10.00 | Cathays Community Centre, 36 Community Centre | Cardiff Anarchist Bookfair 2016 Facebook event


Sat 20 Feb -Right Hand Left Hand – Album Release Show w/ Wylderness & Roundheels

Feb 20th sees Right Hand Left Hand finally release their 2nd album!

Right Hand Left Hand

Album Pre-order

£6 | 10.30 | Clwb Ifor Bach, Womanby Street | RHLH Facebook event


Sat 20 Feb – Apex Cardiff Launch Party w/ Skream

If you like your beats heavy and space aged, check out the Apex Cardiff Launch! Held at the Tramshed Cardiff there’s also an Official After Party at Cube w/ Deep Inside

Tramshed 20.00 – 00.00: Skream (3 hours) / Apex Collective

After party at Cube 23.00 – 04.00: Special guest + Apex and Deep Inside Residents

£8 earlybirds – | Limited £15 tickets w/ Official After Party | 20.00 | Tramshed, Clare Road | Apex Facebook event


Sat 20 Feb – Cellar Door Black and White Ball

Cellar Door are BACK! This is set to be the craziest Cellar Door yet… This will not be the typical place for an all night rave, but trust us, when we get our hands on it with full Cellar Door production values, this night will be something very special!

Rockin until 5am, (YES 5am!) we bring the most incredible lighting production ever installed into any of our events… You will be dancing here, there and everywhere 😉 Wear white or black to enhance the vibe, but dress code is not essential…

This event is for 500 people who should find their way to St Mary’s St on the night of the event. At 9pm, we shall announce the location on our pages and Twitter. It is as simple as that…
Tweet us: cellardoorCDF
FB: cellardoorCDF
Email: info@cellardoorcardiff.comTo be held at a Secret Cardiff Central Location (announced 9pm on night)

22:00 – 5:00 | SECRET LOCATION! | Cellar Door Tickets


Sunday 21 Feb – Cardiff Vintage Kilo Sale

CARDIFF’S FIRST VINTAGE CLOTHING KILO SALE!! Thousands and thousands of kilos of vintage clothes will be making their way to the Tramshed on Sunday 21st February. including:

– Faux fur jackets
– Sheepskin coats
– Piles of knitwear
– branded sports jackets
– Dresses from all eras
– Denim jeans & jackets
– Shirts (A variety of Styles and brands)
– Bomber & suede jackets
– &&& much, much more


– handbags & rucksacks
– hats & caps
– trainers & shoes
– & loads more

The concept is simple:

1. Grab a bag on entry
2. Fill it as you browse
3. Bring it to the checkout when you’re done and we’ll weigh it.
4. You pay just £15 per kilo!

We’re bringing literally tons of clothing to the Tramshed (5 mins from central station) with styles to suit all. The kilo sale is the perfect way to completely change your wardrobe without the need of a bank loan.

£2 | 11.00 – 17.00 | Tramshed Cardiff, Clare Road | Vintage Sale Facebook event


Sunday 21 Feb – Absolutely Fabulous Vegan Fair, Wales

This is set to be a fun filled, family friendly day out!

£1 entry, kids free | 11.00 – 16.00 | The Paget Rooms, Victoria Road, Penarth | Vegan Fayre Facebook event


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Cardiff in films – great videos of the city

I saw this again recently. Isn’t it great?

I also saw this, which I hadn’t seen before, of the castle.

While we’re talking video, have we mentioned recently we made a film about Cardiff? Bookmark this and watch it later, if you haven’t already!


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What’s on in Cardiff! 8-14 February 2016

Part two in our series of ‘what’s on’ posts for each week in Feb. If you like them, make sure to comment and we’ll do more. If you hate them, comment, and we won’t do more. If you’re indifferent, say nothing, and we’ll meh along with you.

Here we go!

What’s on in Cardiff this week

Monday 8-13 Feb – The Rocky Horror Show

Bursting at the seams with timeless classics (Sweet Transvestite! Damn it Janet! Time Warp!) Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show is a non-stop party. Be warned, this show has rude parts!

19:30 – 23:00  |  New Theatre Cardiff, Park Place  | Book tickets for The Rocky Horror Show


Monday 8 Feb – Creative Cardiff Show and Tell

Creative Cardiff’s Show and Tell is a quarterly event that gives a platform to some of the exciting range of creative people and projects in the city. It will bring together Cardiff’s creative community, from emerging talent to old hand, to hear about their current projects and ambitions.

Each of the speakers will give a 10 minute lightening talk. And they’ll bring an object. The object might be the source of their inspiration, a tool of their trade or a comfort blanket. The speakers will share their work and explain the importance of the object they’ve brought along.


Anton Faulconbridge: Anton has worked in creative and interactive media since 1994, specialising in the development and delivery of multi-platform creative software products.

Claire Hill: Claire fell in love with making jewellery after taking an evening class and discovering the zen-like qualities of making after long days working as a director/producer in factual television. She’s also a co-founder of Dirty Protest Theatre and also co-runs the Push:Auto network for people who work across all aspects of broadcasting in Wales.

John Rostron: John is a key figure in Cardiff’s music scene, founding both the Sŵn festival and the Welsh Music Prize. John promotes live music in Cardiff through his company Sound Nation and is the current Vice-Chair of the Association of Independent Festivals.

18:00 – 19:30 | Porter’s, Bute Street, Cardiff, CF10 2FE | Book tickets for Show and Tell


Tuesday 9 Feb -The Devil Inside

A gritty, glittery, Faustian folktale, set firmly in the twenty-first century. Inspired by The Bottle Imp, a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, this brand new opera echoes his most famous tale The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Two friends stumble upon a bottle that will change their lives, a bottle that can grant any wish. But there’s a catch and the bottle demands a payment…

This evening of magic and enchantment, with a touch of Tales of the Unexpected, will keep you guessing, and leave you thinking ‘be careful what you wish for’.

19:30  |  Sherman Cymru, Senghennyd Road | Book tickets for The Devil Inside


Tuesday 9 Feb – Wonderbrass: ANNUAL MARDI GRAS with Barracwda

Mardi Gras is time to be bold. It’s time to be colorful. And it’s time to shake your festival shoes to Wonderbrass as they bring a bouncing night of internationlist world brass-jazz riot to headline our Mardi Brass! As perenial Gwdihw brass-blasting, heat-bringing, booty-shaking favourites, there’s no-one betterto bring the party to the Mardi Gras than the huge (literally, there’s dozens of them!) Wonderbrass, with the release of the “What The Actual Funk” EP!

They packed us out early doors when supporting Broken Brass Ensemble with a stunning set and we expect this to be another cracker, with Mardi Gras party tunes designed to get you shaking your tail, head and shoulder feathers about the room. As if that wasn’t enough, Barracwda will be bringing live Samba drumming to kick things off, and as it’s Shrove Tuesday, expect some free pancakes if you get in early!


20:00 |  Gwdihŵ Café Bar, 6 Guildford Crescent  |  £4/£3 adv  | Wonderbrass tickets


Friday 12 -14 Feb – From Now On Festival 2016

mark thomas shape records by adam chard

Now in its third year of sonic discovery, From Now On is here, to fill Chapter with adventurous, fresh and boundary pushing music!

This year’s line up: Julia Holter / Stealing Sheep / Meilyr Jones / Laura Cannell / Happy Meals / Laura J Martin / Bas Jan / Apostille / L’Ocelle Mare / Mark Lyken / Giant Swan / Threatmantics / Anna Homler & Steven Warwick: Breadwoman / Tim Parkinson: Time with People / H. Hawkline Gwaed Ar Y Sêr / Sweet Baboo: Synthfonia Cymru / Sleeper Society / CAM Sinema / Chapter Cinema / Club Foot Foot / Arc Vertiac.

Read our interview with Sparky Mark (yeah, I still call him that) from Shape Records from last year’s event

18.00 – 23.00  |  Chapter Arts Centre  |  From Now On Facebook event


Friday 12 Feb – Bullion Presents Break / Dead Mans Chest (Eveson) / Boston

If your idea of a good Valentine’s celebration is some chest-vibrating jungle / drum’n’bass, then get yourself to Clwb for Bullion: Break and Dead Mans Chest (aka Eveson) plus Cardiff local boy Boston will bring some serious Symmetry sounds.

Room two hosted by Switch – electro house music, all night long!

22.00 – 04.00  |  Clwb  |  Bullion Facebook event


Saturday 13 Feb – 6 Nations: Wales v Scotland

giant rugby ball

It’s rare we promote the mainstream sportz on this blog (especially as the game is sold out), but this game’s going to be a BIG ONE – so take this as a warning about getting into / out of / around town on Saturday if you’re planning a casual visit during the day …


Sunday 14 Feb – Cardiff’s Affordable Vintage Fair


If you’ve got shopping on your mind this Valentine’s Day, go vintage! Situated in Portland House – a historic banking hall near Cardiff Bay, it’s the perfect venue for Judy’s affordable vintage fair. Expect over 30 stalls packed with the finest vintage from 1940s onwards! Fashion, homewares, accessories and a full tea room for those feeling a tad peckish!

11.00 – 14.00  |  Entry £2, Under 12s free | Portland House, 113 – 116 Bute Street, CF10 5EQ | Vintage Fair Facebook event


That’s it for this week! Did we miss anything out? Let us know in the comments!

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Bucket list adventures in Wales – the best things to do in Cardiff!

Wales Online published this rather wonderful article back in 2005: “50 big bucket list adventures to do in Wales while you can still do up your laces”. They update the article every year or so, and this year contains a number of awesome activities based right here in yon fair city of Cardiff.

Also, is it just me, or do you also wish they’d stop making lists of things to do before you die? It’s so morbid. How about ‘massive list of awesome things to do because they’re awesome and you’re awesome so treat yourself and have a good time??’


Anyway. Here’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Leave us some comments below! Helia x


Ride the rapids at Cardiff International White Water Rafting Centre

Cardiff International White Water

For those with an extreme sports loving streak, get yourselves to the white water rafting centre down in Cardiff Bay. You can enjoy a number of activities there, including white water rafting, kayaking, SUP, and high ropes. They also offer a range of coaching and rescue courses.

How much is it and when can you go?

Prices start at around £50 and available throughout the year. You may want to wait until it gets a bit warmer before hitting those waters though!

More info:

Cardiff International White Water Centre – Facebook page

Visit Wales – white water locations in Wales


Step inside the Doctor’s TARDIS in Cardiff Bay

Doctor Who Experience

If you live in Cardiff, it’s likely you’ve bumped into a Doctor Who filming session somewhere around the city. Fans come from all over the world to visit the filming locations – and to see the Doctor Who Experience, housed in that weird shaped giant blue building in the old docks area of Cardiff Bay, just by the barrage.

How much is it and when can you go?

General admission starts at £14 for adults and available all year round.

More info: Doctor Who Experience

Eat a meal in prison

the clink cardiff

The Clink at Cardiff Prison came out top out of 946 restaurants in Cardiff on TripAdvisor in 2015. Yes sir! Each diner who visits The Clink Restaurant helps to simulate a true-to-life working environment that is essential for the rehabilitation of the prisoners. Tastes good on so many levels.

How much is it and when can you go?

Sunday lunch costs £15.95 and is open all year round.

More info:

The Clink website

Get spooked on a ghost walk in Llandaff


The fabulous Jim Cowan is your host with the most (or the host with the ghost/s …? something like that) for terrifying tales of Cardiff’s spooky past. He runs the Cardiff History website, where you can book history tours of Llandaff, Cardiff Castle, St Fagans – and this year, Margam Castle!

If things of a spooky nature are your bag, Jim was one of my guests on the podcast I did about ghosts in Cardiff: We Are Haunted. Listen on Soundcloud or below!

How much is it and when can you go?

You can book on from £15 per person, but outdoor tours are dependent on the weather.

More info:

Cardiff History website


Wander the coastal walks of Wales

Cardiff Bay Barrage by Gordon Plant

The first country to offer a dedicated footpath around its coastline, the Wales Coast Path is 870 miles of varied and beautiful landscape. There’s a good stretch that makes its way around the capital city, from the nature reserves up by Newport, down past St Brides and Wentloog Avenue, tracing the edge of Rover Way, somewhat randomly along Ocean Way, then down the canals parallel to Schooner Way and the Bute East Dock – until you’re in the final stretch! Past the Millennium Centre and Senedd, through Cardiff Bay, then across the barrage, where you enter the Vale of Glamorgan.

How much is it and when can you go?

Free, whenever you like.

Map of the city of Cardiff – Wales Coastal Path

10 short coastal path walks (Visit Wales)

The Wales Coastal Path (Visit Wales)


Soak up the atmosphere at a Wales rugby home game

Millennium Stadium

The Millennium Stadium (I know it’s called the Principality Stadium now, I just prefer to call it by its birth name, right?) is the home of Welsh rugby. Nothing quite captures Welsh pride more than witnessing a win during an international match.

How much is it and when can you go?

Costs vary and matches happen throughout the year.

More info:

Welsh rugby (Visit Wales)

Principality (Millennium) Stadium website


Run the World Half Marathon 2016 in Cardiff

CardiffHalfMarathon2015_ - 26

In March 2016, Cardiff will be in the grip of half marathon fever as the elite World Championships race is held here! There will also be a mass participation half marathon event open for all, taking place on the course, at the same time.

I ran the Cardiff Half Marathon in October, and my feet damn near fell off, though I did raise nearly £500 for Doctors Without Borders (thank you to everyone who sponsored me!). Read more: Cardiff Half Marathon, a first timer’s experience.

How much is it and when can you go?

Entry is £59 for non-club members and takes place on Saturday, March 26.

More info:

Cardiff 2016 website

Visit the past at St Fagans


St Fagans is one of Europe’s leading open–air museums and Wales’s most popular heritage attraction that lets you walk around Wales from Celtic times to the present day.

How much is it and when can you go?

Free, whenever you like.

More info:

St Fagans website


What do you think of the Wales Online list? What have they left out? Let us know in the comments – maybe we’ll make our own list!

Visit Wales have a list of activities you can try out, if you’re out and about in Wales, celebrating 2016 as the Year of Adventure in Wales! Have a look on their website and see what trouble you can get into.

What’s on in Cardiff! 3-7 February 2016

It might be cold and drizzly outside but somehow you Cardiffians are just gagging to get out and about, am I right? There are SO many events on this February, we thought we’d experiment and do a ‘what’s on’ style post for each week this month.

If you like them, make sure to comment and we’ll do more.

If you hate them, comment, and we won’t do more.

If you’re indifferent, say nothing, and we’ll meh along with you.

Are you ready? Then let’s begin!

doug_nicholls_instagram - 17

What’s on

1 – 20 Feb: Henry VI

Following the success of last year’s all-female production of Richard III, Wales Millennium Centre are collaborating with Omidaze (Oh My Days!) once more; this time on an all-female production of Shakespeare’s Henry VI (The Wars of the Roses).

Exploring notions of power, leadership and trust, director Yvonne Murphy’s new production abridges the three classic history plays into one hard-hitting instalment, focussing on the personal journey of Henry’s rise to power.

Performed in the Centre’s roof void, this usually unseen part of the building will be transformed into an immersive performance space, offering an opportunity to see the Centre from a new perspective. With an inspired soundtrack, aerial circus, original costumes and imaginative set designs, audiences can expect a captivating and fully immersive experience as they are guided around the space, following the action as it takes place around them. Henry VI Tickets £12: Age Guidance: 9+ (No Under 2s)

Thursday 4 Feb – The Lonely Crowd Winter Readings: Cardiff


A winter’s evening of readings from the new Cardiff literary journal, The Lonely Crowd. Featuring Tom Vowler, Rhian Elizabeth, Jane Roberts, Christina Thatcher, Kate Hamer, Zoe Ranson and Susmita Bhattacharya. Hosted by Lonely Crowd editor John Lavin.

Thursday 4 Feb – British Animation Awards: Public Choice Screenings: Program 1

The BAA Public Choice Screenings are your chance to vote for winners in the British Animation Awards! This year, Cardiff Animation Nights and the University of South Wales have teamed up to bring the BAA Public Choice Screenings to Cardiff.

There will be three programs of animated short films, commercials and music videos, screened on three Thursday nights in February in the Ground Floor Theatre at the ATRiuM, Cardiff. Come along and watch some of the best of British animation from the last two years and vote for your favourites!

19.00, Atrium, Cardiff  |  British Animation Awards: Public Choice Screenings: Program 1 Facebook event

Thursday 4 Feb -Harry Potter Book Night

Calling all wizards and witches in Cardiff and beyond! Celebrate Harry Potter for A NIGHT OF SPELLS! There will be quizzes, treasure hunts and great prizes to be won! Fancy dress is encouraged and all are welcome – witches, wizards, and muggles! There will be activities for all ages – kids, tweens and teens and beyond.

Free entry | 17.30 – 20.30, Waterstones Cardiff, The Hayes | Harry Potter Book Night event page | Harry Potter Facebook event

Friday 5 Feb – Soul In The City #3

The best of Motown, Northern Soul, Stax and more all on vinyl. Tickets on the door on the night!

20.30, St Joseph’s Social Club, Whitchurch Road |  Soul In The City #3 Facebook event

Friday 5 Feb – Vaults D&B Presents LTJ Bukem

If you’re looking for a rave up, The Vaults is your place! They’re kicking off the year off in fine style with drum and bass legend, LTJ Bukem. Since 2012 The Vaults has brought you the creme of the drum and bass crop for a monthly night of unequaled fun with the scenes biggest headliners.

Support in the main bank Vault come from Ransom, Kooley, Apollo, Lubi J, Speedo and Tribe One.

In Vault Two is Neil Young & Friends with Submerge taking care of the banking hall.

Check out this LTJ Buken mix on the Tom Ravenscroft 6 Music show

22.00, The Vaults, 113 – 116 Bute Street |  LTJ Bukem Facebook event page  | LTJ Bukem tickets £13



Arts and culture are facing a potential funding crisis and we would like to raise our voice.

Culture makes life worth living. And Cardiff a city worth living in. Cardiff Council want to cut £700,000 from the arts budget. Which threatens the future of culture in the city.

As Europe’s youngest capital city, Cardiff enjoys national arts organisations and institutions including two symphony orchestras, the National Museum, the Welsh National Opera, Wales Millennium Centre, National Theatre Wales, National Dance Company Wales, St David’s Hall; and high profile events such as Artes Mundi, Cardiff Singer of the World, and Cardiff Contemporary. Not to mention countless grassroots and community arts projects.

This kind of activity keeps the city alive, and demonstrates how much it values creativity. It provides rich ground for new ideas and innovation, grassroots engagement and renewal. This is what attracts both people and investment. Where would a city be without this?

Our burgeoning reputation for arts and culture, built over many years, impacts on education, social services, employment, community cohesion, criminal justice, tourism, refugee agencies, youth services, the third age, library services and more.

Culture is all around us from the moment we wake to the moment we sleep. If the next generation of designers, makers, musicians, artists, writers, actors, dancers are placed in an environment that does not encourage them, what kind of Cardiff will we live in? Wales prides itself on its cultural heritage. We need to ensure that our future heritage is as strong.

Join us on Saturday 6th outside the National Museum to call upon the Council to cancel arts cuts and to celebrate Cardiff WITH culture. Bring your banners, signs, instruments, energy. We will end outside the Central Library.

Meet 14.00 outside the National Museum, Cathays Park  |  March for Culture Facebook page

Saturday 6 Feb – Open Studios at the Boneyard and Printhaus

Residents at The Bone Yard will be opening their doors alongside the PrintHaus for the first of their 2016 Openhaus! Our residents have a wide variety of skills from art therapists to jewellers; there will also be a pop up vegetarian and vegan brunch from Commune with their orange container becoming our on-site cafe for the day. So come and have a chat, take a peek at the artists’ workshops, see how they work and buy directly from the makers themselves!

10.00 – 14.00 | The Printhaus / The Bone Yard, Llandaf Road Industrial Estate (Rear of Romilly Crescent, CF11 9NL)  |  Open Studios Facebook event

Saturday 6 Feb – Kitty Daisy & Lewis / Barns Courtney

Kentish Town siblings Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are a group of highly talented and original musicians who play more or less anything they can lay their hands on. Their musical references and skills are rooted in the old tradition where songs and music are handed down, played and enjoyed at gatherings of family and friends. From a very young age Kitty, Daisy and Lewis’ performances have been blowing away and inspiring audiences, building up an impressive fan base from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Chris Martin and Eagles Of Death Metal to Dustin Hoffman and Ewan McGregor. They have had worldwide success with sold out tours and have opened for Coldplay, Razorlight, Richard Hawley, Jools Holland among others.

£12 | 20.00 | 18+ | Tickets:  | Kitty Daisy Lewis Facebook event page

Sunday 7 Feb – The First General Auction of Cardiff’s Newest Auction House

You are invited to the Capital’s Newest Auction House’s First General Auction on February 7 2016! General Auctions every Sunday, Auction starts at 10.00, Viewing on Saturday 9.00 – 17.00 and Sunday from 9.00.

Antique and Household Furniture, Art and Collectables, Jewellery, Books, Garden Furniture, and other Miscellaneous Items.

Antique and Fine Art Auctions the first and third Friday of the month. Auction starts at 18.00, Viewing from 9.00 Friday. House Clearances undertaken, Professional Valuations by appointment.

9.00, Unit 7 Clydesmuir Industrial Estate, Clydesmuir Rd, Cardiff CF24 2QS   | |  Cardiff City Auctions Facebook event page

Sunday 7 Feb – Charity Quiz Night

Penylan Pantry are having a charity quiz! They would like to invite you all to a charity quiz night at the Pantry on 7 February from 18.00. The charity they are supporting is the Welsh Refugee Council.

There will be running a pop-up bar stocked with local craft beer, organic wine, soft drinks and they will be making a seasonal cocktail. They will also be making a pantry winter stew to buy on the night.
The prize for winning the quiz is the GLORY! All ticket proceeds will go to charity. £3 per ticket (or more if you’re feeling generous!) Book your ticket online and pay in cash on the night. Limited availability!

18:00–20:30 | Penylan Pantry, 72 Kimberley Road, CF23 5DN | Quiz night tickets | Quiz night Facebook event

Sunday 7 Feb – Something DIFFerent: Stories of science

Storytelling is one of the oldest and most powerful means of human communication. Stories fuel our imagination and inspire our curiosity. Storyteller Christine Watkins joins forces with Cardiff University’s Prof Mike Edmunds and Dr Edward Gomez, to share with us some of science’s stories. In one hour they are going to travel through the galaxy, help Kepler find a wife and look at how science and scientists ask and answer questions.

The Institute of Physics is very excited to present this unique collaborative event in the cosy Gwdihw Cafe Bar in Cardiff. Entry is free but they ask that if you’re planning on joining that you register with their EventBrite page.

18:30 | Gwdihŵ Café Bar, 6 Guildford Crescent, CF10 2HJ | Stories of Science Facebook event


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The Cardiff Waterways Map project

Writer Ellie Philpotts attended the launch of the Cardiff Waterways Project, headed up by ArtShell.



Cardiff is a watery city. As well as the surrounding Bay and beachside areas such as Barry Island and Penarth, residents will be accustomed to the River Taff winding throughout, plus the fact that it rains. A lot. But did you know just how much the city is built on waterways?

Forty volunteers, headed by Johana Hartwig, founder of Art Shell, have been busy working on The Cardiff Waterways Map project. The year-long venture has researched our city’s changing waterscape – from its humble origins to industrial boom, while also thinking about the role it has today and will no doubt have in the future. Local artwork; website development; tours of the waterways by poet and Cardiff literary king Peter Finch and museum visits were all part and parcel of the scheme, which was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and has just reached its conclusion.

I went along to the grand finale, where the new beta website for The Cardiff Waterways Project was also revealed.

Johana, whose organisation Art Shell is based in Grangetown, said one of the incentives for the project was the fact that ‘many of the waterways are hidden or filled in.’ The roots of the city are not always acknowledged or even known about, despite the fact that industry has developed from them. Art Shell helps to facilitate art in alternative spaces and engages in artistic research.

Held in Cardiff Story Museum in the Hayes, the day exhibited historic waterways postcards, displays and snippets of info, the focal point of which had to be the Glamorganshire Canal model, made by The Boat Studio and commissioned by Art Shell. The Boat Studio run an innovative scheme in which a functional narrow boat hosts arts residences and performances.

As well as learning about the waterways themselves, I found out a lot about Peter Finch’s role in bringing Cardiff’s past to life. His vast range of creative work centres on his native city, and spans to The Real Cardiff Trilogy, depicting how the capital has evolved over the years.

One of his publications is Cardiff as a Watery Place, a smaller compilation commissioned for the waterways project by Art Shell, with chapters on ‘lost rivers of Cardiff’, ‘The Glamorgan Canal’, and ‘The Bridge over the Canna’, among others. He’s recently begun working on the fourth addition to the series, so it seems if you want to find out more about Cardiff’s history, Peter is the trusty fountain of knowledge (see Peter Finch’s website for more details). He’s also a long time friend of We Are Cardiff – you can read his entry about Cardiff on the site here: Cardiff, city of new height).

The team’s dedication and the ultimate showcase proved to me that if there’s one thing to be said about the people of Cardiff, it’s that they have pride in their heritage and culture, as well as a genuine passion for where we live.

Want to find out more? Check out; or – or pop by the Cardiff Story Museum because it’s definitely one of the places to be to immerse yourself in some good Welsh history.

Ellie Philpotts


Thanks Ellie! See you again …

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