Tag Archives: photography

Meet Irina and Silviu – documenting local creatives

A couple of months ago I got an email from Irina and Silviu, asking if I would be free to answer some questions and be featured on their website. I do get asked relatively frequently to do things like this, but I’ve only got limited time available to me so I usually turn the offers down.

However, I had a look at the website for this project that they are running – Together and Sunspell – and got back in touch with them to say yes. Have a look at it and you’ll see why. The photography is just wonderful, and they’ve got an interesting mixture of interviews with people doing creative jobs or creative work across different industries, and also across their local area – they live in Usk, so their project spans Cardiff, Bristol and Bath. I asked them a few questions about Together and Sunspell. Enjoy!

Please introduce yourselves.

We are Irina & Silviu and we do everything together. We met at Uni in Transylvania where we were both studying Philosophy and a few years down the line we’ve decided to call Wales home.

Tell us a little bit about your project ‒ where did the idea come from? Why did you decide to do it?

Together & Sunspell was born out of our innate curiosity and inquisitive openness towards the Other and the way they interact with their environment. As foreigners we found this to be a good way of getting to know people and feeling less isolated. We also felt that by creating an online collection of these encounters we would support and promote local and regional talent and raise awareness of the creative richness surrounding us.

What has your experience been of meeting people and taking the photos? Have you enjoyed it?

T&S started without us really knowing it and this randomness helped us ease into what the project was going to become. We went from almost zero interaction to having covered over 120 stories in the span of two years; the whole process has been exhilarating, draining at times and paired with our innate need to permanently question and analyse everything, the journey has been anything but boring. Have we enjoyed it? We’ve absolutely loved it. It taught us things about ourselves that we might have never learned otherwise and it offered us a plethora of firsthand insights into so many different stories topped up with being able to share all this richness with everyone.

Are there any memorable photoshoots you have done?

They are all unique, thus all memorable. They all taught us something different, things you can only perceive in the company of people who open their hearts and homes and share their inspiring stories with us. At the end of the day, our project is not about photography as such, but about meaningful connections, genuine interactions, openness and inclusiveness.

What’s been your favourite location to take pictures so far?

The favourite location is always the one we are in at the time of conversing and being with the other. We can’t separate the person from the location or vice versa, they both complement each other creating a meaningful story.

And finally, what are your hopes and dreams for 2019?

We’d love to continue doing what we are doing: making more handmade collages, documenting more stories, collaborating with other creatives, developing more personal projects and enjoying our being together.

You can find Helia’s Together and Sunspell interview here:

Other lovely Cardiff people they have featured:

Find the full archive of Cardiff stories here: Together and Sunspell – Cardiff

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Cardiff in the Eighties – by Nick Sarebi

I recently spent a few hours lost in the internet when I came across Nick Sarebi’s wonderful photographs of Cardiff in the 1980s. I messaged Nick who kindly agreed to let us publish them, and even did a mini interview with me, which I present, here, for you. Do enjoy this wonderful dip into the archives, back into Cardiff in the late 1980s and very early 1990s. Over to Nick …

Nick: I originally came from London. I lived in between Grangetown 1988 – 95, although I was still working in London for much of that time. I always thought Cardiff was a lovely city.

I was doing a City and Guilds photography project at the time. I loved the sense of history that the Docks had, and obviously it was just on the cusp of change. I wish I took more photos back then, but it was before digital.

I lived in Pentrebane Street in Grangetown. I remember my neighbour saying that she knew Shirley Bassey and went on a works outing with her, where she sang, but then again everyone claimed to know her at that time! I think there were still close-knit families in Grangetown then, which was changing at that time. The neighbours were all very friendly. The house was covered inside with Artex when I bought it. It took ages to scrape off, I must have been mad!

The Docks

Cardiff docks, taken around 1990
Imperial House, which disappeared sometime in the 1990s
The dry dock, photographed in the 1980s. The dry dock is still there, but the shed has long since been demolished.
Cardiff Docks, taken in 1990

 

Nick: I loved wandering round the Docks at that time, before it was all developed. It was pretty much deserted at the time. I also remember visiting the Sea Lock and some other Docks pubs. I wanted to go into the clubs down there but was a bit wary as an outsider. The Sea Lock was definitely stepping into the past. The main bar was closed and they only had a tiny bar left open. They frowned on women going in there alone! It was demolished soon after, I think. The publicans were really friendly. I recommend Trezza Azzarardi’s The Hiding Place – it’s a brilliant take on Tiger Bay. It conjures up Tiger Bay so well for me I had to go back and take another look. It was criminal how the knocked the place down. It can still be seen in the classic film Tiger Bay, which you should watch if you haven’t seen already.

There’s a nice interview with Neil Sinclair here, talking about the story of the place that inspired the Tiger Bay musical that was out year  …

I remember meeting Neil Sinclair, who is at the start of Tiger Bay talking with Hayley Mills. We met at a nice pub which was on the Bay front and was very isolated, out on the way to Penarth. This was before they built that flyover. I forget its name, I think it must have gone now.

Butetown, Cardiff 1991. This building is now home to Octavo’s bookshop and cafe
The Dockland Mini-Market – which can still be seen on James Street today
This building was preserved in the Docks redevelopment – you can now see it as the entrance to the Waterguard pub
The famous clock from the famous Coal Exchange – which, after years in disrepair, is now the Exchange Hotel
The infamous Casablanca Club, long since demolished
Cardiff docks … taken in 1991
The Norwegian Church, 1990
Windsor Esplanade, early 1990s
Cardiff Bay redevelopment, early 1990s

Cardiff – the city

Nick: Why did I move to Cardiff in the first place? That’s a good question. I wanted to move out of London, as it was expensive to buy a house there (even then!) and it was so big. Of course, no one could imagine that house prices would rise to the crazy levels they are now…

I couldn’t decide on Bristol or Cardiff. My girlfriend at the time lived in Bristol, but we split up just before I moved, so I chose Cardiff. In retrospect, what was mad was not looking for work in Cardiff. So I just travelled thousands of miles up and down the M4!

Eventually after Cardiff I moved to Bristol and I worked there for a couple of years, but was offered a part-time job in London, which went from two to four days, so I started commuting again, from 1997 right through to 2013.

I now look back and wonder why I did that! I spent seven years in Cardiff, but somehow it doesn’t feel that long – it flew by. I arrived in Cardiff only a few months after Lynette White was murdered. Someone wrote a book on it called Bloody Valentine, but it had to be pulped for libel reasons.

Tremorfa, around 1991
Seriously – whatever happened to Mr Sandwich?

Nick: It was a bit ridiculous travelling backwards and forwards to London for all those years I lived in Cardiff. Cardiff was all changing at that time. I studied at the Arts Centre – I can’t remember what it was called now.

I have visited Cardiff a few times since I lived there, walking all round the barrage with my son, and have been to watch my team, Fulham, play Cardiff. It always brings back memories. I’m glad I lived there when I did, and saw the bay before it became “the Bay”.

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Thank you so much Nick! He has a couple of really great albums of 1980s photography. We particularly love these albums:

Miners strike 1984 (photographs of mining families on holiday in London during the strike)

St Pancras Station 1980-1 (some great portraits of rail workers as well as general shots from around the station)

London Docks (images from the 1980s to now)

And of course, his Cardiff in the Eighties album in full.

To see more of his photography, visit Nick’s Flickr page.

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Swaps: Photographs from the David Hurn Collection

It is easy to forget that photography, at its core, is a shared experience. Swaps, an exhibition that cultivates photographs from David Hurn’s private collection, is a reminder of the process by which twentieth-century photography developed: through sharing photographs. This exhibition, now being held at the National Museum in Cardiff, has been curated through years of David Hurn playing swapsies with a variety of photographers. The result is a collage of photographs that are simultaneously intimate and universal. The work spans roughly 60 years, ranging from politically-motivated pieces to more surrealist, modern photographs. Generally, the exhibition feels professional in its rigour and variety, but also so warmly familiar when the context of the exhibition is appreciated.

The exhibition has a feeling of familiarity to it, like someone showing you a dusty old photo album, but this familiarity is offset by the sheer quality of photographic skill on show.  The collection comprises of photographs by leading 20th and 21st century photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eve Arnold, Sergio Larrain, Bill Brandt, Martine Franck, Bruce Davidson and Martin Parr, but there are also some more unique, less famous photographers, such as ieke Depoorter, Clementine Schneidermann, and Newsha Tavakolian.. This certainly isn’t a safe exhibition, yet that means it doesn’t suffer from contrivance – it flows naturally from photo to photo, from generation to generation, with Hurn’s passion and interest for each photo being apparent thoroughout. It’s kind of like having somebody else’s time capsule you can dip into for a little bit, except that other person happens to be a gifted photographer with really cool mates.

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A particular highlight from the exhibition includes a photograph of Henri Matisse by Hurn’s close friend Henri Cartier-Bresson, as seen on the bottom here:

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It is a reminder that Hurn, despite his modesty, is up there with the pantheons of the art world, yet you would never think it reading over his genuine and friendly descriptions of his photographs. The exhibition details the context and story behind each photograph from Hurn himself and, sometimes, these descriptions are as entertaining and thought-provoking as the photographs themselves. There’s a video installation, too, where you can hear Hurn speak about some photographs in his own voice. Overall, the exhibition is organised to give off a very homely and understated feel, yet maintain the impact of some of the photographs. There is no pretension here, just an immensely talented photographer talking about and showing images from a craft he has been embedded in for years.

The exhibition is in place until March 11th, so pop down before it finishes! There’s an event where you can see David Hurn speak with his friend and fellow photographer, Martin Parr, about the photographs and life as a photographer in general on 7 February, too. Tickets are £10 and links to the event and the Welsh museum page can be found below.

Swaps

A Conversation with Martin Parr & David Hurn

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The Book of Cardiff – launch!

So I was in my trapeze class yesterday and my lovely teacher Olga said that a photo of me was on Facebook, and it was going to be in a photography book! Intrigued, I reactivated my Facebook account to check it out…

Photo by Craig Kirkwood

In the most Cardiff fashion ever, I was photographed riding my bike through a lovely park, past Bryce Davies’s (aka graffiti artist Peaceful Progress) van. In serendipitous style, Bryce had also recently done my tattoo (you can see it poking out of my right sleeve). If that’s not Cardiff, I’m not sure what is – cycling everywhere, parks, graffiti, everyone knowing everyone and a gorgeous photo of the whole thing.

Anyway, it turns out that the wonderful photographer Craig Kirkwood has gone and made a photography book about Cardiff! It features loads of incredible shots of lots of our friends. It looks really amazing, so we had a chat with him to find out more….

The Book of Cardiff is a hardcover bound portrait of the city told through around 300 stunning photographs taken over a 12-month period.

You can see some of the wonderful shots below, or on the book’s Facebook page.

Foreword to the 1st edition

The Welsh capital is fast becoming one of the great post-industrial cities of Britain. Full of optimism, open spaces, and renewed foreshores, it’s taking its place beside so many urban centres which have emerged, finally, from the collapse of industry, manufacturing and mining that so brutally shook the Kingdom in the 1980s and 90s. It’s also a city that’s changing quickly as the industrial spaces disappear to make way for new retail, commercial and residential projects.
Craig says:
“This book covers about a year in the life of the city. As an expatriate Australian, I don’t pretend to understand the history of Cardiff in any detail. Nor do I have the cultural ties that would give me an informed, insider’s perspective. But I do bring the eye of a resident tourist still delighted with just how pleasant it is to live in a city that can be covered largely by foot or bicycle.
At the time of writing, I’ve lived in Cardiff just over a year. It’s not such a long time really but to delay this book any further would be to miss the opportunity of seeing the town as a fresh outsider.
As a photographer, it’s important to grab that ‘new car feeling’ and breath it in before the sights that seem fascinating become commonplace.”

About the author

Craig Kirkwood is an Australian-born photographer, publisher and entrepreneur. He moved to Cardiff in 2015 and immediately set about documenting both the landscape and the cultural life of the city, taking over 20,000 photographs of hundreds of festivals, events, concerts and everyday life in the city.
Prior to moving to Wales, Craig was the CEO of high- profile creative media consultancy, Fearless Media, which he founded in 1999. At the time, Fearless was the largest organisation of its kind in Australia with offices and facilities throughout the country. He was also a regional manager of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and founded the renowned Flickerfest International Film Festival on Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach which continues today in its 27th year.

Where to buy and launch party details

The book will be available from Waterstones and many other book and gift shops around town or can be purchased directly from the publisher’s online store http://colourshop.co. The launch party is on Thursday 1 June at Little Man Coffee from 7pm, and our faves Maddie Jones and Sparkles Hoop Troupe will be performing.
Everyone is welcome to attend!

We can’t wait to see the finished book – best of luck Craig!!

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Cardiff – Get Home Safe: late night antics in the city

Photojournalist Lorna Cabble spent three months hanging out with her camera, after hours – photographing the city’s late night scene. Over to Lorna to explain more about her project.

UNITED KINGDOM, WALES; January 24, 2017. Image from my recent project "Get Home Safe", shot between September and December, 2016. These images were shot while working with Cardiff Street Pastors, a voluntary based organisation that aim to protect people while they're on a night out in Cardiff on a Friday and Saturday night.
UNITED KINGDOM, WALES; Autumn/winter 2016. Image shot while working with Cardiff Street Pastors, a voluntary based organisation that aim to protect people while they’re on a night out in Cardiff on a Friday and Saturday night.

During my second year as a student in Cardiff, there was a lot of publicity on the attacks that had happened to female students around the Cathays area, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it – the subject struck a chord with me. It was really in our faces, so I just kept thinking “I really need to do a project on this, or it’s going to bother me.”

I didn’t know where to start, so I started photographing students being students on the streets of Cardiff (students are so great) and ended up seeing a poster for the “Student Safety Walk”, an organisation that gets students (both male and female) home safe, or looked after when they’re in a bit of a mess – so I contacted them to see if they’d mind me tagging along.
For this project I was probably out in town at night at least three times a week. The Student Safety Walk went out twice a week, so I made it out with them as often as I could around work. I was also out on just general shoots, and with Cardiff Street Pastors a few times too. 

UNITED KINGDOM; WALES; 24 January, 2017. Images taken from various nights with the "Student Safety Walk", a volunteer based organisation created by student, Alastair Babington that sees to the safety of students while on a night out.

UNITED KINGDOM, WALES; January 24, 2017. Image from my recent project "Get Home Safe", shot between September and December, 2016. These images were shot while working with Cardiff Street Pastors, a voluntary based organisation that aim to protect people while they're on a night out in Cardiff on a Friday and Saturday night.

UNITED KINGDOM; WALES; 24 January, 2017. Images taken from various nights with the "Student Safety Walk", a volunteer based organisation created by student, Alastair Babington that sees to the safety of students while on a night out.

The things I saw were a bit shocking, but in an amusing way more than anything. All I kept thinking was “how are theses people not cold in their outfits?”, while I was wrapped up in a coat and scarf and freezing!
There was a guy who had a whole bottle of scotch to himself, he was just completely unable to do anything, and threw up every five minutes, we had to get him an ambulance – it was a bit scary. His housemates came out of the student union a while later and saw him while we were waiting for the ambulance, so we filled them in on what was happening – but they left him. That was really shocking for me, and kind of made me realise why I was documenting the kind people looking after him and others in similar positions to begin with.
I did see a few worrying scenes where there would be a guy trying to take a girl home – but she would have no idea who he was – so it was good to see that being stopped. And I also saw taxis reject a lot of lone females, or groups of females (as well as males) as their journey home wasn’t long enough for them – or sometimes they were too drunk (which I kind of understand, but it’s worrying that they’d then have to walk home). I also saw some really lovely scenes where people were just kind to each other, so it balanced out.

UNITED KINGDOM; WALES; 24 January, 2017. Images taken from various nights with the "Student Safety Walk", a volunteer based organisation created by student, Alastair Babington that sees to the safety of students while on a night out.

UNITED KINGDOM; WALES; 24 January, 2017. Images taken from various nights with the "Student Safety Walk", a volunteer based organisation created by student, Alastair Babington that sees to the safety of students while on a night out.

UNITED KINGDOM; WALES; 24 January, 2017. Images taken from various nights with the "Student Safety Walk", a volunteer based organisation created by student, Alastair Babington that sees to the safety of students while on a night out.

UNITED KINGDOM, WALES; January 24, 2017. Image from my recent project "Get Home Safe", shot between September and December, 2016. These images were shot while working with Cardiff Street Pastors, a voluntary based organisation that aim to protect people while they're on a night out in Cardiff on a Friday and Saturday night.

UNITED KINGDOM; WALES; 24 January, 2017. Image from my recent project "Get Home Safe", shot in Cardiff between September and November. Image taken from various nights with the "Student Safety Walk", a volunteer based organisation created by student, Alastair Babington that sees to the safety of students while on a night out.

 My next project kind of spring boards from this one: I’m photographing people who have been sexually assaulted and I’m getting their stories. I’m going for straight-forward portraiture with this one, and it’s basically aiming to encourage people to speak out about it and try and get rid of some of that stigma – like feeling like you’re to blame, or feeling like you can’t talk about it from fear.
Anyone is welcome to participate in this project, any gender, and an assault of any scale – it’s all important to me. For me personally, photojournalism is just being able to provide those who want/need it with a voice.
UNITED KINGDOM, WALES; November 14 2016. Portrait of Gary, the director of the charity that runs Street Pastors Cardiff. Gary has been volunteering since 2008.
UNITED KINGDOM, WALES; November 14 2016. Portrait of Gary, the director of the charity that runs Street Pastors Cardiff. Gary has been volunteering since 2008.

 

UNITED KINGDOM, WALES; October 31 2016. Portrait of 'MJ', an employee at St John's Ambulance working in Cardiff to help intoxicated people at night.
UNITED KINGDOM, WALES; October 31 2016. Portrait of ‘MJ’, an employee at St John’s Ambulance working in Cardiff to help intoxicated people at night.

 

UNITED KINGDOM, WALES; December 18 2016. Portrait of Alastair Babington, student and organiser of the Student Safety Walk at Cardiff University.
UNITED KINGDOM, WALES; December 18 2016. Portrait of Alastair Babington, student and organiser of the Student Safety Walk at Cardiff University.

 

UNITED KINGDOM; WALES; 24 January, 2017. Image from my recent project "Get Home Safe", shot in Cardiff between September and November. Image taken from various nights with the "Student Safety Walk", a volunteer based organisation created by student, Alastair Babington that sees to the safety of students while on a night out.

UNITED KINGDOM, WALES; January 4, 2017. The cover image of my recent project, "Get Home Safe". A shot of the alley way behind Park Street, known to a lot of students as "Rape Alley", the location of sexual assaults last year and the catalyst for this project, and the Student Safety Walk.

UNITED KINGDOM; WALES; 24 January, 2017. Images taken from various nights with the "Student Safety Walk", a volunteer based organisation created by student, Alastair Babington that sees to the safety of students while on a night out.

UNITED KINGDOM; WALES; 24 January, 2017. Images taken from various nights with the "Student Safety Walk", a volunteer based organisation created by student, Alastair Babington that sees to the safety of students while on a night out.

Lorna Cabble is in her final year of Photojournalism at the University of South Wales. Her favourite area of photography is theatre and social documentary: she is obsessed with people and their stories. When she graduates, she would love to work in theatres and to do as much NGO work as she can. She’s the resident photographer for This is Kizomba, Cardiff.

Lorna’s Facebook page / Lorna’s Instagram

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Cardiff photographers! Check the Buzz Photography Competition 2017

This is for the snappy snappers among you – pay attention fools, as throughout 2017 Buzz Magazine are holding a photography competition in association with Ffotogallery. The winner each month will be featured as the magazine’s Facebook and Twitter cover photos, AND be featured in an upcoming exhibition.

Each month there is a new theme (see the list below) – photographers are invited to take 5-10 images as part of an album related somehow to the theme.

Grab your camera – whatever kind you have – and get creative. Then submit it for everyone to see. The remaining themes for the year are listed below. To be included, send your entries (5-10 images) to Buzz by the 20 of each previous month (for example, the February entries will need to be in by 20 January – so get a move on!):

February Issue Legends
March Issue Wales
April Issue Music
May Issue Festivity
June Issue Excess
July Issue Summer
August Issue Oddities
September Issue New Beginnings
October Issue Humans
November Issue Comedy
December January Issue Resolution

Email your images to editorial@buzzmag.co.uk to enter your work, along with your name, email and contact number. Winners will be informed a week after submission if you are one of the winners that month.

WINNING!

Ffotogallery are offering winners:

  • £100 voucher for one of their photography courses (not eligible with block booking discount)
  • A Diffusion Festival goody bag (tote bag, Looking for America publication, limited edition box of postcards and a Ffotomatic gift box)
  • A signed copy of our new publication Garden State | Corinne Silva published by Ffotogallery and The Mosaic Rooms London
  • A selection of Ffotogallery six limited edition photography publications

Established in 1978, Ffotogallery are the national development agency for photography and lens based media in Wales. Ffotogallery deliver new artistic programmes which are challenging and accessible, featuring the best Welsh and international contemporary work in photography and lens-based media, run accredited photography and digital courses, and are the lead agency for Diffusion Cardiff International Photography Festival.

For more info on this year’s competition, visit Buzz Photography Competition 2017.

Good luck!

Big wheel in Cardiff Bay

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Cardiff in the city: photo blog from March 2016

In March we handed over our Instagram to the fabulously talented @rhysioanannett who took some wonderful snaps of Cardiff!

Can you spot where these were taken?

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More information on all pics (including locations!) can be found in the March Facebook album.

 

If you fancy taking over the We Are Cardiff Instagram for a month, email us

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Cardiff Bay, the docks, the barrage, through a vintage lens…

Hi. Helia here. So here’s the thing. I’ve got a Nikon D3100 DSLR, for which I am roundly (and loudly) mocked by all my pals who are into photography. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert enough to even know the difference between this and any other DSLR, so I’ve never been bothered about upgrading.

red brick toothy fish, cardiff bay

Stuff upgrading. In fact I’m downgrading … I’ve abandoned the original auto-focus lens that came with the camera in favour of this old Nikkor 28 lens that I found for pretty cheap on ebay (other ecommerce sites are available).

There is a plethora of information for DSLR photographers wanting to use old lenses on newer cameras … the only bummer is that there is nothing automated about this process (more advanced camera than mine will do some automated processes), but that’s meant speedy learning about aperture sizes, shutter speeds, and ISO. So MATHS …

Anyway, despite all the difficulties, I am sold on this lens! Things look lovely through it. Here’s a peak of Cardiff Bay on wintery days in November (there was no editing of these photos after I’d taken – apart from straightening some of them up, because apparently I am living perpetually on the diagonal).

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Royal Hamadryad General and Seaman's Hospital sign

Women chatting, Hamadryad Park

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Cardiff Bay Trail sign

One of the old docks, Cardiff Bay

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Telescope, view over Cardiff Bay water

One of the old docks, Cardiff Bay

Crane in One of the old docks, Cardiff Bay

Over exposed, Havannah Street Butetown

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Victorian lamp post, Cardiff Bay

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Over exposed crane in One of the old docks, Cardiff Bay

More of my vintage photography journey to come! And if you’re an avid photographer who’d like to share some of your pictures with us, please get in touch –  wearecardiff@gmail.com

Til next time …

Peas!

Helia x

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Urban exploring: Barry Island Pleasure Park

Seems like there’s always something in the news, bubbling under, about Barry Island’s Pleasure Park.

Barry Island Pleasure Park

Back in January, “Fairground veteran Henry Danter has announced his “ambition, dream and vision” for his £20m, five-year masterplan to bring the town’s pleasure park back to its glory days.”

I read that story and bookmarked it as something to come back to later. It’s a nice read, and I hope Barry Island can relive its glory day: Could Barry Island Pleasure Park’s rides be up and running by April? That’s the aim

I’ve got fond memories of this place. Well, not memories so much as hilarious photographs of myself as a ruddy faced toddler, covered in ice cream, making sandcastles or going on the log flume. Etc.

It’s pretty far from what it looks like these days. Last year I found these amazing photos on 28 Days Later, posted by user Zudge.

I asked Zudge (who currently lives in Cardiff) some questions about his experience of going along to photograph the abandoned fairground, and his love of urban exploring:

“I’ve been a fair few times when the park was open. I stopped going when they closed down their more “permanent” rides such as the ghost train and log flume.

“I was out with a friend and I’d brought my camera gear with me because I was hoping to go to the beach and get some scenic shots. Upon walking past the park on the way back to their house, we noticed a way we could get in. After some looking around the outside, we decided to head in and look around a bit. We decided to explore it because we knew it wouldn’t be there much longer. We figured we might not get another chance, so we should get in and have a look before it’s completely gone.

“I’ve done a fair few sites over the past couple of years. I’ve done sites such as The Gaiety on City Road in Cardiff, Cwm Coke Works in Beddau, Cardiff Dairy on Newport Road and St Athans Boy’s Village. I did have a few reports up on here but they must’ve been deleted for whatever reason. Ideally, I’d like to go to Talgarth or Denbigh Asylum. I’ve been in love with those sites ever since I first saw reports on them. There’s also a shopping centre in Reading I’d like to go and have a look at, but that’s a bit of a distance to travel. Plus I think that location is still being used for special events.”

This is what Zudge says about the Haunted Mine Ghost Train:

“This was my favourite bit of the explore. I’ve always loved ghost trains, and this one has definitely got a history behind it. Originally it was a boxcar racer themed dark ride, but throughout the years it started to look a bit run down. The owners of the park asked John Wardley to come and help redevelop it. John Wardley is known for having major roles in world famous rides such as Nemesis, Air and Oblivion at Alton Towers, Colossus, The Swarm and SAW – The Ride at Thorpe Park as well as various other attractions world wide. When John Wardley helped redevelop the box car racer ride, it became Dr Frankenstein’s Scream Machine and featured a very different layout to what it was originally and what it is now. The ride was later redeveloped again into The Haunted Mine, it featured a much smaller layout than the original ride yet still had some of the same effects and props such as the falling boxes and the Frankenstein’s Monster from the facade. Unfortunately, the ride is in a rather sorry state with the facade completely missing and half of the props inside either broken, vandalised or missing.”

Those desperate to cling on to memories of its glory days can also buy Barry Island memorabilia, as loads of old theme park props are being put up for sale (bagsy Mr Blobby)

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Adamsdown, how does your garden grow?

Adamsdown is one of the only parts of Cardiff that has its own city garden, run through a project called Edible Adamsdown. We sent photographer Lorna Cabble along to take some snaps at their first community meeting of 2015.

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Edible Adamsdown is a project that aims to regenerate and re-open Adamsdown Community garden and pass back ownership to local community members – that could mean YOU! This beautiful little garden is hidden away behind Adamsdown resource centre on Moira terrace and boasts raised beds, a pond, tonnes herbs, a grapevine and a living willow structure.

Some words from Rebecca Clarke, who runs Green City (who run the garden):

“We were thrilled to have more than 30 community members join our ‘How will your garden grow’ event last Sunday. The sun was shining, the tea was flowing and our friends and neighbours came bearing chocolate cupcakes and tasty snacks.

“It was great to see lots of new faces, some of whom have lived in the area for many years and had no idea this garden existed – it’s always so lovely to see their reactions as they discover this little green space.

“Hannah from Free Range learning hosted the workshop for us – the aim was to get to know each other and find out a bit about what each of us would like to see happen in the garden. But this was far from a boring meeting – we kicked off with a seed matching game and then interviewed our seed partners to get to know a bit about them. Other activities and games involved creating a skill tree, a snowball fight (just paper – no real snow!) and discovering and discussing our ideas and priorities for the garden. This was all complimented by lots of tea, cake and conversation.

“It was such a positive start to the project for the new year and with 4 more events before the end of March, including urban chicken keeping, composting and wormeries and a small garden skill share, I think this garden will be teeming with plants and activity this year! Bring on the Spring!”

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The garden was initially opened in September 2014, for a fix up event and party, inviting locals to join in and earn timecredits and get involved in this growing project.

 

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Photographer Lorna Cabble enjoyed her time in the community garden: “My time photographing this event was really pleasant, I was surprised by the amount of people that turned up to discuss the community garden, and how much enthusiasm was showed by a range of different cultures and ages. It was really nice to see a community coming together and getting to know each other through a shared passion. Discussions took place and plans were made for future meetings.”

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View upcoming events including composting and vermiculture, community chicken keeping and small garden skill share workshops: Adamsdown Community Garden Events.

This lovely little green space was cleverly designed by Michele Fitzsimmons of Edible Landscaping who leads the Green City wild food foraging walks.

Get in touch with Green City or visit the Edible Adamsdown Facebook group to keep updated.

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Lorna Cabble is a photojournalism student at the University of South Wales, currently living in Cardiff.

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Cardiff Royal Infirmary … are you scared yet?

Following our spooked-out exploration of haunted Cardiff last week, I thought I’d share a bit of the research I did into Cardiff Royal Infirmary before heading there.

There are lots of reports of CRI being haunted; this article from Wales Online is a pretty good round up.

But what about the actual buildings? I went and wandered around (in the daytime) to see if there looked like any easy ways to get access into the closed-off parts of the building (without breaking any windows or anything). Didn’t seem like there was any easy way in. Later on, back in the warmth of an advanced Google search, I found a couple of amazing photosets from urban explorers back in the late 2000s – people less scared than me, who’d got access to the CRI and taken some amazing pictures of the inside of the closed-off hospital.

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(all photos from this post on 28 Days Later)






There are also a couple more amazing photos, taken from this post:




Brrr! Gives me the willies just looking at these old rooms!

Scared yet? You should be… listen to the radio program Helia presented to find out about the ghosts that haunt Cardiff Royal Infirmary…

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“I’ve spent the last two Christmases with my flood bag packed in the car, on standby!” – Jen

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I joined Penarth lifeboat station as a trainee crew member in July 2008. I had recently moved to the area and wanted to get involved in the community somehow. A colleague who was already a helmsman at the lifeboat station suggested I became a crew member. I was told when I visited the lifeboat station that if I wanted to join it would be a serious hobby I was taking on and that I needed to give as much time as possible to the training. The appeal for me was the challenge of learning a new skill (actually a huge set of new skills!) and meeting and getting to know people in the area. I also had a draw to learn the skills as my aunt had sadly drowned whilst out on a yacht back in 1960, and I wanted to be part of a team who had the ability to go out and help people like her who get into difficulties.

Within two years I became a fully trained crew member and I am now training to be a helm myself. The excitement and discipline of a shout is immense. Putting into action the training you have been doing. In the first year when the pagers went off I’d find by the time I got in the water to launch the boat I’d have shaky legs and thought, god I’ve got to get fitter! But I soon realised it was the adrenaline giving me shaky legs! I’ve learnt to channel the adrenaline now to better use. It’s especially helpful using it to help wake me up properly before getting on the boat when we have our shouts in the middle of the night.

I joined the Flood Rescue team, West Division in 2012; learning how to stay safe in fast flowing water and how to execute different rescue scenarios.

I’ve spent the last two Christmases with my flood bag packed in the car, on standby! It’s like having a shout that you know is coming, you just don’t know when and you’re continually making adjustments in your life just in case the call comes in and you have to go. My family and boyfriend are extremely understanding and so is my work, which I am extremely grateful for. In fact some of my presents this year were items for my flood bag! Waterproof mobile phone holder and gadgets that will charge my mobile phone without a plug point.

This Christmas the West flood team were all on standby but to different areas. Seeing the support the RNLI Flood Rescue Team gave to those people in both North Wales and Aberystwyth who were either completely stranded or flooded out of their homes makes me very proud to be part of the team. Being one of those people who can put a smile on someone’s face who really has got a lot on their plate is a great feeling.

Life in Cardiff is great as the adventure facilities continue to expand. The white water rafting centre has been great for a bit of fun on the water as well as training days for the Flood Rescue Team – we’ve even put cars in there to train with. Indoor surfing at the centre is my next challenge! I’m so lucky to have adventure races right on my doorstep with the Cardiff Burn running in Cardiff giving me a chance to get my bike, kayak and running legs out. With talk of a real-snow indoor ski slope coming to Cardiff too it really is an exciting place to live!

Jen Payne is a Cardiff local who volunteers as a crew member at Penarth RNLI lifeboat station.

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its 24-hour rescue service. To find out more about the RNLI and how you can donate, click here: http://bit.ly/1f4Mlhd

Jen was photographed at Penarth lifeboat station by Ffion Matthews

If you’re interested in the history of the RNLI in Wales, Phil Carradice recently wrote an interesting piece on them for BBC Wales Blogs.

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