Tag Archives: roath

Roath Farmers Market

If you’re after fresh produce in Roath, the Farmers Market is the place to head to. Great prices, local producers – each week you’ll find up to 30 producers selling the best in fresh, local Welsh and organic food. Photojournalist Veronika Merkova went along to snap some of the treats on offer.

If you’re hungry, you’ll also find delicious home-made ‘world’ foods representing the diversity of Cardiff, from bread and cakes, fish and meat, flowers and fruit and veg, to farmhouse cheese and Welsh organic whisky – the first certified organic whisky in the world.

Roath Market

Every Saturday 9.30am – 1pm
Mackintosh Sports Club, Keppoch Street

CF24 3JW (opposite Gate Arts Centre)

Veronika says: “Visiting the farmers markets around Cardiff was a great experience as I found it an alternative that is needed. We have big chains and supermarket sourcing our food and we usually don’t know where they come from as well as the quality isn’t the best that we can get. I was very excited to see the range of vegetables and fruits that the farmers provide. The actual quality was amazing too and the taste was nothing like shopping from a super market. It is also a very nice feeling of supporting the local community. Both Roath market, even tho a little bit smaller, and Riverside market were full of stalls and lovely people that would be happy to tell you all about their product.”

See the full photoshoot at our Facebook page: We Are Cardiff – Roath Market photo gallery

More info: Roath Market

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Rhithganfyddiad: the art and poetry project that maps Cardiff like never before

We spotted these gorgeous illustrations of Cardiff a few months back and decided to investigate who was behind them and their accompanying poetry: meet Efa Lois and Morgan Owen! 

Gwelsom ni’r darluniadau hyfryd hyn hyn o Gaerdydd rhai misoedd yn ôl a phenderfynu ymchwilio i bwy oedd wedi’u creu yn ogystal â’r barddoniaeth sy’n cydfynd â hwy. Dyma gyflwyno Efa Lois a Morgan Owen!

Rhithganfyddiad is a collaborative project between Morgan Owen, a young poet and MA student at Cardiff University, and Efa Lois, an illustrator and Architectural Assistant currently based in Cardiff. They told us:

“We started Rhithganfyddiad because we wanted to document the city as it currently is. Cities are constantly evolving, especially Cardiff, and we hoped to capture what the city is currently like, whilst reflecting on its past.

The end result is a poem and an illustration – a chronicle of each place.”

Mae Rhithganfyddiad yn brosiect ar y cyd rhwng Morgan Owen, bardd ifanc a myfyriwr MA ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd, ac Efa Lois, sy’n arlunydd ac yn Gynorthwyydd Pensaernïol. Dywedodd Morgan ac Efa wrthom:

“Dechreuodd Rhithganfyddiad am ein bod am adlewyrchu’r ddinas fel y mae hi ar hyn o bryd. Mae dinasoedd yn datblygu drwy’r amser, yn enwedig Caerdydd, ac rydym am ddal naws y ddinas fel ag y mae hi, tra’n ystyried ei gorffennol.  Cynnyrch ein hymwneud â’r gwahanol ardaloedd yr ydym yn ymweld â nhw yw cerdd a darlun.”

They are gradually filling in their map of Cardiff with their gorgeous work – we can’t wait to see the full set!

Maent yn raddol yn llenwi eu map o Gaerdydd gyda’u gwaith hyfryd – ‘da ni’n methu ag aros i weld y casgliad yn ei gyfanrwydd!

Here’s a selection of their images and poetry- you can see more of their work on their website, or in store at Cant a Mil Vintage on Whitchurch Road. You can also buy prints online.

Dyma ddetholiad o’u darluniadau a’u barddoniaeth – gallwch weld mwy o’u gwaith ar eu gwefan, neu yn siop Cant a Mil Vintage ar Heol yr Eglwys Newydd. Gallwch hefyd brynu printiau arlein.

Heol y Gadeirlan | Cathedral Road

Mae’r hewl hon yn bont annisgwyl
o’r canol i’r cyrion,
un stryd sy’n rhychwantu
dinas benbwygilydd.

O unpen i’r llall mae bywyd
yn arafu a’r ddinas
yn ymbentrefoli
nes dy fod mewn byr o dro

yn bell bell o’r dwndwr
heb ymgydnabod â’r rhyngdir.

Plasnewydd

Cydgymysgwn – nid goddef
ond parchu gwead
ein cydblethiad;
ymhyfrydwn yn y cymhlethdod
cain lle gwêl
y culion ddryswch.

Treganna | CantonMewn dinas o’r iawn ryw mae’r
strydoedd yn gyfrodedd
heb arwain at unlle’n benodol.
Dryswch dymunol yw ei nod amgen,
ei chyfiawnhad a’i gogoniant.
Mae’r hewlydd oll yn rhan o’r cyfanwaith,
a phob un, eto i gyd, yn torsythu
yn ei hannibyniaeth.
Y daith ei hun yw’r unig resymeg.
Wrth hyntio’n ymwybodol o’r cymysgedd
awn i wledydd dirifedi
heb adael am eiliad ein dinas ni.

Cathays

Ni fu realiti erioed mor hurt
â tharfu ar y cyfeddach
a’r delfrydu, ac amheuthun 
yw tario yn y tir neb 
rhwng rhyddid a chyfrifoldeb.

Dychweli’n ddoethach
yn ddieithryn. Fe weli,
a thithau’n lwcus, fod bellach
sylwedd am yr hen haniaethau
a’r breuddwydion liw dydd.

Fe weli, a thithau’n eithriad,
nad ildiaist i’r sadrwydd
mae’r lle hwn yn brotest yn ei erbyn.

Heol y Fuwch Goch | Womanby St

Fin nos yn feddw nadredda
gwyntoedd ffrwythlonder a phydredd
i gyfeiliant diotwyr a gwylanod.
Yn ddeuparth bywyd ac unparth marwolaeth,  
cerdda ffantasmagoria y strydoedd
sydd bob un yn arwain at ruddin y gân
a’r golau. Annedd frwysg rhwng gwyll
a gwawr yw’r noswaith lân sy’n darfod yn yr oriau mân.

Llandaf | Llandaff

Yng ngogysgod y ddinas
mae hendref greiriog
sy’n edliw i’r concrit
ei lesgedd.

Ar ei ynys grebachlyd
mae’n mesur y llanw
di-drai sy’n difa
gwreiddiau.

Lle cedwid gynt rin
rhyw genedl a gwagle
i freuddwydio ceir heddiw
grawcwellt yn ymborth.

Eilbeth yw iaith a llên
a myfyrdodau
lle mae arian
yn llywio meddyliau.

Deled y byd i weld
tomen o garegos
pan nad yw llwydni
Llanbobman yn ddigon.

Y Sblot | Splott

Dur yw iaith absenoldeb;
dur sy’n rhydu yn y dociau dof
yw pont dwy genhedlaeth;
dur sy’n fy nghludo i gartref
na ddychwelaf iddo eto.

Dau le a unwyd gan un enw
a dynghedwyd i gyd-ddioddef –
dau le sy’n gorwedd
dan lwch hen luniau
sy’n stwyrian wedi sôn am Ddowlais.

Dowlais yw enw colled
yn y blaendir a’r ddinas
fel ei gilydd lle mae’r dur
yn rhydu o hyd.

Mynydd Bychan | The Heath

Nid angof fydd y fan hon
sydd rhwng dau le o hyd –
tramwyfa aml daith,
ond cyrchfan anfynych.

Pan fo’r cyrion yn crwydro a’r ddinas
yn glastwreiddio’i chalon,
rhinwedd yw rhyngedd
y lle sy’n aros yn yr unfan.

Illustrations/Darluniadau: Efa Loi, poetry/barddoniaeth: Morgan Owen

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Absolutely Fabulous Vegan Fayre, Plasnewydd: A Cruelty Free Food Community

Ab-Fab Vegan Fayres have been running for a while now, going from strength to strength. In a way, it has become a bastion for the growing vegan community in Wales and Cardiff – it is events like this that keep alternative culture alive. Ab-Fab is more than a lifeline for the vegan community, it is representative of a growing movement in Wales and Britain. The food, crafts and cosmetics on offer, too, were creative and – food-wise – incredibly scrumptious.

outside-event

Plasnewydd Community Centre proved to be an appropriate space for the Fayre. The space was small, but properly utilised by the highly-varied stalls that filled up the community centre. The room was bursting with conversation, laughs and well-timed “mmms” when someone took a bite of something. The atmosphere was one that was welcoming and inclusive for vegans and non-vegans alike. The stalls were incredibly varied (although cake-heavy, which isn’t so much a problem as it is a solution to a lot of life’s problems) at affordable prices. We didn’t get a chance to try everything, but what we did try gave further evidence that vegan food can be creative and satisfying to the palette.

Vegan Pizza Co. were our first stop. The Cardiff-based pizza slappers have been gaining a strong reputation in Cardiff and for good reason. The pizzas ranged from £6 to £8 which was great value for the quality of the pizza. The pizza crust was strong, the pizzas were well-topped and the vegan cheese was nothing short of a miracle – the cheese, truly, was indistinguishable from its curdled milk cousin. Cardiff Pizza Co. truly are doing great things with pizza and we’re praying that – eventually – they move from pop-up to establishment.

vegan-pizza

The next stop was The Welshman’s Lunch who had a variety of vegan cakes, chutneys and tea on offer. We sampled (and bought without hesitation) their avocado chocolate cupcake which was – again – a work of vegan magic. The flavour was strong, sweet, unique and dangerously moreish. We then stopped by Peace & Bake who sold a variety of sweet loaves, brownies and cakes (you can see a theme emerging here). A brownie and a banana bread was on the menu and these, too, were dangerously moreish

mr-nice-pie

Mr. Nice Pie and Jack Bakes were next and offered enough savoury pie goodness to end your pie cravings forever. Mr. Nice Pie’s Thai green curry pie was immense and unlike anything we’ve tried before. Jack Bakes spinach tartlet, too, struck a fine balance to satisfy the palette.

The true unsung hero of the fayre was Global Fusion Creole Vegan Bakery. A variety of sweet loafs were on offer, £2 for a slice and £4 for a loaf. There were some truly original loaves on offer, but we settled for the mango bread (something we’d never seen before) and were not let down by the sweetness of the bread for our breakfast the next day.

bread-man

In addition to the above, there were stalls offering crafts, make-up and cosmetics, along with food stalls we had to miss out on due to full stomachs. We’ll provide a list to all the stalls on offer below, so be sure to check them out as they were all so passionate about their food and crafts.

What stuck out most as we left Ab-Fab in a glucose-induced high was the accommodating nature of it all. A false narrative that veganism is militant has been concocted in recent years, but the truth about veganism is that it is accommodating for all – this was simply a group of people who were trying to make good food without hurting animals. What is there to hate about that? The next fayre is on the 25th in Penarth, so please head on down there whatever your dietary description because this event – along with the lovely organiser Sue Thomas – deserve all the support they can get. You can follow their next event here on Facebook.

Food Stalls:

Babita’s Spice Deli-Indian & Asian Food

Global Fusion Creole Vegan Bakery

Angela Feane-Vegangela Rose Bakery (Sweet Potato mild curry pasties & fabulous vegan cakes)

Vegan Pizza Co

Vic’s Vegan Bakes

Peace and Bake

Mr Nice Pie

The Welshman’s Lunch

Jack Bakes

Animal Rescue Stalls:

Greyhound Rescue Wales

FAUNA-VIKKI FAUNA-Wildlife Rescue & Animal Rights

Welsh Horse and Pony Group

Homeless Cats Cardiff

RozMogz Cat Rescue

Hillside Animal Sanctuary

Gifts & Crafts:

Ahh Lovely-Tracey & Cally

Venla Valve-Moon & Bear Shop

 

Refreshments:

Skincare, Healthcare & Beauty:

IUVO Skincare

Arbonne

Selina Wells-Hyfryd Skincare

Tropic Skincare & Makeup

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LOVE, CARDIFF – WORLD PREMIERE – and you can take part!

love_cardiff_main

PERFORMANCE, EXHIBITION, ARCHIVE

WHOEVER YOU ARE, YOU HAVE A STORY TO TELL.

Love, Cardiff is the story of our city’s past, present and future told through the personal accounts of our City Road communities. The customers in the barbers and take-aways pass each other on the street. The staff in the grocers, the sex shop, and the funeral directors sit side by side on the bus. The residents of City Road make their way home, every passer-by, every person an extraordinary story.

Love, Cardiff is a community production that explores the stories that lie behind the faces of those who live, work and play along this vibrant city road.

Do you have a City Road story?

If so, get in touch. Your story may be the inspiration we are looking for to help us build our performance, exhibition and archive. Please contact the Love, Cardiff Team on 02920 646980 or email love.cardiff@shermantheatre.co.uk The Community and Engagement Team at the Sherman Theatre create projects about you, our citizens, together telling the story of our community, our capital city.

‘To have the whole community in a play made entirely of their words was incredible.’ (Waulah Cymru Committee Member on the Sherman Theatre’s Community Production of Home)

 

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Roath Park short film, La Volonte, by Dylan Mears

Before Christmas we were contacted by a filmmaker called Dylan Mears. He’s currently doing his A-levels, but wanted to share a little film he’d made. I watched it and thought it would make the perfect inspiration for you to get outside and get active after Christmas indulgences!

The film is mostly set in Roath Park. Here’s what Dylan says about it:

“I’m from Cardiff, and since the age of three I’ve loved going to Roath Park Lake, hence why the majority of the film was shot there. I made the film after a very testing time of GCSEs, and my main objective with the project was to motivate people and offer the message that you take out what you put in this life.”

“I’m currently studying AS Economics, English, and Psychology at Fitzalan. Inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere but mainly the natural beauties such as the dawn and dusk, and just the varying propensities in everyday people.”
Well good luck Dylan – and all of you budding filmmakers, writers, artists, airplane pilots, army cadets, teachers, opera singers – whatever it is you want to do, get out there and do it!
For my part (in case you think these are empty words), my life resolutions are to finish the g*& d%$&* novel I’ve been flapping about with the past two years and to blog more on my personal blog. And stop eating so much shite and exercise more. And call my parents more.
Etc.
Good luck to us all!
Peas
x
Find our more about Dylan and his work:
la-volonte-dylan-mears
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The elastic band effect – in conversation with Meryl Cubley

In this week’s person to person, we sit down for a chat with Meryl Cubley, Cardiff-based journalist and writer.

meryl_cubley_by_lorna_cabble

Cardiff is my home – despite not being born here. I’m originally from a very small village located on the Staffordshire Moorlands (very Heathcliffe) but I spent much of my childhood growing up on the coast of west Wales.

You could say that that particular part of the Welsh coastline is intrinsic to who I am – it certainly makes up a good 70 per cent of my childhood memories. It was a very special time for me and the friends who I grew up alongside in west Wales: mainly Welsh, though two or three of us were English. These were dark political times – significant tension existed between the local Welsh and the English interlopers who had holiday homes – but never used them: basically pricing locals out of their own areas of birth because they could no longer afford the house prices.

It was also a time of miners strikes, huge unemployment and a change in the cultural landscape of Britain that we have never recovered from. Yet despite these difficult times, tucked away in a tiny part of the world seven coves long, we enjoyed a halcyon childhood that many will never experience. I know that I feel incredibly lucky to have such amazing and special memories of that west Wales coast; and whenever I go back now, I immediately feel all the stresses and strains of everyday life disappear as soon as I smell the sea air, or look at the different play of light there, or look up to see a canopy full of stars. It is a very special place – and I simply wouldn’t have those memories if it weren’t for Cymru – the people and the place.

Being a country girl at heart brought up pretty much on horseback; I knew I’d have to move to ‘the big smoke’ if I wanted to live the exciting kind of life I dreamed of and read about in the countless novels and biographies I often had my head stuck in. So I left home at a very young age; and over the years lived in London, Manchester and Bristol among others; and leaned my street smarts the hard way. Each city had its charms, its time ‘on the map’. There’s no question that they have influenced my passion and love of arts and culture, music and society. There were incredible music scenes, new political ideas, a change in style, culture and fashion: we’re talking about in particular the scenes in Manchester and Bristol here – London always seemed like a rat trap to me.

But Cardiff had me hooked from the start. I was living in Australia, pretending to be a surfer chick, on a gap year before they were called a gap year; after a particularly nasty accident left me in a wheelchair for eight months. I got a phone call from my Mum at home in west Wales, to say I’d had an unconditional offer from Cardiff’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies – one of the top rated institutions in the UK for media training. I think it’s significant to note that I was seriously considering studying in Sydney at the time – but I knew immediately that I wanted to study and live in Cardiff.

After three years of hard graft and like many students, I decided to stay and work in Cardiff after I had graduated. I’ve worked for all of the Welsh media institutions at one time and another – and learned a lot – and had a lot of fun doing so.

When I did leave in 2003, to edit a graffiti publication in Bristol; I honestly didn’t think I’d be back – but lo and behold – nine years ago I did come back to live and work in Cardiff once more. It seems I just can’t stay away!

Since coming back I love the range of things on offer here. If I had friends visiting for the weekend, this would be our weekend itinerary:
  • Friday night – local drinks – which ranges from the Albany pub to Milgi to all the choices on Wellfield Road.
  • Saturday – brunch at Porro or Cameo – or one of the greasy spoon cafes if it was a really good night! Then follow that by a walk around Roath Park Lake or Bute Park. In the summer it’s great fun hopping on the little boat docked near the Bute Park entrance; and zipping down to Cardiff Bay. A walk across the barrage to Penarth is a must, blows away the night before, feels like a million miles away – and is an awesome spot for collecting marine fossils. Grab the train back to Cardiff, have a brief siesta; then the fun starts all over again! Dinner at Il Pastifico, Potted Pig or Cafe Citta, followed by cocktails at Dead Canary; and dancing over at Gwdihw. Then on to an after party wherever that happens to be …
  • Sunday involves, bed, cat, papers and ordering in!

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Meryl Cubley is an Editor, Journalist and Writing Consultant. You can see more of her work at merylcubley.com or follow her @merylcubley. She currently lives in Roath.

Meryl was photographed by Lorna Cabble at Cameo Club on Wellfield Road.

Super secret giant guerilla cross-stitch street art is landing in Cardiff…. intrigued?!

Oh, this is very exciting! With needles, thread and grand ambitions at their disposal, cross-stitchers of Cardiff have been plotting a super secret street art project that they plan to unleash at this year’s Made In Roath arts festival……

picture1

Whether you are cross stitch crazy, mad about the arts or just looking for something different at the Made In Roath week, look no further! All kinds of cross stitch lovers from the local community have been working hard behind-the-scenes to bring a new and exciting project to the streets called Crossing Paths.

The Crossing Paths team have been meeting regularly in secret, in order to create a series of giant cross stitch street art that will appear overnight just in time for Made In Roath Festival.

As Becca Clark at Green City Events explains:

“We had no idea that so many people wanted to create street art and it seems we have found a really accessible and unique medium – giant cross stitch! Plus, I think the secretive, guerrilla style group was a factor!”

Every piece has been made by a member of the community using different recycled materials such as t-shirts, tights, naturally dyed sheets and even old bicycle wheels. The aim of the project is to bring colour and art to the streets of Roath and Adamsdown using the resources within the community. It aims to create awareness of the beautiful community gardens in the area that can sadly be overlooked at times.

People from all different backgrounds and parts of Cardiff have joined forces and contributed their own personal pieces of art. Ten year-old Osian Allsopp explains why he wanted to get involved:

“I wanted to learn a new way of sewing and I had good fun experimenting. I can’t wait to tell people; I’ve been very good at keeping this a secret!”.

On Saturday 8th October, everyone involved in the project will come together to cross-stitch ‘bomb’ the Plasnewydd and Adamsdown community gardens and surrounding streets. There will be an array of designs that all relate to what you may find in a garden; plants, wildlife, garden tools and maybe even a Pokémon or two!

The guerilla stitchers tell us more:

How did the Crossing Paths project idea originally begin?

“After a trip to Valencia where the streets were just bursting with colourful art I thought it would be fun to brighten up our own streets back home. A couple of weeks and a sneaky Facebook group later we had gathered a group of keen cross stitchers to make our dreams a reality!” – Becca Clark, Green City Events.

What do you hope to achieve from this project?

“We hope that people stumble across our unique pieces of street art during Made in Roath and maybe see a part of their everyday surroundings in a new light. For those keen to see them all, you’ll find a map on the Green City Events website, you can follow the path of plants and wildlife and in turn discover three beautiful community gardens. We hope this is just the start of a new community project and that others are inspired to create random acts of art!”

What do the crossing paths team think of the giant cross stitch street art?

“The perception of cross-stitch needs to taken out of the parlour and onto the streets; nothing like a bit of subversiveness to challenge the every-day!” – Dorcas Frazer

“As a prolific stitcher, I was thrilled to be part of Crossing Paths. Not only was it a great opportunity to meet other Cardiff Creative types it was so much fun stitching up giant cross stitches” – Charlotte,Twin Made

Why will Crossing Paths be a great addition to the Made In Roath week?

“The made in roath festival is all about bringing art out into the community, be that in schools, on street corners, in community gardens, and anywhere else we can find. CDF Cross Stitchers & Green City Events have done just that, with the unexpected element of stumbling upon their work whilst we wander the streets we think we know so well. We can’t wait to discover what’s on our doorstep!”

MORE INFO – CROSSING PATHS STREET ART PROJECT

Dates:
On display from Sunday 9th October – Sunday 16th October

Locations:
Mackintosh Community Gardens – 38 Keppoch St, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Plasnewydd Community Gardens – 5 Shelley Walk, Cardiff CF24 3DX
Adamsdown Community Gardens – Moria Terrace, Adamsdown, CF24 0EJ
And the surrounding streets.

CROSS-STITCH ‘BOMB’

Date: Saturday 8th October 6.30pm

Location: Secret meeting place – please contact Becca at Green City events to get involved.

The Actual History Museum of Roath

Every single suburb of Cardiff offers something different. But there’s something about Roath … Ellie Philpotts went along to investigate one project that certainly makes the area special.

actual museum roath

As readers of We Are Cardiff, you probably know just how vibrant this city is. Every day brings something new, while no resident has the same experience of living here. Plus, each suburb has its own cultural quirks. Where better to demonstrate this than Roath?

As a relative newbie to Cardiff, since moving here in 2014 to start English Lit and Journalism at Cardiff Uni, I’ve only ever lived in Cathays. Despite this, my favourite district has always been Roath. The place has it all – more international cuisine than you realised you could ever squeeze into a road (City Road, I’m looking at you); a beautiful lake, park and botanical garden; a tangible community spirit, with events such as the annual Made in Roath and Made in Spring festival; and now, of course, the Actual History Museum of Roath.

I’ve got to confess – I didn’t know much about this project, until We Are Cardiff’s wonderful founder, Helia, asked me pop along to do a piece on it. After as much research as I could do without ruining the suspense, I went along to the museum itself, and here’s what went down…

After getting kind of lost on the way (slightly embarrassing considering how close I live), I arrive at the address on Werfa Street, pretty soaked by that common thing called Cardiff rain, but excited to find out more. I’m offered a very warm welcome by the main curators, Dr Glen Roy and Sir Alfred Street, and before long we’re chatting away over a brew.

The first thing I want to know, from the horse’s mouth, is what it specifically is that the Actual History Museum of Roath represents? I’m told, ‘we bring knowledge to the ignorant, and open people’s eyes to the wonders of Roath. A lot of people know the aesthetics, of things like cafes, but they don’t think of the history much.’

Well now I’m intrigued. The Actual History Museum of Roath is a local project redefining Roath in a witty and unique way – leave your definitions of ‘truth’ firmly at the gate. The museum itself is in a garden shed at the Werfa Street home, featuring an interesting range of trinkets and artefacts which collectively form the north-eastern district’s rich history.

There are murals asking ‘what became of the Lake Roath Monster?’, plus maps, cave paintings and some rather amusing songbird rivalries with Splott…

The famous Roath vs Splott song goes as follows:

‘More beer landlord,
I’m a happy fella,
When I’m drinking in the Roath Bierkeller,
When I was young I travelled far,
I once went to Llanedeyrn,
The people there smelled funny,
And really did my head in,

(Repeat chorus)

Oh Roath it is a lovely place,
The pies are always hot,
Unlike those bits of gristle,
That they call pies in Splott,

(Repeat Chorus)

Oh landlord bring a flagon and we will make an oath,
To the greatest of all countries,
The place that we call Roath.’

 

This little hideaway and its connections play a vital role in Made in Roath, seeing visitors frequently flock to find out more about the true history of the place. The team behind the Actual History Museum of Roath all go by very Roathian names – there’s Dame Shirley Road; Dr Glen Roy and Professor Sir Alfred Street – and are keen to make Roath be considered independent. There’s no question about it – they certainly think it’s the pride of the capital, but this is taken to new heights with ideas such as their ‘Roatherendum’. 400 voted, with only eight preferring to stay dependent within Cardiff. Independence now!

A photgraph from the Museum's collection: Sir Lancalot Werfa, ever the Explorer of Roath, was already planning his next adventure with Sir Donald Street's grandfather Sir " Jimmy" Quality Street. This adventure never took place, due to his failure to successfully return from his Roath Recreation Park Crossing (1908, permission Actual History Museum Roath).
A photograph from the Museum’s collection: Sir Lancalot Werfa, ever the Explorer of Roath, was already planning his next adventure with Sir Donald Street’s grandfather Sir ” Jimmy” Quality Street. This adventure never took place, due to his failure to successfully return from his Roath Recreation Park Crossing (1908, permission Actual History Museum Roath).

Although of course unofficial and unrecognised by the government, the polls became quite the talking point around the close-knit community, and it seems even further afield – making it onto Radio Wales and Wales Online.

The Museum embodies the wacky charm that would surely only work on the good people of Cardiff. Engaging everyone by bringing a very new slant on what it means to be a Roath resident, I don’t think I’m alone in hoping the team keep up their open days; quirky Youtube videos and Made in Roath starring role for years to come. I’m just not sure their old rivals in Splott would agree…

PS – They’re expecting you to perhaps be a bit confused at first.

The actual history museum of Roath Facebook page

The actual history museum of Roath YouTube

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Ellie Philpotts

Ellie Philpotts is our writer on the ground in central Cardiff. Telling it like it is!

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Check out what’s going on with We Are Cardiff Press

 

Roath Local Historical Society – Winter Programme, 2015/16

Members and visitors are invited to join the Roath Local Historical Society for a series of lectures on subjects of local interest. All meetings are held in the Community Hall at the Mackintosh Sports Club, Keppoch Street, Roath and commence at 7.30pm. On site car parking is available and refreshments are served after the meeting.

Please join them, and bring a friend!

roath_local_historial_society

 

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 12
Where Cardiff Edges the Estuary.  Peter Finch, author, historian and lecturer pays a very welcome return to give a talk based on his latest book.

THURSDAY DECEMBER 10
The Kemys-Tynte Family is the subject of a talk by Malcolm Ranson, following exstensive research on this important dynasty.

THURSDAY JANUARY 14
The Development of Rugby in 19th century Cardiff and Roath. Writer and sports historian Gwyn Prescott will present this talk which is of interest to all rugby fans.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 11
History of Roath – the First 500 Years is the theme that Jeff Childs will present, looking at the beginnings in the late Norman period and the fascinating feudal system that administered the old manor of Roath. This will reflect aspects of Jeffs book Roath, 1000 Years of HISTORY

THURSDAY MARCH   10
A History of Albany Road School. Wil Howlett, Acting Headmaster, will trace the origins  and history of the School. Many members met Wil on our visit earlier in the year.

THURSDAY APRIL  14
Cathays Cemetary – a World Tour Gordon Hindess of Friends of Cathay’s Cemetery will give an illustrated presentation on the famous people and events connected with this Victorian cemetery .

http://www.roathlocalhistorysociety.org

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“Good times in Cardiff: rugby, journalism, and the novel I wrote about it all” – Nick

Author Nick Rippington recalls the jailer of Cardiff nick, ‘arf and ‘arf curries and hobnobbing with the famous in Kiwis.

Nick Rippington 

I handed over my £9 rent money for the week and Cliffy grasped it gratefully. “Come on then,” he said. “As it’s pay day we should go out and celebrate.”

I’d been in Cardiff for just a few days, a new recruit on the journalism training course at the further education college in Colchester Avenue, and was lodging with Cliffy and his family in a terraced house in Penylan.

I had the downstairs front room in a home that always seemed to be full. A constant stream of foster kids were in and out of the Simmonds house, mingling with their own offspring, two boys and a girl.

Forgive me if I can’t remember all the names, but we are talking 1978 – almost 40 years ago now. It was my first introduction to the ’Diff and the first steps in a love affair.

Despite my failing memory, though, I will never forget Cliffy. An enormous, larger-than-life character, he was jailer at Cardiff nick and in his spare time drove celebrities around in a Rolls Royce.

That first night he took me to the Albany Pub in Roath. It was long before the days of gastro-pubs, wine bars and new fangled phrases like “refurbishment”. This little backstreet boozer was a typical spit-and-sawdust Brains pub and locals greeted Cliff as if he was a long-lost friend, even though he’d seen them all the night before.

Immediately he dipped his hand in his pocket and shouted in the round, ordering without bothering to ask what my drink preference was. I was presented with a pint of Brains Mild (thank goodness it wasn’t SA) and as he chatted away to his mates about the latest Six Nations rugby tour he was organising I focussed on a small TV in the corner showing that evening’s episode of Coronation Street.

By the time the programme finished half an hour later I was staring rather forlornly at my fourth pint of mild. Cliffy, his pint-glass resembling an egg cup in his massive hands, was just getting into his rhythm. Not once had he asked me to put my hand in my pocket. When I offered he just said “It’s your money”, waving a few pound notes in front of me, the rent I had handed him just an hour earlier. I’ve no idea what his wife thought of his generosity with this extra cash but I had an idea from the raised voices I heard upstairs later.

On one such ‘rent night’, Cliff introduced me to the “best Chinese in Cardiff” – next to the student-friendly Claude pub in Albany Road – where an excitable Oriental man served me pancake roll and chips which he insisted had been made “very special for you”. Later I sampled the famous “Curry ‘arf and ‘arf”, rice and chips – a traditional Cardiff delicacy.

During those student days my classmates and I discovered a favourite haunt in the Philly, or Philarmonic to give it its full name, a lively nightclub on St Mary’s Street. The best gigs though were at the Student Uni. I recall fabulous nights there seeing the Jam and Graham Parker and the Rumour.

After that year in Cardiff alas I had to leave, taking up a job back on my local paper in Bristol. From there I travelled the country with my new profession, working in Stoke-on-Trent and Oswestry as a sports writer, before moving to Swansea in the mid 80s.

In 1989, I got my chance to return to Cardiff. The Western Mail and Echo were poised to launch their first Sunday newspaper and I landed the job as Chief Sports Sub-Editor. Establishing a completely new newspaper was a brilliant experience, and while many predicted Wales on Sunday wouldn’t last more than a couple of months it has just passed its 26th anniversary, so we must have done something right.

Wales on Sunday was the first “national” paper to contain a pullout sports section and gave blanket coverage to the Welsh football and rugby scenes, something locals were unable to get from the London-based media.

Eventually I moved in with a mate, Nick Lewis, who had bought a house in Cathays. Sadly, Nick is no longer with us but in those days we enjoyed everything Cardiff had to offer. On evenings off my housemate would rub his hands together with a twinkle in his eyes, and announce it was time for an “adventure”.

These “adventures” would take us down the docks to places like the Brown Windsor pub, where we could see brilliant Cardiff bands in action or enjoy a behind-closed-doors lock-in to watch televised coverage of the L’Arc de Triomphe.

Or, better still, we could go to Sam’s Bar on the corner of St Mary’s Street before winding our way down one of the arcades to a popular late night haunt called Kiwis. If we were really in the mood we might top it off with a Steak in the Taurus Steak bar.

On one such night we bumped into the actor Hywel Bennett and a pal who he was lodging with in Cardiff. Back in the days when I had hair people claimed I resembled him, so I recall going up to introduce myself with the immortal line: “People say I look like you”. It led to us spending a memorable night in his company, Nick and Hywel quoting Shakespeare at each other as the drink flowed (only the previous weekend we had published a story of how Hywel had kicked the booze!).

I was later promoted to sports editor and eventually left to try my luck on the Independent and, later, the Sunday Mirror in London. Five years later, though, Wales on Sunday came back to headhunt me and offer me the job of Assistant Editor. Many of my stories of that third time around in Cardiff, vaguely remembered, can be found on a blog I wrote called What I Cooked Last Night.

It was when I later took up the job of Welsh Sports Editor at the News of The World, only to lose it at 48 hours notice when Rupert Murdoch closed down the paper due to the phone hacking scandal, that I came up with the idea for my novel Crossing The Whitewash.

It draws heavily on my experiences in both Cardiff and London, and is set against the backdrop of the Rugby World Cup. It’s my debut novel and so far I’ve been very happy with some of the reviews I’ve been getting. Maybe when I make my first million I’ll return to Cardiff for good.

Nick Rippington currently lives in London with wife Liz and youngest daughter Olivia and works for the Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday. His novel Crossing the Whitewash is available from Amazon in paperback and for Kindle. It can also be found on iBooks, Kobo and at selected stories including The Wellfield Bookstore in Roath.

Crossing the Whitewash Nick Rippington

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Made In Spring! Made in Roath’s spring fling in review

Writer Ellie Philpotts headed over to Made In Roath’s Made in Spring, to check out all the artsy happenings. Here’s what occurred!

 Made in Roath bunting banner across a busy street

Ah, Spring. The time of joy; lambs; staggering around after too much Easter egg consumption; exams if you’re a student; battling hayfever (if you’re a hayfever-sufferer, otherwise known as Cardiff resident thanks to the blooms everywhere, pretty as they are) and blue skies (maybe not if you live in Cardiff, like most of us readers do). Have I missed anything? Oh yes… Also the time of Spring festivals!

Sadly, maybe Spring festivals didn’t jump to my mind straightaway because they’re a bit of a rarity. However, one compensated for the general lack of street showcases – and this was Made in Spring! I think Roath has to be the Cardiff suburb with the most going on, so I wasn’t too surprised to be instantly greeted with colour, life and vitality upon wandering down to Plasnewydd Road on Sunday 3 May. One thing that straightaway caught my eye was the washing line adorned with funky little-shirts, individually spelling out ‘Made in Roath.’ I’d already seen a similar snap as the event’s Facebook cover photo, but it looked even cuter in real life. Very Instagrammable, I must say!

teacups on the shelf of a food truck

 

bunting on the side of a school

The whole street had put real effort into the aesthetic content, but the stall-holders and fellow browsers were what brought the event to life. Through the medium of artistic creativity, the day appealed to everyone – young or old, native Cardiffian to newbie student. For example, there were super-cool easels to throw paint over (seriously, every street should boast one of these); purple sparkly trees (ok, human interaction may have played a role in making them so glittery); Roath Local History Society informing us through maps and books of the area’s heritage; a Hangover Tent, which I partially made my own despite having only drank Victorian lemonade the previous night, mainly because it was a private solace in which to inhale my very messy (but very good) falafel burger.

chairs in a food truck

One of my favourite elements was the mini mobile-home. Not only was it decked out in adorable vintage designs, but the task was to write your definition of ‘Home.’ Some were things like ‘Home is where the bra comes off’; ‘Home is laughter’; ‘Home is where the pets are.’ I’m starting to think my goal during my Creative Writing module next year should be to be more concise, because as usual I deviated from this trend, and wrote quite a long paragraph, which of course referenced that Cardiff is now my beloved home … being a newfound Cardiffian seems to be my selling-point lately! They were also giving away novels for free. Not many things are free these days, so I loved the idea of spreading the bibliophile love for very little cost!

a blackboard that says 'Roath draw the line' noticeboards for drawing on the side of a street

There were also hot dogs, a vintage tea and cake stall, a project called ‘Roath, it’s time to draw the line’ and a bubbling atmosphere. Events like Made in Spring are one of the reasons I’m such a fan of Cardiff. There’s a truly welcoming vibe – this was enhanced on the day due to the papers all splashing the day-old Royal Baby’s face – of course, this engages Britain and I’m so patriotic when it comes to all things regal – but the real sense of community came from Roath residents on May 3!

Made in Roath’s Facebook page

Made in Roath website

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Ellie PhilpottsEllie Philpotts is in her first year at Cardiff University studying English Literature, Journalism and Media. She is  a teenage-cancer survivor; is obsessed with travelling, and her favourite cities outside Cardiff are being Sydney, NYC, Nashville and Paris. Her ‘likes’ also include general Britishness, cups of tea, exploring, attempting to write songs, journalism, Italian food, finding new places, going out for dinner and taking photos – of everything. She is not a fan of maths, mashed potato, narrow minded people, her phone constantly running out of memory for photos, or people who are mean about Taylor Swift. Follow her blog or Instagram.

All photos by Ellie Philpotts

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“I train and fight a style called Muay Thai. It is known as the art of eight limbs” – Tanya

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I grew up in Cogan and Penarth. As a child I was very shy, quiet and worked hard in school. I was always sporty in primary school. I was on the school football team and also lacrosse team which won the under 12s British championships. In secondary school I used to play hockey and enjoyed cross country running and swimming. In secondary school I was bullied really badly, both physically and mentally. I was different, and that never goes down well in a school full of sheep. My dad wanted to find a way to give me more confidence and to help look after myself. He found classes in a local hall in Penarth. My twin sister was doing Aikido and wouldn’t let me join her, so the next class on was Muay Thai and that’s how I fell into the sport.

Ater I left university and took up the sport again I realised that I wanted to pursue it seriously. My fitness improved and my technique progressed, I decided I needed to learn more, which meant flying over to Thailand and training in a camp out there. It was there I was offered my first fight, and I accepted. I wanted to see if I really was any good at this sport.

I train and fight a style called Muay Thai. It is known as the art of eight limbs. You strike with kicks, punches, elbows and knees. It is very aggressive and highly technical. It requires you to be fast thinking, sharp, controlled and skillful in order to out maneuver your opponent and score points.

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I’m currently training for a fight, so will train around 10-14 times per week, work commitments permitting. This means on the days off from work that I have, I’ll train twice – sometimes three times a day. When I am not training for a fight, I still train every day to keep my fitness in check. I train between two gyms, doing my strength and conditioning at Dave’s Gym in Roath and I do my fight training and pads at Eagles in UFC gym in Roath Cardiff. I also run most days, between seven to 13 kilometres.

I have lived in Cardiff on and off since I was 20. I have been in Roath now for the past four years. One of the main reasons I decided to settle in Roath is because its close to both my gyms, near to town, easy for me to commute to work. I have the best of everything. Cardiff really is a brilliant place to live, it’s big enough to have everything you want and small enough that your now overwhelmed like it can be in places like London etc. Roath is the best place for me, it has a young vibe and some cool places to hang out in.

My advice for people interested in fighting would be to try out an interclub first. If you have been training a while and want to see if you can put what you have learnt into practice, participate in an interclub. This is a controlled environment where novices fight (with shin pads and big gloves) in a ring to a time. This will give you a taste of what a real fight will feel like, and how you control your nerves and perform against an unknown opponent. It’s also a really fun day as lots of gyms get together and everyone has a laugh and watches some potential shine through with the new up and coming fighters.

My favourite Cardiff places – if I had some friends visiting me for the weekend, I would have to take them around the parks we have. I run around Roath Park every day, and I love it there. I’d also have to take them for tea and cake, as well as heading into town and showing them round the castle, stopping off for a drink or two (if I am not fighting of course!)

Tanya Merrett is 30 years young and has been training Muay Thai for nine years, fighting professionally for two and a half years. She fights out of Eagles Gym in Cardiff. Her ambition is to become a world champion and take her fighting up to the very highest level, and fight the best out there. Her next scheduled fight is against Christi Brereton A Class on 6 April 2014 in Manchester – for more details, visit her Facebook page: Tanya Merrett.

Tanya was photographed at her gym by Joe Singh.

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