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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

River out of Eden

An excellent book for anyone who is interested in the history of Cardiff is River out of Eden by Jack Jones. Its out of print now but Abebooks is a wonderful site for finding out of print and old books. Over the years I have had at least 3 copies of this book and lent them out only never to get them back. I have managed to find another copy, so I wont go down that road again.

River out of Eden is probably one of the best books ever written about Cardiff during the 19th century. More fact than fiction it tells the story of the Regan family, Dan an Irish navvy working on Cardiff 's first dock, his wife Letty and their headstrong son "Taffy" Regan.
Dan's burning ambitions and his rise to power set amidst the background of Cardiff and it's surrounding areas presents to the reader a wealth of information and an enjoyable journey back into the past. as been described as one of the best books that describes the rise of Cardiff as a City. The characters are fictional, but the facts are real. A great story and an interesting way to learn the history of Cardiff.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ruperra Castle

As the weather was good on Saturday four of us went for a cycle ride,........... and I forgot to take my camera. So I have used the images from the website below.
Its an interesting old building and a pity that it's not being made use of, why not a conversion to apartments? One of the main reasons, apart from planning permission, I suspect is access, as its off the main road and you can only get to it by a very rough track.
I imagine that only a few people are aware of its existence.

The following information regarding the history of the castle is taken with permission from the Ruperra Conservation Trust web site.

Ruperra Castle was built in 1626 by Sir Thomas Morgan, who was knighted by King James 1st. It was a typical Jacobean courtier’s house, an example of the ‘Great Rebuilding’ of the 16th and 17th Centuries. King Charles 1st stayed there in 1645 raising support after the Battle of Naseby. A deer park was recorded in 1684 when the Duke of Beaufort feasted there and there were viewing points through the trees and beautiful grassed rides up to the summer house where the family took tea at this time.

After being destroyed by fire in 1785 the castle was rebuilt and the original gables replaced by battlements. In 1875 Captain Godfrey Charles Morgan, of the Charge of the Light Brigade fame became Lord Tredegar and during the 19th Century the eldest son of the Tredegar family lived at Ruperra which saw its heyday as a great Victorian country estate with historic gardens and parklands. In the 1920s many repairs were done but then Tredegar fortunes declined. In 1941 the Castle was once again destroyed by fire when British troops were billeted there. After the War the estate was sold as a farm. The castle has stood, a ‘romantic ruin’ overgrown with vegetation and deteriorating for over 50 years.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Civic centre

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This is in King Edward Vll drive. It was a rainy day so I thought B&W suited it better.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


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Wikipedia..............Crocus (plural: crocus, crocuses) is a genus of perennial flowering plants native to coastal and sub alpine regions of southern Europe.
Like all flowers, and for me especially the Spring flowering ones, its a pleasure to see them. These were in Bute Park.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Street Entertainment

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Walking a tightrope and playing the violin. One of the two is hard enough.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

All this rain.....

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.........some of it ends up here. Unfortunately the forecast for the week isn't that great.
As much as I moan about the weather, there are others who are in a far far worse position.

A rainy day shot

What a rainy weekend we've had. For me its cabin fever weather, a weekend for staying indooors and doing whatever you do best indoors.
Still a little primula to bring some colour into the weekend.

Friday, January 18, 2008

You make my day.

Alice has given me a "You make my day " award. Thank you for this !

The award rules say: "Give the award to at least 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel good. I have just listed the blogs that I read daily, so thank you all for your posts. I usually read your blogs with my coffee just before I leave for work."

Alice -Whose blog always makes me want to go back to cycle Brittany again.

Annie -Thank you for showing me around Little Rock.

Kat -Who leads an amazingly hectic life and is the Queen of multi tasking.

Anita - for being a great pen friend and who first introduced me to Blogging.

Meredic - a fellow cyclist and who has a great way with words.

Lori -for showing me more of the Big Apple than I would ever see on a trip there.

Wanda -for your sincerity.

Jayne - a gifted and a very comical writer.

Sandy - who doesn't post as often as I would like.

Sheldon Brown - who is not well at the moment, and can only be described as a genius with bicycles. His web site is certainly a must visit, not only for cyclists, as its worth reading about all the things Sheldon has done.

Marion - I'm really looking forward to reading about the move further north .

Merry - who is about to start a new and exciting chapter in her life.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Frantic Cycling

Some of you may know that I like cycling, so have a look at this clip, it really is frantic.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bute Park

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Parks are often described as the lungs of the City.
More information about the wonderful Bute Park here.
If you double click on the first photo you should be able to read it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


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Barry Island.
Years ago during the summer Barry was full of day trippers and holiday makers. It was the place where coal miners families from the Valleys came to relax.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


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Lots of redevelopment work going on, this is for a new shopping complex. Apparently Cardiff is an excellent shopping centre, I suppose living here we take it for granted.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

John Batchelor

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The statue of John Batchelor (1820-83), 'The Friend of Freedom', stands in The Hayes, Cardiff. It was created by the sculptor James Milo Griffith and unveiled on 16 October 1886.
John Batchelor was born in Newport but moved to Cardiff during the 1840s where he established a business as a timber merchant in West Bute Dock. He played an active role in the public and political life of Cardiff, serving as Liberal councillor and mayor of Cardiff for a period. In 1869 he was elected President of the Cardiff Liberal Association. He also involved in the religious and educational life of Cardiff. During this period, Batchelor found himself in conflict with the powerful Bute family (supporters of the Tory party), and was a constant thorn in their side. Indeed, many of his supporters believed that the collapse of his shipbuilding business was as the result of a conspiracy by the Bute estate. Following his death in 1883, a subscription fund was opened to establish a memorial in his honour. However, the statue evoked strong emotions in Cardiff and the 'Western Mail' newspaper, a staunch supporter of the Bute family, printed a mock epitaph written by his political rivals. A petition was also drawn up, signed by 1200 people, calling for the removal of the statue.
Gathering the Jewels ref: GTJ73140

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Yesteryear and today.

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What a change, ahhh........if only Cardiff had kept those trams and trolley buses.
Still if you look above shop level the buildings are still the same.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008