This is a community website for Grangetown in Cardiff, highlighting people, business, community activities, local news and things to do in the area and linking other websites and blogs.

We live locally; this is a voluntary project - in connection with Grangetown Community Action - free and independent. We are the online presence of the long-running Grange News community paper, which has been distributed to 6,000 local homes every four months for more than 35 years.

E-mail us on grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk if you'd like to help, are local or would like to send any contributions for inclusion. Also if you'd like to be included FREE in our DIRECTORY,

You can also follow us on Twitter @grangecardiff and look for Grangetown Community Action on Facebook. We have a growing number of followers and are keen to encourage a social network to promote Grangetown community events, activities, issues, businesses and organisations.

Grangetown Community Action

The group no longer has a permanent office but will have a presence on certain days at the Grange Bowls Pavilion and the Grangetown Library Hub. It can be contacted on: grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk. A new phone number for contact and messages will be operating soon.

www.grangetowncardiff.co.uk Twitter: @grangecardiff
Formerly known as Grangetown Community Concern and registered as a charity. Established in 1977.


Diane Dowsell

Ken Barker

John Fellows

Maliika Kaaba

Tariq Awan

Rhys Price

Nicola Allen

Ashley Lister

Steve Duffy

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE 2016/17:

Chairman: Ashley Lister
Secretary: Nicola Allen
Treasurer: Colin Greer
Vice chair Tariq Awan
Publicity officer/Website: Steve Duffy
Executive committee: Ken Barker, John Fellows, Maliika Kaaba, Diane Dowsell, Rhys Price, Steve Khaireh, Father David Morris. Advisers: Councillors Ashley Govier, Lynda Thorne; Vaughan Gething AM, Joyce Martin, David Reeves

We held an AGM on Thursday November 17th at the Grange Pavilion to elect a new committee, following the sad deaths of our chairman and vice chair in September. The meeting heard of the desire to move forward with new and current projects. The next meeting will be on Thursday 15th December at the Pavilion (7.15pm). Contact us if you or your organisation would like to be represented. Our executive committee meetings are usually held at the Pavilion (in Grange Gardens) or Grangetown Hub (Grangetown Library).

The latest copy of Grangetown News was published in October 2016. The next edition is being planned for February/March 2017 - ideas and contributions welcome in the meantime. And advertising enquiries. Email: grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk. The paper is entirely produced by volunteers - and 6,500 copirs are printed and delivered to homes and local businesses.


Group mourns loss of long standing members


Chris at the Grangetown Carnival and Festival, which he helped organise every year

Grangetown Community Action is mourning the loss of two of its long-standing committee members, who both died on the same day.

Councillor Chris Lomax, who died suddenly at home on Friday 16th September aged 73, was the long-standing chair of Grangetown Community Action (previously Grangetown Community Concern). A champion of local causes, especially involving the elderly, Chris was also at the helm in a difficult transition in the wake of city-wide financial cuts as the voluntary group looked to become more project-focused in recent years.

Vice chair Hazel Ball, 74, died peacefully in hospital, where she had been for a few weeks after being taken ill while away in the south of England. She was also on the committee of Grange Conservatives for many years and chairman of its Ladies Friday Club.

Warm tributes were paid to both. Chris remained a dedicated and hard-working Labour councillor despite recent ill-health and attended the council's planning committee earlier this week. He was taken ill again on Thursday, shortly before GCA's AGM was due to take place.

On a personal level, Chris was friendly, warm and cheerful, always very approachable to residents. He chaired GCA meetings with a light touch and the ability to listen to others, but was always forceful and passionate about the causes he believed in - and certainly battled in Grangetown's corner when it was needed.

He didn't wallow in the past either and knew when it was time for Community Concern to move with the times, with a new name and taking the best of the old while embracing the new; he welcomed and encouraged new blood - and took on board new technology himself (his laptop and was even getting the hang of Twitter).

Over the last couple of years Chris would have taken quiet satisfaction and some pride in seeing his grandson Ashley work alongside him as secretary of the group and start to make his own impact locally.

Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty (pictured above with Chris at the 2015 Grangetown Festival) said: "Devastated today to hear of death of friend and local Labour colleague Cllr Chris Lomax. Thoughts and prayers with all family and friends."

Fellow Grangetown councillors also paid tribute. Ashley Govier said Chris had "fulfilled his dream in representing Grangetown. He will be sorely missed by us all". Lynda Thorne praised his dedication and said he was "so proud of being a councillor and representing Grangetown".

Council leader Phil Bale said he worked "incredibly hard" but also paid tribute to the "great family man." Fellow Labour councillor Sarah Merry called him "a warm lovely man who cared so much about his area," while Gretta Marshall called him a "true gentleman."

Lib Dem councillor Joe Boyle added: "In all my dealings with him, he was a kind, decent and gentle man".

Plaid Cymru postponed local election campaigning for the weekend with local candidate Dafydd Trystan saying: "Very sad to hear the news about Chris Lomax. A great servant to the Grangetown community - my condolences to all his family and friends."

Sad news about Chris Lomax whose heart and soul was in Grangetown

— GLHS (@GLHS1) September 16, 2016

Sad to hear the passing of Grangetown's Cllr.Lomax, top bloke always cheerful my thoughts are with @AshL93 & Family! https://t.co/u75HruZzZ7

— A L ! A B D ! (@AliAbdi_) September 16, 2016

Terrible news re Cllr Chris Lomax. I sit with him on planning & @GlamArchives. We were always chatting, espec re motor sport. I'll miss him.

— Adrian Robson (@Adrian1Robson) September 16, 2016

Grandson Ashley Lister, secretary of Grangetown Community Action, paid an especially moving tribute saying he was "my grandfather, my councillor, my mentor but most importantly, my friend."

Thank you all for your kind comments after the passing of my Grandfather, Cllr Chris Lomax. He was a wonderful man pic.twitter.com/iFRgKEnTkS

— Ashley Lister (@AshL93) September 16, 2016

Although Chris was born in Tenby, he spent most of his life in Grangetown, which was etched into his soul. He went to the old Cardiff College of Food Technology and worked as a baker for many years, including for Avana in Grangetown. He also spent six years as a milkman and also in procurement for the local health trust at the Heath before his retirement. He had been an active member of the Labour Party since the 1970s and a trade union member since the 1960s. Condolences to his children and grandchildren. His wife Lorraine had died in 2005. He leaves two daughters, a son, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Hazel - pictured in the GCA tent at the Grangetown Festival in June

Hazel Ball - who leaves a son and a daughter - had also been extremely active in the Grangetown community.

Friend and fellow committee member at GCA Dianne Dowsell said: "Hazel was a collector of people. She didn't think that people should be lonely or unhappy so tried to get everyone to join in - organising coach trips to give us all a great day out and other get-togethers.

"A few months ago she met The Bishop of Llandaff who asked 'And what Church do you belong to my dear?' 'All of them,' said Hazel. 'I'm hedging my bets!' But she did, whereever there was a 'do' - morning coffee at St Pauls, Ebernezer for the Wednesday prayer meeting and The Salvation Army on Thursday or whenever needed. And that's the key word - needed."

"I bet you all have your stories of her. To me she was a very special friend who I will miss forever and I'm so glad our paths crossed. She passed away peacefully and leaves a son Ian and a daughter Sue - also many, many friends."


Hazel (second left) with Dianne and other helpers after a Christmas lunch for local pensioners

Fellow committee member Steve Duffy said: "It's been a shock to lose two people who were the heart of the group for so many years. Hazel rarely missed a meeting or event and was always there helping at pensioners' lunches and the festival especially. She was a lovely lady with a twinkle in her eye and a dry sense of humour. Chris fought hard for Grangetown while always willing to listen and welcoming to a variety of voices. He was also kind and a proper gentleman."

Good crowds for Festival climax


There was a Roald Dahl costume theme for the parade

There was a great turnout for the climax of the Grangetown Festival on Saturday 18th June.

Two hundred children and parents joined the parade - with a Roald Dahl costume theme - from Courtmead Gardens along to Grange Gardens.

The fete brought a variety of stalls from residents and local organisations. There was also face-painting and play activities. Thanks to everyone for supporting the event!


Some of the images from the festival - click on thumbnails for larger photos

Awards for outstanding community champions


Ali Abdi (left) and Moseem Suleman being presented with their awards.

The annual Joan Gallagher award has been made jointly this year to two people for outstanding work in the Grangetown community.

Ali Abdi is a well known and popular face - particularly among young people, with who he does the majority of his work. He also recently returned from Somaliland, which he has done a tremendous amount towards it being officially recognised by Cardiff Council as a state. Ali is also recognised for his contribution to the Cardiff Somali community.

Moseem Suleman is a local businessman who owns a local ice cream parlour and has been involved with the Community Gateway programme in Grangetoewn for more than a year. He is also one of the organisers of Radio Ramadan and a big supporter of local activities right across the Grangetown community - including the Philosophy Cafe project.

The award is presented annually in memory of Joan Gallagher, the long serving secertary of Grangetown Community Concern, the forerunner to Grangetown Community Action. Last year's winner was Dave King, the driving force behind Keep Grangetown Tidy.

The awards were presented at the Grangetown Festival by Grangetown Community Action chairman Chris Lomax, with local AM Vaughan Gething.

Community paper relaunched

Grangetown's new-look community newspaper has been relaunched.

Now called Grangetown News, the first edition of the 12-page full-colour tabloid newspaper will be delivered to homes and available from some local shops and the Hub. Published by Grangetown Community Action, it has been a quarterly magazine format since 1978.

With the help of the Community Gateway team and the university's Community Journalism department, a lively group of residents and students met to produce ideas for the summer edition.

As well as more local news stories, there are features on local businesses and also sport. The paper has also been designed by Grangetown residents.

Online versions of the features - with more photos - will also be put up later on this website, as well as a downloadable version of the paper.

But it's not too late if you want to get involved:

Homeless clothes collection success

A winter clothes collection drive in Grangetown for Cardiff's homeless saw dozens of bags donated.

The Clothes Drive project was run by Grangetown Community Action from November into December. A fantastic 51 bags of clothes ranging from hats and scarves, to jeans and jumpers was collected and donated to The Salvation Army's Bus Project which offers support to the homeless within the city centre.

All items donated will be distributed by the staff and volunteers at the project and will help to keep those in need warm for the rest of the winter months.

"I'd like to thank all those who donated clothing to the cause, as well as the residents, Fr David Morris and local police officers who helped to sort and deliver the clothing at the end of the drive," said Ashley Lister, secretary of Grangetown Community Action.

"I'd also like to extend my thanks to Cardiff Council's Neighbourhood Partnership Team, staff at Channel View Leisure Centre, Cardiff Youth Offending Service and The Buzz Information Shop for their support by acting as drop-off points."


Tributes to Joan Gallagher, a "force for good" at the heart of Grangetown

Grangetown Community Concern was very sad to lose our long-serving and much-loved secretary Joan Gallagher MBE, at the age of 85, in September 2010.

Joan was a prominent member of Grangetown Community Concern since it started in 1977, and only in recent months had stood down from editing the Grange News community newspaper after an involvement stretching three decades. Over her long association, she had also served as chairman, vice chairman - every position except treasurer. She had continued to be very active in all aspects of the organisation's work and her indefatigable spirit remained at the heart of it; she was still involved in helping to organise GCC events such as pensioners' lunches, trips and the annual carnival week. Joan's many years of dedication to Grangetown was rewarded with an MBE in 2004. She also served as a Labour councillor in Cardiff for 12 years - both with Cardiff City Council and South Glamorgan County Council before local government reorganisation. She was also dedicated to the scout movement both in Cardiff and Scotland, a family tradition which was inherited by her daughter Christine, who is also administrator at GCC. Joan was treasurer of the 13th Cardiff Scout troop. Joan was also involved in other organisations, including the local food co-up.

Joan, a mother of six children - Christine, Susan, David, John, Patricia and Brian - died at home suddenly on 27th September. She also leaves nine grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and many friends in the Grangetown community, which she served. Daughter Christine said: "She was always there for all of us - she'll be very much missed".

Joan spent most of her life in her native Cardiff, apart from a period from 1955 to 1969, when she and her late husband Hugh, a civil engineer, lived in his native Scotland. The couple had married in 1946.

Two years ago, when celebrating 30 years of the festival and the community paper, Joan reflected: “The most important thing about Grangetown is its community spirit. To us, Grangetown is like a village in the city. We’re enclosed by the rivers Taff and Ely, the railway and its bridges – it makes us slightly isolated.” Joan said she encountered that "unique" spirit during the war. “In 1943, I worked for a credit drapery in the town centre and had to collect on my bicycle in the evenings during the blackout. In Butetown and Grangetown, the people there were always the best payers. And you’d know where you could stop for a cup of tea!”

Chris Lomax, chairman of Grangetown Community Concern, said: "Joan was like a mother to us all."

"She just kept us going and with all the activities, she was always there to guide us, as well as being an incredible example to all the old fogeys! Her heart was Grangetown and I hope that energy is still beating for Grangetown in the future. She will be sadly missed and never forgotten for what she contributed to the area and for her many friends."

Joan with Chris Lomax and Lorraine Barrett AM at the 2009 Grangetown CarnivalAmong tributes was one from Alun Michael, Cardiff South and Penarth MP, who had served with Joan on Cardiff Council, where he said her greatest contribution was "nurturing the area’s community spirit during good times and bad". He called her "a constant force for good and for engagement" in the community.

Mr Michael added: "The MBE was a formal recognition of Joan’s work, but it’s the fact that everyone associates Grangetown’s community spirit with Joan’s efforts through the decades that is the real recognition. It’s a simple fact that Grangetown – and Cardiff as a city – will be the poorer for Joan’s passing but of course the real loss will be for the family. Although with such an extended family – including a large number of great-grandchildren – there is certainty that she will always be remembered and that others will carry on her work".

Carol Bartlett, of Grangetown Nursery School, called her a "truly inspiring lady who worked so hard for the good of the community".

Zena Mabbs, chair of Grangetown Local History Society said members also wanted to express their sincere condolences to Joan's family. "Her presence will be sadly missed by all those who loved her and also by the community of Grangetown who benefited from her wonderful contributions of time, caring and concern over so many years," she said.

Father Ben Andrews told the hundreds who mourned her at her funeral at St Paul's in Grangetown that her heart had always been in the community and in the "very many organisations" she served, as well as being sorely missed by her large family. Her grandaugter Tracey told the congregation about her Nan, how she loved to socialise, enjoyed a joke and their weekly shopping trip.

A silent tribute was held at Grangetown Community Concern's meeting in November, while Mr Lomax paid another tribute to Joan, who he said had been "the heart of the organisation."

Grangetown Community Concern has established an award in memory of Joan, to be awarded annually to someone living or working in Grangetown who has made an outstanding contribution whether in work, school, an organisation or generally in the community.


Joan is pictured here (left) helping at a Grangetown Community Concern-organised lunch for pensioners, with her daughter Christine and son-in-law Alan (right of photo)

DETAILS OF THE JOAN GALLAGHER AWARD AND HOW TO NOMINATE

  • The award is a recognition of local achievement or contribution to the community - for instance, this could range from sporting or academic achievement, voluntary contribution, arts/craft, charity, caring or good works or outstanding service through work.
  • Adults and children of all ages are eligible for nomination.
  • To qualify they must either live, work or be in school in Grangetown or if they live outside to have contributed to the area.
  • Nominations can be made by individuals, families, organisations, schools (teachers, governors) or employers
  • Nominations can be made easily by post or email to grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk. We want a simple 250 words or so on why the nominee should be considered for the award. The deadline is festival week in June. A judging panel nominated by Grangetown Community Concern will make choice for the award
  • We will invite a shortlist of nominees for a presentation evening during festival week.

About us

Grangetown Community Concern was set up in 1977 to act as an umbrella group for other voluntary organisations in the area.

Originally, its aims and objectives were to provide and encourage services for all age groups, with a particular focus on the elderly.

The organisation was based from 1985 in the Clydach Street day centre before it had a temporary home in the Buzz Café in Penarth Road. It moved to the new Grangetown library in 2006 but after the building's renovation in 2015, the group is now working partly out of the library but also the Grange Bowls Pavilion.

For a number of years, GCC organised a daily lunch club for the elderly, as well as special lunches at Christmas and on May Day, when there was coach trip. Due to dwindling numbers, GCC in 2014 decided to refocus and re-think some activities.

After more than 35 years, the organisation relaunched as Grangetown Community Action. It decided to continue with organising the week-long Grangetown Festival in June, including an open-air service, a schools sports afternoon at Leckwith stadium, culminating in a parade through Grangetown and a carnival and fete at Grange Gardens. We encourage local groups and schools to participate during the week. The event started in 1978 as a one-off carnival day but expanded to a week-long series of activities in 1983.


An old shot of a carnival day, when it was held at St Patrick's, and the May Day trip

We also have this community website, www.grangetowncardiff.co.uk/www.grangetown.wales which has also been developing on social media.

Every quarter, Grangetown Community Concern produces a local newspaper, which is delivered to thousands of homes in Grangetown and neighbouring Butetown. This has been produced since 1978. It contains local news articles about the community, from local schools, churches and other organisations. The long-running publication is dependent on funding from advertising by supportive local businesses to keep going. In 2016, it relaunched as a newspaper for the first time, with a group of local residents and students helping to produce it.

Grangetown Community Concern was the first group in Cardiff to receive the prestigious Queen's Golden Jubilee Award. The group was one of only 12 across Wales and 200 in the UK to be honoured in this way, as part of the celebrations of the Queen's 50 years on the throne. Group chairman Chris Lomax and administrator Christine Davies were invited to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party in July 2003 to mark the award. "It's a great honour for the whole area, we're delighted," said Mrs Davies, who said the group can use the crown symbol on all its publicity. The award, presented by the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, highlights community-focused voluntary activities "of a very high quality, that have generated a high level of goodwill and respect amongst those they serve."

The group was relaunched as Grangetown Community Action in 2014. It has been involved in several projects, including being a partner in Keep Grangetown Tidy and in the Grange Pavilion project; it is also working with Cardiff University's Business School on setting up a shop local and local business forum.

There is a look back at 30 years of Grange News and the festival on our features page.

Photos from past Grange festivals Presentation evening for the Queen's Golden Jubilee award

 

Photo: Zena Mabbs

Back to the old daysThe Welsh Pipe Band lead the parade down Cornwall Street

Chris Lomax, chairman of Grangetown Community ConcernThe Scout tombola

Summer plants on sale Lord Mayor Freda Salway presents awards to the parade winners A quiet corner of the park before the crowds arrived

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