"A diverse and compelling online resource that makes the cityís rich history accessible to everyone" - Who Do You Think You Are? magazine

"For a wonderfully comprehensive chronicle of Grangetown history since those drunken monks turned up..." - Dan O'Neill - South Wales Echo

Grangetown Local History Society meets every month in Cardiff at Grangetown Library Hub, Havelock Place, on the first Friday of month (2pm-4pm). All are welcome to come along, and bring photos and stories if you have them. Next meeting: Friday 5th May, 2-4pm

Grangetown Local History Society holds its monthly meetings back at the Grangetown Libary Hub - in the new community room, with an adjoining cafe. Members travelling by car should note that parking is strictly limited although there are disabled spaces. Street parking is available outside in Havelock Place, also in nearby Bishop Street and North Street. There are regular No 8 and No 9/9A buses - use the stop in Clare Road.

We are a group of people interested in local history, many Grangetown born and bred, but others who have come to live in the area. We also welcome visitors, including people from overseas on a visit back to their roots! Email: grcarinfo@yahoo.co.uk

Click on the images in the map above for an online history of Grangetown

Click here for older Grangetown Local History Society news and photos

Displays: The society displays photos, slideshows and audio memories at local community events and fairs, including the annual Grangetown Festival in June. It has also taken part in local and family history fairs and exhibited at the local library.

Calendar: We publish an annual calendar, showing popular historical scenes and old photos of Grangetown past, in the run-up to Christmas. They prove popular collector's items. They are available annually from Young's grocers in Penarth Road, Clark's Pies in Bromsgrove Street and Verdi's chemist, post office and store in Clare Road, with a price of £3. Mail order options also available.

Audio history: We are involved in an ongoing audio history project, collecting memories from Grangetown people of times and people in the past. If you would like to take part - home visits can be arranged - contact us below. We are particularly interested in hearing from people with connections to north Grangetown/Saltmead.

Archive: We are always collecting photos and memories to build up our growing archive of Grangetown history. We are currently starting to digitise our archive and files of photos, which is quite a long term task. We are always interested in hearing from people with old photos. Even some old family photos can sometimes reveal something about the local area or a particular time. We can arrange to scan and return photos, as well as take digital copies.

Grangetown and World War I: We are creating an online version of the Grangetown War Memorial, in time to mark the centenary of World War I breaking out. It involves researching the details of the men on the memorial - as well as other casualties with Grangetown connections who were not recorded. A separate website has been created - www.grangetownwar.co.uk and will be updated as the project progresses. We held a commemoration event at Grange Gardens on 2nd August and held an exhibition at Grangetown Library in 2014. See below for more details.

Books: A third book Old Grangetown Memories Book Two was published in 2013. Copies are available on eBay. Old Grangetown Memories Book One was published in June 2011 and quickly sold out. There are two other books Old Grangetown Shops and Memories and Old Grangetown Memories Book Two which have also sold out but both should still available to borrow from the Central and Grangetown libraries.

Visits: We undertake occasional visits - these have included Cardiff Museum, Glamorgan Archives, Margam Abbey, Risca Museum and the Cardiff Bay Barrage. Members have also joined in research projects involving the early history of Cardiff docklands and how it came about, with the Glamorgan Archive and Parlimentary archive.

Calling time as pub marks 160 years - and its re-opening!

Rita Feresey - second right - with other former barmaids during the evening. Photo: Owen Price

There was an evening to mark the re-opening of The Grange pub - with an illustrated talk on its 160-year-old history - by the society on Sunday 9th April.

Over a good pint or two there were some odd tales over The Grange Hotel's long time in the community - it is as old as Grangetown itself - and some of the odd landlords too! You can also download a factsheet here giving the full history, going back to its opening in 1857.

After the talk - which also included a presentation on Grangetown's other pubs, many now closed - bound copies of the history were presented to landlord Dai Dearden and also to former barmaid Rita Feresey, who shared her memories of working behind the bar for 41 years! It's hopes some old photos and memorabilia will be on the walls of the pub in the near future too.

Tribute to Terry Harris, 1943-2017

Terry (left) enjoying a history society meeting

The history society has lost one its long-standing members, who travelled regularly for meetings back "home" from Margam, where he lived. Terry was a quiet and friendly member of the group. He was remembered at March's meeting with a tribute from Zena Mabbs, which included mention of his own astonishing personal history - being one of the early recipients of a heart transplant 29 years ago, eight years after the operation was first performed at Harefield Hospital. Terry himself wrote about this gift of extra life in 2013 - and his own Grangetown memories, which we reproduce below.

My life before and after a transplant

This year is a very special year for me as I celebrate 25 years since I had a heart transplant. I will start at the beginning, in 1983 when I was a lorry driver delivering suspended ceilings over all parts of Wales and the West Country. It was while I was making a delivery to Llanelli in September; I was driving on the M4 and I felt terrible. It was indigestion, as I thought, so I stopped at a chemist to buy some tablets. The pain eased so I carried on. All was OK until on the way home the pain started again so I pulled into a lay-by just outside Bridgend. Iím not sure how long I was there but it was at least two hours. Eventually the pain went and I drove home but I did a silly thing and went to work the next day being a Saturday to load up ready for Monday I was ill in there and came home. Gosh, I felt so ill and went to bed!

My wife Janet phoned twice for the doctor but he still didnít come and she could see I was getting worse so she phoned 999 for an ambulance, they were there in no time and took me into Llandough Hospital where I later had a heart attack. It took me best part of a year to get over it but while I was still recuperating I had the bad news that my elder brother had died from a heart attack. This knocked me for six. He was only 47 and I was only 40. I just wondered what was going on with us.

I went back to work but after 18 months I was struggling again short of breath and chest pain, I managed to go on until the end of the year and went back on the sick. The next year I had another heart attack and Janet had to finish work to look after me. I had tests and I was put on the waiting list for a bypass operation. I waited nearly a year but then I had another heart attack this time a massive one and I wasnít expected to survive this one. But against all odds I did. The only trouble was that this attack had done so much damage to the heart that they wouldnít be able to do the bypass and they had taken me off the list. When they told me this it just knocked the stuffing out of me I thought that was my lot, but unknown to me then they still had one trick up there sleeve.

I was tranferred to the Heath Hospital in Cardiff. The doctor came to see me. I was in a bad way but then he said something which just blew me away; he said how would you feel about having a heart transplant? I said yes straight away and when he said 'hold on and think about it a while', my answer to that was 'I donít need to think about it, when can I have it?' He told me it was not that simple and that I would have to go up to a hospital in London for tests and assessment so that is what happened next. They sent me up there within a week to Harefield Hospital in Middlesex. I was up there for five dayís and then came back to the Heath hospital. I was informed the next that they had accepted me and put me on the transplant list. I was to remain in hospital for the next four months. Eventually, I came home but I had to sleep downstairs. I waited a year to hear from them and in that time I was in and out of Hospital like a yo-yo.

It was a Sunday evening on the 21st February that I had the call from Harefield that they had a heart for me and I had to be up there for 10am the next day. The ambulance was all arranged so I got back in bed and let everybody else do all the running around. I remember the phone hardly stopped ringing for the next few hours even if it was well past midnight.

Terry, left, pictured at a history society meeting

By daylight, we were ready and waiting but no sign of the ambulance, they were late and didnít turn up until 8am, panic stations with less than 2hrs to get up there and being peak rush hour traffic, we got there a little late but with the help of a police escort and I had the transplant later that day the 22nd Febuary 1988.

As soon as I was allowed out of bed I couldnít believe how well I felt in such a short time. It was only three days since my operation and I was walking up and down the corridor and with no pain or shortness of breath, it was marvellous.

I was only in the hospital for two weeks as my wife Janet was up there with me. They moved us into an apartment in the village to get me used to a home environment again, it had a telephone line straight to the ward in the hospital in case I needed any help. I had to go over to the hospital every other day for tests.

I had been in the apartment for four weeks and it was decided that I could go home but the next day as I was walking over to have my final test. It only took five minutes to get there but I was short of breath. They noticed straight away and did a test and told me I had rejection and I had to stay another week until all was well. I was so disappointed but the following week all was well and we finally came home. It was sheer bliss and to be able to walk upstairs. I just couldnít believe it and all the family were the same; they hadnít seen me go upstairs for so many years.

I didnít realize how my life was going to change, though, from being sat or lying on my bed day-in, day-out for so long. It went to travelling to my doctors, the local hospital every week and up to Harefield every two weeks. It was so hectic but I didnít mind that, I was just so grateful to be able to do it. As time went on the visits gradually got less until I had to go to my own hospital every two months and up to Harefield twice a year.

From then on Janet and I immersed ourselves in raising money for the hospital with the help of all the family and our friends. Life was sweet for a good few years and we got on with renovating our house in Leckwith village and sorting out the large garden that we had, but after a while I was feeling it was getting too much for us and things were taking me longer and longer to do so we decided to sell up and move to something more manageable. It took us two years to sell the cottage and we bought a house in Margam nearNr Port Talbot in 2002, all on the flat and a smaller garden. It was ideal.

We had been there a couple of years and I was struggling to do things again the doctors tried all sorts of medication but to no avail I had to go and stay up in Harefield again for tests. Then I had the bad news that I needed another heart transplant.

I was put on the waiting and over three years I was called up there three times as an emergency but each time it was called off because the heart wasnít suitable. About six months later I was told that I wouldnít be having the transplant and being taken off the list. They said it was because of my age and the shortage of donors. I was really upset and angry at the time to have travelled up there to be told that, I felt that I was just being dumped.

But looking at the situation later I thought 'well Iíve had one bite at the cherry and there are so many young people waiting for transplants, so OK I canít do a lot of things but Iíve seen my grandchildren growing up and that is something my brother never had. Iím still here so just be grateful for what Iíve got and just take things as they come and take one day at the time.'

I believe I am very lucky to be celebrating 25 years since my heart transplant on the 22nd February 2013. By Terry Harris, written in 2013. He died in February 2017 and had been one of the longest heart transplant survivors. The record is 33 years.

A teenage delivery boy

I started as a delivery boy in 1956, aged 13, until 1958, riding a carrier bike for Thomas & Evans, delivering groceries around Grangetown. Their shop was on the corner of Penarth Road and Paget Street (where Yang's Chinese restaurant is now). I went there straight from school at 4.30 p.m. The working week was Monday to Saturday with Wednesday off. My wages were 12s 6d and I used to have about 23 shillings in tips; out of that I gave my mother 10 shillings, and I thought I was a millionaire! I used to save £1 and that still left me with more money than I had ever had before.

A bike, similar to the one Terry used. And below David Thomas Davies, manager at Thomas & Evans, who retired in about 1953.

I had a bicycle of my own but the carrier bike was a different thing altogether. The groceries were packed into tall, brown paper bags and when four or five of these bags were loaded into the front carrier basket the added weight took some getting used to. Once mastered, I was away, as good as any of the delivery boys in Grangetown.

As you would expect there was a wide variety of people that I delivered to. One lady who lived all the way down the bottom of Broad Street always snatched the bag off me and slammed the door in my face. She only came into the shop every couple of weeks. I used to deliver to a nice coloured lady who lived alongside the canal in James Street over the Docks, she would come to the shop on a bus, she was very tall and blind, and one of the nicest people you could wish to meet. After she had put her order in I would give her time to get back home on the bus and I would take her order over, unpack it onto the table. She always had a cold drink ready for me and a half crown tip which she insisted I take.

Other customers were show people who used to set up shows on Guest Keenís ground in Sloper Road. No matter how many of them I used to deliver to they all used to give me two shillings each, and they used to let me have a look in their caravans. I had never seen anything like it; everything was so shiny and spotless.

One of the strangest things I had to do was on a Saturday morning (which was the busiest day of the week) and that was to go to the Bank. The shop manager would pack the money in a cloth bag and then put it into one of the brown paper bags and I would just throw it into the basket in the front of the bike and cycle off to the bank in St Mary Street to pay it in. Can you imagine that happening today? Looking back on it I think it was a bit risky in those days!

A few of my mates were also delivery boys for other shops in Grangetown and said I ought to ask for a rise as they were paid 15 shillings a week. When I told them how much I got in tips they could not believe it, I think they thought I was just saying it to make them jealous, but it was the truth.

Sadly my days at Thomas & Evans came to end in the summer of 1958 when I was 15 and had to go out to work full time. I loved working there and felt privileged to have been able to do so. It taught me so much about life and about people and how to handle money and many other things that I have never forgotten. It stood me well to start my life as a young man. But they say all good things must come to an end and I will never forget my time as a young delivery boy at Thomas and Evans in Grangetown.

Terry Harris

Society notes: April 2017

17 members were present at the April meeting at Grangetown Hub.

Radio Cardiff: We received an invitation to appear on Radio Cardiffís Tuesday programme dealing with local history. Unfortunately, no-one except the chairman could attend. The producer had hoped to have a group of us discussing their childhood memories of Cardiff. They may invite us to participate at some later date.

Television Programme: We also received an invitation by Folk TV to be interviewed for a television programme on the icons of Grangetown that had disappeared, in this case the gas works. Although the secretary had volunteered, it was cancelled at the very last minute.

Grange Pub: We were reminded that on Sunday 9th April, Steve was to give a talk at the Grange Hotel on the history of the pub. The event was very successful, although the number in the audience was small. The landlord was presented with a copy of Steveís research document (Fact Sheet 9) as was Rita Feresey, one of the longest serving (!) barmaids at the pub, who came along with others who had fulfilled that role. Glamorgan Archives have inquired about the talk being included in their next programme.

Dropbox: The GLHS Dropbox is gradually storing more and more of the digitised archive. It is being arranged into subject order and, where possible, photos of and information on soldiers of the 1914/18 war are being labelled.

Oral Interviews: We had received a request, from a university research student who is examining the Cardiff accent, for volunteers to be recorded. Unfortunately, no- one came forward. The student had also asked to have access to our audio archive.

Excursion: Previously, we had discussed visiting the Royal Mint. To date nothing definitive had been arranged. An alternative visit was proposed, to the Hut 9 Island Grangetown Local History Society farm, Bridgend, the site of a prisoner of war camp. Unfortunately, all the events this year are already fully booked. But the organisers have been asked to contact the secretary whenever bookings become possible in the future. (Ref: www.hut9.org.uk) The chairman reminded us that the visit to the Royal Mint would cost £11 per person.

GLHS Archive: Brenda John has been doggedly working at this task for some time and continues to do so, for which we are very grateful. She described her progress to date and made reference to the need to register the dependants of soldiers, for example, who fell in the Great War, possibly under a special index reference number.

Library Manager: The chairman had spoken to the library manager and she has asked to attend our next meeting to see how to promote Grangetownís history.

Finance: The results of the committeeís consideration of the state of our finances was read out from the last minutes and adopted.

Grangetown history fact sheets

Ray Noyes, society secretary, and Zena Mabbs have been involved in producing some fact sheets on aspects of Victorian Lower Grangetown. Another has now been added by Ray on the building of some of Grangetown's churches and chapels and Steve has contributed one on the history of The Grange pub to mark its re-opening and 160th anniversary.

These have been created to print off - and have been handed out at recent meetings - and now we're starting to put some of them up on the website here, for wider interest. Click on the images above to download the PDFs . The second fact sheet on street names has been reproduced instead as a webpage here, as it is too large a document to download.

Prisoner of war details added to archive

The story of a prisoner of war from Grangetown who had been captured at Dunkirk during the Allied evacuation in 1940 is being told after artefacts were donated to the society.

Leonard Ivor Fry Smith is pictured above, aged about 38, at a party to celebrate his homecoming in 1945 in Avondale Crescent, five years after he was taken prisoner. He is highlighted in the image at the party next to a cake.

Also is a thanksgiving scroll and prayer from the Ludlow Street Methodist Church, given to the family.

Pictured before the war with his soon to be wife and on a trip to Lavernock with family and neighbours - and one of the last photos before his death in 1960, aged 53.

Known by his middle name Ivor or "Ite" - he was born in 1906, one of 10 children born to Bristol Channel pilot Lewis Smith and his wife Elizabeth from Ferry Road. At some point the family moved to 41 Clive Street, next to Parfitt's fish shop. Ivor married Irene Bird, who also lived in Clive Street, in 1937. His family were Methodists but his new wife was the daughter of the St Paul's church warden so they were married there. The couple moved to a newly-built house at 1 Avondale Crescent before war soon intervened.

His Army records and a letter about him being taken prisoner - click for larger version

Pte Ivor Smith was captured at Calais during the Dunkirk evacuation, only four days after arriving overseas, on May 26th 1940. Although he was taken prisoner, he was listed as missing and it would be August before his wife knew he was alive.

Ivor was held at Stalag 21B - or Thure - in Poland. What little he later told his family about his time there included that the camp was near Poznan and that they received Red Cross food parcels. But it appears probable he would also have been involved in a forced march with other POWs as the Russians headed into Germany, with other records also showing him at Blachownia in Poland, which was a labour camp.

Ivor's records show his service as a craftsman. One sees him with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps before during his time as prisoner being transferred to a role as a mechanical engineer with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

After the war and his return, he resumed worked for Coastlines as a driver - the job he had before enlisting in 1939. But he died at the young age of 53 in 1960.

Thanks to his daughter Lesley for the donation.

Grangetown's place in war poetry

A creative writing workshop looking at Grangetown and World War One was presented by Cardiff University as part of its Conflict and Creativity season with Dr Dylan Foster Evans and writer Jon Gower.

Pictured above is poet Rees Rees "Teifi" (1870-1948), who lived in Cymmer Street in Grangetown during the war and published a volume of poetry in 1915. Dr Evans explained that Rees, who worked in Penarth Docks, was educated in the Rhondda but lived in Grangetown for 20 years, during which time he wrote poetry about the war. His early writing was caught up in the general "call to arms" and recruitment drive, with his poetry evoking Llywelyn, Owain Glyndwr and even the Duke of Wellington. His later writing was more reflective and reflected the loss and sacrifices.

Wrth sengi llwch eu hoesau hwy,
Wrth gogio nosau brad,
Ein calon dd'wed o dan ei chlwy
"Rhaid marw dros ein gwlad."

As we tread the dust of their lives
As we remember the nights of betrayal,
Our heart says in its wounds:
"We must die for our country."

Translated by Dr Dylan Foster Evans from Marw dros ein gwlad (To die for our country)

Mi glywais gwympo'r cedyrn
A llawer arwr tlws
On heddyw cwympir dewrion gwlad
Braidd yma wrth fy nrws
Mae llef pob newyddiadur
Yn lleddf gan alar mawr
Mae'r oes yn llawn gofidiau lu:
Dont gyda'r hwyr a'r wawr.

I heard that the brave had fallen
And many a fair hero,
But today the country's brave men
Almost fall here by my door
Every newspaper's cry
Is sad with great grief,
The age is full of numerous woes:
They come with evening and the dawn.

Translated by Dr Dylan Foster Evans from Oes y Gofidiau (The Age of Woes)

Dr Evans also talked about Edgar Phillips "Trefin", (1889-1962), born in Pembrokeshire but who learnt Welsh after moving to Cardiff, including some some time in Grangetown including at what is now Ninian Park School (then Sloper Road School). He was working as a tailor but also went off to war and was wounded in 1917, when part of a house collapsed after he was sheltering during a bombardment. His poetry was also written to fellow soldiers, including some in English.

The Mother (6 September 1917)
I remember seeing the boys
Marching all together
Their footsteps like thunder
Echoed through the street;
Hooray! Hooray! shouted the children -
Foolish youth is thoughtless;
A mother's heart asked quietly:
"Will my boy come back home?"

When Spring comes over the hills
With flowers on every side,
What will be on the little mound -
My son's grave over in Flanders?
Oh! I wish I could, like a bird,
cross the rough sea,
I'd be content if I could plant
One flower on his grave.
Gunner E Phillips

See more about the season here

Details of another name on the Grangetown War Memorial uncovered

Although we have had an exhibition and centenary commemoration, our World War One project does not stand still.

We are marking the 100th anniversary of the deaths of each of those servicemen from Grangetown as they pass - including on our Twitter account.

We are also still trying to research details of outstanding soldiers and sailors, whose addresses or in some cases service details and dates of death, have proved elusive.

One name which we managed to track down details for is Private John Sheehan. He hasn't got a Commonwealth war grave, he appears as possibly "I Shecan" on the memorial and as "A Sheehan" in the list of men with the 6th Battalion Welsh Regiment in the programme when the memorial was dedicated in 1921.

Thanks to Army Museum records of soldier's effects, it has been established that John Sheehan died after discharge and his next of kin was his sister.

So now we can establish more details: He was a docks labourer and former serviceman who enlisted in August 1914 possibly at the age of 49, although he declared his age as 44. He was living at 23 Bute Terrace at the time he joined up and working for the Bute Dock Company. His late father was a bootmaker. He died at the home of his elder sister Mary Agnes Spillane at 25 Ferndale St, Grangetown. His death certificate says he had contracted rheumatism and cardiac asthenia five months before. He had beeen discharged from the Army on medical grounds as unfit on 27th April 1915.

Sadly we missed his centenary, but have added his details to the online memorial and will be doing so to our poppy street map. We're keen to establish details for the following 30 men on the memorial. We'd like to hear from anyone who can help us:

Names on the memorial needing more research We're particularly interested in tracking down details of the following men on the memorial, including those with Grangetown connections which are uncertain. Some details on the memorial so far have proved inaccurate, so we'd like to hear from anyone who can help us:

CALLAN, Thomas On St Patrick's RC Church plaque, no details traced
CAVANAGH J Welsh Regiment TWT Royal Engineers Lieutenant - No details can be traced
CHIPLEN, Frederick - Grangetown address/connection?
COLEMAN, James Mark Grangetown address/connection?
DE VINE, James Arthur Forrest Grangetown address/connection?
DRURY, Robert b Lincoln but where did he live in Grangetown?
EVANS, D Welsh Regiment 3rd Battalion Private No details can be traced
GULMAN,J Welsh Regiment 2nd Battalion Private No details can be traced
HUGHES, S.J Welsh Regiment 13th Battalion Sergeant No details can be traced
JARVIS, J Mercantile Marine S.S "Freshfield" Seaman Gunner d 5 Aug 1918; Grangetown address/connection?
JONES, W G Royal Welsh Fusiliers Regiment Private Grangetown address/connection?
JONES, William Norman, Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1st Battn Exact Grangetown address?
LEWIS, John A, South Wales Borderers 5th Battalion Grangetown address/connection?
MCLAREN, David.L CWGC 2759421 Royal Naval Reserve H.M.S "Ashtree" Sub-Lieutenant d 21 July 1918 - illness Husband of Emily McLaren, of 41, Romilly Rd. West, Victoria Park, Canton, Cardiff.
MURRAY, James, Welsh Regiment 16th Battalion Grangetown address/connection?
O'LEARY,W.J Royal Navy H.M.S "Vivid" Eng Navigator No details traced
O'REILLY, Richard On St Patrick's RC Church plaque, no details traced
OLSEN, T Royal Navy H.M.S "Gosamer" Seaman Is it Trygve OLSEN, born Norway, living in Seaman's Hospital, Ferry Road in 1911 - a marine stoker, b 1889?
PAYNE, A Royal Army Service Corps Driver No details can be traced - possibly Alfred Edward Payne (b 1892, 32 Penhaved St) who may be the same who joined the RASC as a driver, No 174169, reinlisting in March 1916. -
PRIEST, C Royal Navy H.M.M.S No.7 Stoker No details can be traced - could have been serving on the Q7 ship Penshurst, which was sunk on Dec 25 1917.
REES, David Edmunds CWGC 3031914 Mercantile Marine S.S "Camerata (not Camelata) from Swansea Second Engineer d 2 May 1917, aged 24 Grangetown address/connection?
REES, George. Herbert, Rifle Brigade 3rd Battalion, (The Prince Consort's Own) Grangetown address/connection?
RIDLAND, W.C Machine Gun Corps Private Looks likely to be W Cridland - not sure of exact Grangetown address but connected to Grangetown family
SAUNDERS,William Welsh Regiment 2nd Battalion Private Exact Grangetown address needed
SHECHAN, I Welsh Regiment 6th Battalion Private No details traced
SMALLBRIDGE, C Royal Navy H.M.S "Warwick" Private No details traced
SMITH, T A Royal Army Service Corps Driver No details traced
THOMAS, George Edward, Welsh Regiment 11th Battalion Grangetown address/connection?
THOMAS, William J CWGC 607434 Royal Army Medical Corps 2nd (Welsh) Field Ambulance Private 1477 d 13 Aug 1915, aged 21 at Gallipoli Grangetown address/connection?
WALES, T.A.L Royal Navy H.M.S "Bellona - poss died at Battle of Jutland 1916 No details traced
YORATH, W Welsh Regiment 9th Battalion Private No details traced

If you have any details for the above, please get in touch with the society by emailing grangetownwar@yahoo.co.uk.

News in brief and local/family history queries

The older school photo - possibly Ninian Park again - and Christopher and Agnes, with son Frederick.

GRIFFITHS FROM GRANGETOWN: Christopher Griffiths is inquiring about his ancestors who lived in 91 North Clive St., 20 Clive St., 25 Ty Nant St. 9 Avoca Pl, 71 Penhevad St. and 24 Stockland St. He has e-mailed us some lovely photographs. The photo below is believed to be Ninian Park School in about 1932.

His great-grandparents, Christopher and Agnes Griffiths (nee Smith) were married in 1922 in Grangetown Baptist Church. At the time Christopher (born 1895) lived in North Clive Street and Agnes lived in 25 Tynant Street. He has sent us some family photographs. The older school photo is dated around the turn of the 20th century and we're not sure if it is Ninian Park School from an earlier period or if the teacher on the right of both photos is the same man, 30 years apart.

Christopher would like to make contact with members of his family as he is hoping to visit Grangetown in December from South African. Here are the names of the siblings of Christopher Griffiths (born 1895) - Emily Ann b. 1897 Edith b. 1898 Gladys b. 1900 Ivor b. 1902 Leonsah b. 1902 Frances aka Nancy b. 1904 Zippora b. 1907 Phillip John b. 1908 Doris May b. 1910 Thomas A. b. 1911 Olwen C. aka Cissie b. 1915.

Request for family history information - William Watson. An email had been received from a Mrs Ruth Hinton asking for information on her grandfather, Mr William Frank Watson, who owned a paper mill at 9a Penarth Road. Any members who can throw any light on this information, especially the worksí location, should contact the secretary.

Note from June meeting - society archivist Peter Ranson has been shouldering this responsibility for some years and it is thanks to him that we have such a comprehensive record of the history of Grangetown. He now wishes to stand down and a replacement will need to be found.

External research requests: Aileen Taylor has offered to undertake some research for people enquiring of the Society after their family history. Normally, the Society does not have the resources to respond to such requests, but Aileen has offered to help where possible. Her email address is: aileenthyer@hotmail.com.

If you have any details for the above, please get in touch with the society by emailing grangetownwar@yahoo.co.uk.

Click here for lots more Grangetown Local History Society news and photos

Doug Knight chairman; Email: grcarinfo@yahoo.co.uk Michelle Derby-Charles and Helen Stradling - email queries; secretary Ray Noyes; treasurer Alan Collier. The society cannot undertake family history research but member Aileen Taylor has offered to help with limited requests, where time allows - queries email: aileenthyer@hotmail.com

Websites: grangetownhistory.co.uk and grangetownwar.co.uk

Postal address for mail order or to send photographs (please include your details): Grangetown Local History Society c/o 28 Llanmaes Street, Grangetown, Cardiff CF11 7LQ


"A wonderful online resource that the society is building up: a series of outstandingly good and carefully researched articles on the history of the area" - Who Do You Think You Are magazine?

"For a wonderfully comprehensive chronicle of Grangetown history since those drunken monks turned up..." - Dan O'Neill - South Wales Echo

There is already a good online history of Grangetown on the Grangetown community website, including its medieval origins, Victorian growth and wartime and post-war memories, as well as sport, business, schools and churches - click on the photo icons above for more. See also: grangetowncardiff.co.uk community website.

There are also two published illustrated books in the Images Of Wales series by Tempus publishing, Grangetown (compiled by Barbara Jones) and Grangetown The Second Collection (compiled by Ian Clarke). Copies can be found in the local library, bookshops and you should be able to find copies on eBay or order via Amazon. Society member Ray Noyes has published a book Victorian Grangetown which looks at the building of south Grangetown, including detailed examination of construction and plans for homes, industry and notable buildings. There is also a Tales Of Old Grangetown DVD, by Ian Malcolm, which is available in local bookshops and from the central library.

Cardiff Library members can now access Victorian newspapers online from home, including the Western Mail from 1869 to 1899. You need to log on to the Cardiff e-library with your membership number and password. You can also access Ancestry.co.uk through your library membership log-in. The local studies/archives have now been re-homed in the refurbished Cathays Library (which can be found on the corner of Crwys Road/Fairwater Road and reached from Grangetown on either the No 8 or 9 buses heading for Heath). Grangetown Library in Havelock Place has a selection of Cardiff history books. You can also research local history online with the National Library of Wales' free Welsh newspapers online site, for pre-1910 daily and weekly papers, with an excellent search facility.

The Cardiff Museum at the Old Library building in The Hayes opened in 2011. There are quite a few Grangetown elements to it - including stories, objects, photos and a map which shows the changing nature of the area. The museum is very hands-on and interactive and well worth a visit. It houses regular local history exhibitions, amongs other shows. It's also trying to gather memories and photos for its ongoing Collecting Cardiff project.

There is also the Glamorgan Archives, now in purpose-built facilities near to us in Leckwith, close to the new Cardiff City stadium development. You can call in to use the large reading room and users can also register for a card (bring ID). The purpose-built development has temperature-controlled archive space for documents, parish and estate records, original plans for houses and other buildings in Cardiff, as well as local directories and maps. You can also access censuses up to 1901. There are lockers for personal belongings, bring pencils not pens.

Other useful links or interesting sites for local or family history include the Glamorgan Family History Society, which is useful for those both with family connections in the area or those with just an interest in history; Cardiff Heritage ancestry.co.uk (subscription required for most services); GENUKI Cardiff, abandoned communities has details of old Temperance Town and Newtown in Cardiff. There is also a wonderful history of Penarth Docks. There's also a good blog of Keith S Robertson's 1980s photos of mostly east of the city Cardiff Before Cardiff

Other local history societies in Cardiff: Llanishen Rhiwbina Civic Society Roath Rumney and there is also Butetown History and Arts Centre

© Grangetown Local History Society 2017. Updated April 19th