Grangetown Local History Society meets at the Grangetown Hyb (Library, 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.

Doug Knight chairperson, Email: grcarinfo@yahoo.co.uk

Website: grangetownhistory.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

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Best foot forward for heritage walk

Grangetown Local History Society members joined a heritage walk around the area in October, which looked at the history of some of the volunteering and community groups in Grangetown over the years. It was part of VCS Cymru's Cardiff Community Heritage Project, which is chronicling the history of volunteering in Cardiff, 1914-2014.

In memorium: Owen Price, 1958-2017


Owen on the left, pictured at a meeting in 2014.

Very sadly, 2017 saw the passing of the three of the society's popular members. Owen Price died suddenly at his home in November at the age of 59.

Owen was a friendly man, who was enthusiastic about genealogy and local history - and a regular face at Grangetown library doing his research. It was a shock to members, who had got to know him in recent years.

Owen joined the Grangetown Local History Society in 2013 and had been a regular attender at our meetings ever since and has always supported the society at the annual fete in Grange Gardens and during our WW1 Exhibition in 2014 he was on duty every afternoon to represent the Society. He was passionate about collecting his family history and when ever we saw him at meetings he usually had a tale to tell about that. He was always willing to take photographs on behalf of the society at various event, visits and projects and we are grateful for his help and kindnesses in this respect. At our last meeting he volunteered his services in anticipation of the Society taking on another project to scan more of their items.

We all will miss his kind, quiet presence at our meetings, and send our condolences to his family. Members from the society joined a large gathering of friends and family for an appreciation of his life at Thornhill in December. A tribute was made at our meeting in January.

Zena Mabbs

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. I’m 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 didn’t 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 wasn’t 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 wouldn’t 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 don’t 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 day’s 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 didn’t 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 couldn’t 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 couldn’t believe it and all the family were the same; they hadn’t seen me go upstairs for so many years.

I didn’t 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 didn’t 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 wasn’t suitable. About six months later I was told that I wouldn’t 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 I’ve had one bite at the cherry and there are so many young people waiting for transplants, so OK I can’t do a lot of things but I’ve seen my grandchildren growing up and that is something my brother never had. I’m still here so just be grateful for what I’ve 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 Keen’s 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.

Tribute to Joyce Lloyd

It is with great sadness that Grangetown Local History Society heard of the sudden death of one of its most active members. Joyce Lloyd was a regular attender of meetings and activities for the last decade, including the June meeting.


Joyce pictured second from the left on a society visit to Cardiff Castle's frontline museum.

She was born Joyce Davies in Pentre Gardens and grew up there during World War Two, recalling in one of our books how she watched a barrage balloon from her bedroom window. Her late husband Garth donated a fine painting of Grange Farm, which hangs in the local library. Joyce only recently visited the newly re-opened Coal Exchange - now a hotel - where her father had been born and where her grandfather was a caretaker.

Joyce had taken along photos and the hotel had told her they planned to name one of the rooms after her grandfather. Her sons Gerald and David have expressed the wish that members of the society should know of the immense fun and enjoyment, friendship  and company that Joyce and Garth enjoyed with us all, including all the “doing” things.


Oldest Grangetown resident dies, aged 103


Mary (left) with Rita Spinola, who recorded her memories for the Grangetown Local History Society's oral archive, just before her 100th birthday.

Probably Grangetown's oldest resident has died, just a week before her 104th birthday.

Mary Desmond was a mother of 11 and a number of her children lived near her in the Merches Gardens area.

She was born Mary Barry at 38 Chester Street in August 1913. George V was king, Asquith was prime minister, it was a year before World War One and the height of the Suffragete movement. Mary went to St Patrick's School, which she left to look after her grandmother.


Mary with husband Charles in the 1930s and aged 99 at a family wedding.

Mary, who also lived in Clare Road for a time, married her husband Charles Desmond in 1936.

The couple ran the Public Works Department Club in Mardy Street - later the Irish club and now the Samaj Centre - for more than 30 years. It used to attract people from all over Cardiff for dances.

Mary - who was interviewed before her 100th birthday by Grangetown Local History Society - also did bar work which she recalled as enjoying very much even though she did not drink alcohol. Mary also worked at Curran's amunitions factory near the docks, testing shells during World War Two. 

She had 11 children in 11 years but sadly lost her son David aged 23 in a hit-and-run road tragedy at the Clare Road lights in 1973 while Charles died a few months later.

Mary was a staunch member of St Patrick's Church congregation, attending Mass regularly, and had also been a cleaner at Ninian Park School.


Pictured in the 1960s

Her grand-daughter Lisa said: "Nan had a huge family - 11 children, 24 grand children 42 great grandchildren and a number of great-greats. With such a big family and her work at the PWD club she was known by a great many people from all over Cardiff." 

"St Patrick's was her church from the day it was built receiving sacrament until the end of her long life. She was a pillar of the community, the church and her family." 

The Grange pub history - another round!


Rita Feresey - second right - with other former barmaids during an evening to mark the pub's re-opening. Photo: Owen Price

Glamorgan Archives hosted an evening to mark the 160th anniversary of The Grange pub, which re-opened in March.

Grangetown Local History Society told the pub's long history - including tales of its earliest landlords, as well as recalling some of the area's other pubs, which have since called time. The illustrated talk was followed by a short trip to the pub itself for a pint and food for anyone who wants to come along. It follows an similar event at The Grange, not longer after it re-opened under new ownership in March. If you missed it, you can also download a factsheet here giving the full history, going back to its opening in 1857.

The Society also presented bound copies of the history to landlord Dai Dearden and 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.



The society's August meeting included a talk on Penarth alabaster. Photo: Owen Price.

Donations (a) Keith Fruin donated a book on the Life of George V to the society which will be on display at our September meeting. (b) One of our visitors brought along framed documents (above) relating to 71296 Spr Herbert Morley of the A.W. Cable Sec dated 7 April 1918 signed by Winston Churchill. It was presented to Sapper Morley after he was mentioned in dispatches for Gallant and Distinguished Services in the Field.

Herbert Morley, lived at 38 Wedmore Road, where he was a telegraph wireman. Born in 1885, he married  wife Emily in 1902 and they had 11 children, five predeceased him.

He was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers, acting 2nd Corporal. Looking at the certificate it looks as if he was in the AW (Artisan Works) cabling section, where his skills as a telegraph worker would have been useful.

Herbert's parents had both died before he joined the Army in WW1. His father Herbert was apparently born in Texas and also worked in the telegraph business. The family lived in Devon Place and Court Road.

His son Henry died aged 27 on 2 June 1940 at Dunkirk, while serving with the North Lancashire Regiment. Herbert died in 1942.

Serving up the past

Thanks to Jeff Barkley, who has given us a glimpse of Grange Gardens from more than 50 years ago. Grangetown Local History has been donated copies of photos of Jeff's grandfather Fred Lewis, who during the 1940s, 50s and early 60s worked as a gardener in Grange Gardens and for many years maintained and was in charge of the bowling green there. He lived in Clare Road where Jeff was also brought up. Mr Lewis died in 1972. Anyone who knows who the tennis players might be - let us know! You can read more about Grange Gardens history here.

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.

Heritage walk and art workshop

Members of Grangetown Local History Society joined local artists in a heritage walk and art workshop.

The event, organised by the local Artshell group, was based on local public art, recently going up near the Clare Road and Penarth Road junction.

Society members talked about how the area once used to look and about some of the shops which once traded there.

Grangetown gasworks featured on 'Hidden Cardiff' documentary

The Grade II-listed gasholder - the last remaining remnant of Grangetown Gasworks - was featured on a BBC Wales documentary about surprising landmarks from Cardiff's history.

Hidden Cardiff with Will Millard looked at tunnels and underground canals, and also the story of Insole Court, as well as the history of the gasworks off Ferry Road. The presenter was accompanied by Grangetown Local History Society secretary Ray Noyes, who remembered bringing his grandfather's lunch to him when he worked there.

The works opened in 1863 and was a big employer. Cardiff Gas Light and Coke Co was formed in 1837 in Whitmore Lane/Bute Terrace by an Act of Parliament and chaired by Charles Crofts Williams, who became mayor of Cardiff. As the town expanded, there was need for a larger works - with land acquired at Grangetown in 1859, with the works opening in 1863 - connected to the Bute Terrace works by an 18 inch main. By 1870, the works was supplying gas to light up the new suburbs of Cogan, Whitchurch, Radyr and St Fagans. The works expanded, with the purchase of some of Grange Farm's land and land once used by Grangetown iron works.

It was not universally popular. There was some opposition to the price of gas, while others locally in 1869 complained to Parliament at the time of the Cardiff Gas Bill about the smell. Mr Salt, a local builder, said lots of tenants had given notice - some leaving without paying rent. A local vicar and schoolmaster also objected. Even the company's own history in the 1930s admitted workers in the early days toiled "in dusty, dirty and confined conditions," as they handled coal and ashes by hand. Later the works would become more automated. The works had five gas holders, the largest with a 1.5 million cubic ft capacity.

The surviving gasholder was listed by Cadw in 1992 and described as an "architectural masterpiece". It was built by a West Midlands firm J and W Horton's in 1881, based on a classical Italianate design. The site next door has been cleared for a future housing development and it's very much hoped that the gasholder will be preserved as a notable feature, given its rarity and industrial heritage status.

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.

Donation of old photos

Julia Zimmerman, who now lives in Minneapolis, USA, has kindly donated numerous items, including souvenir albums of old photos of Cardiff, Penarth and Barry, a programme and adverts for the Cardiff Empire theatre. It also includes a large format commemorative album celebrating the visit of King George Vth and Queen Alexandra to Cardiff, which will also be kept in our archive. Thanks, Julia! Items are being scanned for members to view via Dropbox. There is a taster above of scenes of St Mary Street, Queen Street and Duke Street arcade.

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 works’ location, should contact the secretary.

External research requests: Aileen Thyer 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.

A review of 2016


A snowy scene by the old library off Clive Street

This year has been a busy one for Grangetown Local History Society. So much so, it is easy to forget just how much we have achieved. Here are a few of the more notable events and projects we undertook in 2016: