Whitchurch and Llandaff Living Issue 13

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Issue 13 of the popular Whitchurch and Llandaff Living series. Includes an interview with pop headliner Gwenno Saunders.

Transcript of Whitchurch and Llandaff Living Issue 13

  • AAtt tthhee hheeaarrtt ooff tthhee ccoommmmuunniittyy Issue 13June/July 11

    Its the time of year for long balmy evenings, summer ftes and dining al fresco. Mix up a cool drink, put your feet up and lap up the summer sun.

    EEnnjjooyy yyoouurr ffrreeee ccooppyy ooff WWhhiittcchhuurrcchh aanndd LLllaannddaaffff LLiivviinngg



    Gwenno Saunders

    Cardiff NorthsAll-Stars

    Then and Now:Merthyr Road

    PolicingNorth Cardiff

    Memories of Cardiff North

    Pets Page

    Readers Survey

    Local News



  • Welcome

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 2

    Whitchurch and Llandaff Living & Rhiwbina LivingEditors/Advertising: Patric Morgan & Danielle DummettAddress: 222 Pantbach Road, Rhiwbina,

    Cardiff CF14 6AGTel: 07772 081775 and 07974 022920Email: [email protected]: www.livingmags.co.uk

    While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of thecontents, the publisher cannot accept any responsibility forerrors or omissions, or for any matter in any way arising fromthe publication of this material. Every effort has been made tocontact any copyright holders. Whitchurch and Llandaff Living isan independent, apolitical publication.

    Advertising booking and copy deadline for Issue 14 - 11th July 2011. Issue 14 publication date - late July 2011.Whitchurch and Llandaff Living is published 5 times ayear.

    3-5 NewsThe latest news from the area

    6, 7 LettersLetters to the Editors

    8 Interview:Dancer, keyboard player and singer Gwenno Saunders

    12 Cardiff NorthAll-StarsWe look at some of the big names to come out of our area

    16 Then and NowThe shops of Merthyr Road, Whitchurch

    23 Readers SurveyWin a 20 M&Svoucher

    25 Pets PageLocal vet Chris Troughtonanswers your pet questions

    27 Policing NorthCardiffMeet your local bobbies atWhitchurch Police Station

    Welcome to your early summer issue of Whitchurch and LlandaffLiving - the official magazine for Whitchurch, Llandaff and LlandaffNorth.Our magazines really have become part of the local communitiesthat they serve. We can tell this by the amount of communication weget from locals and from ex-pats on the other side of the world.Weve had to double our letters page this issue to squeeze in someof the letters and emails that have been sent to us.Musician Gwenno Saunders took time out of her busy schedule tospeak to us about her career to date. From Llandaff North to LasVegas, Gwennos talents have kept audiences entertained the worldover. Read Gwennos story on page 8.And talking of talent, we take a look at some of the well-knownnames to have come out of our area. From Charlotte Church to IoanGruffudd and Baroness Grey-Thompson, North Cardiff has becomea hotbed of expertise in many areas. Meet just a few of them onpage 12.On page 16, we are once again delighted to publish extracts fromSteve Nicholass book, Whitchurch and Llandaff North ThroughTime. Our attentions this issue focus on the bustling shops ofMerthyr Road. Steves pictures show that, although physicallydifferent, Merthyr Road has always been the hub of the communityhere.Weve got our usual Pets Page, as well as a report from theRSPCA based in Whitchurch. Our local bobbies have also been intouch to tell us what they have been up to this spring. Plus weve gotlots of news, the popular crossword and even more memories ofCardiff North.Have a great summer. Enjoy the sun, support our advertisers andwell see you in July!



    Patric and Danielle

    Cover photograph by Cullen Loynton, aged 7

  • News

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 3


    Residents in Llandaff Northhave reacted with fury at plansto turn a historic pub into ablock of flats.The Cow and Snuffers inLlandaff North closed in 2010,but a planning application hasbeen submitted to convert thebuilding into seven flats.The application followsseveral other closures of pubsin Cardiff. Jacqui Hooper,councillor for Llandaff North,said: Residents are horrified. Itsa lovely building and it has a

    lot of history behind it.Residents have criticised theplans on many issues.The application requestspermission to convert theinterior of the building into twodwellings covering two floors.They also include theredevelopment of the coachhouse to the side of theproperty. These will include agym, a shower room and extrabedrooms.Architects PJ Lee, which hasdrawn up the plans for therefurbishment, insists thecharacter of the building willstay intact.Formerly known as the RedCow, the Cow and Snufferswas also said to have beenvisited by Benjamin Disraeli inthe 1800s, with a bust of theformer prime minister installedat the pub.

    After losing her seat inParliament in the GeneralElection last year, JulieMorgan has now taken herplace in the Senedd as anAssembly Member.

    Julie took the seat from theConservative's JonathanMorgan by 1,782 votes inAprils Assembly Elections.This represented a 5.18%majority. The win came byway of a 9.77% swing fromthe Conservatives and thehighest vote of any candidatein Wales.One of Julies first priorities isto campaign againstdevelopment of LlanishenReservoir, which has alreadybeen drained in anticipation ofthe construction of 300homes.A public inquiry will takeplace in July.


    Traders in Whitchurch,Llandaff and Llandaff Northare facing unprecedentedhardship during the toughcurrent economic climate.Business rates in particularare affecting a lot of theindependent shops thatoperate out of the villages.And with national consumerspending at an all-time low,traders are finding turnoververy slow.One shopkeeper, who didntwant to be named, told LivingMagazines:Ive never known things bethis bad before. Im having towork extra hours just to tryand bring business in andkeep myself afloat. Ive alsohad to lay off my cleanerswho only cost 20 a week,but thats how bad thingshave got. On top of that,business rates keep onclimbing and our future looksvery uncertain.But its not all been doomand gloom. There have beenseveral shops who havebucked the trend and openedtheir doors to an enthusiasticpublic.Traders are hoping that thesummer sun will put a smileon the faces of the NorthCardiff population, and to putthem in the spending mood tohelp ease the crisis.


    Photograph courtesy of Steve Nicholas

  • A recentconsultation hasrevealed thatnearly two thirdsof residents inLlandaff Northare stronglyopposed to

    wheelie bins, after CardiffCouncil announced that theywould be introducing them.Residents were incensedearlier this year to find thatCardiff Council had onlyinitially consulted with a fewstreets about the scheme.They were forced to carry outa wider consultation.One of the biggest issues forresidents has been storage ofthe bins. Stephanie Wilkins,chair of Llandaff NorthResidents Association said: I just trust they will do agood job this time. The reasonwe were in this position isbecause of the fact they didntscrutinise the figures whenthey decided to roll it out inDecember.She added that she waspleased that the communityhad been listened to. A Council spokesperson said:The Council is currentlyconsidering the suggestionsmade with local wardmembers. No decision will betaken until all suggestionshave been fully explored. Assoon as a final position isestablished, residents will beinformed of the outcome fortheir street. The Council remainscommitted to working withlocal communities.

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 4



    Former Whitchurch HighSchool pupil, Sam Warburtonhas been selected to leadWales against the Barbariansthis June.22-year old flanker Sam,who hails from Rhiwbina, wasthe surprise choice, but hashad the complete backingfrom team-mates andcoaching staff. Sam told Whitchurch andLlandaff Living:Ive come a long way and Idont want it all to go to myhead. It still seems oddthough. Ten years ago, there Iwas down the Arms Park withmy little ticket, watchingheroes like Martyn Williamsplaying. It still seems surrealat times. But Im honoured tolead Wales out against theBarbarians.Sam is part of a newgeneration of players whohave been entrusted to leadby Wales coach WarrenGatland. A former Cardiff Citytrialist, Sam only decided tofollow the rugby path when hewas 16. I ended up taking a liking torugby as I got older. Its sointense - you really feel thatyou are part of a team. Youcant afford to be the weakest link - there are no places to hide. If you let the team down,you know its because ofsomething you did or didntdo. Sam captained the WalesU19s in 2007 and led themthrough a successfultournament. They beat

    Samoa and Argentina in thepool stages to reach the semi-final against New Zealand. New Zealand beat Walesand Wales played Australia forthird place.They werenarrowly beaten again butearned a well-deserved fourthplace in the IRB U19 WorldRankings.For the Barbarians game inJune, Sam will be pittedagainst veteran flanker MartynWilliams. Sam has long beenheralded as the successor toMartyn, but Martyn gave hissupport to the new captain.It will be strange facingWales but it will be a greatday for Sam. He deserves thecaptaincy. he said.There was also a surpriserecall for Gavin Henson, whohas not played for Walessince 2009.The game, on June 4th, willtake place at the MillenniumStadium.I remember the first time Iplayed there, looking aroundwhile I was stood on the half-way line and I couldn't believereally that I'd made it it wasa dream come true.

    Photo courtesy of Cardiff Blues



  • Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 5




    Residents of Danescourtreceived their first copies ofDanescourt Living in earlyApril as we launched our thirdtitle in our series.Co-editor Patric Morgansaid:Were always looking to getour magazines into morepeoples hands. I actuallystarted my publishing careerwhen I was editor of theDanescourt News from 2004to 2006. When we learnt thatthe Danescourt News hadmoved to the web, we felt itappropriate that we shouldcontinue to provide theresidents there with their ownmagazine.Feedback on the launchissue was glowing, withresidents being able to takeadvantage of its A5 sizewhen commuting.Its perfect for popping intomy handbag and reading onthe bus on the way intowork. said one resident.The magazine is distributedfree to 1,500 homes andbusinesses on the estate fourtimes a year.

    Llandaff Cathedral wasrocking to the music of ElvisPresley back in March whenhis life and love of gospelmusic was commemoratedas part of a tour by his LasVegas backing group, TheImperials. The concert tookplace in partnership with theMorriston Orpheus Choir.The show was part of anationwide tour that wasrepeated in two othercathedrals in the UK-Canterbury and Coventry. Thetour was arranged by life-longElvis fan, Carol Pugh, fromMerthyr Tydfil, who runs theElvis in Wales fan club.The Imperials were Elviss

    backing group for his 1969and 1972 sell-out shows inLas Vegas. It was the first timethat the group had visitedEurope. The concert was acomplete sell-out.It is widely believed that Elvistook inspiration from thegospel music that was playedto him as a child by hismother.



    Llandaffs High Street is set toundergo a major revamp torestore the road to its previousglory.An announcement was madein March this year byCouncillors Gareth Aubreyand Kirsty Davies to make thearea more pleasant forboth locals and tourists.The Heritage CapitalBudget for 2011-2012hopes to fund the projectbut there are concernsthat its budget will notstretch to cover totalcost, estimated tobetween 125,000 and180,000.

    Local residents have longcomplained about the state ofthe road. The plans includedropping the kerbs to helpelderly pedestrians. There isalso a potential plan to openup views towards the BishopsPalace.The plans have been metwith enthusiasm from bothretailers and residents.

    Below: Llandaff High Street in its heyday in the 1920s.


  • Dear EditorsHaving read your article onMelingriffith Boys (Whitchurchand Llandaff Living Issue 12),Iwould like if I may, to correct afew of the statements made.The Bailiff of Forest Farmfrom the early 1920s to the late1930s was my grandfather, MrSamual Troake, not Troakes,as stated in your article.My father, Mr Danny Meadmarried Sophia Troake ofForest Farm in 1928 and thewedding reception was held atthe farm itself.My mothers sister, Florence,married Mr Ivor Harris, whoalso worked on the farm. Theylived in one of the farmcottages which has since beendemolished.Joffre Troake, my uncle, ranhis milk business from the farmuntil moving to his dairy atLlandaff City. He was a wellknown milkman around bothLlandaff and Whitchurchuntil the late 1950s.Jim Troake, his brother,became the Bailiff of theWhitchurch Hospital Farm,Llwyn Malt at Tongwynlais.Another brother, Sam, drovethe overhead gantry crane inthe Melingriffith TinplateWorks.I was born in Tymawr RoadLlandaff North and went toHawthorn Road School as achild where I made so manyfriends that I still have today.In 1939 we moved to

    Pantmawr Road, Whitchurch where I spent my teenageyears until I married. We thenmoved to Cambourne Avenue,Whitchurch.After my demob from theforces, we later moved to ourpresent address here inRhiwbina. You could say that Imore than qualify forWhitchurch, Llandaff andRhiwbina Living!Brian MeadHeol MabonRhiwbinaCardiff

    Dear Editors I would like to take thisopportunity to congratulate youon your publication.I am always keen to pick up acopy and it seems that othersare too as your magazines flyoff your stands.We have so much history andheritage in our area, and it isgreat to see this beingcelebrated instead of cast tothe annals of Forgottensville.Keep up the good work andthank you for all your hardwork.M BuckleyEmail, Llandaff North

    Letters to the Editors

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 6


    Whitchurch, Llandaff North and Rhiwbina- Ive lived in all three and loved them all!

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 12

    My early memories as a fouryear old are of our twoterraced cottages. They had,from memory, three bedrooms,one living room and a rearscullery which would now becalled a kitchenette. We hadno bathroom, no running waterand no electricity. We relied onparaffin lamps for light.Outside, there was acommunal hand water-pumpwhich was shared by threefamilies the Hopkins, theRichards next door, and theYoungs who were the farmers.In my family were my mum,my dad Ned, and my two elderbrothers Ron who was tenyears older and Bill my seniorby eight years. There wasanother brother, Teddy, whodied aged ten whileundergoing surgery at CardiffRoyal Infirmary.Phil Young worked on myfathers farm. They told methat, as a nosey youngster, Iwould follow him everywhere.

    One morning, I was watchingthe milking and stood too nearthe cows tail. Phil lifted the tailand I was at once coveredfrom head to toe in brownwatery mess. I looked like agingerbread man!Phil carried me back to mymother, who stripped myclothes off and washed themuck off me under thecommunal cold water pump.Luckily, the summers werewarmer in those days.On another occasion, Philwent on his horse and cart, tocollect some hay from thebarn. As he forked the hayonto the cart, he disturbed acourting couple. The girlscreamed, they both jumpeddown and ran off laughing.Phil chased them and warnedthem not to trespass on thefarm again. In my innocence, Iwondered what it was allabout.Our outside toilet, which wasat the very end of the gardenwas a sort of mobile shed. Ithad four wheels and fourhandles, like a rickshaw. Myfather would dig a large hole inthe garden, throw a bag of

    lime into it, and then movethe shed over the hole. Insidethe shed, Dad built a longwooden seat with a hole cutout in the middle. That was ourtoilet. After a month or so, hewould move it along and diganother hole.With no running water tobathe, we had a longgalvanised tin bath which myparents would fill with bucketsof water heated up on theopen coal or wood fires.My father was good with hishands. He built us goalpostswith nets for us to play footballand made a swing with ropeand a wooden swing seat,swinging from the branch of atree. The Youngs had abilliards or snooker table in theupstairs of their barn!In 1935, we moved to No.4,Heol Booker, and the cottageswere demolished. We thoughtthat our new council housewas quite posh. We had atoilet, a bathroom with hot andcold running water, a gascooker, electric lighting and awireless with a battery thathad to be charged.

    Ken Hopkins wasborn at Forest Farm

    in 1930

    Melingriffith BoysHistory

    Dear EditorsThe world is getting smallerand smaller. I think at the last count therewere about eight people whohave been in touch becauseof your magazine! Heres thelist so far:1. One in Normandy2. One in Greece3. One in New South Wales4. Two in Llandaff North5. Two from Melbourneoriginally from Llandaff North

    6. And now an old schoolmate.I also recently bumped into acouple whose parents wereoriginally from Rhiwbina - thefather, although some yearsyounger than me (60ish) wasalso a compositor back inCardiff. They had friends visitingwho were also from Rhiwbinato this pimple of a town on theback end of the world calledAlbany, Western Australia -and they brought over a copyof the Whitchurch andLlandaff Magazine to showthem. Hoping to catch up withthem so that I can see themagazine!Your publication is nowresting 12,000 miles awayfrom its source! How aboutthat? Bet you wouldn't havethought that 2 or 3 years ago!Tony GeorgeAlbany Western Australia

    Living Magazinesmaking the world a

    smaller place

  • Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 7

    Letters to the Editors Keep your letters coming!Address on the insidefront coverLetters

    Dear EditorsI lived in Llandaff North since Iwas born in 1949. I moved outin 1972 when I got marriedand have lived in Caerphillyever since. My cousin inLlantwit Major has just broughtyour publication to my noticeand I find it very interesting.I am however, unable toopen the latest edition on mycomputer for some unknown reason. I would also like toview any of the previouseditions that you have available. If I am able tosubscribe to future issues canyou tell me what I need to do. Wayne AbrahamsCaerphilly

    Dear Editors.My cousin has sent me tworecent numbers of yourmagazine, which I thoroughlyenjoyed reading.The last number coveredsome memories of ForestFarm where my grand fatherSam Troake had beenmanager (not Jeff Troakes asin the magazine). My fatherwas called Joff Troake andwas raised on the farm.I would appreciate receiving

    the magazine directly. Is thispossible?RegardsRobert TroakeCleeve,SlaptonKingsbridgeDevon TQ7 2PT

    Editors ResponseWe have a limited amount ofback copies available forpast issues. We try to get asmany magazines into thehands of readers aspossible. However, if thereis a specific issue that yourequire, please contact us tosee if we have a copy.If youd like to receivefuture issues of any of ourmagazines, you can send usa cheque for 5 (to cover UKpostage costs) and wellsend you out a copy assoon as we get our copiesback from the printers.Cheques need to be madepayable to either of theeditors, and posted to ouraddress on the inside frontcover of the magazine.

    Living Magazines onthe World Wide Web!

    Dear EditorsOn behalf of the Rotary Club ofCardiff, may I thank all thosereaders of your magazine, whodonated old garden tools forthe Tools For Self Relianceproject. The tools are currently beingrepaired or refurbishedin workshops in Crickhowell.Once they are finished, theyllbe sent out to Tanzania andother African countries. If anyother readers have any old orbroken tools please contactDafydd Thomas on Cardiff20614242 or [email protected] Thomas(on behalf of the Rotary Clubof Cardiff)

    Thank You Readers!

    Dear EditorsI am writing to you as I ambecoming increasinglyannoyed by the amount ofcharity bags that are beingdelivered to my address.Whilst I understand the needto raise money for charity (Iregularly donate to localcharities), I am sure that otherresidents will know what I amtalking about. I am concerned,not only about the number ofcharity bags that are beingdistributed, but the way inwhich they are beingdelivered. The people who they entrustto deliver these bags arebecoming more and morelazy. On my walks around thevillage, I am seeing bags

    being left at the end of drives,sometimes even stuck ingates. I took a photo of onewhich was left on the steps tosome flats. Clearly if anelderly person were todescend these stairs on arainy day, they may not seethe glossy bag and they couldeasily fall.Im hoping that this practicecan be changed before thereis an injury to one of us.Mrs H EvansEmail (Llandaff North)

    Bin the Bags!

  • PullingShapes

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 8


    Pop headliner Gwenno

    Saunders fronts British

    girl group The Pipettes.

    Yet the former Glantaf

    pupil hasnt forgotten

    her North Cardiff roots.

    Its certainly been aunique and creativecareer so far for Welshpop musician GwennoSaunders. A lead dancer inMichael Flatleys Lord of theDance at the age of 17, a rolein Pobol y Cwm, her own showon S4C and currently one halfof The Pipettes, Gwenno hasbecome one of Cardiffs mosttalented exports.Yet, her formative years wereright here in North Cardiff.Gwenno attended Ysgol GyfunGymraeg Glantaf in LlandaffNorth, which to date, hasprovided the world with a glutof respected and well-knowncelebrities. North Cardiff is a littleoutside the city so it wasquieter there than other partsof Cardiff. My favouritememories of the school areprobably from break times -

    corner shops and hanging outat the sandpit at the end of theplaying field. As it was the onlyfirst language Welsh school inCardiff at the time it meant thatanyone who'd gone to a Welshspeaking primary schoolended up there which made itincredibly diverse. There's alsothe fact that there seemed tobe an influx of Welsh speakerswho had moved from otherareas of Wales for work, in themedia or otherwise. It meantthat a lot of pupils could takeadvantage of the fact theyspoke good Welsh for work inTV and music. I think thatswhy its produced so manytalented and well-knownpersonalities.Gwennos musical rootshowever, go back even further.Her father, Tim Saunders isthe noted Cornish poet andlinguist.

    My parents have had ahuge influence on me withregards to music and the artsin general. My mum was afounding member of CorCochion Caerdydd, a socialiststreet choir who sing everySaturday in town. She stillsings with them to this day. Wealways sang with her when wewere young and went on anti-apartheid marches and miner'spickets most weekends. Mydad on the other hand alwayswrote poems and stories for usin Cornish when we weregrowing up. I can't count theamount of hours that he, Ani(my sister) and I made upreally silly songs about trafficlights, toys and food!Gwennos appetite for musicat a young age led her to LasVegas when she became acast member of Lord of theDance at the age of just 17.

    Photograph courtesy of Robert Attard

  • Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 9

    Ani and I always did Irishdancing. I wasn't hugelyinterested in school at the time(being a typically rebelliousteenage girl) and a chance toaudition came up in Dublin. Iwent to Coleg Glan Hafren fortwo weeks and then I got thecall to join and tour the world.Don't get me wrong, I workedhard at it but it really was awonderful opportunity,especially as Irish dancing hadreally been an undergroundthing up until that point. I hadnever imagined earning a livingfrom it.I missed Wales a lot though.I missed its sense of history.Las Vegas has alwaysdemolished its own historywhich has been a shame Ithink. It really was just thecomplete opposite of what I'dknown. It really is only one cityin the US though, and I'm gladI experienced it. But three daysin Vegas is enough, let alonetwo years!Lord of the Dance provided

    Gwenno with a big break, butultimately, it gagged hercreative streak. During her twoyears in Las Vegas, Gwennosyearning to create her ownmusic brought about a newway of expressing herself - andalso brought her back home toCardiff. I left Lord Of The Dancewhen I was 19. I'd beenthinking a lot about wanting tomake music, encouraged bymy dancing experiences andwas looking for new ways ofcreative expression. I'd alwaysabsolutely adored music andsinging, enjoyed playing thepiano and violin as well asmaking up songs, so I movedback to Wales. I released a fewEPs on Crai Records which isa part of Sain, and in that

    process I metpeople whoknew the Britishpop girl group,The Pipettes. Iwent to seethem play andpurely bychance, theywere looking for a singer. I was touringwithRiverdanceat the time and wasn't surewhich direction I should takewith my music but the bandwere perfect - they made popmusic as it should be. I joinedthem in April 2005. Ani, mysister then joined in 2008.Their singles Pull Shapes,released in 2006, and YourKisses are Wasted On Me,released in 2007, both did wellin the UK, US and Asiansingles charts.Weve toured the world overthe past six years, playedsome amazing shows and justrecently released our secondalbum Earth VS The Pipettes.Who knows which direction theband will take next? I'vealways followed my nose whenit comes to these things so I'msure it'll become clear soon.Gwennos strong Celtic rootshave given her a sense of freespirit. Its also given her apassionate view of her owncountry that highlights a greatlack of appreciation of life associety tumbles through thegreat technological revolution. I've been incredibly lucky tospeak both Cornish and Welshfluently. As well as doing theIrish dancing, Ive developedan understanding of Irishhistory and music. Theselanguages and cultures are so important to our sense of who

    we are and what makes usdifferent. It's part of the fabric of the British Isles and one thatis important to celebrate and tokeep alive. Society tries toevolve and move forward at analarming rate and people'sobsession with the idea of thefuture has almost become nulland void with the informationrevolution. We've destroyedour planet and lost meaningand reason for our existence;it's worth remembering ourforefathers, that connectionwith the earth, where we'vecome from, and with our ownimaginations.Gwennos been looking touse these thoughts and herexperiences in her latestproject.I'm writing a solo album atthe moment. It's just at thedemo stage but I'm trying topull all of my influencestogether- old worlds and new,into a coherent pop record. Myaim is to keep on makingmusic, keep on performing andcreating.But the capital city of Waleshas not left the woman whohas never forgotten her NorthCardiff roots. I don't get back oftenenough. I love Cardiff.


    Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Luna





    Become a member of the exclusive Llandaff

    Institute and become partof its proud heritage. Join us at exclusive

    ticketed events, cue upwith friends in the

    beautiful Snooker Room,or simply relax in theMembers Lounge at your leisure.

    Our Tudor Room is alsoavailable to hire for parties

    for non-members.CALL 02920 564706 to

    arrange a visit.Photographs Llandaff Society 2010








  • Anne Fletcher-Ward, McCarthy & Stone retirement apartment owner.

    My story?Although Im only in my 60s, I recently decided my house was becoming more of a burden than a

    pleasure. Living on my own there always seemed to be too many jobs especially in the garden. Having made the decision to sell, I was all ready to move into a bungalow when my brother suggested a McCarthy

    & Stone apartment instead. He said I should take this opportunity to think long term, buying something new so I didnt have to worry about the maintenance and he didnt have to worry about my safety. You

    know what? He was so right. Ive never been happier. No more DIY, no more weeding and digging. Everything is done for me. Best of all, I feel safe and secure here too.

    I thought I was too young for a retirement development. How wrong I was

    If youd like to see more stories like Annes, visit our website www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk

    Independent retirement living, with security built in

    House Manager 24-hour Emergency Call System Security Entry System For more news & information from the McCarthy & Stone Group send to: FREEPOST RSLU-XHZK-SSLC McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd. BOURNEMOUTH BH8 8EZ

    Title Name





    Enquiring on behalf of? Yourself Other

    For more news & information from the McCarthy & Stone Group send to: FREEPOST RSLU-XHZK-SSLC McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd. BOURNEMOUTH BH8 8EZ

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    Enquiring on behalf of? Yourself Other




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  • The Boys


    Now one of Radio Onesprominent DJs, HuwStephens cut his teeth as ateenager on RookwoodRadio at RookwoodHospital. Son of prominentWelsh writer Meic Stephens,Huw landed the job at RadioOne at the age of just 17. Heeven opened his A-levelresults live on air. Ironically, Igot a B, B and C for mygrades Huw told LivingMagazines. Huw alsoappears on BBC RadioWales.


    Famous for such roles asHornblower, and MisterFantastic in the FantasticFour, Ioan Gruffudd sat hisGCSEs and A levels atYsgol Gyfun GymraegGlantaf in Llandaff North. Anatural musician, Ioan playedthe oboe for the South WalesYouth Orchestra for manyyears. He later landed a partin Pobol Y Cwm, filmed in theBBC studios in Llandaff,before breaking into hisinternational role of FifthOfficer Harold Lowe inJames Camerons multi-award winning blockbusterTitanic in 1997.

    I STILL SPEAKWELSH ABOUTFOUR TIMES AWEEKLong-time friend of IoanGruffudd, Matthew Rhys isnow best known for hisrole of Kevin Walker in thehit TV series, Brothers andSisters. Brought up inWhitchurch, Matthew nowlives in West Hollywood, butstill manages to speak Welshabout four times a week. In2008, Matthew starredalongside Kiera Knightleyand Sienna Miller in thecritically-acclaimed Edge OfLove, playing the role offamous Welsh poet DylanThomas.

    A SUDDEN BOLTOF CREATIVELIGHTNINGDescribed by the LosAngeles Times as a suddenbolt of creative lightning,musician Ceiri Torjussen hasscored and orchestrated ondozens of films includingHellboy, Terminator 3 andand The Day After Tomorrow.The fluent Welsh speakeralso attended Ysgol GyfunGymraeg Glantaf and nowlives in Los Angeles and haswon numerous accolades.

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 12

    cARDIFF nORTHMeet some of thebig names who hailfrom North Cardiff


  • The Girls

    I NEVERWANTED TO BEFAMOUS. I JUSTWANTED TOSINGThe ultimate teenage star,Charlotte Church rose tofame as a classical singerbefore turning herattentions to the world ofpop.She has sung for the Pope,the Queen and Bill Clinton,hosted her own TV chatshow, and was even oncevoted Rear of the Year. TheLlandaff-born star hasprobably fulfilled many ayoung girls dream, and isnow playing mum to twoyoung children, fathered byGavin Henson. Charlottethough just keeps onreinventing herself!

    WHEN I WAS INSCHOOL, IDJUST SAT MY OLEVELS AND THECAREERSTEACHER TOLDME HE COULDGET ME A NICEJOB ANSWERINGPHONESBaroness Grey-ThompsonOBE attended BirchgrovePrimary School as a child,where she tried tried manysports includingswimming, archery andhorse riding.She went on to win 11Paralympic gold medals, tookup a TV career, became thepatron to many charities, wasawarded an MBE, then anOBE and then a became aDame Commander Order ofthe British Empire in 2005.

    CATRIN FINCHPLAYS THEHARP. WHEN SHEDOES, THEWORLD STOPSTURNINGCardiff North residentCatrin Finch has beendescribed as the Queen ofHarps.Born in Ceredigion, andtaking up the harp at the ageof five, she graduated fromthe Royal Academy of Musicin 2002. She received theQueens Award for the mostoutstanding student of theyear. She is the former RoyalHarpist to Prince Charles,and has toured with worldextensively, appearing onmany TV and radioappearances. She has alsoworked with world-renownedcomposers John Rutter andHoward Goodall.

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 13

    all starsCelebs

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    Whitchurch Village: The thatched shop in the left picture is JA Lewis, the drapers.In the 1980s, it was Percy Thomas Florists Ltd and is presently

    Pizzeria Villagio, an Italian restaurant.

    Crossroads: the junction between Penlline Road, Old Church Road and Merthyr Road c. 1900

    A view of Whitchurch village, looking northwards through Merthyr Road

    In a recently publishedbook, local historian SteveNicholas charts the story ofour local communities.

    Excerpts from Whitchurchand Llandaff NorthThrough Time will

    continue to be serialisedhere throughout the year.

    TThhee SShhooppss ooffMMeerrtthhyyrr RRooaadd,, WWhhiittcchhuurrcchh

    Then and Now

  • Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 17

    This captivating collection of 192 past and present images focuses on the land, streets and buildings in the communities of Whitchurchand Llandaff North, capturing the changes that have occurred in the last century.Published by Amberley Publishing (www.amberleybooks.com), the book is also available from local book shops priced 14.99

    Whitchurch village c.1960: Not much has changed in these two views apart fromvehicle design

    Whitchurch village scene, August 1974: Some of the shops pictured wereRediffusion, Boots the Chemist, LG Humphries Carpets, The Principality, DewhurstsButchers and Forest Farm Dairy. Of these, only Boots and The Principality remain.

    Then and Now

    William Hill: Pictured here passing through Whitchurch village in 1904 is the lastlocal courier, William Hill. The buildings in the background are now occupied by

    Coopers Cafe, New Empire Chinese Take-Away and the Cardiff Bed & Furniture Centre

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  • Living Magazines News

    Weve been doing it since2007, but going hyperlocal isquickly becoming the mosteffective way to get yourbusiness message into thehands of potential customers. Whereas other largerpublications spreadthemselves out over wideareas, we hit specific, well-defined geographical areas -even down to the number ofhouses we deliver to!

    Intended primarily for thecommunities of North Cardiff,we also promote yourbusiness through the worldwide web, including socialmedia such as Facebook andTwitter.If youre a business whoneeds some assistance inbuilding brand awareness, whynot promote to customers whoare already on your doorstepthrough us? We even providefree design and freedistribution on your behalf.For more information,including details of our newthird publication, visitwww.livingmags.co.uk or call07772 081775.

    We have been advertising in bothRhiwbina Living and Whitchurch andLlandaff Living since their very firstissues, and not a week goes by withoutsomeone saying that they have seen ouradvert in the magazines. We arepleased to be associated with suchprofessional magazines and we canhonestly say that its far better to be inthe magazines than not!Paul Ballard, Serenade, (South WalesEchos Winner of Theyre theBusiness Award 2010), Rhiwbina

    I placed an advert in Rhiwbina Living inautumn this year to try to boost my foodtrade and was extremely impressed withthe results. The advert generated aterrific amount of new trade through thedoor. Its now very difficult to get a tablein my restaurant on a Sunday afternoon!I was so impressed that in the nextquarter, I placed an advert in both theWhitchurch and Llandaff Livingmagazine as well as the Rhiwbina Livingmagazine for a second time.I am looking forward to a bumperChristmas now!Paul Beales, Landlord, The ButchersArms Rhiwbina

    We decided to advertise in both editionsof your publication in 2010 and werevery pleased with the response itgenerated in terms of attracting newcustomer enquiries and commentsreceived from our existing customers.Your magazine is eagerly anticipated byits readers and most importantly readunlike other free publications. Matt Trevett, Absolute Care (Wales)

    Just a quick note to thank you for all ofyour valued time and support in helpingus place our first advert with yourselvesin your Whitchurch and Llandaff Livingpublication. The finished article lookedgreat! Your operation runs veryprofessionally, yet you still seem to findthe time to give the customer the friendlyand committed service they requirewhich seems to be a rare commodity inthese times! Thanks once again andkeep up the good work,Alan Gadsby, Anglo Celtic Stone Ltd

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    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 21

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  • 1. How would you rate thecontents of the magazine?Poor/Average/Good/ Very Good

    2. How would you rate thelayout of the magazine?Poor/Average/Good/Very Good

    3. How well doesWhitchurch and LlandaffLiving keep you abreastwith news of your localcommunity?Poorly/Average/Well/ Very Well

    4. How do you rate thequality of writing inWhitchurch and LlandaffLiving?Poor/Average/Good/VeryGood

    5. Which is your favouritepart of the magazine?

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 23

    Readers Survey

    Readers Survey

    Since our launch in 2008, Whitchurch and Llandaff Living has beenproviding the people of North Cardiff with a regular and useful source oflocal information. But wed like to do better. Wed like to know what weregetting right, and what we can do to improve. This is YOUR magazine.Wed be grateful if you could spend five or ten minutes filling in this

    questionnaire to let us know what you think about Whitchurch and LlandaffLiving. We can accept photocopies if you dont want to cut up this copy.

    Please send completed forms to our usual address on the inside front cover.

    Magazine1. Have you used any of ouradvertisers for theirservices? Yes/NoIf so, who and how manytimes?

    1. Where do normally pickup your copy of Whitchurchand Llandaff Living?One of our stands/Local shops/A friend/colleague/Other (please specify)

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  • RSPCA Cardiff & DistrictBranch

    74Merthyr Road, Whitchurch,Cardiff. CF1 1DJ

    This is an extremely busy timefor the branch and its likelyto continue for a few monthsyet. At the moment weve gotseveral mums and their littersof kittens looking for newhomes. Whereas there areusually plenty of peoplelooking for a kitten, we wouldlike prospective adopters toconsider the lovely mumswhen they are finally kitten freeand neutered. Here are just afew:

    Opal is the oldest of our single mums at around 6 years old.She has just had

    her 11th litter of

    kittens. She was a brilliantmum to all four kittens in herlast litter and even adopted alittle lone kitten into her brood. Opal is a beautiful chocolatecolour. Shes extremelyaffectionate, loves to curl up ona comfy lap and is good withchildren and possibly othercats.

    She will be neutered,microchipped, vaccinated,flead, wormed and ready toenjoy some pampering of herown.Nutmeg is around two yearsold and has recently given birthto three beautiful kittens. Theyhave now all been reservedand can't wait to go to theirnew homes. Nutmeg was notthe most maternal of cats andfound having kittens a real inconveni-ence - she would muchrather sit onher outdoorshelf andcatchstrokesfrompassers by.She hasbeen neutered, fullyvaccinated, microchipped andis desperate to have a spaceall to herself. Here are a fewwords from our cat socialiser:"Nutmeg has a lovelypersonality, she is so lovingand extremely playful. Shereally deserves a perfectforever home, come and meether today.This beautifullittle cat goesby the name ofOlivia. Shegave birth tofive gorgeouskittens and evenadopted another little straggler. Olivia is about 18 months old,so only a kitten herself. She isextremely affectionate and hasbeen a terrific mum! She reallydeserves a very special homewhere she can have lots ofTLC all to herself. Olivia seems to get on quitewell with other cats, she is alsogreat with young children

    because she is so laid back.She has now been neutered,fully vaccinated, microchippedand can't wait to find her newforever home and enjoy herkitten free life.It is inevitable that well getmore mums and kittens in asthe season progresses. So doplease give us a call if you areconsidering a new pet.We dont have an animalcentre in Cardiff - our cats areusually at private catteries orwith fosterers and we arealways grateful for donations ofpet food, especially kitten food- also towels, scratch posts,toys etc. Goods can bedropped at our Whitchurchoffice, or please call if youwould like them collected.RSPCA Cardiff & DistrictBranch has now been based inWhitchurch for a couple ofyears and we are so gratefulfor the support weve receivedto date. Many people areunaware that, as a Branch ofthe RSPCA, we are anindependent charity. Wereceive no financial supportfrom the National Society nordo we receive any governmentor Lottery funding. Thereforeour work with local animals inneed depends on the supportof the community, by way ofdonations, legacies,fundraising etc. During 2010 we rehomedover 350 unwanted or crueltycase animals. We helpedhundreds of people strugglingto pay emergency vet bills andhelped hundreds more toneuter and microchip theirpets. Without the support ofthe community we would beunable to do this, so wed liketo take this opportunity to say abig thank you!Lynne Williams, Office Manager

    In a new feature, wetake a look at the work

    of the good workundertaken by localcharities in the area.

    This issue: The RSPCATel: 029 20521177

    Email:[email protected]

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 24

    Local Causes

  • Can I Clean My DogsSore Teeth?My elderly mother has an oldred setter who seems to bein a little pain with teeth. Shetends to gulp her food downnow instead of chewing it.Am I able to clean the dogsteeth myself? Dental problems are incrediblycommon in older pets, so its quitelikely that your diagnosis of oral painis correct. However, its not likely thatyou will be able to improve hercomfort by brushing her teeth alone,at this late stage. The most frequentcause of dental problems is a build-up of tartar on the teeth - this is ahard yellow-brown material which isstuck very firmly, and can only beremoved by mechanical scraping. Tartar causes gum inflammationand infection which damages thegum support to the teeth, eventuallyleading to loss of the teeth. Dogs canalso get abscesses under their teeth,and caries (rotten teeth), so there areseveral possible reasons for yourdogs discomfort. The good news isthat these problems can almostalways be treated very successfullyand it is really important that you getyour mothers dog to your vet assoon as possible.Toothbrushing is a useful way ofhelping your dogs teeth stay healthy.Tartar starts off as soft plaque on thesurface of the teeth, and this can beremoved by brushing (and to acertain extent by chewing on hard orfibrous material). Within 48 hours, plaque starts toharden into tartar which cant bebrushed off, so you need to brush theteeth every day. You should alwaysuse a pet toothpaste not a humanone, as they taste better and are safeto swallow - it is difficult to get yourdog to rinse & spit!

    Basket Case?I have a 9 year old tabby whoweve had as a family pet forabout 5 years. He was arescue cat, and as such, heis very nervous. I have greatdifficulty in getting him intohis carry basket when I needto visit the vets. Do you haveany advice on how to calmmy little moggy?There is a very useful pheromone

    treatment called Feliway whichmakes many cats more relaxed. Youcan spray it in the basket and on theblanket or towel you put in there (useone he already sleeps on in his bed,if possible, so hes familiar with it)Feliway is available at your vets. Try to remain calm and unstressedyourself when getting him in thebasket, as cats are very sensitive totheir owners feelings and will react accordingly. The top-opening catbaskets are far easier to use, but ifyours opens at the end, one trick Ifind very helpful is to put the cat inbackwards - bottom first. Once in thebasket, some cats seem happier ifthey can see out, others are calmer ifthey are in the dark. You should beable to work out what your catprefers.

    To Be or Not to BeBrushed?Ive heard that brushing mycat can help relieve stressand anxiety, but as soon ashe sees the brush, he runsand hides. Im worried thathe may get knots in his fur. Most cats certainly enjoy beingstroked and it does help to relaxthem, but this enjoyment doesntalways extend to being brushed!

    Insisting that he is groomed will notrelieve his stress and anxiety if he dislikes it, but if he has a long coat, itis important it is brushed regularly tostop it matting. Ideally, grooming needs to bestarted at a young age, and be donelittle and often; follow the groomingwith a reward and make the wholeexperience pleasant for both of you.The same principle applies to yourfearful older cat - to get him to acceptgrooming, you need to build up histolerance gradually. Try one of the glove-brushes tostart, and only do it for a very shorttime. Be calm and gentle and rewardhim afterwards with a favourite treat.Gradually increase the time you areable to brush him, and try using anordinary brush and comb. If you findknots in his coat, gently tease themout, or cut them with scissors - but bevery careful as we regularly have totreat wounds created when cuttingknots out.


    Local Pets Our Pets Page gives you the chance to putyour questions to your local vet, Chris

    Troughton of the Heath Veterinary Group. Drop us a line if you have a question for

    Chris to [email protected]

    Pets Page is sponsored by the Heath Veterinary Group

    (029) 2062 1511

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 25

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  • Policing North Cardi

    January to March was a busytime of year for us.The year started off withsome site visits to localaddresses with a view toprotecting people andproperty. There is a largepopulation of elderly residentsin our area. We worked withTrading Standards to advisethem of preventing distractionburglaries following localoffences. We had a case of such adistraction burglary on a 91-year old resident. Five peoplehave been arrested and bailedregarding this particularincident. We recently ran a CrimePrevention Talk at the AraratChurch. Over 60 peopleattended. We had a largerattendance at our Asda CrimePrevention. Our display tableattracted over 500 people andwe received plenty of positivefeedback. Moreover, Asdarecorded no shoplifting thatday!We often work with localschools to combat truancy. Aspart of our on-goingcommitment, we contacted 10parents of truanting childrenfrom Whitchurch High School.As part of our PACTpriorities, we also mounted aspeeding operation. This waslocated at the Philog and over500 vehicles were monitoredwith a hand-held speedcamera. 22 warning letterswere sent out, even though

    we maintained a high-visibilitypresence in the area.Pub Watch is an initiativethat has drawn some interestfrom local pubs. In all, 15licensed premises registeredinterest in the scheme,working in conjunction with theLicensing Department atCardiff Bay Police Station.Engaging with the youngpopulation is another way ofhelping form goodrelationships with futuregenerations. We held a Pizzaand Pop event at AinonBaptist Church inTongwynlais. We had around20 people attend, and wediscussed ASBO preventionand engagement.As many of you will know, werun a Cuppa With A Coppersession every Thursday at ourpolice station in Whitchurch.These are your chance to askus any questions, or to bringany concerns to our attention.You can also contact keep upto speed with ourneighbourhood policing on ourwebsite, which can be foundat www.ourbobby.com. Thesite provides information onneighbourhood policing, andwill keep you informed aboutour partnership work to tackleanti social behaviour, crime,and other problems.If you have any issues youdlike to talk to us about, popinto our station on MerthyrRoad, Whitchurch or call uson 02920 527294.

    Stuart Cozens, Paul Tebbutt and Emma Bowden

    with Bill Farnham

    I have met with residents ofBlandon Way and CwrtEglwys Newydd/St MarysCourt, and Tyn-y-Pwll Road,Whitchurch who are very keento set up a NeighbourhoodWatch Group. I hope tofinalise the launch dates forthese watches as soon as Iget firm details.National NeighbourhoodWatch Week 2011 is from the18th to 25th June and I will beavailable to speak to anyoneinterested in setting up awatch at the followinglocations: Saturday 18th June- Whitchurch Library 10.30am-12.30pm; Wednesday 22ndJune - The Tanyard, QueenStreet, Tongwynlais 10am - 12noon; Saturday 25th June -George Thomas Hospice,Summer Fete in the groundsof Whitchurch Hospital.We recently ran a meeting ofthe Cardiff WestNeighbourhood WatchAssociation on 16th May atthe Fairwater ConservativeClub, Ely Road, Llandaff. Thespeaker was a member of theCommunity Payback Teamand all Watch Co-ordinatorsand Watch members areinvited to attend our next one.The last PACT meeting forthe Whitchurch andTongwynlais area was held onthe 24th May at theCommunity Centre, OldChurch Road, Whitchurch.Please call 02920 527301 ifyou are interested in settingup a Neighbourhood Watch.

    Bill Farnham


    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 27

  • My Dad was HarmanWilliams, born at MelinHouse, Melingriffith,5th August 1913.He was one of a family ofeleven children, born to JennetAnn and David John Williams.Grandad Williams wassuperintendent of theMelingriffith Tinplate Worksand they all lived in a verylarge house (had to be withthirteen of them) and werelocally referred to as Williamsthe Gate, because theirs wasthe only house that sported agate. This was to differentiatethem from the other Williams inthe area.Dad was the youngest butone of seven boys and he hadfour sisters. The boys wereHarold, Harry, Charlie, Les,Cyril, Harman and David John,who was known as Jack. Thegirls were Nancy, Margaret,Ella and Betty. There had beenanother little girl called Nancybut she had died in infancy andwhen the next little girl wasborn, all the children saidWeve got another Nancy soNancy she was called. Harold enlisted on the 23rdAugust 1914 as a driver in theArmy Service Corps, 2nd

    Division, 46th Company, 5thBrigade Cavalry SupplyColumn of the BritishExpeditionary Force. His diaryis very interesting and I have acopy of it, having sent theoriginal to the Imperial WarMuseum - I felt I had no right tokeep it. I did try to trace someof my cousins (he had tenchildren apparently, none ofwhom I ever knew) but I didknow he moved to Malpas inGwent. Considering that in the wholeyear the diary was written, hegot no further than Marseillesand saw no military action,they all suffered appallingdeprivation with regard to foodand accommodation. Theyregularly slept on straw inbarns and had little in the wayof food. At one point, they hadno facilities for bathe formonths. In his diary, Haroldrefers to a man called Evanfrom The Mount going tohospital with diphtheria. Therewas also reference toFarringeson with tonsillitis anda chap from Porth calledBurridge who was taken tohospital with pneumonia. TheRed Cross man gave him littlehope of his survival. This allhappened in Marseilles.It really is very sad indeed,but I have to say that Harold

    was a survivor and had a sortof Del Boy instinct for survival.Things looked up for him whenhe was put on security on thedocks giving him theopportunity to steal what heneeded to survive.Charlie joined the RoyalFlying Corps - lucky to do so Iimagine as you needed moneyto get in there.This all contrasted to theidyllic childhoods they hadexperienced at Melingriffith -learning to swim in the feederwhich was so clean then, andswinging from ropes on thehigh branches of the trees inthe Long Wood. Dad said theywere like Tarzans swingingthrough the trees out over thecanal, sometimes droppingfrom great heights when theropes broke!Cyril and Les were courtingtwo sisters from the garage onLlantrisant Road so they had aboat which they rowed acrossthe river and then walkedacross the fields to meet theirsweethearts in Radyr, both ofwhom they eventually married.My dad absolutely loved thecanal all his life and when hewas too frail to walk downthere from Llancaiach Roadwhere we eventually moved, Iused to drive him down thereon fine days and leave him

    Memories of Cardiff North

    By Ann Sullivan

    Down by the Canal

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 28

  • there for hours. He lovedcarving sticks in the mostbeautiful patterns and I ampleased to say I still have oneof them, and a beautifulphotograph of him doing thecarving. This was taken by anamateur photographer whowas down the canal oneafternoon. Apparently thephotograph was entered into acompetition and won. Dad could also make woodenwhistles and he taught me howto throw ducks and drakes atthe bottom of the weir withthose lovely flat pebbles thatcollect there.I have a delightful photographof Dad when he was about tenor eleven years old sitting onthe well opposite New Houseswith all the other children in thearea. The well is still there butnow its descended into a pileof rubble so I doubt whether

    many people know what itactually is. I feel it should havebeen preserved.He said that on Fridays whenthe men at the tinplate worksgot paid the children wouldtake buckets of spring waterover to the men as they cameout from work in summermonths and usually they gotsome pennies for doing this.They only did it on pay daysthough - how mercenary!There were many horrificaccidents at the works. Ishould imagine Health andSafety was a bit of a non-issuein those days. Cyril had histhumb pulled out completely byone of the machines whichrolled the tinplate. He said hefelt no pain in his hand at thetime, only in his elbow whenthe sinew was pulled away.Some people were actuallypulled into the rollers and killed

    and some had their feet slicedoff by sheets of tinplate. Iwould imagine that if this sortof thing happened these days,they would be in for millions ofpounds in compensation. Butin those days you probably gotnothing and lost your job andlivelihood into the bargain.


    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 29

    Middle Lock

    Do you have memories of times gone by in North Cardiff?

    Were looking to preserve ourheritage for generations to comeby publishing stories, pictures

    and memories of our area before its too late.

    You can send in your stories tous by email or by post.

    Contact details are on theinside front cover!

  • Crossword

    Across1. underwater movie4. not a portrait?7. the end of alphas

    beginning10. memorable13. jealousy14. great or remarkable15. and onion18. and veg19. frog-like amphibian21. by the law23. contest to reach a

    certain point24. foot ailment26. skin darkening27. heavy weight29. cautious procedures30. distribute with others32. necessary34. sailing boat

    37. apply pressure38. kick the proverbial40. occurrence42. not like45. flea egg46. nocturnal superhero47. reduce in size

    Down1. commitment to do or

    not do something2. legal proceedings for

    damages3. cooking oil4. very angry indeed5. not happy at all6. direct attention to the

    tip8. creative expression9. expression of enquiry11. indoors

    12. me as a pronoun16. long-necked animal17. notice for public

    display18. compassion20. notice of death22. measurement around

    middle25. provide with harness

    or equipment28. brief record of facts29. grip tightly31. our sun is one33. collection of songs or

    photos35. slang for taxi36. unpleasant smell39. make an opening or

    incision41. a doing word43. a person of high rank

    44. have information

    Last Issues AnswersAcross:1 Liverpool; 5 panda; 9 zip; 10 mac; 11 aspirin; 12 gnu; 13 antisocial; 17 lay; 18 hum; 19 blend; 22 pop; 23 wit; 25 ring;27 eyelash; 29 doughnut; 30 in;31 ore; 34 bank; 38 waffle; 42 tiger; 43 telephone; 46 lapse;47 envy

    Down1 length; 2 vacuum; 3 pizza; 4 oap; 5 piano; 6 Diana; 7 drip; 8 windy; 14 nut; 15 indigestion; 16 lamp; 19 underwear; 20 bib; 21 elf; 22 parsnip; 23 window; 24 fluff; 26 bruise; 28 ship; 32 pale; 33 cherry; 35 arch; 36 kiln; 37 alive; 38 wail; 39 flap;40 stay; 41 flip; 44 pip; 45 egg; 48 no

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 30

  • Once upon a time.....As anEnglish teacher, I oncestarted the lesson by askingmy students to write the first threelines of a story. It was coming up to Halloween andI thought it would be topical to focusour skills on writing horror. Theschool I was teaching in was an 19thcentury mansion house and theroom we were in was particularly aptfor our task at hand. We were at thevery top of the house in what used tobe the attic. The floorboardssqueaked and the heavy woodenroof joists that ribbed the room wereriddled with cobwebs and darknooks. We shut the wooden shuttersthat hung on the windows for addedeffect.Legend had it that the house usedto be a convent. It was one stormynight, back in the late 1800s that oneof the nuns, after having her illicitaffair with a married man discovered,took a length of rope and hangedherself on the stairs leading up to theattic. And once a year, on theanniversary of her death, you canhear footsteps making their way upthe stairs- and then stopping halfway.Thats what I told them anyway.There was some truth in the storybut it was always better to add alittle bit more spice.The students stories could bebased anywhere and at any time,past, present or future. I gave themno more information than that and offthey set. After three minutes offurious pen scribbling, I asked themto put their pens down. Looking alittle bit confused, they put their pensdown. Starting at the back of the room, Iasked them to read out the first fourwords of their story. It wentsomething like this:Once upon a time....One day, I was...One day, I was...Once upon a time...One day, I was...Once upon a time...

    They soon got my point. As a writer,it was frustrating to see so muchunoriginality in these kids heads.Yet, how were they to know anydifferent? Ive sat through many horrormovies and have always failed tosee why they are scary. Hollywoodhas a great tradition of churning outthe same old rubbish when it comesto horror- a group of people (usuallydopey American teenagers stayingsomewhere they shouldnt be)getting bumped off by some figurefrom the past who wants to takerevenge on blah blah blah.The truly scary thing about thesemovies is that people continue torent them, buy them and watch themwhen in fact, they all follow the samenarrative pattern. And we all knowthat the baddie is always going toget it in the end.Back in the room, as it were, thekids were realising that if they weregoing to grab the readers interest,they had to do it in the first fewwords of their story. We were aboutto move on to the next phase of thelesson when CLUNK- the lights wentout. Slivers of daylight sliced throughthe shutters. Other than that, therewas total darkness. Some of the girlsscreamed. Remembering that therewas a torch in my top drawer, Ifumbled around and switched it on.Id always wondered why it wasthere. Now I knew why.I gathered the kids around.Thinking on my feet, I thought itd befun to pass the torch around, to holdit under our chins to create a spookyface, and to tell each other ghoststories. The kids really got in the spirit ofthings (pun intended) and the girlssquealing was getting louder andlouder. The torch passed to me and Istarted telling the kids about the daymy grandfather drove past a friend ofhis. He was driving up CemeteryLane in Barry, when up ahead hesaw his old school friend, BillyEvans. My grandad slowed as heapproached Billy but Billy was acting

    strange. For starters, he didntseem to notice the approaching car,and then he simply changeddirection, and walked straightthrough the cemetery fence anddisappeared behind a gravestone.My grandad drove on but couldntsee the gap that Billy would havejust passed through.When my grandad got home, thefirst thing he did was tell mygrandmother about the strangeexperience hed just had with Billy.My nan, who was sat in her armchairreading the local newspaper,clasped her hand over her mouth.She held out the newspaper on thepage she was reading and showed itto my grandad. He slumped into his chair in shock.There in the paper was an obituaryfor his friend Billy Evans.BAM!No sooner had I delivered the final,killer twist than the lights came backon in the classroom with a bang.Everyone jumped including me. Onegirl was literally clinging to her friendand one boy had chewed his pendown to the nib.At the end of the lesson, one of themore challenging pupils came up tome. She rolled up her sleeves toshow me that the hairs on her armswere still stuck up in the air. Sheheld out her hands - they were stillshaking. She told me that shednever forget that lesson. I told herthat that was the power of stories. For many of us, the fear of notknowing is the thing that gets to usmost. For me, knowing how apredictable Hollywood film is goingto pan out takes the fear out of thefilm. A good story throws in theunexpected. Which is why when Imoved to a different school, and theyturned my classroom into an officewithout consulting me, throwing allmy resources in the skip (as well asoffering my job to an unqualifiedteacher), I decided to leave teachingand set up Living Magazinesinstead. The scary thing is, there are somestories you just couldnt make up.

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 31

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