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Autumn 2010 issue of Whitchurch and Llandaff Living.

Transcript of Whitchurch and Llandaff Living

  • AAtt tthhee hheeaarrtt ooff tthhee ccoommmmuunniittyy Issue 10Oct/Nov 10

    The nights draw in as we nestle down for autumn. Across the villages, kitchens are busy creating warm dishes with the mellow fruits of the season.

    EEnnjjooyy yyoouurr AAuuttuummnn IIssssuuee ooff WWhhiittcchhuurrcchh aanndd LLllaannddaaffff LLiivviinngg


    History: NorthCardiff at War

    Memories ofMelingriffith

    Out and About:Caerphilly

    Missing But Not Forgotten

    Pets Page


    Autumn Walking

    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 11 - 12th November 2010. Issue 11 publication date - earlyDecember 2010.Whitchurch and Llandaff Living is published 5 times ayear.

    3, 4 NewsThe latest news from the area

    5 LettersLetters to the Editors

    8 BiographyRoald Dahl

    13 Missing But Not ForgottenThe Story of Francis Grimshaw

    15 Pets PageLocal vet Chris Troughtonanswers your pet questions

    16 HistoryHow North Cardiffcoped during WWII

    22 Out and AboutVisit Caerphilly

    25 Autumn WalkingAn autumnal walkthrough the woodsat Rudry

    27 Memories of Melingriffith

    29 Recipes

    31 Crossword

    Welcome to your Autumn Issue ofWhitchurch and Llandaff Living - theofficial magazine for Whitchurch,Llandaff and Llandaff North.This November marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of Roald

    Dahl, perhaps Llandaffs most well-known son. We chart theincredible life-story of the man whose imagination and skill hasinspired and entertained millions across the globe.Our front cover depicts the War Memorial outside Whitchurch

    Library. Guest writer Clive Tucker tells us the story of one of themany names on the Memorial - that of his great grandfather, FrancisGrimshaw. Read his story on page 13.Our history feature takes a look at how our area dealt with day-to-

    day life during the dark days of World War II.Page 22 tells the story of nearby Caerphilly, whose historical roots

    can be traced back to Neanderthal times. If you fancy wrapping upwarm and heading out for a walk to blow away the cobwebs, why nothead out to Rudry for an autumn walk? Be sure to wear sturdyfootwear and maybe take a flask of tea with you to keep you warmalong the way.Reader Les Gibbon recalls his memories of Melingriffith on page

    27, and weve got some rustic recipes to keep you busy in thekitchen this season. Plus of course, weve got all the latest newsfrom the area.Dont forget that you can keep up-to-date with all our news and

    features on our webspace - www.livingmags.co.uk/blog.Enjoy your autumn issue of Whitchurch and Llandaff Living, and

    remember to support your local advertisers who keep our magazinesalive! See you in December.



    Patric and Danielle

  • with Bill Farnham

    The Mervyn Road WhitchurchNeighbourhood Watch, whichincorporates Warren EvansCourt, was successfullylaunched in August and is nowup and running. Other areas ofWhitchurch have expressedinterest so hopefully these willcome to fruition in the nearfuture.There is mixed news

    regarding the Whitchurch andTongwynlais NeighbourhoodPolice Team. We are verypleased to welcome PC PaulTebbut who has now joined theteam, but sadly, we sayfarewell to PCSO ChristinaWatkins who has retired. Shewill be missed greatly and Itake this opportunity on behalfof everyone to thank her forher hard work and dedicationover the years. We wish herand her family every successin the future.The date of the next PACT

    meeting in the Whitchurch andTongwynlais area is 26thOctober at the CardiffInternational Hotel,Tongwynlais at 7pm. The lastmeeting of the year will takeplace on the 7th December inthe new WhitchurchCommunity Centre, OldChurch Road, starting at 7pm.The next meeting of the

    Cardiff West NeighbourhoodWatch Association is on 15thNovember at FairwaterConservative Club, Ely Road,Llandaff, starting at 7pm. Amember of Trading Standardswill be our guest speaker forthe evening.




    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 3

    Traders in Whitchurch havereported an upturn in tradeafter a three-hour parking limitwas introduced to the villagesmain car park.One shop owner told LivingMagazines:We had terrible problems

    with people bringing their carsinto the village, parking up thefor the day and taking the businto town. It meant thatshoppers who were coming into

    the village had nowhere topark. With the new limits, wehave noticed an improvementin sales, which can only begood for the village.


    A group of traders inWhitchurch is calling on thegenerosity of its shoppers andresidents to help with itsChristmas lights this year.With the big Christmas lights

    switch on scheduled for mid-November, traders are hopingto have raised the 8,000needed to transform theirvillage into a winterwonderland.George Lazarou, who runs

    LaZarou Hair Salon, and who isheading the project, told LivingMagazines:This is about the community

    coming together and enjoyingChristmas. We have collectiontins at the Post Office inWhitchurch, and around the

    village. We are asking peopleto donate so that we canwelcome people to our villagethis Christmas. We would liketo think that peoples generositywill be repaid if we can drawChristmas shoppers toWhitchurch. Shopping locally isso important to the future of thevillage.But he went on to voice his

    concern about the lack ofcommunity spirit from someareas:I hope it doesnt happen, but

    I feel that some shoppers willbe disappointed due to the lackof support from a number ofbusinesses in the village. GEHealthcare have kindly donatedover 2,000, while WhitchurchBuilders Supplies along withJames and Jenkins have alsohelped us, and we are verygrateful to them for that. I hopethat others can come on boardand help us turn our village intoa place to attract visitors fromfar and wide.Wednesday 17th November is

    the date for the diary this yearwhen the Christmas lights willbe officially switched on.

  • Whitchurch residents andparents from English andWelsh medium schools havewritten to Cardiff Council toformally object to the latestschool reorganisation plans. The objections were

    submitted in response toCardiff Councils publicationof legal Statutory Noticesdetailing their intention to: Close Eglwys Wen and

    Eglwys Newydd PrimarySchools and replace theseschools with a new English-medium primary school in thepremises currently sharedbetween Eglwys Wen andYsgol Melin Gruffydd. Transfer Ysgol Melin

    Gruffydd Primary School intothe premises currentlyoccupied by Eglwys NewyddPrimary School, to be used astwo forms of entry Welsh-medium school.It is understood that over

    5,000 objections have beensubmitted. Council officialsstated that they would not beacknowledging individualletters.

    Whitchurch was the cream ofthe crop in this years CardiffIn Bloom competition.Twelve winners or runners-

    up, varying from front gardensto school premises wereawarded the prestigious title, run by Cardiff Council.

    Merthyr Road, the mainshopping thoroughfarethrough Whitchurch, won thecoveted Best CommercialStreet Award, while the AraratBaptist Church were awardedtheir prize in the Best KeptPlace of Worship category. The Cardiff in Bloom

    competition aims to makeCardiff a brighter place to liveand work.

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 4


    A Llandaff woman is fightingback after plans at a nearbyschool have left her businessin jeopardy of closing down.Teresa Dupuy, who runs

    Jazzy Jungle Play Centre inLlandaff, fears that multi-millionpound plans for the nearbyCathedral School have takenplace without consideration forher business.Teresa told Living Magazines:I first found out about the

    schools proposal to buy TheMemorial Hall, the building thathas housed Jazzy Jungle forover 15 years, through atelephone call from TheCathedral towards the end of last school term. Theyinformed me that I may hearrumours on the Llandaff grapevine that the Cathedralhad agreed to sell the hall, butthat it was only at thenegotiation stage.Further investigations have

    led me to understand thatthese negotiations have beengoing on since beforeChristmas. At no point has TheCathedral seen fit to let meknow what was happening.

    Family, friends and fans offormer Cardiff City star BrianClark gathered outside StMarys Church in Whitchurch inAugust to pay tribute to one ofthe true gentlemen of thesport.Over 300 people attended thefuneral service for the formerCardiff City forward who diedon 10th August at the age of67.

    Brian will probably be bestremembered for his goalagainst Real Madrid in 1971. Cardiff City fan Gareth

    Partridge told LivingMagazines:He was a City legend and a

    real gent. He never gotannoyed with us having a drinkand reminding him of thatgoal. He will be greatlymissed.A wreath from Tottenham

    Hotspur manager HarryRedknapp graced the floraldisplay. Redknapp had playedalongside Clark atBournemouth in the early1970s.Brian died at Whitchurch

    Hospital after a battle with aform of dementia.





  • Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 5

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

    Dear EditorsMy great-grandfather, Francis

    Grimshaw is remembered onthe War Memorial oppositeWhitchurch Library. As one of the 73,000 soldiers

    with no known grave, he isalso commemorated at theThiepval Memorial in NorthernFrance. In 1932, the Imperial War

    Graves Commissioncompleted the Great SommeMemorial. The ThiepvalMemorial forms part of this,and hosts a Visitor Centre witha theatre, an exhibition and fullfacilities for the thousands whovisit there each year.

    I have visited Thiepval on anumber of occasions. On mylast visit, I became aware of acouple called Ken and PamLinge of Northumberland, whowere seeking to establish adatabase of photographs ofthe missing soldiers. I providedphotographs of Francis, andthe family he left behind.These now form a growingdatabase of some 7,000images which can be viewedby visitors to the MemorialsVisitor Centre.2012 will see the 80th

    anniversary of the Memorial.From July to November 2012,there is to be a major free

    exhibition at the Historical DeLa Grand Guerre MilitaryMuseum at Peronne, relatingto the men commemorated. The theme will be of

    remembrance and theintention is to tell the story of asoldier who went missing oneach day of the 141 days ofthe Battle. Mr and Mrs Lingeare acting as co-ordinators ofinformation and they haveselected Francis Grimshaw asthe soldier to feature for the2nd November. Other than the photographs I

    have provided, I have littleother information on Francis.The Museum would like toinclude any personal objectsor items which might aid theportrayal of Franciss story. Iam afraid that I have beenunable to assist in this regard.I wonder however, if there are

    any older readers of LivingMagazines with memories ofthe Grimshaw family whomight be able to contributematerial or indeed, theirrecollections of the family. Iknow the passage of time isagainst us, but I would be verypleased to hear from anyonewho can help.Mr and Mrs Linge continue

    their fine work in compiling thedatabase at Thiepval. Theycontinue to receivephotographs. Anyone wishingto submit material may contactthem at: [email protected] Clive TuckerLlandaff North(Read Francis Grimshawsstory on page 13)

    Dear EditorsI received a link to yourmagazine website in anemail recently, only to findthat a new release of themagazine had beenproduced and posted on theweb site. Subsequently,photos and articles that areof interest to me in aprevious issue are no longerable to be viewed.It would be interesting to

    have a look back atprevious issues as it is notalways possible to keep upwith whats happening. Asyou will gather from mysignature, getting a physicalcopy is not an option.Is there a link where we

    can access the pastversions of the publicationor a mailing list (forelectronic copies)? It would be interesting toread information about theplace that I spent 11 yearsas a child growing up.Chris CriddleMelbourne Australia

    Editors Response: We have been uploading allour issues to a websitecalled www.issuu.com. OurNorth Cardiff website has alink to most of our backissues. Here is the link:http://livingmags.co.uk/blog/archives/665We arent able to email

    copies of the magazine dueto its size, but you candownload, or read themagazine online.

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  • Biography

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 8

    Arguably Llandaffs greatest son, Roald Dahl is still considered one of theworlds finest authors. Twenty years after his death this November, his bookshave been translated into almost 50 languages and sold millions globally

    Roald was born on 13thSeptember 1916, atVilla Marie, FairwaterRoad, Llandaff to Norwegianparents Harald and Sofie.Harald and Roalds elder

    sister Astri died when Roaldwas just three years old,leaving Sofie to bring up herfour children, as well as hertwo step-children. Roald wasSofies only son. Her love forher children was to leave alasting impression on Roald. He later wrote: [My mother] was a rock, a

    real rock, always on your sidewhatever youd done. It gaveme the most tremendous

    feeling of security.From the age of seven to

    nine, Roald attended LlandaffCathedral School. His timehere was an unhappy one andhe described his memories ofschool in his book Boy.Perhaps the most well-known

    anecdote to come out of histime there was the infamousGreat Mouse Plot of 1924.Roald and four friends planteda dead mouse into a localsweet-shop owners jar of gob-stoppers. Roald had long hada grudge against MrsPratchett, who Roalddescribed as sour. MrsPratchett exacted her revenge

    by getting Roald caned by theHeadmaster of his school. Shewatched the punishment,laughing as she did.Roald loved his sweets.

    Sherbert Suckers were one ofhis favourites. He wrote that: The sherbert fizzed in your

    mouth and if you knew how todo it, you could make whitefroth come out of your nostrilsand pretend that you werethrowing a fit.It was perhaps this heady

    mixture of confectionery,comedy and cruelty that sowedthe seeds of creativity inRoalds mind that was tobloom in later years.

  • Biography

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 9

    Roald and his family movedacross the Bristol Channel toWeston-super-Mare when hewas nine, where he attendedboarding school.At the age of 18, rather than

    go to University, Roald set offto Newfoundland with thePublic Schools ExploringSociety. He then got a jobworking for the Shell oilcompany in present-dayTanzania, but at the age of 23,war broke out. Roald drove600 miles to Nairobi, where heenlisted in the Royal Air Force.His height (he was 68) was aconcern for the medical doctorbut Roald was taken on as apilot. He was assigned to No. 80

    Squadron, flying GlosterGladiators, the last biplanefighter aircraft used by theRAF. To his surprise, Roaldfound that combat training wasnot provided. Yet despite this,in September 1940, he wasordered to fly his Gladiatorfrom Egypt to Libya and onto80 Squadron's forward airstrip30 miles south of MersaMatruh in Egypt. ApproachingMersa Matruh, Roald foundhimself running low on fuel andnight was approaching. Worsestill, he could not find theairstrip and was forced into anemergency landing in thedesert. His wheels caught arock, causing the aircraft tocrash. Roald suffered afractured skull and a brokennose which temporarily blindedhim. He managed to draghimself away from the blazingwreckage and passed outbefore being rescued. By February 1941, Roald was

    fit for flying duties again. Hissquadron was now equippedwith Hawker Hurricanes, whichRoald flew into combat after

    only seven hours flying in one.After some very close scrapesover the skies of Greece,Roald was eventuallydischarged after sufferingblackouts caused by his earliercrash. He was posted inWashington DC, and beganwriting about his adventures.His first published workappeared in the SaturdayEvening Post. It has beenreported that Dahl was actingin the capacity of intelligencegathering, passing oninformation to MI6. In 1946, Roald was finally

    discharged from the RAF, andwith five aerial victories to hisname, was considered a flyingace.His writing began to take off,

    Roald penning many shortstories. His first story forchildren, The Gremlins,touched upon RAF fighterpilots claims that there werelittle monsters on their wingswhich they blamed forproblems that cropped up.In addition to his childrens

    books, Roald was also craftingstories for adults. These weredarker in tone, and becamerenowned for their macabreplots and twists. These stories

    were the basis for TVs Talesof the Unexpected, which werescreened throughout the1980s.In 1953, in New York City,

    Dahl married the Americanactress Patricia Neal. Theyhad five children - Olivia,Tessa, Theo, Ophelia, andLucy but in November 1962,Olivia died of measlesencephalitis at the age ofseven. He was to laterdedicate his book The BFG toher. Roald and Patriciadivorced in 1983, Roaldmarrying Felicity Crosland inthe same year.By now his stories had been

    best-sellers in many countries.Several of them had alreadybeen turned into screenplays -Charlie and the ChocolateFactory was one example.Roald had also co-written thescript for Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang with Ken Hughes. A lot ofRoalds stories reflected hischildhood memories, withadults commonly beingportrayed as nasty and cruel.In 1990, Roald was

    diagnosed with the rare blooddisorder, myelo-dysplasticanaemia. He wrote that year:I have been feeling sleepy

    when I shouldnt have beenand I am without that lovely oldbubbly energy that drives on towrite books and drink gin andchase after girls.Roald died on 23 November

    1990, aged 74. He was buriedat St. Peter and St. Paul'sChurch in Great Missenden. In September 2009, a blue

    plaque was unveiled inLlandaff by his widow Felicityand his son Theo. The plaquecommemorated the shopwhere The Great Mouse Plotof 1924 took place.

    Roald in the RAF

  • My great grandfather FrancisGrimshaw, who resided at Tyn-y-Parc Road, Whitchurch, isone of the missing soldiers ofthe Battle of the Somme, whichwas fought between 1st Julyand 18th November 1916.During that period, the British

    Army suffered nearly 450,000casualties with 57,000 on thefirst day alone. Francis was aLance Corporal of the 9th

    Battallion, Welsh Regimentand was lost on 2nd November1916.Aged 38 years, and a father

    of four children, it is a cruelirony that he did not have toenlist. Like many men of thetime, he no doubt felt a senseof patriotic duty. And so it was,that he left his family and workas a trimmer at the MelingriffithWorks to go to war. His losswas devastating to his wifeMargaret and their fourchildren Dorothy (mygrandmother), Haydn, Donaldand Maisie. Margaret wasforced to take in washing tosupport the family. My ownfather talks in glowing terms ofa lady he remembers as lovingand hard-working.Francis is remembered on the

    War Memorial oppositeWhitchurch Library. As one ofthe 73,000 soldiers with no

    known grave, he is alsocommemorated at the ThiepvalMemorial in Northern France. Located at one of the key

    sites on the Somme battlefield,it was designed by Sir EdwinLuytens and was unveiled in1932 by the Prince of Wales. Itremains one of the mostimpressive memorials on theWestern Front and can beseen for miles around.

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 13

    Peoples History

  • How many hoursof sleep should acanary get?

    Often when we want to knowthe ideal conditions in which tokeep our pets, the answer canbe found if we look at theanimal in its naturalenvironment. Canariesoriginated in the CanaryIslands (which is why theyrecalled canaries!), which areconsiderably nearer to theequator than we are, and theday-length there is between10-14 hours all year round.Canaries sleep when its dark,so in the wild, they havebetween 10 and 14 hours anight. Domesticated canariesthrive best if they have thesame sort of regime. Irecommend that your canaryshould be kept in the dark forabout 10-12 hours every night,so cover his cage with a thickdark cloth every evening, andremember to take it off again inthe morning.

    How do I stop mycat from jumpingonto the cooker?

    This is something you reallyneed to do from an early age always discourage your kittenfrom jumping up to yourkitchen work surfaces, and sheis not likely to jump up onto thecooker either. Often people liketo feed their cats up on a worktop, so the dog cant steal thecats food. For reasons ofbasic hygiene, I think it isadvisable to do this only in autility room, not the kitchen.If your cat is jumping on the

    stove now, it must be becauseshe has found some reward fordoing so. She probably doesntdistinguish between stove andwork surfaces its all up toher. Do you feed her up there?Do you pet her if she jumps upwhen youre working there? Isshe there en route to a highperch on top of the cupboards?Whatever the motivation forjumping up is, you mustremove it to stand any chanceof successfully retraining her.Having removed her reward forjumping up, you may find thatall it needs to end thebehaviour is some gentleadmonishment on a fewoccasions. If she persists, oronly does it when you arentthere to tell her off, a milddeterrent may help. A squirtfrom a water pistol usuallyworks well it is unpleasant forher but not painful, and as longas you dont make a lot of fussat the same time, she willprobably associate theunpleasant experience withjumping up onto the worktop,not with your presence.

    Can you feedcanned dog foodto cats?

    Dogs and cats nutritionalneeds are surprisinglydifferent. In the natural (non-

    domestic) situation, dogs areprimarily meat-eaters but alsoscavenge and eat all sorts ofother food. Consequently, theirdigestive system can deal witha wide variety of food types.Cats, however, are purecarnivores and require a dietwith a lot of animal protein andfat in it. Their digestion andmetabolism doesnt handlecarbohydrates very well, unlikedogs, and they require highlevels of some amino acidsand other nutrients which dogsdont need. Most dog food(canned and dry) containsmoderate amounts of meat,bulked up with cereals, as thisis the cheapest way to providea balanced diet. This isunsuitable for cats as theprotein levels are too low,carbohydrates are too high andfor cats, there are often lowerthan optimum levels ofvitamins, amino acids andessential fats. Conversely, catfood would provide goodnutrition for a dog, but becauseit is very rich, could causedigestive upsets and weightproblems.

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 15


    Local Pets Our Pets Page gives you the chance to put

    your questions to your local vet, ChrisTroughton 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

  • History

    From the moment thatHitler invaded Poland in1939, its impact was feltalmost immediately over athousand miles away in NorthCardiff.September 1939 saw the

    start of the great evacuationsfrom the major cities of Britainfor fear of bombing. Millions ofchildren, expectant mothersand the blind were sent tomore rural locations for theirsafety. North Cardiff wasconsidered safe enough, andbegan taking its share ofevacuees. Ann Sullivan who lived in

    Thornhill recalls:A double-decker bus arrived

    at our house one day. It wasfull of evacuees. My motherwas told to go out andchoose one. She decidedshed get a five year old ascompany for me. She broughtthis little girl into the houseand the bus waited outside.Once inside however, thislittle girl just stood there andscreamed and cried.I couldnt understand why

    she was crying - I was tooyoung to understand. Someof these children must havebeen mentally scarred for lifewith experiences like that.Mum had to take her backand we got Doreen instead.She was a young girl aboutten years old and had been

    bombed out inBirmingham.Rationingbegan in lateSeptember1939, and sotoo did whatwas calledthe Phoney War. Public places, such as

    cinemas and theatres wereclosed. The Monico Cinema inRhiwbina was transformed intoa communal air raid shelter,while gas masks were madecompulsory. Rhiwbinas village shops kept

    their residents stocked as wellas they could. SmartsGarage, which was based onHeol-y-Deri closed its small

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 16

    North Cardiff at War70 years ago, britain was at war with germany. the countrysexistence hinged on the contributions of each and every in-

  • History

    zoo but the tea gardencontinued to providerefreshments for those fromCardiff who were heading to the Wenallt - a populardestination in those days.The Home Guard

    (established in 1940 as theLocal Defence Volunteersunder the Secretary of StateAnthony Eden, but laterrenamed under Churchill)provided an invaluable serviceto the residents of NorthCardiff, rescuing victims ofbombing raids, clearing rubble,guarding damaged buildingsand putting out incendiarybombs.Pill boxes were set up in the

    area for guard duty, which wasundertaken by able-bodiedmen from the ages of 17 to 65who were not in militaryservice.Rhiwbina and Whitchurch

    had their own Home GuardBattallion called the 11thBattallion A Company. Thebattallion comprised of men ofvarying backgrounds fromengineers to bricklayers. Butby 1943, 25% of civil defenceworkers were women, whoacted as air-raid wardens,medical services and theWomens Royal Voluntary

    Service, who helped look afterrefugees from all over Europe.The Royal Ordnance Factory

    in Llanishen was the temptingchoice for Nazi bombers in1944 due to its output ofmunitions. The factory had alarge population of femaleworkers and the work washard and unrelenting.Employees worked eleven ortwelve hour shifts, makingguns and ammunition for thearmed forces.The factory took a hit in the

    spring of 1944 from an anti-aircraft shell. 33 people wereinjured and nine were killed.

    Rhiwbinas Wendy Housewas set up as an Air RaidWardens Post, run by MrBassett of 18 Y Groes. Air raidtrenches were built alongHeol-y-Bont but were laterabandoned after theyrepeatedly filled with water.Blackouts, aimed at preventingGerman bombers fromrecognising landmarks fromthe air, were introduced.Windows had to be blackedout and all traffic had to run onreduced lights. This didhowever cause an increase intraffic accidents. Bob Lewis was a small boy

    during the war. He lived onPantbach Road, and washidden under the stairs of hisfamily home when it was hit bya Nazi bomb.We didn't hear it coming but

    we felt it when it arrived. Thehouse shook violently; thefridge stopped; pots fell fromshelves, bricks and masonryfell down the stairs. Therewere a lot of noises but nobig bang as such.Nos.131, 133, 135 and 137

    were totally wrecked. Ourupstairs bedrooms were

    open to the skies and full ofrubble - we would not havesurvived if we had stayed inbed. There was a car on itsroof at the bottom of thegarden and our car had beencrushed in the garage by theweight of the sub-soil.I remember the two candles

    that still burned brightly afterthe raid, even though theroom was wrecked.

    Further bombing occurredon Wenallt Road andWhitchurch School, but NorthCardiff got away with littlebombing compared to otherareas of Cardiff.By law, all residents of the

    UK had to carry a gas mask.Stirrup pumps were installedacross North Cardiff to assistwith putting out fires. Whitchurch Hospital also

    played an important roleduring the war. It becameclassed as an EmergencyHospital in 1940 andremained that way until theend of the war in 1945. Itlooked after civilian patientsbut also took D-Day casualtiesand those returning injuredfrom the front lines of NorthernFrance. Patients would bebrought to the hospital by trainvia Cardiff General and theCoryton line.

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 17Information partly provided by the Rhiwbina Civic Society

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  • Out and About

    Caerphillys history goesback nearly 250,000years when what weknow as Neanderthals scouredthe plains for food and shelter.Leaving little impression on

    the landscape, it wasnt untilthe Ice Age glaciers retreatedin 7,000BC, that what we knowas modern humans beganestablishing settlements. By4,500BC, the settlers hadcleared a lot of the forests thathad existed in the area usingstone axes. Within the nextmillennium, they had startedproducing pottery and had builttrackways that linked them toother part of the valleys. Over150 burial communalmonuments from this time stillexist in Wales, although nonehave been found in Caerphilly.By 2,500BC, metal was being

    used for the first time intooling. Bronze in particularwas being utilised to createweapons, as the discovery ofan axehead at Rudry confirms.The forests continued to be

    cleared and farming spread tothe uplands. Bronze Age burialtombs still pepper Caerphillysridges today. They can befound at Cefn Gelligaer,Mynydd y Grug aboveYnysddu, Twmbarlwm and onMynydd Eglwysilan. Theyappear as small mounds ofstone and earth.By 1000BC, the peaceful

    settlements were beginning toexperience unrest. Climatechange forced settlements toprotect their fertile lands. It isthought that the Silurescontrolled a lot of the area atthis time. Over the followingfive hundred years, they builthillforts such as the one atCoed Craig Ruperra.In 43BC, the Romans landed

    on British soil and within thenext four years, had taken allof Britain east of the RiverSevern. Needing a boundary,they formed their westernfrontier here, and the Silureslaunched many raids againstthe Romans, angered at the

    Romans advancement. By 57AD, the Romans had

    had enough and begansilencing the Silures withinvasion. It took 13 years tocomplete.The Romans then set about

    creating a network of road andforts across Wales. A fort wasconstructed at Gelligaer thatwould have housed athousand soldiers. This can beseen today on the roadbetween Cardiff and Y Gaer,near Brecon.The Silures were integrated

    into Roman life, following inthe footsteps of others that hadsuccessfully been conqueredand integrated into the Romanway of living. This wascommonly known asRomanising and was a keyaspect of Roman success.But by the end of the fourth

    century, the Roman grip onWales, and Britain, wasloosening. Attacks by theBarbarians were causingdifficulties and the Romans

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 22


  • Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 23

    found themselves abandoningits territories and withdrawingtroops back.A great deal of uncertainty

    and turbulence filled thevacuum that had been left bythe withdrawal of the Romans.Various factions struggled forpower. In the latter half of theeighth century, the Anglo-Saxon King Offa ordered theconstruction of an eartherndyke that seemed to cut offWales from England.

    By now, Morgannwg hadevolved as an administrativearea. The King of Morgannwgwould often visit the variousareas of the cantrefi and bewined and dined by the locallords. It is probable that one ofthese locations was at IsCaiach.By 1266, 20 years after the

    Battle of Hastings, all ofEngland was under completeNorman rule. Norman lordswere encouraged to push intoWales. One such lord, Robertfitz Hamo launched incursionsfrom his base in Cardiff andtook most of the lowlands. Hewas hesitant not to make anyattempt on the higher groundsthough, having come offsecond best once in a raid onGelligaer in 1094.Over a hundred years later,

    the Lordship of Glamorganwas in the hands of theDeClares. DeClarecommissioned the building ofCaerphilly Castle to counteractthe threat by the Lordship ofSenghenedd. A stand-offbetween Earl Gilbert deClareand Llewellyn ap Gruffydd, theWelsh Prince of Wales ensued.Ap Gruffydds patience finallyran out and he attackedCaerphilly Castle. DeClaresarmy managed to fend off the

    attack and ap Gruffyddbecame increasingly underthreat from the Anglo-Normans. He retreated toBrecon and never set foot inCaerphilly again.By the end of the 12th

    century, the Welsh Church hadgained influence and had setabout creating dioceses.Caerphilly fell under theDiocese of Llandaff. Therefollowed a substantial build ofnew churches, whichcontinued well into the 14thcentury. St. Barrwgs Church inBedwas is a good example ofa church built at this time andretains a lot of its original buildand features. The Cistercians,of Norman origin, lived a life ofpoverty and silence and in1179, they built LlantarnamAbbey, four miles to the east ofCaerphilly. Outlying farmsprovided sustenance for themonks. One such farm waslocated at Cefn Rhyswg.Edward I was crowned King

    of England in 1272, andimmediately set about flushingout the Welsh. Llewellyn apGruffydd and his brother, nowforced back to North Walesrebelled, but paid the ultimateprice. In 1294, after muchsimmering resentment, theWelsh attacked Caerphilly

    Castle and burnt the town. Twenty years later, in 1314,

    Llewellyn Bren instigated arevolt. He gathered an army often thousand men whobesieged Caerphilly Castle andleft the town in ruins. A greatbattle took place at Cefn Onn,where Edwards men joinedthe local Anglo-Norman lordsin crushing the rebellion. Brenwas captured and imprisonedin the Tower of London.Caerphilly as a town began to

    flourish around the time ofOwain Glyndwr in the 15thcentury. Over the followingcenturies, trades such as wooland iron developed. Abercarnwas one of the locations of afurnace, and coal to fuel thefurnaces was mined onCaerphilly Common and fromRudry Woods. By the end ofthe 18th century, the coalindustry had revolutionised thearea. Canals and roads cutthrough the landscape, andwith it came the population.Churches, shops and schoolssprung up to cater for the newinhabitants of the area.Motorised transport and theintroduction of electricity duringthe early 20th century broughtabout many of the changesthat still exist today inCaerphilly.

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  • .Start your autumn walk in thecar park of the Maenllwyd Inn.There is a picnic area, whichnow that the colder weatherhas arrived, should berelatively quiet. There will be afootpath if you turn right at thispicnic area. Negotiate the stileand head up the path thatleads up into the woods. Power lines will be overhead

    as you move up the path forabout a kilometre. Stay on thistrack (this is the RhymneyValley Ridgeway footpath) andyou will pass through a gate,over a stile and the path willlead up to a wire fence. Followthe path that continues alongthe ridge. The fence should beon the right. There will beanother two stiles to passbefore you arrive at a roadwhere you will see Cefn OnnFarm.

    Turn right onto theroad, walking for justunder a kilometre.You will arrive at aT-junction, havingpassed throughanother gate.Cross the roadand head throughthe car park. You

    will now see Mynydd Rudry infront of you.Take the path to the right of

    the hill and follow the path tothe top. Here you will be ableto see views of the areasautumn colours. Head right todescend the path again, andcontinue on the path, keepingthe wall to your right. The wallwill end at the gate. Follow thedownhill path. There will nowbe a hedge on your right. Follow the hedge as it bears

    right and before long, the pathwill lead you into a short lane.Pass through the gate hereand turn left onto the road.Head down the road. Crossinto Edward Thomas Closeand pass through the kissinggate which you can find afterthe last bungalow on the left. Head over the field in a north-

    easterly direction to the cornerof the field. You will pass undera power line and arrive at abridge which crosses a stream.Pass through the kissing gate

    here and you will see a secondkissing gate on your left, whichyou will also need to passthrough. You will shortly arriveat a T-junction. Follow the pathhere. A pond will be on yourleft. Pass over the stile andfollow the fence. There will bea house on your left. There willbe a second stile to negotiate. Turn right and follow the track

    here. You will soon comeacross a signed public footpathwhich you will find on the right

    between the houses. Turn rightinto the main toad. WaterlooTerrace should be on your left.Pass over the stile here on theleft before the sign and followthe fence for another 40metres or so and then turn left. Follow the fence and look for

    the stile in the hedge. Onceyou find it, pass over it and youwill come to a small stream.Turn immediately right whenyou arrive at a thicket of treesand then you will soon turn leftand head uphill to the fence atthe top. Follow the hedgealong to the right, and head tothe stile and gate ahead.Cross over the road and then

    over another stile. Go directlyahead, uphill in a south-easterly direction, (ignoring thegate path to the right) to therock formation. Continue in asouth-easterly direction forabout 250 metres to the gate inthe far left hand corner of thefield. Continue south east onthe track and through thesecond gate.Head across the field,

    following the track and passingthrough a third gate. Head leftup the gradient. You will seePenhow Farm on your right.Head to the gate in the fenceat the edge of the woods andfollow the path to the foresttrack. Ignore the path on theright. Turn right and follow the track

    to the T-junction. Head rightalong the forest track for about400 metres and leave thewoods at the gate on the right.Head left down the road forabout another kilometre backto the Maenllwyd Inn.

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 25

    Autumn Walking

    AAnn AAuuttuumm



    iinn RRuuddrryy

    We cannot accept any responsibility for any matters arising from your walk. Please respect the countryside by following the Countryside Code.

    Wrap up warm and head toRudry where you can

    experience the crisp delightsof autumn.

    You will need to head to theMaenllwyd Inn, which you

    can find by travelling east onthe A48 out of Cardiff, thenturning left onto the B4288.

    Sturdy footwear is highlyrecommended as this can bea challenging walk, especially

    in wet weather.

  • Iwas born in October 1933 atNo.7 New Houses,Melingriffith.The houses were condemned

    around this time and we allmoved out in 1935, along withresidents of Sunny Bank. Idont remember living there,but my mother told me storiesabout the houses. They weretwo up, two down; rents werefour shillings and a hapenny.My mother liked summer

    days; people passing,especially cricketers on aSaturday afternoon who wouldstop and have a chat. Not longafter my parents moved inthere, we had a nasty fire. Mymother had been ironing andhad forgotten about the iron. Itwas the cricketers who ranfrom the sportsfield to help putout the flames. Some receivedmoney as they had ruined theirwhites. Mother didnt like thenights there as my fatherworked nights a lot at theworks. My aunty, Loma Pudge,came to live with us forcompany. She hated the black

    pats - the black beetles that came in with

    the coal. They came out assoon as dusk arrived, andcovered the walls and ceilings.She also told me of a huge

    spider that came out mostevenings and walked along thepicture rail. Neither of myparents could bring themselvesto kill it. The day I was born, itnever came out and was neverseen again! My mother also told me that

    the women fetched water fromthe well more than the men.They used to hitch up theirskirts but the men would gettheir trousers wet unless theywore wellies as the water fromthe well constantly gushed outin those times. The water wasalways really cold, even on thehottest days. Getting to sleep was a

    problem, as you could hear themice running around the attic.One night, my parents couldhear clink, clink, clink. Dad litthe lamp to find a mouserunning around in a mug thathad a spoon in it. Dad was Head Boy of the

    cold rolls at the age of 14. Hethen became a foreman andafter the death of Ivor Mercy,was made Foreman of theTinplate Works until it closed in1957.The well is still there. Ive

    tried several times to get itcleaned out and rebuilt. A lonevoice perhaps. Maybe if we allgot together, something couldbe done to save it. Itd be wellworth it as it was built in the18th century. I believe it wasbuilt by the Harfords who alsobuilt Sunny Bank and NewHouses.A famous sportsman, Jack

    Peterson, HeavyweightChampion of Wales, who wasfriendly with Dad, would oftenbreak his run and pop in for afew minutes. Hed pick me upand juggle me about on hisknees, before heading backout to continue his run.

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 27


    Jack Peterson

  • Autumn Salad400g (14oz) butternutsquash1 small frise lettuce,washed40g (1 oz) lamb's lettuce,washed85g (3oz) Blue Vinneycheese, rind removed55g (2oz) walnuts, roughlychoppedSalt and black pepper2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil2 tbsp walnut oil1 tbsp sherry vinegarHalve the squash lengthwaysand scoop out the pith andseeds. Peel each half, then cutinto 3mm ( in) slices. Transfer the slices to a

    saucepan and add plenty ofboiling water. Bring to the boilfor 30 seconds, drain in acolander, then run a cold tapwater over to cool. Set aside todrain.Tear the frise into a salad

    bowl. Add the lamb's lettuceand mix briefly.Crumble the cheese over the

    salad, then sprinkle with thewalnuts and drained squash.Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Put both oils and the vinegarinto a small screw-top jar,cover and shake vigorously toemulsify. Trickle over thesalad, toss gently to coat, thenserve with granary bread.

    Beef and PumpkinStew1 beef topside roasting joint1 litre beef stock500ml water4 tbsp polenta (coarse orfine)8 red potatoes, cut in half1 onion, quartered750g fresh pumpkin2 ears sweetcorn, cut intothirds1 carrot, cut into thick slices1 small red pepper, seededand cut into pieces1 stalk celery, cut intochunks1 leek, split in half, then cutinto pieces1 tsp minced fresh oregano1/4 tsp mild paprikasalt and freshly groundblack pepper to tastegenerous handful coarselychopped fresh corianderCut the piece of beef into 6

    large chunks (one per serving).Place the beef into a largesaucepan; pour in the beefstock and water. Bring to theboil over high heat, thenreduce heat to medium, coverand simmer until nearly tender,

    for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.Stir the polenta into the stew

    along with the potatoes andonion. Cover and simmer for15 minutes. Cut the pumpkininto six serving-sized pieces,and add to the stew along withthe sweetcorn, carrot, redpepper, celery and leek.Simmer until the vegetablesare tender, adding more waterif needed to barely cover. Stirin the oregano and paprikaduring the last five minutes.Season to taste with salt and

    pepper. Ladle into servingbowls, and sprinkle withchopped coriander.

    Apple Betty500g thinly sliced apples60ml orange juice100g plain flour200g caster sugar1/2 tsp ground cinnamon1/4 tsp ground nutmeg1 pinch salt125g butterPreheat oven to 190C/Gas 5.

    Lightly grease a 23cm pie dish.Place sliced apples in the piedish. Sprinkle with orangejuice.In a medium bowl, mix the

    flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmegand salt. Rub in the butter untilthe mixture resembles coarsecrumbs. Scatter over theapples. Bake in a preheatedoven for 45 minutes. Servewarm.


    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 29

    Autumn is the time of year to bring the best of the harvest into the kitchen.Across our villages, casserole pots will be bubbling on the hobs and warm cakes

    will be rising in the oven. Here are a few recipes to whet your autumn appetite.

  • Across1. Festive celebration5. Of high quality9. Morning grain10. Hillmans little one12. Is in the past13. Redheaded tuber14. Red fruit16. King-like18. On the bed20. Visualise21. Requirement22. Jealous24. Top of a sphere25. Lodgers payment27. Not read29. Finished31. Mode of gettingaround33. Fantastic fireplace36. Start something

    38. Place of dwelling39. So be it41. Unconfirmedreport43. Variable lightswitch45. Getting on a bit46. Woof47. Dont make me cry48. He says it - do it49. Explosive

    Down2. Naughty thing3. Bubbly water4. Like an eagle5. Dont move6. Pilsner beer7. I love shovels8. Straits11. Procedure

    15. Hold on for theride17. Gone fishing in thegarden19. Want to come?20. Lots of legs in thesea23. Ride the wave24. 80s band theynamed twice26. All the people28. Creative pastime30. Since the smallyear32. Proceed slowly34. Meandering water35. A deer37. Fish40. Male relative42. Not over44. Wax or wane?

    Last Issues Answers

    Across1 rumbling; 6 sleep; 8 slick;10 below; 11 savour; 12 teabag;14 envelope; 17 dark; 18 raining; 20 oversight; 22 relief; 23 dab; 24 adapt;25 plug; 27 tor; 28 everyone;31 rose; 33 gadget; 34 grey;35 his; 36 cartwheel; 39 insane;42 via; 43 cash; 45 timber47 rye

    Down2 mallard; 3 lowly; 4 guttering;5 blob; 7 level; 9 cage; 13 anvil;15 never; 16 posh; 18 refuge;19 go; 21 indoors; 23 day; 25 producer; 26 my; 29 end;30 daylight; 32 elegant;33 gravy; 37 river; 38 whinge;40 arab; 41 ever; 43 car; 46 me

    Whitchurch and Llanda Living Page 31