A Sea of Daisies

Bute Park is one of the enduring legacies from the heady days of Cardiff’s wealth from being a major shipping port. Located in the north west corner of the city centre, just a few minutes walk from all of Cardiff’s major shopping areas, it offers open fields, river and canal banks, an arboretum, sculptures and art installations, cycle trails, and superbly-tendered plants and flowers. There’s even a stone circle.

And, in the midst of all this careful tendering, you also get wild plants and flowers that have seeded themselves, such as this wonderful carpet of daisies.

For many of the folks who work in Cardiff city centre, Bute Park offers a great place to escape during lunch hours, and is always popular with the students from the nearby Cardiff University.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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I Love Pies

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I have Mrs H to thank for spotting this charming piece of graffiti on a freight train parked at Cardiff Central railway station one evening. There was no way I could resist having a photo called ‘I Love Pies’, and I hope you enjoy it as my choice of desktop wallpaper today.

And, in other good news – it’s almost the weekend! I hope you’ll be back tomorrow for my final choice of wallpaper this week, still with no green in sight.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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My main photography project, Merthyr Road, was inspired by the history of South Wales, and how that has shaped the South Wales you can visit today. South Wales is my adopted home (even though I’ll always be a Yorkshireman at heart!), and I’d like to share with you some of the excellent bloggers and writers who live in or write about South Wales today as we come across each other.

If you’re looking to find the best pubs, hotels, and places to visit in this area that we’ve all fallen in love with, then check out the Passionate About South Wales blog, run by Paul Thomas. Paul’s got a real passion for the area, and he’s got a simple and straightforward writing style that’s instantly accessible. I’m already scouring his blog for places I must add to my must-visit list, such as St. Augustine’s Church in Penarth 🙂

You can find Paul’s blog here – http://www.south-wales.org/ – and subscribe to his RSS feed here.

If you have a blog about South Wales that you’d like me to mention on here, please get in touch.

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East Canal Wharf

From 1794 through to at least 1951, this was the East Canal Wharf of the Glamorganshire Canal.

In the foreground runs the GWR railway (the main Swansea to London line still in major use today), built by 1850 by the South Wales Railway Company, which would have had to have bridged the canal at this point.

The red brick building in the top-right is the remains of the York Hotel, which adjoins Custom House, once the administrative home of the Glamorganshire Canal when operations were moved from Navigation House in Navigation (modern-day Abercynon).

Behind where I’m stood today is Callahan Square, but in the past this would have been the wharfs that stretched all the way down to the River Taff over a mile away: Sea Lock Pond, the first of Cardiff’s great docks.

You can clearly see in this photo how the road under the GWR bridge has to drop for cars and buses to fit underneath. My guess is that the clearance was a lot less when this was still canal!

Copyright (c) 2010 Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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Wet Lights

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I promised no green this week – how am I doing so far? 🙂

My choice of desktop wallpaper today is this quirky shot of some wet lights outside the new St David’s 2 cash-hoovering shopping centre in Cardiff. I’m sure Mrs H just wanted to get out of the rain, but wild horses couldn’t drag me away until I’d snagged a decent shot of them.

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Water Bus Stop in Bute Park

Just inside the entrance to Bute Park, there’s a bus stop for the Cardiff Waterbus service. The service started in 2000, and links the centre of Cardiff with the redeveloped docklands of Cardiff Bay.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bute_Park
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff_Waterbus
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/cardiffonline/cardiff-news/2010/04/28/a-decade-of-making-waves-for-waterbus-91466-26330343/

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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Railings On The Taff

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My desktop wallpaper today is this quirky shot of the railings that were stopping me from falling into the River Taff on a far-too-early-morning shoot back in March. Nice and blue – no green to be seen 🙂

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Alleyway Beside The TVR

If you exit Cardiff Queen Street railway station (there’s just the one exit these days, to the west), turn left (so that you’re facing south), and start walking, you might miss this alleyway that continues to follow the TVR line south. It runs behind the masonic lodge and the various restaurants on Churchill Way, and today I suspect it is mostly used as a shortcut by students looking to get to the University of Glamorgan’s Atrium campus.

Copyright (c) 2010 Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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You're *Not* Coming In

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After last week’s feast of green, I’ve had about all the green that I can take for a little bit. So this week’s theme (which will probably run into next week too, looking at my Flickr upload queue) is all about odd, quirky, or just simply man-made and not greed.

To get the week underway, I’ve picked these impressive-looking gates that I came across on Saturday. One thing is for sure, with these in your way, you’re not coming in 🙂

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Back in March, Kristi and I went up to Hartlepool for the weekend for a little photography. My friend and colleague Matt Park had been sending me excellent photo after excellent photo of this old abandoned magnesium factory up on the coast, and I’d decided that I’d love to try photographing the place myself.

Steetley Magnesite Works was built in 1937 as a factory trying to extract magnesia (used in the steel industry, and not found naturally in the UK) from sea water. Like all things industrial and British, the factory was eventually considered nonviable and abandoned. The site was to have been cleared for housing, but that was brought to a halt when rare birds were found to be nesting there.

What’s left today is mostly rubble, with a few gems still on offer. Most photographers who visit the site focus on the settling tanks where the separation of magnesia from sea water used to take place. Our plan was to do the same, but the night before we’d learned about the event to illuminate Hadrian’s Wall, and decided just to spend the morning before breakfast at Steetley instead.

We focused most of our time down on the beach, and also in exploring the mammoth pier that extends out from the factory ruins into the North Sea. Forget your Victorian seaside piers; there might be no-one selling candy floss on this pier, but it’s just stunning … and we certainly felt quite vulnerable out there at the far end looking back to shore.

I hope you enjoy these photos as much as we enjoyed taking them.

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

Steetley Magnesite

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