Aberdare House

Mount Stuart Square, a designated conservation area since 1980, is home to something like 60 listed buildings. Some of these listed buildings are considered landmark buildings; some are not.

Aberdare House isn’t one of the landmark buildings, but when I recently wandered around the square with my camera, the carvings above the door really caught my eye. Sadly, I’ve been unable to learn much about its original history to date; if you know more about the building, please leave a comment below.

What I did find was that, 1933, it was the registered office of Bwllfa & Cwmaman Ddu Collieries Ltd, a company which operated nine coal mines in the Aberdare area, outputting one million tonnes of coal a year. By 1937, the company had changed its name to just Bwllfa & Cwmaman Collieries Ltd, and had moved its registered office to London. Both companies were run by Sir David Richard Llewellyn, a leading member of the coal mining industry in South Wales who was made a Baronet in 1922.

Today, Aberdare House is used by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and first round auditions for all of their 2010 acting programme will be held here. There also appears to be residential premises upstairs too; I found a mention of the sale of a flat back in 2007.

References

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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Melingriffith Water Pump Is Being Restored

In March 2010, the Melingriffith Water Pump was carefully removed from its site and taken up to Penybryn Engineering for some much-needed restoration work. It was last restored in the 1980’s by the Oxford House Historical Society, but sadly the wood used at the time has not weathered well and is need of replacement. At the time of writing, the Friends of Melingriffith website has no update on when the restoration will be complete (it may be done by the time you read this blog post!)

Here’s a shot from my 2007 blog article about the Melingriffith Tin Works, showing the wheel in situ:

The Melingriffith Water Pump

I can’t wait to see it restored and returned to its original site once more, and will potter on over with the camera once it has been.

References

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.

2 comments »

Melingriffith Water Pump Is Being Restored

In March 2010, the Melingriffith Water Pump was carefully removed from its site and taken up to Penybryn Engineering for some much-needed restoration work. It was last restored in the 1980’s by the Oxford House Historical Society, but sadly the wood used at the time has not weathered well and is need of replacement. At the time of writing, the Friends of Melingriffith website has no update on when the restoration will be complete (it may be done by the time you read this blog post!)

Here’s a shot from my 2007 blog article about the Melingriffith Tin Works, showing the wheel in situ:

The Melingriffith Water Pump

I can’t wait to see it restored and returned to its original site once more, and will potter on over with the camera once it has been.

References

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.

1 comment »

Abandoned TVR Bridge Into Hailey Park

This bridge, clearly visible from the modern-day City Line south of Radyr Railway Station, used to carry trains across the River Taff, across Hailey Park upon an embankment, to link up with the main TVR line at Ty Mawr Bridge. This branch line was used to provide an alternative route into the railway sidings at Radyr Yard.

Radyr Yard itself is gone (closed in 1993; replaced by a modern housing estate), the railway embankment through Hailey Park has been removed, and all that remains is the bridge itself, fenced off but still spanning the Taff, serving no obvious useful purpose any more.

References

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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Now a convenient shortcut for anyone using the Treforest Industrial Estate Railway Station on the old Taff Vale Railway line (modern-day Valley Lines service), this bridge used to carry a railway siding south from the Upper Boat Power Station into factories on the industrial estate.

I used to think that this was a surviving relic of the old Cardiff Railway, but sadly that just isn’t true; Cardiff Railway remained on the eastern bank of the River Taff (with a station where the Focus DIY store now is at Upper Boat) before finally crossing the Taff over the impressive (but sadly doomed) Rhydefelin Viaduct.

Even so, this bridge is one of the most impressive survivors in the area, and it definitely deserves a feature all of its own.

The Photos

The View Most People See

This is how most people see the bridge, as an essential short-cut across the Taff to and from the nearby railway station.

Admiring The Structure Of The Bridge

If you do find yourself crossing this bridge, I urge you to stop for a few moments to admire it. It is one of the few surviving structures from its time. The railway siding that it carried, and the power station and factories that used to sit at either end of this siding are long gone.

It Needs A Lick Of Paint

As this close-up of the bridge’s structure shows, it could do with a lick of paint to preserve it from the elements for a bit longer.

Wooden Flooring Along The Bridge

The old trackbed is long gone, replaced by this wooden boarding. Be careful in wet and icy weather; I’ve slipped and slided my way from one end of the bridge to the other on more than one occasion!

The Bridge From Upstream

Taken from upstream, looking south west along the River Taff to the bridge. Doesn’t it just look fine? I don’t think you’ll find another one like it anywhere else along the length of the Taff.

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.

3 comments »

Windows Of The Coal Exchange

Mount Stuart Square, a designated conservation area since 1980, is home to something like 60 listed buildings. Some of these listed buildings are considered landmark buildings; some are not.

The crown jewel of Mount Stuart Square is the Coal Exchange, where the world’s first 1 million pound business transaction was conducted. Today, it’s a multi-purpose building, and a walk around the outside of it reveals that it has seen better times. These windows, at pavement level on the western side, suggest that not all of the building has faired well since the docks closed in the 1960’s … but don’t they make you curious about what’s inside? They sure make me curious!

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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Rugby Post In Hailey Park

Hailey Park in Llandaff North nestles between the eastern bank of the River Taff and what would have been the western bank of the Glamorganshire Canal as the canal emerged from beside the tin works at Melingriffith. Back when Radyr Yard still existed (which today is the site of a new housing estate immediately south west of Radyr Railway Station), a railway embankment ran through the northern end of the park’s grounds, crossing the River Taff over a now-disused bridge to join what today we call the City Line.

In 1923, a Mr C. P. Hailey wrote to Cardiff Corporation offering the land to be transformed into a public park. His offer was for the northern section of the park, and subsequently a Mr Emile Andrews agreed to provide the land to the south of Mr Hailey’s to form a single park. Work began in 1925, and the park was opened on 3rd May, 1926, forming a great open area that only became even more important when Cardiff Corporation closed the Glamorganshire Canal and built the Gabalfa housing estate.

Today, the park is home to Llandaff North Rugby Club, and the Taff Trail cycle route snakes its way up from the south west to the north east corner of the park. A local community group works closely with the city council to improve the park, but unfortunately they keep hitting setbacks as local yobs disrupt and vandalise the park. The railway embankment that ran across the park is gone, and the line of trees that run down the south east corner edge of the park is the last reminder to mark the route that the canal once took.

References

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.

Be the first to leave a comment »

Rugby Post In Hailey Park

Hailey Park in Llandaff North nestles between the eastern bank of the River Taff and what would have been the western bank of the Glamorganshire Canal as the canal emerged from beside the tin works at Melingriffith. Back when Radyr Yard still existed (which today is the site of a new housing estate immediately south west of Radyr Railway Station), a railway embankment ran through the northern end of the park’s grounds, crossing the River Taff over a now-disused bridge to join what today we call the City Line.

In 1923, a Mr C. P. Hailey wrote to Cardiff Corporation offering the land to be transformed into a public park. His offer was for the northern section of the park, and subsequently a Mr Emile Andrews agreed to provide the land to the south of Mr Hailey’s to form a single park. Work began in 1925, and the park was opened on 3rd May, 1926, forming a great open area that only became even more important when Cardiff Corporation closed the Glamorganshire Canal and built the Gabalfa housing estate.

Today, the park is home to Llandaff North Rugby Club, and the Taff Trail cycle route snakes its way up from the south west to the north east corner of the park. A local community group works closely with the city council to improve the park, but unfortunately they keep hitting setbacks as local yobs disrupt and vandalise the park. The railway embankment that ran across the park is gone, and the line of trees that run down the south east corner edge of the park is the last reminder to mark the route that the canal once took.

References

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.

Be the first to leave a comment »

Port Authority Building, Cardiff Bay

Look at any old photo of Cardiff’s docks in their heyday, and there are two constants to be seen. One is the railway station at the southern end of the Taff Vale Railway (TVR), which today is the Cardiff Bay railway station. The other is the Pierhead Building, former home to the Bute Dock Company (later renamed to the Cardiff Railway Company), and it provides a fantastic point of reference to help us see how the land around it has been utterly transformed since the height of the docks.

Built in 1897, the Pierhead Building was commissioned to be the new headquarters of the Bute Dock Company. Today, it is part of the estate of the Welsh Assembly, and serves a dual-purpose role of public museum and events venue.

I haven’t visited the museum since it opened in March, 2010 yet, but I will do so shortly. It’s my growing hypothesis that Cardiff-based exhibitions tend to downplay the debt that the city owes to the exploitation of the natural resources of the valleys (which have been left economically devastated in the post-industrial world), and I’m very curious to see what this exhibition says on the matter.

References

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

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Shipping Federation Limited

Mount Stuart Square, a designated conservation area since 1980, is home to something like 60 listed buildings. Some of these listed buildings are considered landmark buildings; some are not.

The crown jewel of Mount Stuart Square is the Coal Exchange, where the world’s first 1 million pound business transaction was conducted. Today, it’s a multi-purpose building, and a walk around the outside of it reveals gems like this fading sign for the Shipping Federation Limited. I haven’t had a lot of luck tracking down information about this former office, but my best guess is that it was the Cardiff office of the Shipping Federation, an association of shipping owners formed in 1890 to oppose what was originally known as the National Amalgamated Sailors’ and Firemen’s Union, which became the National Union of Seamen before it was swallowed up by the RMT in 1990.

References

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.

Be the first to leave a comment »
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