The Register Office Has Moved To The City Hall

Not much to add, really, except to say that my sister-in-law got married here several years ago. There’s currently no clear indication what the building will be used for next, and from the outside it appears to be completely unused now.

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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Whispy Clouds Above Cathays

The skies above Cathays and Cardiff can be a delight for all photographers. I haven’t yet managed to catch the skies in a purple mood (although I have come close), but recently I was able to catch these odd whispy clouds above Cathays.

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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Lamp And Bushes Beside Cathays Station

The main entrance to Cathays Station is from the alleyway that runs behind Cardiff University. This combination of blue skies, rubbery-green leaves and a streetlight caught my attention.

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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Lamp And Bushes Beside Cathays Station

The main entrance to Cathays Station is from the alleyway that runs behind Cardiff University. This combination of blue skies, rubbery-green leaves and a streetlight caught my attention.

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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The Chain Link Arches were a public art installation beneath Brunel’s impressive viaduct across the River Rhondda in Pontypridd in 2010. Consisting of coloured floodlights that lit up the underside of the arches as dusk turned to night, they made a somewhat eerie sight.

Chain Link Arches

Chain Link Arches

Chain Link Arches

Although I can’t find any reference to it online, and unfortunately RCT’s own website doesn’t leave old news articles published (grrrr), I’ve a memory of reading that this was conceived along with Unity to help promote Pontypridd. I must be mistaken on that part, because the Chain Link Arches have so few hits on Google that it is as if no-one knew it was there 🙁

Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find out anything more about this piece of art. If you know who the artist was, when it was first installed, and when it was finally removed, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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

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Beneath Brunel's Bridge

The view from Mill Street, Pontypridd, looking up at one of the TVR bridges built by Brunel in 1840.

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

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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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The Photos

This Way To Callaghan Square

Callaghan Square was built in 1999, on the site of the old Sea Lock Pond – the very end of the Glamorganshire Canal, just south of the GWR line between Swansea and London.

It has its own blog, and its own Facebook page. I think it’s the first subject I’ve featured in my Merthyr Road project that has its own Facebook page.

British Gas at Callahan Square

These are the new British Gas offices in Callahan Square, home of the European Call Centre of the Year (Sept 2009), and the best call centre in Europe to work for (Sept 2009).

British Gas have had a call centre in Cardiff since 1986, employing up to 1,700 people, making them a major employer in the city. They moved into this new building in 2009. Their old building on Churchill Way has been converted into a Premier Inn hotel.

The Fountains Outside Eversheds

Callaghan Square was built along with the nearby Lloyd George Avenue specifically to link the city centre of Cardiff with the regeneration of Cardiff Bay. One of the key features of this design is its square and water features.

The Fountains Outside British Gas

Although British Gas and Eversheds are the two highest profile tenants of Callaghan Square (they have the logos most prominently seen from the trains from London pulling into Cardiff Central Station …), the offices here are home to other organisations too, such as the British Transport Police.

The Fountains Of Callaghan Square

This is why you buy high-quality, fast glass for your camera, so that you can get shots like this 🙂

Callaghan Square And The TVR Beyond

In the background, you can see the one-car train trundling along the old TVR line from Cardiff Bay station.

Amazingly, when the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation (closed in 2000) drew up the original plans for Callaghan Bay / Lloyd George Avenue, those plans included ripping up the TVR railway line down to Cardiff Bay. It seems that their opportunity has now passed, but you never know … one day the train in this shot might be part of history rather than the present.

Like Anyone Takes Notice Of That

A couple of the lamp posts in Callaghan Square have prohibition signs (banning skateboarding and larking about in the water) attached to them, for what little good they do. I didn’t see anyone in the water, but the skateboarders were certainly enjoying themselves.

Kinda fits in with the history of this area, which reportedly was once the red light district of Cardiff.

The Marquis Of Bute

Callaghan Square was originally going to be called Bute Square (after the Marquis of Bute, who was responsible for building Butetown and the Bute Docks), but partway through construction, Cardiff City Council decided instead to rename it to honour the former Labour Prime Minister, who was a Cardiff MP for many years.

I wonder if anyone noticed the irony of naming the regenerated wharfs of the Glamorganshire Canal after its longtime rival? Perhaps they should have called it Crawshay Square.

Water Feature In Callaghan Square

When I visited, the water features of Callaghan Square were dormant, simply making little spurts like this one. That allowed me to get up close to photograph them in detail.

Callaghan Square

And here it is, in all its glory – Callaghan Square.

In the distance to the left, you can just make out the Herbert Street bridge, over which runs the old TVR line down to Cardiff Bay. On the far right hand side is the statue of the Marquis of Bute. And in the middle, we have the water features that you’re prohibited from playing in.

My Abiding Memory Of Callaghan Square

I’ve been commuting into, and through, Cardiff for many years now, and sadly my one abiding memory of Callaghan Square over the years has been seeing empty offices from the train.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the property developers and agents seeking rents of 20 GBP per square foot these days, in a city that traditionally has paid a lot less for its office space?

The Curves At Callaghan Square

In all honesty, I think Callaghan Square has made the same mistake that most of the redevelopment in Cardiff has made. If you want to create something that can be talked about the world over, please please please make it possible to take interesting photographs of it!

This is what sets the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff’s glorious civic centre apart from the Millennium Centre or indeed Callaghan Square.

But there is one saving grace – although I have not done it justice at all – and that’s the way that 1 Callaghan Square (home to Eversheds) curves around.

References

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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Lost TVR Route To The Docks

Lost TVR Route To The Docks

Lost TVR Route To The Docks

If I have this right, the abandoned bridge towers in the foreground of this shot are all that remains of the TVR railway tracks that carried trains down from Cardiff Queen Street station to the eastern bank of the Bute West Dock. Today, none of the track survives; the area south of here was until recently Tyndall Street Industrial Estate, with Cardiff’s Little Venice (the Atlantic Wharf housing development) beyond it.

The surviving bridge tower has a personal significance to me. It’s my waypoint on the way home every evening, telling me it’s time to pack up my things because we’re about to pull into Cardiff Central beyond.

I couldn’t decide on which of these three photos I preferred, so I decided to post all three.

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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The Pontypridd Sculpture

After the Brown Lennox site was cleared in 2009, this bright red sculpture appeared opposite, just outside the southern end of the Ynysangharad Park. It incorporates the Titanic (the chains for the Titanic were made at Brown Lennox), the old bridge that gives Pontypridd its name (which still stands today), and the flywheel from a mine lift (none of the mines have survived through to today).

It’s nice to see the much-maligned RCT making an effort in Pontypridd for a change, but like so much of what they do it just misses the mark. Why? Because if you’re coming north from Cardiff on the A470, this sculpture is mostly hidden from view by the turnoff into Pontypridd itself. Contrast that to other roadside art installations around the UK, such as the Angel of the North, which are sited specifically to be seen by approaching drivers.

I’m sure this thing must have an official name 🙂 If anyone knows what it is, please leave a comment below.

It sits close to the now-lost route of the Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport Railway, and opposite the site where the Brown Lennox factory used to stand. In the background runs the line of the old Taff Vale Railway (TVR), today the main passenger line up and down the valleys. The road curving up and to the right crosses the River Taff.

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

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