The news from your local community
ThenewspaperforallGrangetownresidents Established 1978
Published by Grangetown Community Action
New school dream p3
‘Shop Local’ survey highlights traffic and litter issues
Shop-owners in Grangetown have highlighted parking and traffic issues as their main areas of concern which need improving, in a survey by Cardiff Business School. The market research was commissioned by Grangetown Community Action in the first stage of a Shop Local project. A total of 43 shop-owners and another 113 shoppers were questioned by MSc business and marketing students. 77% of business owners were concerned about parking and traffic in the area, while 42% were concerned about litter and rubbish, when asked to pick factors which needed to improve. But for shoppers themselves, a wider variety of shops was seen as the biggest factor – while more parking places and less litter also scored highly. Traffic has got heavier along the main Clare and Penarth Roads in recent years, after changes to the road system in the city centre. More recently new crossings have been
introduced, including a change at the main junction with Paget Street and Corporation Road. Meanwhile, the survey also found big backing for the idea of an occasional street market in Grangetown – similar to ones which already operate weekly in Roath, Rhiwbina and Riverside. A total of 78% of residents thought this was a great idea, while 63% of shop-owners would be willing to support it. This idea has been suggested as a way of bringing in more people into the shopping district. Other ideas being explored is a “Love Grangetown, Shop Grangetown” campaign to promote independent shops. This would also involve social media, the Grangetown community website and Grangetown News. Over half of shop-owners were also interested in some sort of loyalty card scheme and joining a business forum. Two thirds of shoppers questioned were also willing to join a loyalty card scheme which could lead to discounts or a prize draw.
“Discounts, more variety of shops, less litter and more parking spaces are powerful tools to attract people to shop more in Grangetown,” says the report. More than 80% of shoppers understood the concept of “shop local” and rated it as important. However, there was still 45% of residents who said they only knew about some of the shops and were less familiar with those offering more specialist services. The next challenge is to start
working on the concept of the business forum – which would enable shop and business owners to connect online but also have occasional meetings to discuss issues or be offered networking or training opportunities. It is hoped this could be focused towards some branding and a Shop Local campaign. “The idea of the street market really enthused people and this is something we should look into,” said Steve Duffy, who is leading the project for Grangetown Community Action. “We want to get a group of people – residents and business owners – who can hopefully take some of these ideas forward.” The survey also showed local shoppers wanted more coffee shops, a big chain store and also a non-halal butcher in their wish list for types of shops to come into the area. While most did their food shopping locally, most clothes and accessory shopping was outside Grangetown. It is hoped the project can work alongside the ongoing revamp of the Clare Road and Penarth Road shopping area, including shop front improvements.
Pub revival p4
Interview: Ani Glass p5
Hardware heaven p6–7
How often do you shop in Grangetown? • • •
36% shop daily 44% at least once a week 8% at least once a month
If you are interested in helping with the Love Grangetown, Shop Grangetown campaign, or are a local business interested in joining the forum, please email grangetowncardiff@ yahoo.co.uk for more information. Look on our website for developments. www.grangetown.wales will also be looking to feature more local businesses in the near future.
WW1 Secret tragedy p9
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Grangetown News Winter 2016
Foodbank offers local welcome Some of your comments Cardiff Bus have started two night buses – but would you like to see them serving Grangetown and the Bay? “Bit of competition for the taxis, may make them think twice about refusing fares. Plus it will create more jobs.” —Debbie “Yes most definitely. with so many taxi drivers refusing short fares this service would give people living in these areas a safe route home.” —Dougie “Definitely!”—Mandy Find Grangetown Community Action on Facebook Grangetown’s first food bank has opened – offering a weekly distribution point for people needing help. Based at Grangetown Baptist Church in Clive Street, the distribution centre is open every Friday (12pm to 2pm) to people who can exchange vouchers for three meals a day for three
days. These are issued by 120 agencies across the city. The centre is under the umbrella of the Trussell Trust and is the seventh to be opened by Cardiff Foodbank. A warm welcome is guaranteed and a sign-posting for more help and advice is available. Helen Bull, partnership and
Grangetown News Grangetown News started in 1978 and is produced by volunteers, all of whom are Grangetown residents. It relies on the support of our local businesses and advertisers. Publisher Grangetown Community Action Editorial production Bruce Porteous, Steve Duffy Writers/Contributors Ciron Gruffydd, Sean Kisby, Zena Mabbs, Nicola Allen, Steve Duffy, Ali Abdi, David Evans, Debbie Groves, Jo Coulson, Rhian Carbis Photographs Sean Kisby, Steve Duffy, Nicola Allen Advertising Ashley Lister Advertising rates 1/8 page – £40; 1/4 page – £70; 1/2 page – £110; full page – £200 Email email@example.com Printed by Media Wales Thanks to Emma Meese and the Centre for Community Journalism, Cardiff University for their assistance. And all our deliverers!
fundraising manager for Cardiff Foodbank said: “‘We are so excited to be launching a new distribution centre on this side of the city. “We will be working in partnership with Grangetown Baptist Church and other church’s volunteers in the area, along with other community groups and agencies to feed those in food crisis.” The city network gave out 12,000 food parcels to 8,000 different people in 2015/16.
Those able to help Cardiff Foodbank by donating food or money to cover warehouse or van costs, go to the website, where there are details of food collection points. www.cardiff.foodbank.org.uk
Some ‘missing’ bins return! Three litter bins have been restored to Grangetown streets – after a survey found a dozen had been removed in recent years, including from outside shops and take-aways. After the story appeared in the last edition of Grangetown News, a quarter of them were returned. One was restored outside the shop in Jubilee Street, a new one was put in Court Road on the junction with Compton Street and another outside shops in Paget Street.
Editorial meeting for volunteers and contributors is on Thursday 12th January, 6pm at Grangetown Hub. Newcomers welcome!
New bins are set to follow soon.
Keep Grangetown Tidy have recently had members of the council’s waste teams joining their regular litter-picks.
Next edition Spring 2017
David Evans, the new minister for Grangetown Baptist Church, said: “We are very pleased to be able to work with the Cardiff Foodbank; our aim is for all that we do to be relevant and meet needs within our community.”
Grangetown was also one of the suburbs to have a weeklong litter and fly-tipping “blitz” by waste officers to tackle particular hot-spots. An extra five tonnes of rubbish was removed as well as enforcement of waste offenders. The regular emptying of litter bins has been an issue but the Tidy Grangetown group and local councillors have been alerting teams to problems where they have been overflowing. There are around 50 bins in Grangetown managed by street-cleaning teams and a similar number in parks and gardens – looked after by the parks department.
Follow us on Twitter @grangecardiff
grangetowncardiff.co.uk and grangetown.wales
Keep Grangetown Tidy litterpicks Sat 12th November – Avondale Crescent (all 9.45am)
Sat 19th November – Grangemoor Park
Sun 11 December – Campbell Drive, Windsor Quay
Sat 7th January 2017 – Maitland Place
Sat 4th February – Holmesdale Street @TidyGrangetown and search for Keep Grangetown Tidy on Facebook Gloves, pickers and bags are provided.
Grangetown News Winter 2016
Grangetown News 3
‘Dream come true’ for new school
By Rhian Carbis Head teacher, Ysgol Hamadryad
few weeks is in part due to the very warm welcome and collaboration from our near neighbours, Ninian Park Primary.
It has been an absolute pleasure and a dream come true to meet and greet the first pupils of our very unique school.
Our temporary site is situated on their grounds and we share breakfast club and lunch facilities. We won’t be neighbours forever however, and the exciting plans for the new school on the outskirts of Hamadryad Park are coming along really well.
As the 20th Welsh medium school in the city, but the very first Welsh medium school in the Grangetown and Butetown community we have the opportunity to become an integral part of the local area. We are very proud to be located in some of the most diverse and multi-lingual communities in Cardiff.
As our school logo demonstrates, we have fully embraced the history of our name. We want the pupils to be proud of their heritage. “Angor cadarn cyn hwylio’r don” / “A secure anchor before setting sail”, is our mission statement.
As the doors opened on September 5th, the enormity of the situation became a reality. I was about to embark on a wonderful journey with everyone involved the school. To say that it is both an honour and a privilege to be the first headteacher of Ysgol Hamadryad doesn’t fully reflect my enthusiasm and excitement for the present and the future.
We aim to provide every child in our care the opportunity to develop their skills in all aspects of life so that when ready, they are able to set sail and ride the waves.
But the children can say it better than myself: “I really like my new school.” “We have so much fun at Ysgol Hamadryad, I can’t wait to come again tomorrow!” “Our teachers are really kind and now I have lots of new friends” As a teaching head it means that I will get to know the very first pupils on a personal level. The success of our first
To get a feel for the school please follow us on Twitter @ YsgolHamadryad
At present the school doesn’t have a designated catchment area so if you are a parent/carer thinking of sending your child to a Ysgol Hamadryad’s Welsh medium nursery or reception class in September 2017 then please ensure that you request a place for Ysgol Hamadryad on your child’s application form even though the school might not be listed on the form itself.
If you would like any further information about the school, please do not hesitate to contact Rhian Carbis on 07980727677 or by e-mailing the school at Ysgol.Hamadryad@cardiff.gov.uk
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Grangetown News Winter 2016
The Grange sees a brighter future
The Grange pub is to re-open as a pub in January – with the new owners hoping a formula of craft ales and home-cooked food will revive its fortunes. The pub was closed last December and put up for sale by Brain’s brewery, with many fearing it would be bulldozed for redevelopment. The Victorian inn had been in decline in recent years, and sadly looking forlorn and tatty inside. It has been bought by local independent restauranteurs and pub-owners Cerys and Tom Furlong and Gwyn Myring who own the award-winning Lansdowne pub in Canton, and are all part owners of The Potted Pig and Porro restaurants. The success of The Lansdowne is a clue: Expect a range of craft ales from Welsh independent breweries and good food. Cerys says: “We don’t know what the future holds, but at the moment we feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to open a great pub in Grangetown.”
Can you tell us yet who’s going to be running it? “We haven’t appointed a manager/ landlord/lady yet, but will be looking to do so soon. Whoever takes over, will be a real ale lover, committed to what we are trying to do, and hopefully up for playing a big part in the Grangetown community” Is there going to be a big make-over inside – how much work is there to do? “We have already started renovations. The Grange is a beautiful pub, and we want to restore it to its former glory, keeping what we can of the original, but investing in the future by installing new kitchens, bathrooms and decorating throughout.” Is this a sign you can see that Grangetown is an up and coming area now – you can obviously see potential? “We definitely see a bright future for Grangetown – it’s vibrant, multi-cultural and multi-lingual. It’s a fantastic place to live, and hopefully a place to socialise close to home too (when we are open!)”
You’re doing this at a time when pubs are closing everywhere. “It’s true that there are a lot of pubs closing and it’s sad that’s happening. A lot of pubs are fairly run down, and need investment. “Unfortunately all too often they get converted for residential use, and an asset to the community is lost. It can be hard for small independent businesses like ours to compete for property in the market, which is why we are so delighted to be re-opening The Grange.” The Grange’s re-opening comes after a series of closures in the area which left just The Cornwall as the last remaining traditional pub. Its survival has in part been to the hard work by the management team there to put on community events and engage
with local people and its proximity to the Cardiff City Stadium. The Grange Hotel, as it was once known, dates from as far back as 1858. • There used to be a butcher’s shop in what is now the lounge. • The pub was owned by a John M Pritchard for the first 25 years of the 20th century. A boxful of his original receipts and accounts was found in the attic and has been donated to Glamorgan Archives. • There is a legend of a ghost of a former landlord in the cellar. • The pub closed for three months in November 2013 before re-opening again. But it continued to struggle despite the efforts of landlords. • Brain’s Brewery put it on the market, along with The Westgate pub in Riverside, which is set to be converted to accommodation.
The new owners of The Grange promise good food and real ale
Have you tried a FAN meeting yet?
PACT meetings get regular venue
They are a great way to get to know our neighbours and always offer a warm welcome. We aim to make the world a more friendly place through conversation and laughter.
The regular Grangetown PACT meetings – Police and Communities Together – are now being held at a fixed venue and a regular time. The meetings will now all be held in the community room at the Grangetown Hub (library) – usually on the first Tuesday of alternate months. So the next meeting will be on Tuesday December 6th (7pm) followed by Tuesday February 7th 2017. Community police are holding weekly Cuppa With A Copper sessions in the library on Tuesdays at 11am. At October’s meeting, police revealed there had been 51 Class A drug convictions in Grangetown and Butetown since September 2015. A police waymarker/PACT priority to tackle drug dealing in the streets around Court Road and Pentre Gardens remain. Nuisance and dangerous cycling - on pavements or without lights - was also raised by a number of residents. That is a new PACT priority - cyclists are reminded to show consideration to pedestrians, keep to roads, cycle lanes and trails and dismount on pavements.
We have a choice of groups in Grangetown, so hopefully there’s one to suit you: Mondays 11am – Ikea restaurant (tables near the stairs) Tuesdays 10.30am and Wednesdays 5.30pm – Grangetown Hub, Havelock Place Women Only on: Fridays 10am English class, then FAN at 11am – Salvation Army in Corporation Road Come along and try it. There’s no charge and you don’t have to come every week. We find it’s a smashing way to spend an hour. More information from: FAN development officer 07880 630553 www.thefancharity.org Debbie Groves
Grangetown News Winter 2016
Grangetown News 5
Breaking through the Ani Glass ceiling
By Ciron Gruffydd Photo: Rhodri Brooks
Grangetown musician Ani Glass on playing Sŵn and her new record “You never know what to expect. You have an intuition when you’re making music – you know when you write a song that’s good for you – but you never know how other people are going to react.”
T WAS A wet afternoon in late summer when I met Ani Saunders, also known as musician Ani Glass, in the Waiting Room in Grangetown. She’d just released her second single and the reviews were in and all were positive.
This October, Ani’s one of the artists playing at the 10th birthday edition of Sŵn Festival – a festival started by Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens and John Rostron. “Sŵn usually falls on my birthday weekend, so that’s one reason to enjoy it! And because I’m from Cardiff, I measure my success if I’m allowed to play Sŵn or not so I’m looking forward to play there for the first time as a solo artist.” Ani’s two other performances at the festival were with local band The Lovely Wars and British indie pop girl group The Pipettes which she was a member of along with her sister, and now successful solo artist in her own right, Gwenno. Music and art As well as creating music, Ani is also an artist and photographer and she tries to connect them all in her work. “Everything used to be quite separated,” explains Ani. “So I’ve deliberately tried to bring them closer together so I can feed ideas from one to the other. “At the moment I’m working on visuals from my photographs to project during my live shows and for the EP I’m creating a booklet with my photography and artwork. The EP she’s working on is also is inspired by one of Wales’ leading contemporary artists, Ivor Davies, from Penarth. “I went to see his exhibition in the National Museum and it just inspired me. It was so interesting seeing Welsh contemporary art in such a different context and it made me think that I could do something similar, but with my music.” Inspiration and knitting in the Grange Ani was born in Cardiff and was bought up in Riverside. After going to university in Liverpool and living in London and Brighton, she moved back to the city of her birth a few years ago and settled in Grangetown.
“Grangetown is such an interesting place and it definitely inspires me with my music and photography. It’s an area with character and I enjoy going around with my camera documenting everyday life in the Grange.” And as if she doesn’t have enough to work on, she’s also started a knitting club that occasionally meet in The Cornwall. “I don’t try to do lots of things but feel guilty if I’m not doing something creative. I’m not good at sitting down and doing nothing. “And as I did my degree in fashion and specialised in knitting, me and my friend though it would be cool to start a knitting club in Grangetown. We don’t do it often enough really but its fun and some of things people make there are amazing! “But right now I feel confident about my solo project and especially motivated after the reaction we had to the single so it really is an exciting time.”
Ani will be appearing at Swn on Sunday 23rd October (Moon Club) and supporting CaStLeS at Clwb Ifor Bach on 8th November. Her music can be found at https:// aniglass.bandcamp.com/ and more details on her Facebook page. Twitter: @AniGlass.
Welsh ‘90s favourites Derrero and Melys have been unveiled as two of the acts playing the 10th birthday edition of Sŵn Festival. Both bands were favourites of the late John Peel and are getting back together especially to play the multi-venue three-day festival held across the weekend of October 21, 22 and 23. Also playing is Alun Gaffey, whose Welsh Music Prize nominated album was recorded in Grangetown. For more information go to swnfest.com
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Grangetown News Winter 2016
Clarence Hardware–doing it themselves since 1959 By Sean Kisby
Earlier this year B&Q’s Grangetown superstore closed its doors for good, so it seems a good time to profile the area’s best known family-run hardware shop, Clarence Hardware. This Aladdin’s Cave of household items, tools, timber and DIY materials is located on the corner of Stockland Street and Corporation Road. Clarence Hardware proudly declare to have been an established business since 1959, an impressive claim. I spoke to the shop’s current proprietor, Martyn Thomas, about the shop’s history and plans for the future. As many locals will already know, the corner of Stockland Street and Corporation Road was the site of Grangetown’s greatest tragedy. Hollyman’s Bakery, which stood on this spot, during a World War II air raid on January 2nd 1941, suffered a direct hit from a bomb killing 32 people sheltering in its cellar. The current building was not erected until 1949 or 1950, comprising two well-appointed apartments for visitors of the Coal Board and John Williams Foundry. Later in the 1950s the ground floor apartment was bought by a plumber, George Parker, who used it to run his business. In 1959 the property was bought by a Trevor Parker (no relation to the plumber). Trevor Parker started a small hardware store in the front room of the building at the Corporation Road end. Clarence Hardware had begun, taking its name from the similarly named features – Clarence Embankment, Clarence Bridge – which honoured the Duke of
Vaughan Gething AM If you need to contact me or would like a surgery appointment...
Address: National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff CF99 1NA Tel: 029 20 898 283 Fax: 029 20 898 284
www.vaughangething.co.uk E-mail: Vaughan.Gething@Assembly.Wales Twitter: @vaughangething
Cardiff South and Penarth
Martyn Thomas, proprietor of Clarence Hardware, is the second generation of his family to have a connection with the business.
The shop sells thousands of different lines, should you need anything from four candles to fork handles (below)
Clarence, grandson of Queen Victoria. Martyn Thomas, the current owner, explains that his father worked for Mr Parker and eventually became general manager. He took ownership of the Stockland Street shop and the family connection has continued ever since. The shop has grown to fill the entire ground floor and sells thousands of different items, packed from floor to ceiling in five rooms of varying sizes. The range is enormous, everything from plasterboard and timber to the smallest nut, bolt or screw. They have provided a key cutting and locksmithing service from the outset. As well as selling to the general public, Clarence Hardware offers a trade system to local builders, retailers and tradespeople. The shop also has a delivery service using their colourful van, which can often be seen parked in Stockland Street. Martyn has been involved in the business for more than 20 years. When asked whether trade had increased since B&Q closed in May, he says there has been a notable rise in customers. He is appreciative of the big companies’ power of advertising creating a vast market
Grangetown News Winter 2016
Grangetown News 7
The shop also has a delivery service using their colourful van, which can often be seen parked in Stockland Street. The shop also has a delivery service using their colourful van, which can often be seen parked in Stockland Street. The shop also has a delivery service using their colourful van, which can often be seen parked in Stockland Street. “We’ve really got to give thanks to the people of Grangetown, Butetown, Riverside who have supported us as a family business right from the go. And they come back constantly every year. We in turn support them.” Martyn added: “If they continue to support us we will continue to give the best that we can.”
Clarence Hardware & DIY Centre 64a Corporation Road, open from 8.30am to 17.30pm, six days a week. They have a Facebook page, or can be contacted on 029 2038 7108.
Your Grangetown councillors Ashley Govier @AshleyGovier E-mail: Ashley.Govier@cardiff.gov.uk Tel: 0785 444 3561
Lynda Thorne @LyndaT48 for DIY products, but is keen to show people what a “proper shop” is. “We’ve covered most problems a thousand times before,” he said. “We offer a personal service and one-to-one chat, we’re interested in what your problem is and what is the best way to cure it at a price that is suitable for you using the right product.”
E-mail: Lynda.Thorne@cardiff.gov.uk Tel: 20 345679/0758 1163342 Issues can be raised at our open surgeries, which are on alternate Saturdays at Grangetown Hub, 10.30–11.30am or at Channel View multi-storey flats, first Wednesday of every month, 6pm–8pm
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Bowled over in garden
Grangetown News Winter 2016
Sad losses for community
Grangetown Community Action sadly lost both its chairman andvice-chair on the same day in September. Councillor Chris Lomax, 73, died suddenly at home after being taken ill in the hours before the group’s scheduled AGM. He received warm tributes from across the community for his kindness, humility and passion for Grangetown, where he had lived for more than 50 years. Council leader Phil Bale said he worked “incredibly hard” but also paid tribute to the “great family man.” Chris, despite recent ill health, attended meetings in the week he died. Hazel Ball, 74, who leaves a son and a daughter, had also been extremely active in the Grangetown community. She died peacefully in hospital, where she had been for a few weeks after being taken ill while away in the south east of England. She was also on the committee of Grange Conservatives for many years and chairman of its Ladies Friday Club. Friend and fellow committee member at GCA Dianne Dowsell said: “Hazel was a collector of people. She didn’t think that people should be lonely or unhappy so tried to get everyone to join in – organising coach trips to give us all a great day out and other gettogethers.” “To me she was a very special friend who I will miss forever and I’m so glad our paths crossed.”
By Nicola Allen As we approach the end of our first year in the Grange Bowls Pavilion garden, we are pleased with the success we have had. Our core group of volunteers kept the garden open every Sunday afternoon and were delighted to see those of you visited us to say hello. Everyone has their own stories and memories of the garden and it has been wonderful to hear these. We really have been truly inspired. We started this project with limited resources, a little bit of knowledge and a huge amount of enthusiasm. We have learned a lot which we know will help us get better in the future. As most of us were total beginners we took the trial and error approach, not really knowing which plants work well together and how much nurturing they would need. We have had a lot of fun finding out.
With winter on the horizon we are hoping to hold a number of events. Our ideas include an insect hunt and seed planting session. We also hope to get our tools out and begin to build some bug hotels, ant farms and wormeries. If you have any seeds, plants or equipment you would like to donate, please get in touch. Keep an eye out for our new notice boards which will be up very soon. As well as advertising our gardening events you will also be able to find out what’s going on in the Pavilion building.
‘Flourish’ We have battled an abundance of slugs and snails who definitely enjoyed a bit of fine dining at our expense. If anyone has any tips to help us deal with these we would love to hear from you. Sadly, some of our plants were also destroyed by other garden users which was a shame but despite this many were still left in peace to flourish Over the past few weeks we have been able to harvest courgettes, spinach and onions. We have also grown the biggest cabbage we have ever seen as well as few cucamelons, neither of which would have looked out of place at the Roald Dahl City of the Unexpected picnic which took place in September.
Of course, none of this would be possible without all your support. Next year we would really like to hold regular workshops to engage others who might want to learn how to grow things in their own gardens. We don’t just want to grow veg for our own kitchens, we want to help you get the skills and experience to grow your own food too! Even if you don’t fancy getting your hands dirty you are always welcome to pop over for a chat and a cuppa. We would love to hear your ideas and suggestions for things we could plant in the garden and events we could hold. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and keep an eye on Facebook.com/GrangePavilionGarden for the dates and times of our sessions. We hope to see you all soon!
Grangetown News Winter 2016
Grangetown News 9
The ‘Canary girl’ who died in WW1 secret The blast could reputedly be heard 30 miles away. The cause remained a mystery – the official report was never published – although there has been a suggestion of sabotage. The more likely explanation is a spark caused by falling machinery. Remarkably, the factory was back in production a few days later and by the end of the war had produced 19 million shells. Elsie’s death certificate tells us a bit more. There is the wrong age: 19. She was living at 954 Ilkeston Road in Nottingham and working as a powder mixer. ”Presumed killed as a result of an explosion. Deceased known to have been in work at the time and since missing.” This was dated September 10th, more than two months after the explosion, so sadly her body like all but 32 of the victims was never recovered although remains were laid to rest in a mass grave. As well as the memorial in the chapel near what was probably an unhappy family home, Elsie is remembered on a memorial which was erected on the site of the factory in 1919. It is now part of an Army barracks.
By Steve Duffy Grangetown World War One Project One of several memorial plaques to the dead of World War One in Grangetown is in the Saltmead Gospel Hall in Maitland Place. The hall is a small, modern chapel, which replaced a much larger building but the plaque is an original from the early 1920s. On it is something unusual – the name of a woman. Miss Elsie Gibbs, Ministry Munitions is there underneath the names of five soldiers and a local sailor. Elsie’s story is extraordinary because she was the victim of the largest civilian tragedy in World War One, and few people knew about it. Elsie was one of 134 workers who were killed at the Chilwell munitions factory explosion on 1 July 1918. The blast in Nottinghamshire involving eight tonnes of explosives also injured another 250. The existence of the National Shell Filling factory was a secret. The tragedy was not covered in detail in the newspapers. There was scant mention and no details of exactly where it was. But Elsie had her own secret. When she died she was just 16, too young to be working in the factory at all. She said she was 19 years of age. So how did she end up there? Elsie Lavinia Gibbs was born in Cardiff in December 1901, the first child of Devon-born carpenter Albert Gibbs and his wife Mary. The couple were both widowed when they married for a second time the year before. Mary had two young daughters Alice and Selina from her first marriage. Her husband John Turner had served with the Army in India, but died after being discharged aged just 32. Albert remarried only a few months after the death of his wife Eliza in 1900. The couple – who had lived in Redlaver Street in Grangetown – had lost their eldest son a few months before a second son, Alfred was born in 1895. So Albert, 35, and Mary, 32, had three young children between them when Elsie was born. At that time, the family were living at 5 Dorset Street although there are no records to say where the family were living for much of Elsie’s childhood. What’s clear is that at some point, Elsie moved away. And the grand-daughter of Elsie’s half-sister Selina can shed some light on it. Albert “by all accounts was very handy with his fists and his stepdaughters and own children hated him,” she says.
Make a date with the history calendar!
Top: Elsie pictured in the middle row with factory colleagues, and above, the plaque at Saltmead Gospel Hall in Grangetown. “I’m not sure of the time scale but I don’t think Elsie would have thought twice about going to Nottinghamshire,” says Selina’s grand-daughter. “My mother said she just anounced she was going. Lying about her age as many did. “I suppose it offered good money and you don’t think about dying when you’re that young.” The factory was set up with equal urgency and secrecy in a few months and was in operation by the start of 1916.
It produced many of the shells which would be used at the Somme a few months later. It is believed 6,000 women worked at Chilwell, many for long hours. Because of the chemicals they were using, workers’ skin and hair changed colour, earning them the nickname “Canary girls”. It is with grim irony that exactly two years after the devastating start of the Somme battle, an explosion ripped through the factory at the start of the night shift.
Grangetown Local History Society Meetings are held at Grangetown Hub on the first Friday of the month at 2pm – all welcome November 4th and December 2nd (with mince pies and refreshments – 2017 calendar will be on sale) More details: www.grangetownhistory.co.uk www.grangetownwar.co.uk (Grangetown World War One project)
Grangetown Local History Society has again produced its popular stocking fillers. The 2017 calendar still costs £3.00 and it again features images from the society’s archives. Copies can be bought at Clark’s Pie Shop, Bromsgrove St., Martyn Young’s Fruit and Veg, Penarth Road and Verdi’s, Cornwall Street. If anyone wants a postal copy please telephone Rita Spinola on 029 20 345962 or e-mail email@example.com
Remembrance Sunday Residents are again invited to observe a silent tribute to those men and women from Grangetown who have died in conflict. The Remembrance service will be held at the memorial in Grange Gardens on 13th November (10.45am) The history society will also have its WW1 display at the nearby Conservative Club afterwards.
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Rotary Club meet and greet
Grangetown News Winter 2016
Play for all seasons
By Jo Coulson, Friends of Pentre Gardens Playworkers
Cardiff Bay Rotary Club is giving Grangetown residents a chance to find out more about the organisation at an informal event at Grange Pavilion in November. The club, which currently has 26 men and women members, usually meets every Tuesday at the Novotel in Cardiff Bay and is heaviiy involved in fund-raising for various charities and in volunteering in the community. Members recently joined a Tidy Grangetown litter-pick. They have also been involved in supporting projects and activities organised by Grangetown Community Action. The networking event at the Grange Gardens bowls pavilion on Tuesday 8th November (from 4.30pm–8pm) is a drop-in for people to find out more and think about the possibiity of joining.
Cardiff Bay Rotary was founded in 1988 and raises more than £35,000 a year for good causes. But it goes beyond cash. The group likes to get hands-on in its practical involvement in projects, which has included building a picnic area on the Ely trail in Grangetown. There is also an emphasis on supporting projects involving young people and education – from youth clubs, music groups to giving youngsters a chance to try outward bound courses. Pictured above are pupils from St Paul’s primary school planting crocuses, as part of a international project to tackle polio. “We are ordinary men and women from all walks of life who have a desire to give something back to their community at local, national and international levels,” said Keith Moger, president.
Friends of Pentre Gardens play sessions in the park have been a huge success this summer. The two sessions per week in the holidays were attended and enjoyed by approximately 30 local children at a time. As well as our creative scrap workshops they also all loved playing on the tree swing, relaxing in the hammock, parachute games and face painting. We also had several fantastic workshops from local artists – wand making, willow building and fitness/dance. We also celebrated National Playday in August with lots of fun activities including a drumming workshop and wildlife clay art with over 60
It is fitting too that the Rotary Club will be hosting the event at the Pavilion, as it has helped fund the development project looking for community ownership of the building. ‘Hard work’ “We would like to do more and we can only do so if we have members and supporters willing to volunteer a little time and roll up their sleeves,” said Mr Moger. “The hard work is balanced with social events and the opportunity for fellowship – it might be called ‘fun with a purpose’ “So, if you can, come along on the evening of 8th November and find out how you might become part of the world’s largest voluntary services organisation and what opportunities we can Can you help with Grangetown News? offer.” Visit www.cardiffbayrotary. This newspaper relies entirely org.uk and get in touch about on volunteers and the support becoming a member. of local advertisers.
children in attendance! And there are still a few sessions left to enjoy this year! October half term we have bulb planting in the park and the infamous Halloween party, then the Christmas party in December so we hope to see some of you there. We would like to say thank you to all in the community that continue to attend and support us, all are welcome. We are hoping to continue our sessions next year so watch this space! Please see our Facebook page and Twitter for more information on who we are, photos and dates. See you soon! Twitter: @PentreGdns
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Tues 1st November Grangetown Book Club, Grangetown Hub, 6.30pm, discussing Apple Tree Hill by Louise Doughty Tues 8th Nov Cardiff Bay Rotary drop-in, Grange Pavilion, 4.30pm8pm Tues 6th December Grangetown PACT, Grangetown Hub, 7pm Sun 11th Dec Winter Fayre, Grange Bowls Pavilion, 2pm–4pm Christingle with St Paul’s School Choir – St Paul’s Church, 5pm Sun 18th Nine Lessons and Carols – St Paul’s, 5pm Wed 21st St Paul’s Church Choir Christmas Concert, 7.30pm Sat 24th Children’s Crib Service – St Paul’s, 4pm; Vigil Mass – St Dyfrig and St Samson, 7pm; Midnight Mass – St Paul’s, 11.0pm Sun 25th Holy Eucharist with Carols – St Paul’s, 10am
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Can you help at all in keeping it going?
Grangetown News Winter 2016
Grangetown News 11
The other side of the story Continued from back page Now the girls. Jaffrin Khan, 23, is a student at Cardiff University and fund-raiser for a charity. Hanna, 22, is a recent media and journalism graduate at UWE in Bristol. Tell us a little about yourself… Jaffrin: I'm a fundraising officer for a charity called Interpal where I'm involved in holding events and activities to provide relief for Palestinians in need in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan and Lebanon. I am also a student at Cardiff University Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, studying for a Masters Degree in Islam in Britain. When I'm not working or studying I spend time on developing my Jewellery Boutique, catch some my unique projects on here – jaffrinjewellery.co.uk ww Hanna: I'm a recent graduate and I also went to the American University of Paris for a semester to study Global Communications. I'm a very confident individual who is passionate about the media, journalism and community engagement.
Sum up what it's like to live in Grangetown. Jaffrin: Really friendly and culturally diverse. Hanna: It's by far the best area to live in Cardiff! It is such a quiet part of town and you have the luxury of being a walking distance away from Cardiff Bay and the city centre! Is there a good community spirit in Grangetown? Jaffrin: Yes of course. I feel like there's different branches to the communities and the spirit is great, for instance there are always celebrations taking place – faith based, weddings and community festivals. Hanna: Sure, and now that the Grangetown Pavilion has opened, I'm sure that the community spirit will grow even greater. I am particularly proud of the growth of Grangetown News, and how it has grabbed the attention of so many people to help spread the latest news to the residents of Grangetown. Having attended the first
meeting, I was overjoyed at how many people wanted to volunteer, share expertise and re-design and shape Grangetown Community News and be involved in community journalism. That in itself shows the community spirit of Grangetown and how residents are keen to work together to improve and perhaps create new opportunities within their community! (Good answer! - Ed)
had any abuse when I travelled to different areas of Cardiff or Wales, but that isn't to say that such prejudice doesn't happen because it does, and we mustn't ignore it. I think if you travel to areas where the majority are white for example, then they may already have a fixed judgement upon people who "look" Muslim. The media is very capable
in anything positive which is sad.
of influencing people to view Muslims in a negative light, especially if they haven't communicated with a humble and law-abiding Muslim citizen before. We need to find a way to beat the stereotype and most importantly, show people that the idea of a "terrorist" or "terrorism" isn't exclusive to one faith as these horrible people carry out astonishing crimes in the name of other faiths too.
events to help charities would be a good idea to action.
Hanna: Perhaps more interesting events to bring like-minded people within the community together, such as seminars that exercise the brain a little. I am also open to the idea of learning new things, so if anything educational and interesting comes up then I'm there! Also, maybe more community fundraising
What about being part of the Muslim community here – do you feel misunderstood locally or outside? Jaffrin: Personally, I do feel like there can be misconceptions and misunderstandings about Muslims in Grangetown but I would encourage people to visit Grangetown and get to know people like me; we might be Muslims but we aren't too different than you think. Hanna: I don't feel misunderstood in Grangetown because I'm part of the majority who are Muslim and from a BAME background. I also haven't
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What's your ambition – what do you want to be doing in five years time?
What would make living in Grangetown better?
Jaffrin: Where shall I start? 1) Run my own marketing/PR firm specialising in representing Muslim businesses 2) Developing an education welfare/social enterprise organisation, and 3) Running my jewellery website as a fair trade business
Jaffrin: Perhaps a community support programme for young people who are looking for jobs, help with applications and getting experience because there seems to be lots of younger people out of work and not engaged
Hanna: "I would like to have completed my MA in Broadcast Journalism by then and hopefully working in that field and enjoying every second of it! I also would like to have travelled all over Europe by then too!"
12 Grangetown News
Grangetown News Winter 2016
The other side of the story
Grangetown has been the subject of some unwelcome national media headlines over the last two years over stories of terror arrests and extremism. But this is a tiny minority in our community, which has a population of around 4,500 Muslims.
First the boys. Mustafa Yusuf, 18, student at the University of South Wales studying for a degree in Sports Coaching, while Nasser Abdul, is also 18 and in September started on the Futsal programme at Cardiff City FC. Tell us a little about yourself? Mustafa: It's my first year at university and I'm really looking forward to learning, developing and making new friends while working towards building a successful career in the sports industry. When I am not studying I am playing football, I enjoy football a lot and have represented my local football team
Mustafa: Grangetown would be a better to live if there were more facilities for young people as me and my friends often hang around the park until late at night due to The Buzz and Bee Healthy Club at Channel View closing down. Also if our streets were cleaned regularly and more bins for people to dumb rubbish this would
we would become better players too. I think the council should look at this and making sure it's free for us to use as none of us youngsters can afford the high prices of the venues that charge for 3G astro. What's your ambition – what do you want to be doing in five years time? Mustafa: In five years time I want to be a graduate working in the sports industry – the ideal places
Photos, clockwise from top left: Mustafa and Nasser, Jaffrin, Hanna
ut of the media spotlight, younger members of the Muslim community have been playing football and cricket at the latest community hub – and busy studying and thinking of career opportunities.
Ali Abdi asked four young people from Grangetown to give the other side of the story.
What would make living in Grangetown better?
and school team. I am also involved with volunteering at the new Grange Pavilion on Wednesdays between 6–8pm at the new football coaching sessions as I have the skills to help develop the children that attend plus I get time credits and an opportunity to develop myself too. Nasser: Futsal is an exciting fast-paced game of five-aside football but actually it's not all fun because on the serious side of things is the education part which runs alongside. I'm working towards my A-Levels to then go on to university. Like Mustafa, I like football a lot and also involved with volunteering at the new Grange Pavilion on Wednesdays. It's really nice to see younger children excited to attend the coaching.
Sum up what it's like living in Grangetown? Mustafa: I think Grangetown is a very nice place to live, the community is friendly and most of my friends live here. There is a lot of different food places, good bus links to town, not far from Cardiff Bay and its very safe too. Nasser: Grangetown is blessed. It's not far from my friends that live in Riverside and Butetown to come and hang out in Grange Gardens and also for me when I want to go chill in their area – it's close. So is there a good community spirit in Grangetown? Mustafa: You just have to look at Grange Gardens to see if there is a good community spirit as the park is always heaving with children and adults from around the world demonstrating it's a multicultural space, accessible for all. Other communities can actually learn from us here in Grangetown.
Nasser: Yes – it's lovely living in Grangetown. What about being part of the Muslim community here – do you feel misunderstood locally or outside? Mustafa: Within Grangetown I do not experience a problem, I am able to practice my faith freely and there are two mosques, halal food places and many non-Muslims who understand my religion. However there are sections of society which say nasty things about Muslims and it is important before people begin to hate other people because of actions of others that they make an effort to go learn about the religion and not from other sources like the internet or people who already have hate in their hearts. Only then can you make your own mind up and realise Islam is peaceful religion. Nasser: Nah, not really, I haven't experienced any misunderstandings.
help improve the look of the area as lately it doesn't look very pleasant. Nasser: If they fixed the Grange Gardens MUGA – the playing area – and installed a 3G astro turf, that would be wicked. Currently when we play, if we fall over we get lots of cuts and bruises with a 3G astro turf it would be more comfortable if we fell but also
that I would want to work are in the football academies of Cardiff City or Swansea City developing the future footballers. Nasser: I want to reach Uni, complete Uni and possibly get into the Wales Futsal team, score loads of goals and make my family, friends and community proud. Continued inside, p11
Grangetown Community News © Grangetown Community Action 2016
Published on Oct 25, 2016
Seasonal free community newspaper, produced and edited by volunteers in Grangetown, Cardiff, Wales, UK. Published by Grangetown Community Ac...