At the heart of the community
Issue 8 June/July ‘10
Exclusive interview with rock legend Andy Fairweather-Low History: Whitchurch Common by Peter Finch Pets’ Page
The Kitchen Garden Local Schools Debate Kids’ Page
Readers’ Gardens Local News
And lots more!
Summer is here. As long hazy days approach, Whitchurch, Llandaff and Llandaff North bask in the sunshine. It’s the season for barbeques, picnics and seaside breezes.
Enjoy your Summer Issue of Whitchurch and Llandaff Living
Welcome 3, 4 News The latest news from the area 5
8 12 13 15
22 27 29
Letters Letters to the Editors
Exclusive Interview Rock legend Andy Welcome to your summer issue of Whitchurch and Llandaff Living Fairweather-Low the official magazine for Whitchurch, Llandaff and Llandaff North. Here at Living magazines, we’re keen to bring you the very best of Kids’ Page local news, stories and features. Situated within the community, with Cyril the Squirrel and promoting home-grown talent, we are able to provide you with a magazine that is relevant, readable and real. So sit back in the Schools sun with a long drink and look at what we have for you this issue. More reaction to the Andy Fairweather-Low is a name that most of you will recognise. latest proposals The rock legend has played alongside the most famous musicians of them all. Yet he still lives here in North Cardiff. Read our Pets’ Page exclusive interview with him on page 8. Local vet Chris Our history page this time has been penned by Cardiff author Troughton Peter Finch. Taken from his book Real Cardiff, the feature details answers your some of the history of the common which has survived since pet questions medieval times. Fran Mullins throws open her back door and steps out into her History summer Kitchen Garden. Fran advises us on growing our own Special Feature: crops which is not only healthy but good fun too. Whitchurch Common Our new feature this issue takes a look at our readers’ gardens. by Peter Finch Llandaff girl, Anne Jones invites you to stroll around her Beach House Garden which could easily be mistaken for an exotic Kitchen Garden location in the Pacific. With Fran Mullins We also bring you the latest news on the local schools reorganisation. With plans now being set in motion, we hear from Readers’ Gardens both sides of the debate that has caused such controversy. Visit the Beach We’d also urge you to make the most of supporting our local House Garden advertisers, who play a crucial role in keeping Living magazines free to all residents. Restaurant Review Crossword
See you in late summer!
Whitchurch and Llandaff Living & Rhiwbina Living Editors/Advertising: Patric Morgan & Danielle Dummett Address: 222 Pantbach Road, Rhiwbina, Cardiff CF14 6AG Tel: 07772 081775 and 07974 022920 Email: email@example.com Web: www.whitchurchandllandaffliving.co.uk
Whitchurch and Llandaﬀ Living Page 2
Patric and Danielle
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents, the publisher cannot accept any responsibility for errors or omissions, or for any matter in any way arising from the publication of this material. Every effort has been made to contact any copyright holders. Whitchurch and Llandaff Living is an independent, apolitical publication.
Advertising booking and copy deadline for Issue 9 5th July 2010. Issue 9 publication date - early August 2010. Whitchurch and Llandaff Living is published 5 times a year.
News CALLS FOR PARK WATCH TO BE CREATED
with Bill Farnham
Interest in Neighbourhood Watch continues to grow in the Whitchurch area with another four residents making enquiries about setting up watch groups. If you have any matters that you would like to discuss with the police, don’t forget “Cuppa with a Copper” every Thursday at Whitchurch Police Station between 12 noon and 2pm, where police officers, PCSOs and myself will be in attendance. You will find the meetings of the Cardiff West Neighbourhood Watch Association to be of immense interest with regards to safety in the community and protection of your property. These meetings also give you the opportunity to raise and discuss any matters of concern with the police. Details of dates and times of the next PACT meetings can be found at local libraries and shops. Please be aware that there are new parking regulations that will be shortly coming into force. These will affect both the Merthyr Road and the Penlline Road car parks. The new orders mean that between the hours of 8am and 7pm (Monday to Saturday) there will be a maximum stay of 3 hours. Anything over that time and you risk a £40 fine. Anyone interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Watch, please call 02920 527301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents living near Llandaff Fields are calling for a Park Watch initiative to be created following an outbreak of vandalism and fires in late April. Trees were stripped of their bark and numerous fires were
started by troublemakers. There were even reports of firelighters being thrown around in the afternoon. Cardiff Council are hiring temporary staff during the summer months to help monitor parks around Cardiff, and the police are encouraging people to report any problems to them. One resident said that the problem has been going on for years and is carried out by youths in their teens. He also backed calls for a Park Watch to be created.
RESIDENTS FIGHT BOUNDARY CHANGES Residents in Llandaff and Llandaff North are fighting a plan to merge their wards. A proposal has been put forward by the Local Government Boundary Commission to merge the two wards into one single one named Llandaff. This has come about after it became apparent that the ratio of electors to the two councillors in Llandaff is currently too high. The proposed move is said to increase ‘electoral parity’. The plans have already drawn criticism. Stephanie Wilkins, Chair of the Llandaff North Residents Association, said: “It was unanimous that people didn’t want the merger to go ahead. There were a range of issues: one was whether we were better served, or not, by more councillors. “We don’t feel very represented at the moment and if we go together, half would be
in Cardiff West constituency and half would be in Cardiff North, so it doesn’t seem to make sense.” Mrs Wilkins also pointed out that the residents of Llandaff North felt more attached to Whitchurch than Llandaff. “One of the Llandaff North schools used to be called Whitchurch school, so it just demonstrates there are more ties there.” she said. There is a nine-week period for people to make representations after May 11th when the proposal is outlined in a draft report. There is then a further six weeks for comments after the final report is presented to Local Government Minister Carl Sergeant. The proposal would mean that four councillors from the two wards would serve the new, larger ward under the plans. Anyone with objections to the plan are urged to put their views in writing.
Whitchurch and Llandaﬀ Living Page 3
LOCAL CHARITY AIMS TO BRIGHTEN THE CITY
A local charity is appealing to local residents to help out with a project that aims to help the most needy in the city. Cardiff Vineyard, a local church charity, is opening a ‘Storehouse’ with the aim of providing free children’s equipment (clothes, nursery furniture, prams, cots etc) to those in the city who need it. The charity is looking to move from their current ‘storehouse’ in Danescourt, to much larger premises so that they can start appealing for more donations. Project co-ordinator Julia Cooper, told Whitchurch and Llandaff Living: Anyone who wants to donate, or is interested in the project, can contact Julia at: email@example.com
LLANDAFF SOCIETY NOW ONLINE
The Llandaff Society has recently launched its new website which will provide news, details of events and local history. It can be found at www.llandaffcity.co.uk
LIVING MAGAZINES HIT THE HEADLINES
The roles within the community of Whitchurch and Llandaff Living, and its sister publication, Rhiwbina Living, have been recognised by a major national newspaper. The Guardian featured the magazines on their website in April. The feature took a look at the importance of the publications in keeping the community up to speed with local issues and local concerns.
It also highlighted the role that the magazines bring to local businesses, who rely on readers to support their services. Co-editor Patric said: “It was great to have our magazines recognised by such a large title.” To see the full article, go to our website at www.whitchurchandllandaff living.co.uk and follow the link on the first page.
NEW CANTEEN AT WHS
On Wednesday 3rd March, Whitchurch High School were delighted to welcome The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor Of Cardiff, Councillor Brian Griffiths, and the Lady Mayoress, Val Griffiths, to formally open the new catering area in the Upper School. The opening of the catering area was a combination of two projects. The first had been the refurbishment and complete rebuild of the old canteen area. This has resulted in the complete transformation of a former dark and cramped area to a light
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and spacious area complemented by two modernised kitchen serving areas. The other had been the adjacent brand new build of a 150 seating area. This now provides a warm, welcoming area which is suitable for multi function activities.
Whitchurch and Llandaﬀ Living is produced bi-monthly and is available free of charge across Whitchurch, Llandaﬀ and Llandaﬀ North. With 6,000 copies being produced per issue, and the magazine available online, we’ve got the local area (and beyond!) covered!
PRICES START AT JUST £55 See also Rhiwbina Living at www.rhiwbinaliving.co.uk
Letters to the Editors
Dear Editors, The Friends of Melingriffith Water Pump are appealing for local residents and those with an interest in industrial heritage to support us; we especially need more members. If anyone has any artifacts, stories or memories of the site, please get in touch with us as we are hoping to document personal histories too. In late summer, weather depending, we are hoping to hold an open day on the site to celebrate the completion of the project. Readers can keep up to date with the restoration, join or contact us via our website www.friendsofmelingriffithwater pump.weebly.com Stephanie Wilkins Chair Friends Of Melingriffith Water Pump Llandaff North Tel 029 20562951
Dear Editors, I had to write to say how much I enjoyed Issue 7 of Whitchurch and Llandaff Living. The beautiful picture of the cherry blossoms in Hayley Park on the front cover brought back many memories of playing and cycling as a child in the Park (being brought up in Llandaff North, now living in Whitchurch). The article on Neighbourhood Watch I found interesting and has prompted me to make enquiries about my road. I also enjoyed reading about the Melingriffith Water Pump
Dear Editors While staying in Whitchurch with relatives recently we obtained Issue No 7 of Whitchurch and Llandaff Living from the Post Office. My wife Ann spent the first twenty years of her life in Whitchurch during the 40s and 50s and would like to see copies regularly. Are they available online, can a copy be sent by email, or can she obtain hard copy by post for the future as she would wish to see further editions? Many thanks and good luck with the project. Winston McCanna Tywyn, Gwynedd
Keep your letters coming! Address on the inside front cover
Restoration Project. Another area I used to cycle around as a child when visiting, was the Long Woods. My father used to walk from Ty-Mawr Road to GKN Sankey, his place of work for many years, which was not far from the water pump. And what a surprise to see vet Chris Troughton in the Local Pets column. He was the vet who put my dear Yorkie 'Lucy' to sleep with such care and compassion when her 'time' had come. She lived to the grand old age of 16. Patricia King Whitchurch
Editorâ€™s Response Dear Winston Our magazines are available online. You can catch up with the latest issue by visiting www.whitchurchandllandaffliving.co.uk, where you will also find back issues available to read. Issues are not currently available by email due to the size limits by most email providers. We do however, stock a small amount of back issues so if you do require a specific issue, please contact us. We are glad that you enjoy reading our magazines and we are pleased to hear that they are being read as far away as North Wales.
Whitchurch and LlandaďŹ€ Living Page 5
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STILL HITTING THE HIGH NOTES -
An interview with rock legend Andy Fairweather-Low “Do you take sugar?” “No thanks.” Andy Fairweather-Low, one of the world’s most respected musicians, passes me the milky cup of tea he’s just brewed. The former lead singer of Amen Corner then sits himself down opposite me at his kitchen table. “You been watching the football?” he asks. And I thought I was the one supposed to be asking the questions. Questions about living the life of a rock star; of playing music with legends; of what it’s like making a living from a talent or two. Yet here I am, talking about normal things. With a normal guy. Having a very normal cup of tea. Andy first found fame as the lead singer of Amen Corner in the late 1960s. They scored six
hits between 1967 and 1969, including their famous Number One hit (If Paradise is) Half as Nice. “Gin House Blues was our first hit but back in those days, pirate radio was the only effective way of getting your music heard. The UK only had one national radio channel for music; we had one TV channel and the BBC weren’t interested in promoting the new kind of sound that was coming out of the studios. “Amen Corner changed all of our lives for sure. We signed one bit of paper and that was it. We didn’t get paid, which was probably a good thing as I’d have spent it all. The manager told us that we would have the songs written for us. We were passed around from here to there - we were actually in Spain when Half as Nice got to Number One.”
Whitchurch and Llandaﬀ Living Page 8
The band split in 1969 after just two years, with Andy setting up the band Fair Weather, who had the hit Natural Sinner the following year in 1970. “We only did one album together before I went solo for the first time. By 1974 I’d been signed to A&M and had another top ten hit with Reggae Tune. I released my second album in 1975, produced by Glyn Johns who had just finished working with the Eagles. The single Wide Eyed and Legless was released in 1975, which became a national and international hit.” Towards the end of the seventies, music was under attack from the new punk scene. “To be honest, the music industry needed that injection of energy. Mind you, I found
myself out of work for a while and practising my tennis to keep me occupied. Then in 1984, I got a phonecall from Roger Waters asking me if I wanted to do some work with him. By that time, I had been contributing a lot to other people’s work - I had just completed work on a Who album.” The list of names that Andy has performed with reads like a Hall of Fame of Rock. “Even to this day, people stop me in the street and say ‘Are you still singing?’ and I feel like saying ‘Yeah. I am still playing. And for the last 23 years I’ve been playing with people like Bill Wyman, Eric Clapton and George Harrison.’” Andy’s inspirations come from a time when music was more organic. “I had many heroes who didn’t try playing anything too over the top - people like BB King and Ray Charles. I was very much influenced by the blues, which is where Amen Corner actually started off before we got directed into something more mainstream. The people I looked up to some have gone and some are still with us - but I haven’t added too many people to that list over the years. Once the wheel was invented, that was it. Everyone else since has just been trying to be like them. It’s funny. After 45 years, I still listen to Ray Charles and he still has the same effect on me after all this time. They were perfect then. These guys made it look so easy. Me - I have to practise, practise, practise. Some people are born with a talent. I have to work harder than most as talent doesn’t
come naturally to me. If that means endless nights on the settee, practising chord after chord, it just means that my poor wife misses a fair bit of telly.” The last few years have certainly been keeping Andy in good practice. “I did have that quiet time for a while back in the 80s, but things really started going again in the 90s. Over the last ten years or so, things have really picked up. I’ve been touring with Roger [Waters] and Eric [Clapton] of course, but I’ve also been playing my part of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings.” It has been a pretty busy time lately for Andy and his band. Andy Fairweather-Low and the Low-Riders, have already toured in Germany this year and will be taking on a UK tour in July. “I’ve recently released my first solo album for 26 years. The tour is to promote the solo album and we have lots of dates pencilled in for the autumn. At the moment, I’m on rung number one of the ladder. The band and I have been taking our own van - not the private jet.” Andy also completed his run of gigs with Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall last year.
And after all that, Andy still enjoys coming back home. “I’ve lived in North Cardiff for a long time now and I see no reason to move. In fact, the last time we did move house, we simply swapped with someone else who was living in the village! “I still get stopped now and then around the village but most of the time I like to keep myself to myself.” Forty years on since Andy first made waves with Amen Corner, he is still writing music both for himself and for others. Hymn for My Soul - the title track of Joe Cocker's 2007 album was written by Andy. Cocker's tour of 2007/08 bears the same title. “I see you interviewed Stan Stennett in a previous issue. I’m a big fan of Stan’s work – he’s a very talented jazz musician himself. It’s funny how we all live in close proximity and yet never cross paths. Maybe we should get together one day, hook up some guitars and jam!” I hand Andy my empty teacup and thank him for his time. He heads straight to the kitchen sink. After everything he’s just told me, even rock stars have dishes to do sometimes.
Whitchurch and Llandaﬀ Living Page 9
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Cyril the Squirrelâ€™s Page Summer - Fun things to do Windowsill Bird Feeders
Inviting the birds to eat lunch on a sunny windowsill is great fun because you'll be surprised who may come to visit. This nature project can be as simple as setting out mixed bird seed, or selected seeds and other foods to entice certain breeds of birds. The window chosen for this purpose should be on a quiet and sheltered side of the house if possible. Nearby trees and shrubbery will attract more birds. Branches of thorn apples, alders and evergreens can be fastened firmly to the window frames to dress the lunch counter on the outside, while house plants or a curtain should be placed on the inside as a screen. The kind of food placed on your sill determines the kind of birds that will be found visiting. Seed-eating birds are readily attracted by the use of small
grains such as oats and wheat. For those in the city who would need to buy seeds, it will be just as well to get hemp, millet, canary seed and sunflower seed, together with the small grains and cracked corn for foods. Bread crusts or crumbs, crackers and doughnuts may be placed out with the knowledge that the birds will eat them. Suet, scraps of meat and various vegetable scraps, such as celery, lettuce, apples, raisins, and berries are also popular. All birds require water and frequently suffer when this may not be available in the summer months. If it is possible, place a small bowl of water out for them to drink from. There is a large selection of open-sided bird feeders that are ready-made and on sale from garden centres, hardware stores or online. Some of these are ideal for perching on top of a window sill, offering roof protection from summer rain while still allowing a good view of the birds through the open sides. You could then start keeping a bird diary of all your visitors. If you have a camera, you can even add photos to the diary to keep track of all your summer visitors.
Whitchurch and LlandaďŹ€ Living Page 12
Make a Cutlery Windchime
For younger readers, you can make a windchime from plastic cutlery and a paper plate. First, cut lengths of string measuring between 4 and 6 inches. Then tie the string to the ends of the cutlery, which should have holes made by a responsible adult. Next poke some holes into the paper plate, thread the string through and tie a knot in each piece. Finally, fasten three pieces of string to the top of the plate. You can decorate the paper plate with crayons, paint, markers or paper. Older readers could use metal cutlery, the holes being drilled beforehand by a responsible adult.
Schools THE GREAT SCHOOLS DEBATE Cardiff Council have recently announced their decision on the changes to be made to schools in the local area. We publish two letters to our magazine from the two main sides in the debate. Letter from ‘Save Our Schools’
Despite strong opposition from Welsh and English medium schools and parents, the Executive Committee of Cardiff Council has voted to proceed with school organisation proposals for Whitchurch. On April 8th, Cardiff Council voted to proceed with option 4, despite 79% of respondents voting against the proposal. Those proposals included: • Reduce the size of Whitchurch High School in size from 12 forms of entry (FE) to 10 forms of entry (FE) from September 2015 with a first phase of implementation to 11 FE from September 2012. • Close Eglwys Wen and Eglwys Newydd Primary Schools and replace these schools with a 2.5 FE Englishmedium primary school with nursery in the premises currently shared between Eglwys Wen and Ysgol Melin Gruffydd, from September 2012. • Transfer Ysgol Melin Gruffydd Primary School into the premises currently occupied by Eglwys Newydd, as a 2 FE Welsh-medium school with nursery, from September 2012. The plans were rejected as
unsuitable by both English and Welsh medium schools and parents, uniting the community in its frustration at yet another poorly conceived proposal. The proposal fails to address the impact on education, particularly during the undefined transitionary phase. There is no detail on the timing or practicalities of undertaking major refurbishment of buildings whilst children are still on site. Nearly a thousand primary school children will suffer from years of disruption under these plans. The publication of the Statutory Notice is expected in the summer term at which time interested parties should make their views known to the Minister of Education at the Welsh Assembly Government. Personal Letter from Fenella Bowden, Cllr Heath There can be no doubt that the Whitchurch Schools proposals have prompted a considerable number of responses from parents; and rightly so. This is, after all, one of the most important decisions that has to be taken in our part of Cardiff and will affect future generations of young people both here, and across the city.
We cannot escape the reality of surplus school places across the city, and the waste of £3m spent every year from council tax on these places rather than investing in better education for our children. We also have to be fair. Taking children from outside a catchment area undermines the sustainability of other schools across the entire city and denies children the right to equal standards of education; and that cannot be right. Nor is it right for parents to be misled by others into believing that children within the Whitchurch High School catchment area may not be given a place at the school. It is simply not true. It is true to say, however, that while there have been opponents to the Council’s 4th Option for Whitchurch there has been a clear sense of relief among parents that this Option will not involve the sale of any land. The Council will be committing £12.6m of investment in Whitchurch schools and it is therefore not unreasonable for these young pupils to look forward to transferring to a local high school with similar investment, and an improved learning environment to enable them to achieve their full potential.
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To Flea or Not to Flea?
My dog Charlie has suddenly started itching and Iâ€™ve found a few fleas on him. He hasnâ€™t been out with other dogs or in boarding kennels, and the cat seems fine. Where did they come from?
We often see sudden outbreaks of flea infestation at the start of the summer when the weather warms up a little. During the cold winter months, fleas have been present in small numbers, not sufficient to cause your pets any trouble, but laying eggs in the carpets and bedding at home. The eggs have hatched and developed to pupae, many of which remain dormant until the weather warms up in early summer, when they all hatch out together. The result is an infestation which has â€˜come from nowhereâ€™. To get your current problem under control, you need a three-pronged approach: â€˘ First, you need to get rid of the fleas on Charlie. The easiest way to do this is with a spot-on insecticide applied to the back of his neck, or with tablets. â€˘ Second, you must remove the flea eggs, larvae and pupae in the home. Start with a thorough vacuuming, remembering all the nooks and crannies. Then apply a generous dose of an environmental flea control containing an â€œinsect growth regulatorâ€? rather than insecticide. This must last at least 6 months. â€˘ Thirdly, you need to treat the cat to prevent his fleas laying more eggs to re-infest Charlie. We all (dogs, cats and humans) vary in our sensitivity to flea bites, and itâ€™s very likely that your cat has as many fleas as the dog but he reacts less so you donâ€™t see him itch. Again, there is a choice of treatments - spot-on insecticides, tablets, or an injection. Finally, you should take steps to ensure you never get caught out again by putting in place an effective yearround flea prevention programme for both dog and cat. I find the most convenient and effective is a monthly tablet for dogs and a twice-yearly injection for cats. You will find a myriad of treatments for fleas in the pet shops and supermarkets. All but a very few have poor effects, and we regularly see flea problems in pets who have been treated with over-the-counter products. Buy prescription treatments from your vet â€“ you will be able to discuss the best approach for your particular situation, and although they may cost a bit more, they are guaranteed to work!
Local Pets sponsored by the Heath Veterinary Group
Our Pets Page gives you the chance to put your questions to your local vet, Chris Troughton of the Heath Veterinary Group. Drop us a line if you have a question for Chris.
Should Baby Come First?
My partner and I are thinking of starting a family. We currently have a two year old male spaniel, but we are concerned that the energetic nature of the dog would cause problems. We arenâ€™t cruel enough to get rid of the dog, but neither are we sure that he can live with us and a baby.
I think you are right to ask this question, but I believe your worries are misplaced. Certainly a two-year old spaniel is a very energetic dog, and no doubt takes up a great deal of your time and attention at present. But spaniels make great family dogs and generally adapt well to changing circumstances. When baby arrives, you will be very busy, but I am sure you will be able to find enough time to give the dog a decent walk every day. Itâ€™s important to get him used to the new regime before baby comes, so he doesnâ€™t â€˜blameâ€™ baby for the changes. So plan beforehand when you will walk him and introduce that routine a couple of months before. Also, reduce the level of close contact you have with him now. For example, stop allowing him upstairs at night, donâ€™t have him cuddled up between you on the sofa in the evening. Then he will be used to having less of your attention and will not be jealous when baby takes priority. If there are any behaviour problems such as guarding (food or territory) or anxiety when left alone, you should get professional help now as they could be exacerbated by the arrival of baby.
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Whitchurch and LlandaďŹ€ Living Page 15
An Excerpt from ‘Real Cardiff’ By Peter Finch
hen you reach Whitchurch Common from the south you expect to find a green lung surrounded by cottages; something old with oaks at its fringes and a maypole; but this is Wales and this is Cardiff so there's nothing like that. The Common - Gwaun Treoda - is a badly-formed egg shape, criss-crossed by roads and dotted with outbuildings, including an upholster's works, and on a rise on the north east side, Ararat, a Baptist chapel. There's no circuit, no boundary dog amble or path for walkers or runners which doesn't make itself cross the blistering A4054 road to Merthyr at least twice.
he common has been here since the times of the ancient medieval
manors when Whitchurch was entirely a village and Cardiff a town miles away across Mynydd Bychan, the Great Heath. In the late twentieth century John Tripp lived here, with his blacksmith father, in a bungalow to the back of Ararat. You'd meet him, occasionally, wearing a suede jacket that he'd lifted from an admirer, taking his notebook and his browsing self to the Plough or the Malsters where he'd scratch a draft or two then lose himself in the fog of beer that generally filled his afternoons. Tripp was a fervent Nationalist and a long-term supporter of the Welsh deciding their own destiny on their side of Offa's Dyke. His father, however, took a different view. On days when I went to the bungalow to collect JT's contributions for my literary journal, Second Aeon (he wrote the literary
Whitchurch and Llandaﬀ Living Page 16
reviews) I would often be confronted with the incongruity of Coronation plates displayed across the living room wall and portraits of Her Majesty in small frames in the hall. The Bungalow resembled the bedsit in Tony Hancock's Sunday Afternoon. A fifties style disarray of strewn newspapers, a cigarette smouldering in heavy glass ashtray, socks in the armchairs, a half-drunk bottle of Sandyman's Port on the mantle-shelf, a cross-word, incomplete, on the table. On one famous occasion - Empire Day, Commonwealth Day, the Queen's Birthday, something like that - Paul Tripp, retired, had hoisted the Union Jack on a small flagpole rigged in the Bungalow's front garden. He was an unbending traditionalist. JT stoically stood grimacing in the lounge.
ripp was a celebrator of Cardiff. His small book from the early seventies, Bute Park and other Poems, had verse set in various Cardiff locations with photos of the poet visiting the same spots to illustrate the text. The Castle, the Station, the nightclubs, the city centre's pubs are all here. But there's little about Whitchurch. A short poem about a funeral at Pantmawr and a piece about the library. But nothing closer to home.
t the west end of the Common where the Whitchurch Brook takes a right turn before vanishing south the locals once kept pigs. Whitchurch water got so polluted that council inspectors were sent to confiscate the offending animals. Whenever they showed, however, the sties were always empty. No, no pigs here. But you could smell them. Hogs were hidden under beds, sows were camouflaged with rugs. A bunch were herded into the chapel vestry where god protected their rights. The vicar ate bacon for months.
hen JT died in 1986 suddenly, young, midfifties and still writing like fury - a local group proposed and erected a memorial bench. It sat on the path to the West of Ararat, a wooden affair with an engraved plaque. JT, Whitchurch's greatest bard, could just as well have been a rose grower or a scout master. Whitchurch has a bookshop now, cross the Brook and head up Merthyr Road, past what used to be known as Millward's
History COMMON HISTORY
Terrace (now 87-111 Merthyr Road), beyond the Tabernacle Presbyterian Church and into the Lower Village. Can you buy John Tripp's books there? What do you think? Peter Finch
Peter Finch is a poet, critic, author and literary entrepreneur. He is Chief Executive of Academi, the Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency and Society of Writers.
Until the mid-18th century, the population of Whitchurch was probably no more than 300 people, living in about 50 farms and cottages. Tenants were free to graze their animals on Whitchurch Common. There were several smithies based at public houses such as The Plough and The Three Elms. On the Common itself, alongside the brook was the Waun Farm. This was a large farm with three large barns. There was a dairy attached to the farmhouse, where buttermilk was given away free to those who asked for it. The land reached from College Road to the Three Horse Shoes Hotel, being bounded by the Taff Vale Railway. All this land is now built on. In 1937, there was an outbreak of foot and mouth disease on the farm and all the cows had to be destroyed. A large trench was dug where Heol Gabriel now is and the cows were burnt in this trench. Coming from the North of Whitchurch, up to 1930, there was the Hospital Farm on the right hand side of Merthyr Road. At this point firstly there was the slaughterhouse and the fields around it with a few cows there. Going further down the road, there was the main farm, with pigs, sheep and chickens. Also there was a large vegetable garden. The Hospital was self-contained for meat, vegetables and all dairy products.
Whitchurch and LlandaďŹ€ Living Page 17
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After the most hectic months in the gardening year we can slow down a bit now. Generally all we need do is to keep an eye on weeding and watering; taking advantage of sunny days to hoe the smaller weeds. All the cluttered shelves and porches can be cleared, and all the seedlings safely planted out as all danger of frost has passed as we enter the summer months.
Runner and French bean seedlings can be planted out now. We should put the canes up first though, to avoid accidentally standing on our carefully nurtured plants. Seeds from both can be planted out directly into the soil this month, but it might be necessary to protect their first leaves from the worst of the winds. Slugs love young bean plants so protect them with cardboard collars, as it makes it harder for the slugs to reach the seedlings.
by Fran Mullins
This month pests are really on the march; the warmer conditions are ideal for them. Any cabbage white butterflies fluttering about are a warning. They lay their yellow eggs underneath the leaves of brassicas. Rub off any eggs or caterpillars as they appear. The caterpillars feed on nasturtiums too, so watch here also. Some gardeners believe that companion planting nasturtiums acts as a diversion, others that they are an extra attraction. Sawfly's spotted caterpillars can devour gooseberry leaves in the blink of an eye, so either rub them off or squirt off with a jet of water. Check underneath and at the edges of leaves every few days. Blast aphids and other greenfly with soapy water to prevent damage to young tips. We can carry on picking rhubarb until the end of the month but we must then leave the plant to restore its reserves. Feeding with liquid manure is always beneficial.
Whitchurch and LlandaďŹ€ Living Page 22
Make sure any developing flower stems are cut back from the base as this prevents wasted energy.
As the potato foliage grows, mound up the soil to prevent tubers getting into the light and going green. Earthing up also helps promote the growth of more tubers. Early potatoes can be harvested as soon as they flower. After harvesting peas, cut back the green haulms to ground level but leave the roots in for their valuable nitrogen. Planting salads or brassicas next gives maximum benefit. We can continue to sow maincrop peas elsewhere.
Our routine work, such as watering and weeding, carries on but at a more leisurely pace. Why not take time for lunch; sitting in our own gardens, eating our own home grown salad and admiring our handiwork is
Whilst checking the watering needs of the plants, don't forget the compost heap - and water that too. The chemical actions slow down if things get too dry. Generally, ensure watering is done regularly as potatoes especially reward with a heavier yield if watered every week or so. Earlies can be harvested now. Harvest courgettes and broad beans before they grow too big and tough. Picking these when young and tender also encourages more flowers and fruit. The broad beans will also be ready to pick. If cut when still small we can avoid the thick grey coats that the older beans develop.
Keeping a succession of crops going and avoiding gluts is a real achievement for gardeners, so sow spring onions and salad crops every few weeks. Harvest as they mature to prevent bolting.
It's the last chance for planting runner beans. Those that have already reached the top of their canes will need pinching out. The fast maturing peas can go in but cover these to deter mice and pigeons. Soaking seeds in paraffin is an old trick to deter mice. The courgettes and herbs can be sown directly outside, and any sown earlier planted out. Winter leeks, as soon as they are the size of a pencil, can be planted out with the brassicas.
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The Beach House Garden For many of us, our hard work in the garden pays dividends when can sit back and relax at our handiwork. It was over 20 years ago that Annie Jones from Llandaff, studied horticulture at Pencoed College. Many years later, and five years after having been diagnosed with MS, Annie created her ‘Beach House Garden’ at her home in Rhiwbina. It was inspired by Eidfjord in Norway, local lakes and beaches and the gardens of Cornwall and Tresco. On moving into her bungalow, it was clear that the garden had been neglected for some time and consisted of only a concrete path, lawn, a concrete slab patio, the odd shrub, bluebells and wonderful Zantedeschia lilies. But the soil was good with plenty of sun and light and a wonderful landscape beyond which could be ‘borrowed’. The garden’s main structure was completed in the first year when the house was adapted for easier living – some decking, shallow steps, lighting, as well as the summerhouse and its power.
After the pond and stream way were finished, 20 tons of pebbles were laid on Mypex fabric by very strong sons and kind friends. The boardwalks (built by son Dafydd, partner Brian and friends Tony and Robert) have made things easier for wheels as well as the magnificent covered deck alongside the summerhouse built by Brian for Annie’s 50th birthday. A couple of years later, Brian constructed a roof for the upper deck which has been a huge success. It’s great when potting up in the rain, as well as a venue for breakfast, coffee, lunch and supper! Annie was walking and still working full time when the garden was designed in 1999 and though now a wheelchair user, she manages to container garden on the wooden decks and do at least some of the maintenance in the main garden. The Beach House Garden has inspired many people who live with the difficulties MS poses, and just shows how limited energy can still be used carefully to create a haven for those more difficult times.
With wonderful help from friends and family, the garden is maturing into a very special place where folks can come and enjoy the ambience. Offers of help are always welcome as there is plenty of sowing, planting, dividing and collecting garden detritus amongst the pebbles. More difficult days are good for sharing the place and dreaming of new ideas to keep Brian busy! The plants do extraordinarily well with the combination of sun, a constantly moist soil and the effect of the pebbles both reflecting the light and storing heat is a winner. Cordyline palms seem to grow twice as fast as in other situations and the spring, summer and autumn bulbs look stunning appearing out the pebbles. After a difficult year healthwise last year, Annie is opening the Beach House to visitors once more on Saturday June 26 to raise funds for the MS Trust – there’ll be refreshments and plants for sale. For further details call Annie Jones on 07967 637857.
Whitchurch and Llandaﬀ Living Page 27
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Among the historic buildings of Llandaff sits the Summer Palace Chinese restaurant. We arrived early doors but within fifteen minutes, all seats had been taken by a wealth of concert-goers who were eating early before heading to Llandaff Cathedral. Before a chopstick had been lifted, it was obvious that this place had an enviable reputation. Starters comprised of crispy seaweed, spring rolls and prawns on toast, all perfectly cooked to provide that fresh crunch bite.
This was followed by crispy aromatic duck served with pancakes, salad and hoi-sin sauce. The chatty waiter happily prepared the hot meat for us, which was wonderfully tender on the inside - in delightful contrast to the thin crispy layer of spices on the outside. Main course comprised a heady mixture of stir fried beef in black bean sauce, stir fried chicken with cashew nuts, sweet and sour pork with yung chow special fried rice. From the smooth and tender chicken
meat lightly coated with a sauce to the meaty, peppery tones of the beef, the array of tastes on offer set the taste buds dancing. The friendly staff could not have been more gracious, attending to empty wine glasses and even providing local knowledge to those guests who had travelled from further afield. With the wonderful Llandaff village providing the perfect backdrop, this is one restaurant in Llandaff that comes highly recommended.
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Whitchurch and Llandaﬀ Living Page 29
ACROSS 1. The way around 7. Cool it 11. Finding the way 14. Reliant on a person or entity 15. Stick together 17. Under opposite 19. Dwayne’s orange skin 20. Let on 22. Turn it up 24. Seabird 25. High on a wire 28. To hold in high regard 32. Not on 33. Brush the bride’s man 34. Push down on newspaper 35. Short visit
36.12 months 38. Item 39. Not before 42. Characteristic 43. Make it and sleep in it 44. Return but not to the front 47. Eager 49. Fun pastime 51. Without skill 53. Move into 55. Pull a fast car 56. Underground pipe DOWN 1. Test for precipitation 3. Three-pronged power source 4. Practise rail travel 5. Cook with oil
Whitchurch and Llandaﬀ Living Page 30
6. Gone off Uncle 8. Whole tool 9. Driving exam 12. Purple flower 13. None of the two 16. Shout 18. Naughty person 21. Done by itself 23. Top of the iceberg 26. Put in 27. Half a dozen? 29. Bishop’s hat 30. Understanding 31. Rainbow fish 37. Striking tool 40. At no time 41. Colour of the rainbow 43. Striped letter of the alphabet 45. One of many 46. Short sleep
50. Fewer 52. Cooking tub 54. Uncooked 57. All of us. Last Issue’s Answers
Across 1 Holiday; 6 Glue; 8. Anvil; 10. Indecent; 12. Tie; 13. Green; 15. Lunatic; 20. Bloom; 21. Velvet; 23. Pony; 25. Rave; 26. Soon; 28. Plum; 30. Silver; 32. We; 33. Axe; 34. Quick; 35. Heat; 37. Heart; 40. Rum; 41. Grade; 42. Divine; 44. Arch; 46. Finally Down 2. Odour; 3. Ill; 4. Yawn; 5. See; 6. Get; 7. Esteem; 9. Lion; 11. Nun; 12. Tank; 14. Ebony; 16. Underneath; 17. Travel; 18. Child; 19. Bowls; 22. Elephant; 24. Obvious; 27. Ovoid; 29. Maximum; 31. Victoria; 32. With; 36. Tee; 38. Area; 39. Reef; 42. Doe; 43. Inn; 45. He
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Published on May 21, 2010
The official magazine for Whitchurch, Llandaff and Llandaff North. Issue 8 of this popular North Cardiff title includes an exclusive intervi...