You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

I forgot to mention in the last post that there will be a demonstration on the February 12th at 1pm, outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.

Keep the Vulcan No Car Park! – I also came across this good blog post that has all sorts helpful contact information.


As you may or may not know, the Vulcan Hotel in Adamsdown is under threat from the new St Davids 2 development. I have only been inside once but it is my kind of place – the sort of pub where you can enjoy a pint of real ale and not a chrome topped surface in sight.

The Vulcan is, to steal a  comment directly from the Beer in the Evening website:

A little Victorian gem,spit and (literally) sawdust and full of character. Tiled exterior and bare wood floor with many pictures and artefacts of the city’s past adorning the walls.Well kept Brains beers a retro juke box and an excellent, friendly landlady. You’ve seen”life on mars”, this is the pub on mars!!. Seemingly frozen in time, a rare and wonderful place.One of the few pubs in the city that haven’t had the soul “renovated” out of them. Soon to be demolisheed in the name of:- err- progress. Enjoy it before it is too late.

Tonight there was a well attended public meeting at the ATRiuM across the road where the team behind the campaign brought the supporters up to date with its progress. I didn’t make notes but the key message is that the developers need to be made aware of just how important it is to stop Cardiff from becoming another bland and indistinguishable city centre.

I personally cannot see why anyone would not think that this historic building is an asset – surely a little bit of historical Cardiff can only be good for the tourism the St Davids 2 developers hope to attract?

Anyway other people have far more interesting and insightful things to say on the matter than me so here are some links:

Contacts – where to direct your complaints!

St Davids 2

Prince Charles – This was suggested at the meeting and is a brilliant idea – the Prince is a well known supporter of this kind of thing. This is, after all, the erosion of the history of the capital city of which he is the Prince.

Cadw– apparently the Vulcan is not old/interesting enough to be classed as a listed building. Lets change their minds!

Support/People/Info etc

Save the Vulcan – the official blog

Save the Vulcan on Facebook

Short interview with Graham Craig, one of the team behind the campaign

Jenny Randerson – AM for Cardiff Central

Jenny Willott MP for Cardiff Central 

Adamsdown Liberal Democrat Focus Team – the blog for Adamsdown councillors Nigel Howells and John Dixon

The Institute of Welsh Affairs

These are all off the top of my head – if you think something is missing –

And finally – here is a short news report from WalesOnline’s Gavin O’Conner:


After a few weeks of throwing different suggestions around, we have settled on Adamsdownhere for the name of our project (the communities first team are already using Adamsdown Project and This means we can now buy the domain name and get started on producing the website itself.

Walking past St Germans I came across this metal sculpted crucifixion scene tucked away at the back of the car park.


The sun was in precisely the wrong place to take a decent photo  – perhaps I will update this at some point- but it is certainly one of the most interesting and, if I am honest, tasteful crucifix scenes I have seen in a church yard.

You might remember the story recently of St John’s Church in Broadbridge Heath (click the link to see the photo) who removed their crucifix in response to largely negative feedback from members of the community. Reverend Ewen Souter, interviewed by the BBC said:

“Children have commented on how scary they find it and how off-putting they find it as a symbol outside the church.”

There is no danger of this at St Germans, its crucifixion scene is a fascinating piece of metal work and its tucked away location (I almost didn’t see it walking past the church) makes it all the more intriguing.

I was walking past the church on Metal Street when I came across the amusing yet seemingly pointless phenomena that is some shoes on a wire.


When I was younger I used to live near a telephone wire that was a hotspot for shoe throwers, every time a pair was taken down another was waiting to take its place. On one occasion an anarchic individual, disillusioned with throwing shoes onto telephone lines, decided to branch out into throwing the old style sink plugs on a chain instead (one of the sad consequences of the modernisation of plugholes mean this particular past time is soon to die out).

Shoe throwing however is alive and well and if urban legends are to be believed can mean anything from marking gang territory, a loss of virginity or an attempt to increase the visibility of telephone wires for low flying air craft!


Shoes on a wire - by Dave Gorman

I was surprised as to how much discussion there is about this topic online – its scope is truly international. In the UK, comedian Dave Gorman (who kindly let me use the above photo) talks about his own bizarre experience here and Australian journalist Jock Cheetham has even made a short documentary about  shoes thrown on to telephone wires down under:

In America the idea has been taken a step further with shoe trees:


The Shoe Tree in Morley Field, San Diego - Jon Sullivan

Boot tossing is apparently a national sport in New Zeland and Eastern Europe (according to Wikipedia that is) and in the Arab world, hitting someone with a shoe is regarded as a serious insult and means I can end this post with this humorous incident (can you guess what it is yet?):

Here are a couple of mock ups of how the front page may look, brilliantly put together in Photoshop  by Johana Hartwig.


One of the things we are keen to get right is the colour scheme, these are four possibilities.


Personaly I prefer the the green and the red – if anyone has any thoughts leave a comment or email



We also got started working on the layout of the site. Having absolutely no experience in web design it’s a bit tricky but hopefully we came up with some good ideas.


Today we had a brief guided tour of Adamsdown from lecturer and local (and the man who will be making the actual website) Rob Molcher. We didn’t have time to take in all of its sights but we did visit the Black Bridge – in my case for the first time.


Rob told tales of terror from his youth, when all the local children used to say the bridge was haunted, disappointingly however he couldn’t remember who or what was said to do the haunting (if you know, get in touch-


Annoyingly I couldn’t find out much about this particular phantom online despite a brief mention here, although the bridge is also mentioned on a message board entitled: What’s the most scary part of the UK that you’ve been in? 


If you know who haunts the Black Bridge, or have any stories about it you would like to be featured on the website when it is up and running then email me –