Appeal: Cardiff historians/local residents

If you’re a regular reader you will know that so far this blog has mainly concentrated on what the arcades are like now. The shops that are presently trading, the people that currently work there and how the architecture appears today.

This is due to the fact that a) this is a photography blog and as yet I have not perfected the art of time travel and b) I have only lived in Cardiff for 6 years so anything before that is kind of a mystery to me.

I’ve seen a few old photos, but not many. Strangely, a few of the history books I’ve looked through have neglected to mention the arcades at all, while others skim over them.

So now, while I will still continue to post photos from arcade present, as new mini-venture for the project, I’m looking to really explore the arcade past. I want to delve into its history because I know it will be fascinating. About the only thing I know for sure is the building dates of each arcade. But I’ve heard various tales about what it was like back then, and I’m equally interested in what it was like during other periods, for instance during World War Two.

I’d also love to know more about the hidden parts of the arcades, the tunnels, the blocked off passages, the old balconies, anything like that that gives an idea of what it used to be like would be great.

Coming further forward in time I’d also be keen to know what they were like the 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s before I came here. All of this is within living memory so for that I’d just need to chat to people who’ve been here longer than I have.

I’m also fascinated by the idea of ghost stories, I’m sure there must be some rumours flying around – these are very old buildings after all, so if you’ve heard anything like please do also let me know!

So, I’d ask you, dear people of Cardiff and local history fans to send me your stories, your memories and if at all possible your old photos of the arcades. Also, if you have any memories of shops gone by, that would be great to hear too.

If you have anything you’d like to share please feel free to leave a comment on this post or send me an email – hopefully we can all pull together to create a mini archive that makes it easier for future generations to find all this stuff!


4 thoughts on “Appeal: Cardiff historians/local residents

    • Thankyou,

      Found some great info yesterday in the library – now it’s just a question of knowing where to start with feeding that back to everyone! 🙂

  1. Hello, did you have any luck with this? I’m looking for historical data about the arcades for an article that I’d like to write, and it seems hard to find much on the internet about them. Even simple facts about who funded and who was responsible for their construction is hard to come across, and I’d like to find them the easy way rather than trawling through archives

    • Hi Kevin,

      No not much luck – nobody came forward at least.

      There is some info I found in the library, but I haven’t figured out a way to digest it into manageable blogposts yet, sorry.

      I think you can find who constructed them on Wikipedia though.



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