Chronicle Blog – Ceri Stennet

The Chronicle’s Volunteer Blog features blog posts and articles about what it’s like to be a part of the Chronicle Project and is written by our volunteers.
This post is by Ceri Stennet, the current host of The Cardiff Chronicle on Radio Cardiff.

I first encountered ‘The Cardiff Chronicle’ programme on Radio Cardiff when I was asked to be a guest on the show that looked at ‘Football in Cardiff’. I was very happy to go along to the studio, as I had an exhibition celebrating 90 years since Cardiff City won the FA Cup in 1927 on at the Old Library in the city.

I really enjoyed the show and when I found that the following week’s programme was on ‘Cinemas in Cardiff’, I made the point that I had run several cinemas in South Wales and further afield with my late father from the 1970’s to the 1990’s. I was asked if I could come in for that show too!

A week or so later I had a call to say that the current presenter of the programme was moving on, and would I be interested in taking over the presenting slot?

I decided that it would be a nice opportunity to give it a go. I did have quite a bit of radio experience in that for some 15 years I had been the media officer for the Wales International Football Team, so I had made many trips into such radio studios for interviews. In addition, back in the 1990’s, I had worked with my father, entertainer Stan Stennett, when he had his own radio programme on another local station. I learnt to operate the sound console, whilst he did the talking. But that was all a long time ago.

Working in Local or Community Radio means having to be able to turn your hand to many ‘skills’. Tea and coffee making being one of them, but being able to ‘self-operate’ a show is pretty much an essential. In other words, doing the talking, putting on the music, placing the news and adverts slots in the right places (at the right times!) as well helping to organise the topics and guests for the programme.

The learning curve was quite a steep one, even with some previous experience, and now being in my mid-50’s, some things did not come quite so quickly to me as they did when I was in my 30’s. All that said, I, like all other newcomers to Radio Cardiff, received great help and encouragement from the ‘veterans’ – thanks very much Jeremy Rees!

The Chronicle programme is right up my street. I am a Cardiff boy, born and bred, and have always had an interest in the history of my city. Over the years, I have done a great deal of research into my Family History and Welsh Cardiff City Football History, so I know my way around the internet and the research facilities in the city and further afield.

We have a great team of volunteers working on our radio project: Lucy, Gareth, Abygail, and others, who you will all get to meet in future blogs. We are kept in line by Klavdija who does a remarkable job of running a variety of volunteer groups for VCS Cymru. If you have time on your hands, why not think about volunteering?

Some of the topics covered so far: Theatres, Railways, Flat Holm Island, the Empire Pool, Victorian Crime, Music, Parks, and Cardiff Rugby. Plenty more to come too: Baseball, Synagogues, Boxers, Festivals, Ivor Novello, Mosques, Grangetown local history, and Pubs. Something for everyone is the aim.

What we don’t want the programme to be is a ‘stuffy’ history programme. It is about people and events, and hopefully is 90 minutes of interesting conversation with a variety of guests. Some of those will be academics, but in the main, they will be enthusiasts of a subject and people who have ‘lived’ the subject – from railway engine drivers to wardens from Flat Holme island.

So, make a date with us, every Tuesday lunchtime, between 1.30pm-3pm on Radio Cardiff, 98.7fm.