Chronicle Blog: Community Spaces!

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 Mike Hawkins, a volunteer who has recently conducted a walking tour of Grangetown for the project.


The start of the tour, The Marl.


Who would have thought that the Marl in Grangetown is named after the mud of which it is made, and that Marl in Ruabon in North Wales was made into bricks, and that those red bricks were used to build the Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay, where our #justdoitVolunteer exhibition had just opened?

Today is the day of our Grangetown walk, which I am sharing with Frank. No distinguished Cardiff writers this time, but we were kept on our toes by members of the Grangetown Local History Society, whose keenness to contribute could not be faulted. As we started at the Marl, I thought I had better mention (before they did) the 1881 Sunday Closing Act and some Museum photos of the “Hotel de Marl” from 1893, by William Booth, a Cardiff-based photographer, only to be shown a book with one of those photos!

Frank leading the tour at St Paul’s Church.


Still, I did get the chance to also talk about volunteering, including the VCS adventure playground from 1971, the carnival and the importance of baseball in Cardiff. Unfortunately my later introductory comments about Grangetown Community Concern were defeated by the traffic.

Frank did a sterling job explaining about Grangetown Baptist Church, to which Rhys, a member of Grangetown Local History Society, provided admittance for a much-needed sit down, and also St Paul’s church of Dr Who fame.

The tour at its final stop, Grange Gardens.

Then to Grange Gardens where we played a game of “is it new or a replacement?”. We ended at the pavilion, which opened early so we could have a drink while everyone completed the forms that were the price of a free walk.

Surprisingly for a walk that overran, the only comment about timing was that it was too short!