Cardiff Then & Now

During the fifty-odd years since I was born, enormous changes have taken place in Wales, particularly in the capital Cardiff where giant new shopping centres, have been constructed and in the process vast areas of the old town have disappeared without a trace. In addition to the shopping centres, towering blocks of offices and hotels have sprung up all over the place, universities and colleges have spawned giant new buildings and residential apartments have erupted everywhere, while much of what was once fondly known as ‘Tiger Bay’ and the docklands has been transformed by the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation, not necessarily always for the better.

Many of the older photographs taken by my father, are a record of places of interest, many of which were then at the end of their life and destined for demolition. What started as a fascination of mine became a past time in itself, that of re-photographing each site my father took from as close as possible to his original viewpoint, to show what changes have taken place.

Taken together, the old and the present-day photographs make an interesting comparison of what has been lost and what has been gained during the last half century. Some of the older views will be sadly missed, some happily forgotten; some of the newer ones will be welcome while others, no doubt, will cause visual anguish. Each building, each place, however, reflects the time in which it was brought about.

(Edited from our book “Changing Cardiff” – 2012)