|Home||Department of Planning & Idea Generation||Department of Railed Transport||Department of Sleeping||Department of Staying-in-Bed||Department of Comment, Satire & Tripe||Fun Stuff||How To...||Wye Valley Railway||Seasonal area|
An urban scene for June - Cardiff Bay. It's more the buildings around the Bay than the Bay itself; apologies for the dire shortage of water in this scene.
Cardiff Docks were created by the Second Marquess of Bute to export coal from the mines up the South Welsh Valleys to various countries around the world. They prospered, but from the mid-19th century faced increasing competition from neighbouring ports. Nearby Barry was the most damaging and eventually overtook Cardiff in terms of volume exported per annum. In any event, the Butes never made as much money from the port as others made from the railways bringing the coal down the Valleys, though Cardiff as a whole benefitted greatly from the trade. Peak Coal in 1913 was followed by steady decline and the closure of the older parts of the port - particularly the East and West Docks, whose entrances flanked the big red Pierhead Building that dominates this picture. It was built for the Cardiff Railway - an unsuccessful concern launched in 1897 and generally loathed by all the established railways of the area. They prevented it from fulfilling any exceptionally useful function and the surviving 2¾ miles are now a minor commuter railway.
A museum was set up on the area behind the Pierhead building to tell the story of the Docks and preserve various interesting machines and items related to Cardiff's past. As part of the regeneration this museum was demolished and replaced by the yellow-brick shops; its exhibits were mostly placed into store, with a few scattered to more obscure corners of the country (though one or two ended up in Swansea). Nowadays the museum role is fulfilled by the Pierhead building. To the right is the Senedd, which houses the debating chamber of the Welsh Assembly and puts in occasional appearances in BBC Wales television productions, particularly Doctor Who.
Behind the Senedd can be seen a large silver tower, which purports to be a fountain and was blown up in 2009 as part of the destruction of the Torchwood Institute (a memorial to one of its members can be found below the yellow shops somewhere; happily the Beeb tidied the fountain up afterwards), and part of the Wales Millenium Centre, which has been variously described as resembling a hedgehog, a slug and an armadillo. The black thing in front of the Pierhead Building is a memorial to the merchant seamen killed during the Second World War.
Picture taken June 2010.