ARTICLES: ALTERNATIVE CARDIFF

by Peter Finch

So what’s that place with coal in the streets, smog in the air and a population of sons of toil with hoary hands and stovepipe hats?  Cardiff.  For centuries that’s what the world thought.  Market town.  Then coal metropolis.  And when the coal ran out post-industrial slum.  Nothing here worth seeing.  Dark streets, dark skies.  Seas full of mud.

Peter Finch

Peter Finch

 

But no longer.  Despite the downturn Cardiff has been magically reborn.  White city. Full of glass and highrise and light.  A seven mile wide lozenge, big enough be alive in, get lost in, to have an affair in and not get spotted.  But small enough to know. 

 

Cardiff the capital.  Where the language flickers between Welsh and Cardiffian.  Where the young  arrive in their thousands drawn by work or education or just the hunt for life. Cardiff arts capital.  Sports capital. Media capital.   Drinking capital.  Centre of government.  Capitol of Wales.  Cardiff of the valleys with a vast hinterland that runs north to Merthyr, west to Bridgend and east to Newport.  Cardiff the place where Dannie Abse carved his name, Dafydd Elis Thomas parks his car, Charlotte Church buys her shoes, the Young Marble Giants form and reform, Torchwood has its base, Dr Who his Tardis and Shirley Bassey waves her flag.

 

Have I forgotten anything in that list?  Check elsewhere on this site to find out.

 

Peter Finch is the author of the Real Cardiff series of books, available from Seren Books.  His web site is at www.peterfinch.co.uk

 

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