My name is Stephen Nicholas; I was born in Llandaff North in 1962 and have lived in the areas of Whitchurch and Llandaff North all my life and I am currently living in Whitchurch. In 2003 I wanted to have a go at building a website so I decided to do a community website which would encourage visitors to share photographs of the area from their personal collections. I was surprised how quickly and popular the website became. The reason I included Whitchurch and Llandaff North on the website is because up until 1902 Llandaff North formed part of the Whitchurch parish. Evidence of this can be seen today on the walls of Hawthorn Road Junior School in Llandaff North, the school originally opened as the Whitchurch Board School, this evidence may soon disappear as the school is currently boarded up awaiting a decision of its future.
The area has a fascinating history and many of the photographs on the website revive our memories and give us an idea of how our ancestors worked, played and built up the community that we live in today. The latter part of the twentieth century has seen the most change with the demise of major industries which brought employment to the area such as the Melingriffith Tinplate Works which was powered totally by water fed from the river Taff and produced high quality tinplate, which was exported all over the world. The Glamorgan Canal from Merthyr to Cardiff transported goods for the iron and coal industries to and from the valleys as early as the seventeenth century. Evans Eagle Foundry which was located near the canal lock at Llandaff Yard and although the foundry closed in the 1930’s, there are still many manhole and drain covers in and around Cardiff today inscribed with the firm’s insignia, ‘Evans, Llandaff’. One other major industry in the area was the Radyr marshalling yard and many of the employees at the yard were from the Whitchurch and Llandaff area. The yard was opened in 1861 and was one of the busiest marshalling yards in the country especially at the peak of the coal mining era. The yard closed in 2002 and since then the land has been developed into a major housing project.
We sure to see more changes over the coming years, it’s quite likely that some schools will disappear or be merged, public houses are having a tough time too and the Cow & Snuffers has become the first victim to close down. There were plans to build a new Whitchurch Hospital at the present location but this is currently on hold.
There is still a very good community spirit in Whitchurch and Llandaff North and this can be seen during the summer festival held every year on Whitchurch Common and the switching on of the Christmas lights in the villages. There are some publications keeping the community informed about local businesses, events and stories, these are The Local Directory and Whitchurch and Llandaff Living, these are free and are distributed to local shops and post offices. I hope the website and books provides a window to the past and gives you much enjoyment. The website address is http://www.whitchurchandllandaff.co.uk.