Cardiff Tunnel Area
by Richard Overy
This photographic print measuring approximately 12 x10″ was found at an Antiques Fair at Oswestry Showground in 2013. It was my find of the day and only cost me £1!
The image has a beautiful composition with the telegraph pole dividing the image 2/3 of the way across, the young man at the bottom of the photograph providing some scale, the washing blowing in the wind and the wonderful advertising signs on the walls.
When I turned the image over the photograph all the information & the story were documented for me – the date and time the photograph was taken – Friday April 28th, 1904, 2.15 pm,
the photographers name S.Bowen Bradary, 38 Charles Street Cardiff and press cutttings from the Wales Echo explaining the events below.
Wales Echo Wednesday October 5 1904
Cardiff Tunnel Area
At Cardiff Property Committee this morning the borough engineer reported on an application from Mr J.R. Jacobs, who desired to purchase a plot of land from the Corporation which would give access to the old tunnel in Queen-Street from the rear of the new premises of Stone and Co Undertakers of Working Street. The plot is 37 square yards in area. On the proposition of Alderman Carey, it was agreed not to sell. The plot, he said , though now of no value to the Corporation, might at an early date become the key to the opening up of the unsightly tunnel area. He had often in the old days spoken of a scheme whereby a road could be made over the canal right down to the Hayes Bridge, and even beyond it if necessary. The Corporation held some property there now, and by the purchase of St. John’s National Schools a way could be made direct to the New Town Hall.
The proceedings at Cardiff Property Committee yesterday evidenced what has been a special characteristic of the Council for many years – its care for the traffic requirements in the town. In every direction are to be seen widenings, extensions &e., that-like the Hayes Bridge, the Workhouse section of Cowbridge-road, the Four Elms improvement, and so many others – have added immensely to the convenience of the public by facilitating traffic; and Alderman Carey, in his foresight of the needs of the central area, has outlined further and greater improvement, one that is much needed and that would open out property and materially advance public interests. There is a growing fashion of carping criticism which makes town councillors the butt of every ignoramus who chooses to affect superior knowledge of local requirements; and yet a very little study of what has been done, and what is contemplated, a little clearer idea of the continual exercise of foresight such as Alderman Carey’s speech indicated, would save the critics from making themselves ridiculous.
A Cardiff Recruiting Inn – Another interesting link with old Cardiff has been severed by the closing of the old East Dock Inn, Bridge-street. For many years it has been the famous resort of all South Walians whose inclinations were bent on serving their country either in the Army or the Navy. Here-or-herabouts was generally to be found a recruiting sergeant – generally belonging to the Grenadier Guards- flying the usual tricolor ribbons. Thither went the embryo soldier, who after being partially examined as to his height and health qualifications, was, after making the customary attestation, passed on to care and attention of the Cardiff Barracks authorities. In this manner it is computed that during the half century the hotel has been enlisted for all branches of the service from this hostel alone, and in the words of the recruiting officer the majority were either Welsh-speaking men or bore a Welsh patronymic. Now that the old recruiting headquarters are closed the War Office has transferred its local officer to the Neptune Inn Caroline Street.