Seven Years On: Looking Back


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It’s that time of year when I look back at the last 12 months of content on the blog. The site has had a change of direction this year with a new focus on four topics of interest: photography, adventure, local history and art.

Poster with text: Photography, adventure, local history and art

The blogging year began with an adventure in Fforest Fawr, where I went on a mindfulness walk with Tommy Carr. This was something completely new to me and was a fantastic experience.

In November I started a new photography series featuring images by renowned naturalist Mary Gillham. There are some fantastic photos in her collection from around Tongwynlais and it’s a pleasure to be able to share them.

Photo of Tongwynlais from 1971
Tongwynlais on ORS below Castell Coch, 13/2/1971

Castell Coch hosted a superb exhibition by acclaimed artist Laura Ford in April. The work, titled “Squatters at Castell Coch”, was a playful and thrilling use of the ancient monument to showcase contemporary art.

I’ve collected several old postcards over the years and I’ve added more to the site over the last 12 months. The latest instalment features an image that a reader has dated to the early 1940s. You can read the whole series in the archive.

Local artist Kevin Williams held an exhibit in Bethesda Chapel in June. “Reflections of Tongwynlais” is a collection of work featuring scenes from the village and around Castell Coch.

Painting of Merthyr Road in Tongwynlais

If you’re an Instagram user, please check out my feed. I try to share something every day from in and around the village.

Main photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash



Jack is the editor of and

3 thoughts on “Seven Years On: Looking Back”


    I think this photo is marvellous! It shows a recovering community in post war Britain, I should say about 1948/9, at a time when the common people were struggling to live, and the government trying to build up a nation,

    It shows the family closeness of the extended family, three generations all going off on a day trip, though they can little afford it!

    It shows the way people were willing to mix with with others, the relatively rich with the definitely poor.

    My whole family is on this picture, and I can name so many of the people standing waiting to go on an outing as was the expression of the time. But where were they going! I don’t remember the photo being taken, I was about 8 at the time.

    It couldn’t have been a day trip to a beach, they are not wearing the right clothes for a beach trip. Was it an evening mystery tour, which was a popular pastime of the era. The bus would leave a about 6 pm,, everybody happy, not knowing where we were going, but it could only have been one of two places realistically: Barry or Porthcawl, always ending up at a hostelry.

    I used to love the singing in the bus, ‘Underneath tne Arches’, ‘Sne‘ll be ncoming round the mountain. when she Comes’ and many more. There was always someone who had a good voice who would render a solo.

    It would be nice if it were possible to identify those photographed. Most are dead, and those still alive who will be able to put a name to an image won’t be around much longer.

    jack, do you have the facility to make a numbered template for us to complete?

  2. Hi Jack,

    Thanks for all your hard work on behalf of the village. It is amazing to think it is 7 years since you began. Keep up the good work mate.


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