Look Back to Embrace the New

Socrates said that the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

It was very interesting to delve back into the history of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan and find out how past events have helped shape it into what it is now.

I came across some amazing facts, such as festival called Gwyl Mabsant in the 18th century, involving drinking, gambling, bull baiting and cock fighting. Although popular, it used to create havoc in most villages and the gwyl had died out by the 19th century.

Penarth, which started life as a village, was literally metamorphosed, when its dock was built to ship coal in the 19th century, bringing wealth and a legacy of public parks and buildings such as Penarth Pier Pavilion. Llantwit Major and Cowbridge also have a rich past, which can be rediscovered by following their Blue Plaque Town Trails.

The Iconic Capital building. Photo by David Patterson

Cardiff’s city-centre New Theatre, built in 1906, is a fantastic venues still thriving today. But, sadly, not all buildings have survived the test of time. The Capitol Theatre, formerly on Queen Street and the largest purpose-built in Europe, where bans such as The Beatles and Queen performed, was demolished in the mid-1980s.

The famous Penarth Summer Festival, which first took place in the 1960s, has taken many forms over the years, but is still going strong.

The Roath Park big slide in the 1970s, although now gone, certainly entertained a lot of children in its day. They might have all grown up now but they still remember how much fun it was!

Roath Park’s Big Slide: Photo by Chris Courtney

After all this reminiscing, it is time to get back to the present day, with a summary of some exciting events lined up over the next few months.

Put on your running shoes for the Vale Coastal Trail Races on 6th April, 2024.

Dance on the lawn at Penarth Lawn Tennis Club during the Music and Street Food Festival in May 2024.

Swing the Pier at Penarth Pier Pavilion on 17th Mary, 2024.

Celebrate the lively and spirited Barryfornia on 19th May, 2024.

Delight your taste buds at the ever-popular Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival on 26th to 27th May, 2024. Find out more on their website.

Embark on a true food adventure during the Vale Food Trail 2024, a celebration of good food in the Vale of Glamorgan on 26th May to 4th June, 2024. Find out more on their website.

Celebrate the RNLI’s 200th year of saving lives with the first ever Festival of the Sea, Barry Island 1st to 2nd June, 2024.

Rev up your engines at Barry Island’s Festival of Transport on 15th June, 2024.

The award-winning Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival attracts over 14,000 visitors a year across six weeks at a purpose-built temporary theatre in Sophia Gardens on 20th June to 27th July, 2024. Find out more on their website.

Penarth Chamber Music Festival returns for its 10th festival. World class concerts against a backdrop of stunning seascapes. 27th to 30th June, 2024. Find out more on their website.

And with summer just around the corner, garden parties, BBQ’s, picnics and al-fresco dining will soon be all the rage once again! If you are wishing for an outdoor occasion with extra va va voum, make sure to book my services now and let’s start planning. Head over to my website to find out more!