When Roath Park first opened

When the Earl of Dumfries, son of the Marquess of Bute, declared the park opened on his 13th birthday on June 20 1894, there was certainly much rejoicing. All traffic was stopped and thousands followed the possession from the town hall to Roath Park. Bunting was strung-up in the streets and shopkeepers in Albany Road and Wellfield Road decorated their shops.

Over the years Roath Park has been the scene of numerous band concerts, regattas, water carnivals, dance nights, Punch and Judy shows and all sorts of attractions. In Edwardian times as many as 2,000 people could be seen swimming in the lake on Sunday mornings. And between 1931 and 1962 thousands would line the banks of the lake to see the Taff Swim.

My early memories are of splashing about the paddling pool, catching frogs and sticklebacks, racing around the lake and riding the iron horse which, if my memory serves me right, had 13 seats on its long back. Gone the same way as the otter and badger that used to frequent the area in days long gone. When I was a little bit older the Wild Garden became my playground. There, we children would catch newts and have great fun playing hide and seek among the bamboo canes.

Just walking around Roath Park these days is a great pleasure and brings back many happy memories of my childhood.

Brian Lee is the author of Voices of Cardiff and many other books on his beloved birthplace. Voices of Cardiff is published by the History Press at £12.99.