Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, the Beatles, sand dogs and Chip Alley

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Here’s a selection of street scenes photographed during my short visit to Cardiff this week.

My walk to the station took me along Queen Street – where’s there’s always something going on –  through Cardiff Market and along the city’s infamous Chip Alley.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cigarette burns on the plastic window at Lisvane and Thornhill station.

I still miss getting the train at the wonderfully isolated Cefn Onn Halt, which was situated around 500m further north, next to the entrance to the mile-long Caerphilly Tunnel.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

As part of a £220m rail improvement scheme, Cardiff Queen Street saw new platforms being opened and a new ground level station building replacing the previously austere offering.

Sadly, there are no plans to bring back the once-stunning original buildings and grand Victorian canopy.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Statue celebrating Cardiff’s mining heritage at the start of Queen Street.

Nearby stood the legendary Cardiff Capitol, a cinema built in 1921 that put on notable acts such as Tom Jones, The Beatles, Queen, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Bob Dylan.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, the Beatles, sand dogs and Chip Alley

[Pic: Beatles Bible]

The Beatles’ last live U.K. tour concluded with two performances at the theatre on 12 December 1965.

The Beatles Bible reports that, “2,500 fans saw each concert, which lasted around 30 minutes. The Beatles performed 11 songs: I Feel FineShe’s A Woman, If I Needed Someone, Act Naturally, Nowhere Man, Baby’s In Black, Help!, We Can Work It OutYesterday, Day Tripper and I’m Down.”

Forged ticket for Thin Lizzy at the Cardiff Capitol, December 8th, 1977

The Rank Organisation closed the theatre in 1978 and it was demolished in 1979. One of the last shows there was a gig by the mighty Thin Lizzy.

Despite selling out almost immediately, I was so determined to go that I forged a pair of tickets – and successfully got in!

My friend who had got in on the other hand drawn ticket managed to somehow get backstage – and the band were delighted to autograph the dodgy ticket (above).

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Aquaboats in Queen Street,

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

A religious row breaks out in Queen Street.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

“My interpretation of the made up God entity is the right one!”
“No, mine is” Etc etc  etc.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Blowing bubbles.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Buskers.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

This charming fella insisted that I took his photo. He was very proud of his work,

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Funfair attendant looks out over a row in Queen Street.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Poor old Aneurin Bevan. Forever cursed to have a bird shitting on his head.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Bevan is rightly a hero to many. The son of a coal miner, Bevan was a lifelong champion of social justice, rights of working people, and socialism.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Get all your Welsh tack here!

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Inside the fabulous Cardiff Market.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

It was great to see that Kelly’s records on the upper floor of the market was doing so well. Such is the rise in demand for vinyl, that they’re going to move out their DVD section to stock more of the lovely black stuff.

Here’s a Tom LP. Tidy.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Enjoying a cuppa with the newspaper.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

These were the happiest Hari Krishna people I’ve ever seen.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff has changed out of all recognition in the last 10 years or so.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Inside one of the arcades.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

A pedestrianised street running east/west in the lower part of Cardiff city centre, Caroline Street comes alive at night when hordes of alcohol lubricated revellers seek speedy chip/kebab based replenishment,

The street is known locally as Chip Alley or Chippy Lane.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Polish photographer Maciej Dakowicz spent five years photographing the scenes around Cardiff, with his stunning ‘Cardiff After Dark‘ collection documenting the late night mayhem and madness of the street in wonderful detail.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Here’s how the street looks in the day…

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

The old Philharmonic Bar/Square Bar in St Mary Street awaits another refurbishment. Opening in 1877 as the Philharmonic Hall, some of the original theatre features survive.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Cardiff has some splendid architecture, particularly along St Mary Street,

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Now a Wetherspoons pub, the Prince Of Wales in St Mary Street once served as a particularly sleazy porno cinema in the 70s.

Opening in 1878 as the New Theatre Royal, the Gothic architecture continues to impress.

Cardiff street scenes: religious rows, sand dogs and Chip Alley, Wales, August 2015

Street art close to the Central station.

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