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I woke up to a grey, overcast day, with evidence of rain. I watched a pigeon enjoying an impromptu bath, in a puddle on the garage roof. Surely, not rain!


This was the day that Gary and I were going to St Fagans, with the Totterdown and Knowle History Society.


The weather, seemed to be getting warmer, and I hoped to pack away my thick woolly jumpers for another season- oh well, that’s our weather; unpredictable!

After breakfast, off we went to meet our fellow coach travellers, who were congregating by the Knowle Cricket Club. There was a lot of chatter and smiley faces, we were so pleased to get out and about again, life felt like it was getting back to how we remembered it, before the ghastly pandemic. Some folks were more optimistic, wearing light, summery clothes; others, like Gary and I, wore coats and scarves - we were taking no chances with the vagaries of the weather.

We climbed aboard the coach, sat back and enjoyed the scenery, moving from England into Wales, seeing the famous transporter bridge, in the distance and the imposing Celtic Manor Resort, with the enormous red dragon, overlooking the motorway.

Above: Inside St Teilo's Church

Oakdale Workmens Institute

Left: Oakdale Workmen's Institute

Below: Rhaeadr Tannery

Rhaeadr Tannery

Vulcan Hotel

On we sped, to reach our destination, the National Museum of Wales, which opened in 1948, and was the UK’s first national open-air museum. Gary and I have visited several times before, as it is forever growing, with more houses, farm, shops and churches being added, over time. At present, The Vulcan Hotel (right) from Cardiff is being reconstructed, and the museum would like people to recall times spent there, to add to the history. Hopefully, on our next visit, we should see the building completed.

Below: Vulan Hotel (from Cardiff)

After a short repast of coffee and cake, we made our way around the large area pausing to look inside buildings and imagining what life must have been life in those far off times. We wandered past Rhyd-y-car Terrace, the houses that were built in 1795, to provide houses for the workers in an iron-ore mine. These six houses have been displayed at different periods of their history, from when they were built to 1985, different contents in each building, with a garden to reflect the age -fascinating. The older ones had no piped water or a toilet.


Moving on, we saw a fully equipped pre-fab, Bristol still has many of them, scattered across the city. We sat down on a bench and admired the lush green fields of sheep, the glorious trees with their fresh green leaves, and listened to the birds, it was just so peaceful, but there was still a chill in the breeze. We wandered past an ancient tannery, which now had newts in the tanks, where once the animal hides were soaked, we visited a Unitarian Chapel (Right), and St.Teilo’s Church, with its restored frescoes, such a lot to see and enjoy, but too much for one visit. We will visit again!

Pen-rhiw Chapel

Thanks again to Hilary for her write up of our day.

Knowle and Totterdown Local History Society

St Fagans (2022)

After two years waiting for Covid to release its grip on our freedom we were finally able to spend the grant money donated by the John James Foundation to book our coach trip to St Fagans on 10th May this year (2022). Once again, member Hilary Cleve offered to write a piece for our website. Here is her story along with some photos that I hope will remind our group of another exceptional day out.

copyright 2018 Knowle & Totterdown Local History Society

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