Home > Culture > Cardiff Character: Alan Edge

Cardiff Character: Alan Edge

Alan moved away from Newcastle to leave his psychological battles behind and found happiness and love in Cardiff

Alan Edge moved to Cardiff from Newcastle four years ago

The UK government appointed the first Minister for Suicide Prevention last month in the wake of government-level discussions on the importance of ending the stigma around discussing mental health issues.

One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life, says CALM, a leading suicide prevention charity.

Alan Edge, 43, owns and manages Princes and Paupers vintage and bespoke clothing store in Castle Arcade, Cardiff city centre, and moved to Cardiff after facing mental health issues in Newcastle.

Alan describes himself as a creative, deep thinker. He says: “I’m tenacious, loving, ambitious and honest – too honest.”

His life used to be “erratic and volatile,” he said, but now Alan is a calm and friendly Northerner, happily married and enjoying living in Cardiff, having faced his psychological battles and learnt to deal with change.

Musical background

Alan’s background is a musical one. He used to work as a record dealer in Newcastle, his hometown, selling second hand vinyl records.

He also had his own record label and was a member of a band for “an exhausting 13 years,” he says, but now he runs a vintage shop which aims to capture the fun and quirkiness of vintage style.

Moving to Cardiff
Alan moved to Cardiff four years ago.

In his thirties, he felt like his personal life wasn’t working out, so when approaching his forties he decided he needed to move somewhere new.

“I started to blame Newcastle for how tough things were getting, but actually it was me”

After a particularly rough day, and being robbed, Alan decided he needed to get away.

He no longer felt settled in Newcastle, he explains: “I started to blame Newcastle for how tough things were getting, but actually it was me.

I needed the change and it’s hard to change when you’re in the same environment.”

Alan feels happier in Cardiff than Newcastle

 

   This need for change summarises Alan’s feeling that often we all struggle   with psychological battles that we have to deal with and support ourselves through.

  After moving to Cardiff, Alan had the opportunity to start again, but was also able to continue doing something he enjoys: reworking and tailoring bespoke and intricate vintage clothing.

 

 

 

 

 

“I feel like Cardiff has a really nice energy”

Alan loves the “creative atmosphere” in Cardiff. He says: “I feel like Cardiff has a really nice energy. People are doing things and there are so many little pockets of creatives.”

Alan’s creative trajectory is firmly rooted in the arts. His vintage and reworked clothing appeals to creative types and performers, he says.

Although Wales is much colder than the North of England, Alan believes the people are quite similar: “We share a lot of history with the mines, and we were both screwed by Thatcher!

There’s a similarity and warmth in people, it made it [moving to Cardiff] a smoother transition than it could have been,” he says.

 

Psychological battles

Through the smooth transition, Alan believes moving to Cardiff was the turning point in his life.

“I felt like I’d rinsed myself dry in Newcastle and didn’t feel like I had anything left creatively to give,” he explains.

But he also admits he felt like he didn’t have a choice.

Psychological battles shaped his motivation to do what he could to make things work out: “I think a lot of life is a psychological battle,” he says, “you learn every day.”

“Change can be really hard, but it’s also really important”

Alan lives by various mantras and believes cliches exist for a reason.

He says we should all do things properly, fight back properly and not be afraid of change.

“Change can be really hard,” he says, “but it’s also really important.”

Alan believes no one should let fear stop them from doing anything and that history never repeats itself. “It’s never the same outcome twice,” he says.

Alan tailors bespoke and quirky vintage clothing in his shop Princes and Paupers

Read More
Cardiff Character: Martha Dunbar
#InPoverty: Is Welsh heritage the answer to Cardiff’s poverty problem?
#InPoverty: Then and now, the link between poverty and prostitution
A shelter in a Calais refugee camp showing the words: where is humanity just tell me where?
#InPoverty: Mental health aftercare for female refugees in the Welsh capital