Each piece of object is filled with Cardiff people’s exclusive life memory, telling the splendid story of this capital city – Cardiff.
Around 110 years ago, It was the time for Cardiff being made of a city; almost 60 years ago, it was the time for it being proclaimed the capital of Wales. In every stage of development, people here in Cardiff create its charm and history.
The exclusive memories of people make up the distinctive story of the city. Cardiff Story museum, hidden in the bustling city center, is telling stories of this capital city.
“We are a museum which tells the history of the city and the county of Cardiff. We start mainly from the time that the coal came down from the valleys and exported. That was a real kind of booming time in the city. So it tells us industrial stories. It tells the stories right until the present day,” said Alison Tallontire, the exhibition officer of Cardiff Story Museum.
Cardiff Story Museum occupies two floors, mainly exhibiting objects donated by people who or whose families has ever tangled with the city. There are 13 theme collections in the museum at the moment, showing people’s memory of this city and depicting diverse aspects of it with people’s personal objects.
“We tell the stories through the voice of people. This is one of my favorite objects，which is a teapot. It’s a souvenir teapot of Cardiff docks,” said Alison.
“The lady who donated it to us, it was her grandmother’s teapot. She immigrated to Canada from Cardiff Dock back in 1927. To afford her ticket, she has to sell all her best china. Just before she embarked on her voyage on the ship, she bought a souvenir as a parting gift. So in Canada, she has the teapot for her mental peace in pride of the place. So two generations later, her granddaughter moved back to Cardiff, bringing the teapot with her and kindly donated it to the museum along with the story and now has been a pride of the place in the museum. ”
This clock is donated by Dennis Pope and the story behind the stopped clock hands can be traced back to last century.
“My father put the clock in, it was there for as long as I can remember, so probably in the late 1930s. When the three days week started you were only allowed to work with electricity at certain times, so the first time that happened, the clock stopped at 5:30, and we left it like that for years,” said Dennis Pope, the donator of this piece of the exhibit.
The stopped clock maps the special period of time when the usage of electricity was limited, while these timeworn surgical instruments even give a glimpse of the medical condition back to 1860s, before the establish of NHS in Wales.
“These surgical instruments belonged to Doctor John Robert Reece who was worked in Cardiff during the 1860s. He would have carried them with him as he visited patients in the local area. There would be not have been much in the way of health care for the ordinary working class family at that time, this was before the NHS and most poorer families would not have been able to afford a doctor,” said Victoria Rogers, one of the Cardiff Story’s curators.
There are hundreds of pieces of objects from people in the museum; these personal objects and exclusive stories are not only the precious heritage for later generations, but the priceless gems shining in the history of Cardiff.
“I’m here to find out my heritage. I was born in Wales, and I come back here to live now. I have retired, I have more time to learn about the history of where I was born,” said David Brinley Jenkins, a visitor of Cardiff Story Museum.
The elderly expressed his affection for Cardiff city and said he was really happy to see and know about the history here. He talked about the connection between his family and Cardiff city and wanted to contribute his own story related to the coal mining history of this city to the museum as well.
Cardiff Story Museum now is attracting more audience from local people to various tourists coming from around the world. Now the museum is preparatory to “The second face of Cardiff” collection. The following exhibition will definitely give people more to expect and explore.