Cllr Derrick Morgan (Labour)
Cllr Jacqueline Parry (Labour)
Cllr Heather Joyce (Labour) – Temporary Leader of the Labour Group
This is a blogpost which I originally wrote for the Guardian Cardiff blog here http://gu.com/p/2tv33/tw on the eve of the 2010 Llanrumney Festival
The hidden history of Llanrumney
Guest blogger Keith Phillip Jones looks at Llanrumney – its rich history, and current battles to protect it.
Llanrumney, a large suburb in the east of Cardiff, is one of Cardiff’s hidden treasure. A well designed community built amidst the greenery of one of Cardiff’s historic families’ old estates – the people of Llanrumney are currently preparing for its annual festival this weekend. The site of the festival is the Eastern Leisure Centre and the Rumney Recreation Ground situated in the heart of Llanrumney.
Due to the hard work of the Llanrumney Community Forum, chaired by the energetic Linda Bartlett, this year’s Llanrumney Festival will be held over the entire weekend, with everything from face painting, football and baseball tournaments to art competitions and fairground rides.
There is poignancy to add to this year’s celebration, as the festival may be the last held on Llanrumney’s parkland. Cardiff Council plan to seek planning permission to build east Cardiff’s new English medium secondary on part of the Recreation Ground. The controversy has seen the people of Llanrumney and neighbouring Rumney hold their own local community poll on the issue in February 2009 with nine out of ten voters rejecting the council’s proposals.
The sun has shone on Llanrumney, as festival week began with the official opening of the Llanrumney Phoenix Boxing Club, a new community facility opened by executive council member Nigel Howells along with Nathan Cleverly – the European, British and Commonwealth light heavyweight title holder.
A little bit of Llanrumney history
Llanrumney has played an important role in the history of Cardiff and its story covers the Norman Conquest to the present day as a large suburb of modern Cardiff. The most famous family of Llanrumney were the Morgans, a branch of the Morgan family whose ancestral home was Tredegar House in Newport. The Morgan coat-of-arms, dated 1587, sits proudly above a fireplace at Llanrumney Hall still. Five generations of the Morgan family lived here.
The most well known of the Llanrumney Morgans was Sir Henry Morgan who was born at Llanrumney Hall in 1635. Under his naval leadership Panama was captured in 1671 and the famous Elizabethan diarist, John Evelyn, commented on the capture of Panama: “Such an action has not been since the famous Drake.” King Charles II made Henry Morgan the Deputy Governor of Jamaica and awarded him a knighthood. Henry Morgan left one of his properties to his wife and named it Llanrumney. So, today, in the Saint Mary region in the north of Jamaica you will find the populated area of Llanrumney.
Other hidden treasures in Llanrumney
Cardiff Council are themselves aware of the need to protect the historic name of Llanrumney and the exploits of Sir Henry Morgan. In May 2009 they announced the creation of new gardens in Llanrumney dedicated to the memory of Sir Henry Morgan.
Llanrumney is also home to the University of Wales, Cardiff playing fields. The manicured cricket pitches now visible will give way to football and rugby pitches in the winter that witness the cream of Cardiff University’s sporting talent in action.
Llanrumney Hall, a Grade 1 listed building, still sits prominently in Llanrumney. Legend speaks of it as the burial place of the Welsh Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffyd, Llywelyn the Last in 1282. Llywelyn the Last was the last Welsh prince of Wales.
So let the sun shine this weekend as the people of Llanrumney gather at Rumney Recreation Ground, the Roath Park of the East, for a weekend of family fun. So if you want to see how great a place Llanrumney is then come and visit this summer.
Keith Phillip Jones, is a Llanrumney boy through and through. He says: “My maternal Grandparents moved to Llanrumney in 1954, as it was being built, from Canton with their two young children. I live in Llanrumney trying to be the best father I can to my two year old son William.” He is @GreatSociety64 on Twitter.