Monday, 30 November 2009

The Culture Show - John Cale

For anyone who missed it, here is the Culture Show's segment on John Cale filmed at the Vulcan.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Bits and Bobs

Hope you all tuned in for the Culture Show's John Cale interview at the Vulcan last Thursday - for those who missed it there was a nice little shout out to the Save the Vulcan campaign at the end.

After seeing the show a couple of people have been in touch. At least one new person has tried to sign the petition, however, after putting in her details she was told she had already registered and voted. Has this oddity happened to anyone else?

We have also had a request for t-shirts and while they do exist, no one actually knows where they are! We will keep you up-to-date but if anyone has found themselves with a surprising amount of large to extra-large Save the Vulcan shirts after a blurry night at the Vulcan then please let us know!

And finally we had a great bit of Vulcan nostalgia courtesy of Doug:

Hi thought I'd share this with you.

I was a dental student in Cardiff in the late 70s.
Occasionally I would go to the Vulcan with my mates for a pint or two or more.

There was an old bloke who was always stood at the bar called "Scratch" [for obvious reasons].

We discovered that Scratch always had a bag with him which contained various sets of false teeth that he had bought in second hand shops. Scratch could probably have visited a dentist and had a set made for nothing in those days but he preferred to pay his way!

At the bar of the Vulcan, Scratch would try the various dentures in varying combinations [for he never knew which bottom went with what top] and ask our opinion on which set we thought best.

Quite honestly, I don't think we had a clue about what made a good denture, but we nevertheless spent many happy hours with Scratch offering our worthless opinions which he received gratefully along with the pint that we would always buy for him.

Save the Vulcan!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

A Bit of Culture at the Vulcan

The Vulcan is set to feature on the BBC's Culture Show at 7pm this Thursday. The team decided it was the perfect backdrop for their interview with Welsh musician John Cale of The Velvet Underground fame.

Look out for some familiar faces in the background!

And to get you in the mood, here is John himself singing Hallelujah.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

A Very Vulcany Halloween

It's a bit late I know but here are a couple of photos from the very successful Halloween night at the Vulcan. I wasn't there but it looks like everyone had a great time!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Cardiff changes but The Vulcan remains - by Graham Craig

Cardiff has seen its fair share of change in the past decade. The Millennium Stadium, the Senedd, the Cardiff Bay Barrage, the Wales Millennium Centre and most recently St David's 2 have all emerged onto the Cardiff landscape. These are all fine examples of architecture and engineering, and all are playing a significant part in the development of Cardiff as a vibrant European capital.

Yet there is a feeling among many Cardiffians that this development has come at too high a price. Huge swathes of the Docklands have been condemned to history in order to build uniform soulless flats and a tacky retail and restaurant quarter by the name of Mermaid Quay. Closer to the city centre the Reformation-savaged ruins of a 13th Century Franciscan friary were demolished in the 1960s to make way for a tower block.

At the heart of the latest battle between developers and Cardiffians sits The Vulcan Hotel. The Vulcan was built in 1853 and has served the people of Cardiff ever since. The glazed tiles to the exterior were added in 1906 while in 1914 significant alterations were made to the interior – the smoke room was removed from the front bar and the unique brown terracotta urinals were installed.

The current d├ęcor came with landlord Brian Smart and wife Liz when they took over in 1993. A ship's wheel and numerous images of ships, the Docks and other local landmarks give The Vulcan a genuine character that chain pubs can only attempt to manufacture.

Despite its history and its popularity The Vulcan has been under threat of demolition for years. Owners Brains Brewery were issued with a Compulsory Purchase Order several years ago as the land was wanted for the St Davids 2 development.

In August 2008 the Save The Vulcan campaign began with the aim of saving this gem from the bulldozers. Support quickly grew with the petition reaching one thousand before Christmas and currently standing at more than six thousand. Famous names were among them: James Dean Bradfield, Lord Kinnock and Rhys Ifans among others. A public meeting drew a crowd of more than one hundred.

But the developer wasn't listening and the closing date remained fixed for late June. Then a text from the landlady: an extension to the lease was on the table. Three more years. Three more years of good beer, three more years of interesting company and, above all, three more years of Cardiff as it was.

The latest news is that the landlady is moving on. Doubt surrounds the developer's next move since the extension was offered to her and to her alone. We have worked so hard and fought so well that to lose The Vulcan now would be devastating.

We need everyone in Cardiff to experience the atmosphere of The Vulcan. On an international day when six women wedge themselves behind the bar to serve beer to hundreds or on a Tuesday lunchtime when the only soul in the place is you. Once you've been there you'll understand the pub's popularity and you'll understand why the campaign has put so much effort into preserving it.

A Vulcan visitor is a Vulcan supporter is a weapon against needless demolition of Cardiff heritage.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Don't Panic!

They're just resurfacing a corner of the car park!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Letter from Greg Mulholland MP‏

We recently received this nice congratulatory letter from Greg Mulholland MP‏, chair of the All Party Save the Pub Group.

Click to enlarge.

We’re still here!

Hello Vulcaneers!

We’re still here!

Just thought we’d keep you up to date with the latest on the campaign. Whilst the pub is safe for the next three years, we’re now working on finding a permanent solution for the pub.

- Good news! The developer has submitted 2 planning applications to the Council to build a multi-storey car park and resurface the existing car park on the Adam Street site. Don’t panic though! The plans show the Vulcan will not be affected, as the building work will happen behind the pub.

- A while ago, we applied to Cadw to get the Vulcan listed, however, we were unsuccessful – this is because the Vulcan did not meet Cadw’s specific listing criteria. This autumn, Cadw are reviewing their listing criteria, so we will be engaging in the process at every level.

- We are always looking for new events to be held at the Vulcan – so if you have any ideas, please get in touch!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Vulcan win celebrated on plinth

From Wales Online today:

THE Save The Vulcan campaign has been taken to Trafalgar Square.

Pub regular Will Downie spent an hour bringing London’s attention to the much-loved Cardiff pub by standing on the empty fourth plinth, part of a nationwide art project by Antony Gormley.

Will, from Pontcanna, wore a “Save the Vulcan” T-shirt throughout his time on the 22ft high plinth – which he had altered to read “We Saved the Vulcan” after it received a reprieve in an 11th hour deal in June.

Read the full article here.

We also get a mention in the Canadian Vulcan Advocate:

The international publicity for Vulcan continues.

Dayna Dickens, Vulcan’s tourism co-ordinator, wrote a letter to a pub in Wales called the Vulcan, which was to be demolished, congratulating the watering hole for being granted a three-year lease.

“On behalf of the town of Vulcan, Alberta, Canada, I would like to extend to you our sincere congratulations for winning a three-year reprieve against the demolition of the Vulcan pub,” said Dickens.

Full article here.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Latest petition info.

The Petitions Committee have given further consideration to petition to save the Vulcan at its meeting on 7 July, where it was agreed to await an outstanding response from the WLGA. The minutes from the meeting are available here.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Welsh Bloggers in the Pub

Thankfully, with the Vulcan safe for the next few years, the first Welsh Bloggers in the Pub event is free to go ahead as planned this Wednesday.

The brain child of the Cynical Dragon, the event aims to give Welsh bloggers the chance to meet up and socialise in the real world, improve relations and promote better communication throughout the Welsh bloggosphere.

For more info visit the Welsh Bloggers site, join the Facebook group, or keep up-to-date via Twitter.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Mark Thomas and a return visit from Vine to the Vulcan

Comedian Mark Thomas performed his new show at the Sherman Theatre this week and was lucky enough to receive his very own Save the Vulcan T-shirt.

For those who haven't seen the show, Mark is putting together a new manifesto, by the people for the people, and has been taking suggestions from audiences around the country. Campaigners Rachel Thomas and Joe Cable put forward the suggestion to Save the Vulcan which was met with a resounding cheer from the audience.

In other news Radio 2's Jeremy Vine has followed up his last visit to the Vulcan and his interview with campaigner Rachel Thomas should go out on tomorrows show.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

No Listing for the Vulcan

Despite the recent success in winning a three year lease for the Vulcan, there is inevitably some bad news. After careful consideration by the Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones, a decision has been made NOT to list the Vulcan. According to the Minster, the pub fails to meet the required listing criteria although he does acknowledge the importance of the Vulcan in Cardiff’s history and the ‘welcome element of diversity’ it brings to its surroundings.

On a positive note, Cadw will begin a review of its principles for the selection of listing this November and you can rest assured that the Petitions Committee are still working hard on the case.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Thank You!

A big THANK YOU needs to go out to everyone who's been involved in the campaign so far and to those of you who came and celebrated the pub's 3 year reprieve last Thursday.

For anyone who missed it, Stu and Bob recorded a short film throughout the night.

The campaign is not over yet and work will be starting very soon to find a permanent solution for the pub. More coming soon...

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

25 June is V-Day!

Photo used with permission from WalesOnline

The Save The Vulcan campaign is holding a celebration event at 8pm on 25 June. We have recently learnt that our hard work and the support of thousands has led to owner and would-be developer Rapport to offer a new three-year lease to The Vulcan. There's still work to do in order to secure the long-term future of this great pub but a small celebration is certainly in order!

Everyone is welcome - see you there!

Monday, 15 June 2009

View Points - Council Leader Rodney Berman

This is a recent letter from Cardiff Council leader Rodney Berman to the Echo's View Points.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I should like to pay tribute to the members of the "Save the Vulcan" campaign group for the hard work they have put in and maintained over a period of many months promoting their cause. I'd also like to thank the Echo for its part in publicising the campaign throughout. Without the efforts of both, it would undoubtedly not have been easy for me and my colleagues on Cardiff Council to persuade all the parties involved – the site's owner Derek Rapport, Brains Brewery, the St David's Partnership and the John Lewis Partnership – to work together to secure a solution.

I am delighted that a new three-year lease for the Vulcan has now been agreed and I sincerely hope all those concerned will now carry on working towards an even longer-term reprieve for the pub.

Thanks to the efforts of all concerned a piece of Cardiff's history will remain in place. This is very much a victory for "people power".

Yours sincerely,

Rodney Berman
Lib Dem Leader of Cardiff Council

Pint of 45: The Vulcan Hotel

Pint of 45 - the users guide to drinking in Cardiff - have just posted a review of the Vulcan which you can read here.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Guest Blogger - Jon Blake

Jon is a local children's author and Vulcan fan. For his latest project, he worked with children from the three primary schools within Adamsdown to write and record a song that celebrates the areas rich history.

You can find out more about the project here and listen to the song, which has been aired on BBC Radio Wales and topped the SoundClick charts here.

As an Adamsdown resident for the past 19 years, I've been grateful to the Vulcan for providing an exact half way reference point on the walk home from Central Station, although I have to admit I went 18 of those years without actually entering the pub.

This was a mistake. The Vulcan's back bar still has the ambience of those sociable old pubs which existed before people knew what ambience meant.

There is another reason why it was essential the pub was saved. Newtown, the appallingly overcrowded area which the pub served, is no more. But a flavour of that area still exists in one remarkable corner of the Vulcan: the gents' toilets.

Now that the Vulcan has been reprieved, at least for now, we should insist that there is no redevelopment of this historical place of relief, and should it ever come to pass that the pub is relocated to St Fagans, we should also insist that no sanitisation takes place, and that the said bog is rebuilt exactly as it now stands, with its unique aroma intact.

I'm not sure if it's technically possible, but it would be nice if MA Rapport could also produce a luxury watch bearing the Vulcan's name, housed in a presentation case which emits a Vulcan-bog vapour when opened.

Well done to all those who have mounted the campaign to save the pub. However, as a socialist I feel the 'Save The Vulcan' slogan never went far enough. I would have much preferred 'Nationalise the Vulcan without compensation under workers' control', although I realise it might have been difficult to win SA Brain to such a slogan, never mind the Lib Dems.

The Vulcan is immortalised in the video to Adamsdown Song at I hope everyone who cares not just about this historic pub but the area in which it stands will check it out.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Drinkers raise a glass to The Vulcan’s future

From Wales Online:

DRINKERS were last night raising their glasses to the news that Cardiff’s historic Vulcan pub is to remain open for at least another three years.

Brains announced yesterday that an 11th-hour deal had been clinched between the brewery and landowner Derek Rapport.

The tiled Victorian drinking spot will not now be turned into a block of flats or knocked down for parking.

Landlady Elizabeth Smart and husband Brian had already been told to pack their bags and be out by June 25.

But now Mrs Smart is planning on staying in the Adamsdown alehouse.

Her husband is planning to semi-retire. The couple have bought a home in Victoria Park, Cardiff.

The 72-year-old said: “I’m really surprised but it came up trumps in the end.

“My wife had the meeting with the brewery today.”

Mr and Mrs Smart told locals last night that the tavern’s doors are to remain open.

He said: “The Western Mail and the South Wales Echo have helped us a lot.”

Read the full article here.

Guest Blogger - Jenny Randerson AM

Jenny is the Assembly Member for Cardiff Central.

As someone who has been a politician for a large part of my life, it is often easy to get set in your ways on campaigns and local issues. The Campaign to save the Vulcan has reminded me that people like me always have more things to learn. The small but exceptionally talented campaign team has shown a phenomenal energy and commitment to this great cause and I have learnt a lot from them.

Representing Cardiff Central over the last ten years has meant I have had to deal with a lot of change, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Overall, the progress and development that the city has made has been hugely beneficial, but the Vulcan’s case has really brought it home to me that there is a very fine line between development and over-development.

New shops, new homes and new businesses are very, very important, but do not have to be at the expense of character. There is no point undertaking development if it turns an area into an identikit model of the next.

The Vulcan is one of the few remaining genuine Cardiff pubs, and if it goes, we will lose a piece of history. Development can, and should take place around it, and this fight will continue. The excellent news of the new lease being signed between the developer and the brewery means that the Vulcan is probably safe for several years, but we need to make sure it is safe for decades to come.

I have been delighted to provide political support to the campaign, along with other politicians from nearly all the political parties, but if and when the Vulcan is saved for the next generation, it will be down solely to the amazing work of a few determined people, and they have my sincere thanks.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Great News!!!

Hi everyone, GOOD NEWS! The Save the Vulcan committee has every reason to believe a new deal is about to be signed, saving the pub for the foreseeable future. This means we won't be out and about on Saturday, but THANK YOU all for planning to come. Providing everything goes to plan, and all the relevant contracts are signed, we'll be contacting you with a CELEBRATION PARTY very soon. Please watch this space. Thanks again for supporting our campaign. We will of course keep you up to date.


I have just been told that a three year lease has been agreed. We still need to ensure the Vulcan's long-term future, but this gives us a couple of years breathing space!

A big THANK YOU needs to go out to everyone who has helped the campaign in any way shape or form!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Guest Blogger - David Raybould

I am pleased present our fith guest blogger, David Raybould. If you are interested in contributing to the blog please get in touch -

Dave is the man behind the great Cynical Dragon blog.

David Raybould - Save the Vulcan, Save Cardiff

First things first, I'd never claim to be a regular at the Vulcan Hotel. In the past year I've popped in a handful of times. As much as I've enjoyed it it's a little out of my way but well worth the visit. I've always loved pubs like the Vulcan. No pretension, no airs and graces and definitely no panini's and latte. Just a pub with beer. Why add clutter to a perfect combination?

I think the plight of the Vulcan (and hopefully its salvation) is indicative of the pub scene as a whole and reflects the progress of developing a new city and the questions about what we keep and what we bulldoze. The pub trade at the moment is struggling against increasingly supermarkets and super pub chains squeezing the smaller more intimate pubs out of the scene. Because of this when re developers come they see to think that old pubs like the Vulcan are expendable. How wrong can they be?

The Vulcan, and many pubs like it, are very important. They are hubs of the community, they are physical representations of local history, they are gathering places, entertainment venues and in some cases rallying points for causes and charities. There are some people who think the pubs are the chrome clad monsters of the city centre bar scene and seem indifferent to what a pub can really offer people. These I suppose are the same people who see a couple of extra car parking spaces as more important than a historic pub.

One of the things that endeared me to the Vulcan was that it made memories flood back of how pubs were when I grew up. The kind of pubs that were there for one reason, giving people a chance to sit down (or stand depending on your preference) and have a drink. The kind of pubs where you knew every one's name and the barman knew exactly what you wanted to drink and when to start pouring it. The kind of pub where the 'food' option was a couple of sandwiches or rolls in cling film. This maybe my personal romantic view of pubs of a certain era but surely that's what this is about. If you can't wax lyrical about something you love then you don't really love it.

Critics of the campaign have pointed out that Cardiff needs to developed, moved on and that the Vulcan may be just a pub and not of historical importance. Maybe so, that's their opinion. I personally believe that we're ripping too much out of the heart out of the 'old Cardiff', that if you look around at what they've built in the vicinity of the Vulcan to see where they're going. They want concrete boxes, corporate offices and branded stores. That's not a community, that's not evolution, that's a death sentence for the spirit, independence and colour of a once vibrant community.

Save the Vulcan, Save Cardiff.

Dave is also responsible for starting Welsh Bloggers, a place for discussing and debate about the state of the Welsh bloggosphere. The first meetign is set for the 5th July at the Vulcan, let's just hope it is still standing...

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Campaigners celebrate pub's 11th-hour reprieve

From the Wales Online website:

CARDIFF’S historic Vulcan pub could be given an 11th-hour reprieve, the Echo can reveal today.

The owner of the land on which the tiled 1853 drinking spot sits, city businessman Derek Rapport, is negotiating a new lease with brewer Brains to keep the pub open.

The news of the last-minute deal comes just weeks before the much-loved Adamsdown alehouse had been ordered to close its doors on June 25.

It is understood that talks between the two parties are well advanced.

It is thought the obstacles to agreeing the deal have now been resolved following meetings between the St David’s partnership, John Lewis and Mr Rapport that were led by Cardiff council leader Rodney Berman.

New plans for the entire Adam Street site on which the Vulcan is one of the only remaining buildings could be revealed later this year if the negotiations are successful.

The parties involved were remaining tight-lipped yesterday but confirmed that discussions were taking place.

A spokesman said: “The landlord’s agent confirms that the land owner and Brains are working together to ensure that the Vulcan stays open after June. This will be done by agreeing a new lease.”

Neither Brains nor Mr Rapport were available for comment yesterday and there has been no confirmation of whether the new lease would provide a long-term future for the pub.

The full article here.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Save the Vulcan - day of ACTION

It's time for action now.

Meet 12 noon, this Sat at the Hayes Island Snack Bar, CF10.

Bring placards, save the Vulcan t-shirts, and everyone you know.

There should be a press photo at about 12.15pm - so please be prompt.

We'll be spreading the word about the Vulcan - moving off from the Hayes at about 12.20, heading down Queen Street, then down Churchill Way, ending up at the Beer Festival at the CIA.

For info or directions, call David on 07841366144.

Petitions Committee Meeting Tomorrow

A quick reminder that the Petitions Committee are meeting tomorrow and you can watch proceedings live on Senedd TV.

In other news, campaigner Rachel Thomas has been invited to Parliament tomorrow to address the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group headed by Greg Mulholland MP. She will be discussing effective tactics for saving local pubs - I think a blog is certainly a good start...

Saturday, 6 June 2009

RE Petitions Committee News

Reposting comment from Bethan Jenkins AM here as I'm not sure how many people get as far as the comments...

yes we will be discussing it in committee on Tuesday. If anyone has anything to add/ any questions they think we should ask then please email me on

Guest Blogger - Arfur Daley

I am pleased present our fourth guest blogger, Arfur Daley. If you are interested in contributing to the blog please get in touch -

Arfur is the owner, editor and writer of the Brew Wales blog, the number one source for news on beer, brewing, pubs,cider and perry in Wales. He is also a CAMRA member, Vulcan regular and journalist - his review of the Vulcan for the South Wales Echo can be read here.

Arfur Daley - The Vulcan

Although I grew up in Newport, I hardly used to go to drink in Cardiff pubs. I never really liked the Newport pubs as I disliked the taste of the local beer, Ansells Best (sic). It was only after living in London that I discovered what good beer was. A chat with some members of Cardiff CAMRA told me that the one pub to visit in Cardiff was the Vulcan. Now this is about 18 years ago, when the Albert, the Brains Brewery tap and now transformed into the Yard was, well, a spit 'n' sawdust pub where they regularly ran out of sawdust, the Golden Cross had not yet diversified into the colourful bar it is today and the Vulcan was, well the Vulcan.

Standing on Adam Street, I can remember admiring the glazed tilled frontage of the Vulcan and pushing the door open to reveal the smoky, hazy atmosphere of the pub. Odd that as a non-smoker myself that I would ever miss that experience but the smell of beer and fags is an unforgettable aroma that always reminds me of what is perhaps the first time I ever went into a pub, over 30 years ago for a family wedding reception. Back to the Vulcan, there was fresh sawdust on the floor and one of the best pints of Brains Dark I had ever drunk was imbibed on that occasion. I would not say that I became a regular after that, but would occasionally pop in every now and then when in Cardiff. One day when I popped in, the beer was 10p a pint, Brian having won a barrel from Brains had decided to sell it to customers at a very cheap price rather than pocket the profit! The Vulcan only ever did two real ales, Bitter and Dark, and for years I only ever drank the Dark in there.

Even then there were murmurings that the pub was to be demolished in a redevelopment. I do remember coming back from West Wales one Sunday and popping in the Vulcan for a few jars before heading back to Newport, only for the Sunday Licensing hours (you had to shut at 3 in those days) to be extended for a very amusing afternoon. Must really get there on Sunday again as Dom says they are quite lively.

The local CAMRA branch used to regularly use the back room for meetings, as pubs with good beer and meeting rooms were always in short supply. Always happy to serve us, Brian and Liz made sure that sandwiches were there to help wash down the beer! Another feature used to be in the days when the Vulcan did food and the pub became a regular lunchtime venue for CAMRA members setting up the Cardiff Beer Festival (now the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival, CIA) in nearby Splott. The mixed grill was a perennial favourite, the price was very reasonable and it came with a separate bowl of chips! A few years ago I used to run a nearby pub, the Purple Dragon, now the Big Sleep Hotel, and would quite often pop into the Vulcan for a bite to eat!

Once I was given tickets to see a new Star Wars film and popped into the Vulcan for what I thought would be a quite Saturday pint. How wrong I was, the pub was packed with Rugby league supporters as the final was being played in the Millennium Stadium. What an afternoon! Singing and beer and more beer and singing. The supporters, from Leeds or Leicester I think, had phoned up the pub in advance asking if they could fill it. Of course Mein Hosts said yes and the pub was packed. Brian spent most of the day in the cellar changing barrels, as it’s safer and easier than having to open the trap door behind the bar every time a barrel runs dry.

I even enjoy the “Guinness is Good for You” logo on the side of the pub, possibly dating from the late 1920s. Nowadays a slogan promoting alcohol in this way is banned, but it does sort of fit in with the atmosphere of this wonderful Cardiff boozer.

Some 10 years ago CADW were contacted and were asked to protect the pub through statutory listing. They decided not to, citing that the nearby Golden Cross had better tile work than the Vulcan, completely missing the point that the Vulcan is worthy of saving for many reasons. One point that is personal to me is when I read about the Irish community of Adamstown. My family originally came from Ireland in the 1820s and although we settled in Newport not Cardiff, we soon became involved in the pub trade. Very few of the Newport pubs my ancestors ran still survive, for instance, the Irishman's Arms in Mellon Street closed in 1922, with my Great Grandmother Julia Daley being the last licensee. The Vulcan is the last pub left of the now demolished Adamstown community and should be preserved for it. Who cares if the pub was remodelled in the 1900s or that the interior was altered in the 1950s? That is not important. What is important is that the Vulcan is a link with the past; a connection we can all have with the foundries and the workers that used to dominate this area, just by visiting the pub for a pint. The Vulcan is not just a part of history, it is history and it deserves to be saved.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Petitions Committee News

Officials from Cardiff Council have confirmed today that they will be attending the Petitions Committee's next meeting on 9 June to give evidence on the Council's local listing powers.

The papers for the meeting should be available here.

It will also be screened live on Senedd TV.

Of course you could there is also the old fashioned option of actually going and watching from the public gallery...

Guest Blog - Save The Vulcan, save the ‘diff.

This letter was recently sent to the press and posted on the Facebook group. It's really good so I'm going to appropriate it for today's guest blog.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I recently wrote a letter to you about The Vulcan’s imminent closure expressing how important it is to preserve our city’s individuality. I hope that it was printed it but cannot be sure as I write from 12,000 miles away in New Zealand. The distance, however, doesn’t lessen the disappointment that an authentic piece of Cardiff’s character is about to be erased. That when I return to my home city in two years time a piece of heritage and history will have been destroyed.

To me it just smacks of the most incredible short sightedness. Places like The Vulcan and all our other gems of places like Spillers, the old arcades, Hayes Island Snack bar make Cardiff what it is. Take them away and replace with car parks, chain shops, chain pubs, “luxury” apartments and what have you got? A legacy of bland that’s what. A city with no character or soul. A place that isn’t that interesting to visit because it’s as dull as the next homogenised city centre. I appreciate that all the above are not under threat but with each special Cardiff place taken away so the clouds of boring soullessness begin to loom. It’s essential we look after these places.

Now, if The Vulcan’s demolition was to free up space for something of benefit and significance to the city like say, a new school, children’s hospital, guide dog training centre, Cardiff branch of the Guggenheim or whatever it would be sad to see The Vulcan go, but understandable. But no, this slice Cardiff heritage whose very name is a nod to Cardiff’s proud steel past is going to demolished and be replaced with a car park! Wow, there’s enriching for us!

Cardiff is evolving, but it needs to be preserving too. It’s completely incomprehensible to me that developers and the city planners who allow development to go ahead are so ready to weaken Cardiff’s authenticity, especially when it’s a recession and The Vulcan is a thriving business. Come on, Mr Rapport, St David’s 2 and Cardiff City Council; you have an opportunity to take some responsibility!

Save The Vulcan, save the ‘diff.


Thursday, 4 June 2009

Guest Blog - Dom Stocqueler

After a bit of a gap I am pleased present our second guest blogger, Dom Stocqueler. If you are interested in contributing to the blog please get in touch -

Dom is the editor of the great Welsh Icons website, keen photographer, blogger and Vulcan regular.

Dom Stocqueler - My Vulcan

Well when I say my Vulcan, I'm not doing so in a proprietorial way. I'm just trying to explain what the Vulcan means to me.

When Chris asked me to write this guest article I was delighted and got to thinking about what pubs in general, and the Vulcan in particular mean to me.

Having had a typical middle class 1960's/70's upbringing, pubs have always held a certain fascination for me. As a child we used to holiday in Devon and on the drive back from the beach to our rented cottage we would stop off at one of the numerous country pubs. My sister and I would be placed in the beer garden (even in the rain) while one of our parents would go inside to get us a bottle of pop and a packet of crisps each (halcyon days). On occasions we would need to use the lavatory and would be escorted inside, normally via the rear entrance to use the facilities and would see glimpses of the magical, mysterious world that was the pub.

Today, I cannot pass a pub without wondering what it is like inside. So it was with the Vulcan. Past Cardiff prison, with its walls looking much higher as they appear to me now I would walk past the Vulcan as a child, sometimes the door was open and I'd peer inside, peering through the blue fug of pipe and cigarette smoke to see a room full of happy people.

I suppose it must have been around 1983 that I first ventured into the Vulcan. I wasn't impressed. I was young and gauche and having been an underage drinker at some of Cardiff's newer watering holes (well the Three Brewers was just opposite my school) I wanted modernity - well it was the early 80's.

I then went to live in London for 20 years and it was while I was there that I discovered the joys of the real pub. Working in Soho and the City there was always a hidden gem tucked away up a side street away from the tourists. The Mitre in Holborn and of course the French House and the Nelly Dean in Soho spring to mind and I'm still sworn to secrecy about some of the Smithfield Market pubs where you can get a beer at 5am in the morning.

Returning to Cardiff in 2005 I found that most of the pubs not to my London acquired unsophisticated tastes. I don't like neon lights, loud music and laminate flooring in pubs and hate with a vengeance the identikit chain pubs that seem to have sprung up everywhere offering cheap lager and bland food - no names, no pack drill but I'm sure you know who I'm talking about. So it was I rediscovered the Vulcan.

I was taken there by two friends who were regulars. It was love at second sight. I returned alone a few days later to be greeted by the landlady who remembered my name and what I drank - What more could you ask for?

I have returned many times since and made many firm friends, not the 'hail fellow well met' people you would expect to find in any local's bar but a real cross-section of local residents and workers. From lecturers and students in the Atrium across the road, to retired steelworkers from the Eastmoors works.

In fact, I was in the Vulcan yesterday. I had to sign on, always a humiliating experience however hard the staff at the Job Centre try, and I always make sure I keep enough money back to buy a half in the Vulcan on my walk back home. As always I was greeted with a warm welcome and chatted with a few of my old mates. Refreshed physically and mentally I walked home.

I cannot comment on the politics behind the proposed closure of the Vulcan but I know Mr Rapport comes from an old and respected Cardiff family who have done much for Cardiff over the years and I trust he will do the right thing.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Carne Park Hotel visit to the Vulcan this Saturday

The lovely regulars over at the Carne Park Hotel, Abercynon, have kindly raised a petition in support of the Vulcan and will be handing it over in person this Saturday whilst enjoying a few pints. I'm sure anyone who wishes to join them will be more then welcome. They have a great website, well worth having look.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Another ray of hope for The Vulcan

From Wales Online:

A DEAL to safeguard the Vulcan pub from demolition could soon be on the table.

Cardiff council leader Rodney Berman revealed he is hopeful an agreement will be signed in the next three weeks to give the historic tavern a reprieve.

The council was “near to getting something finalised” with the Adamsdown alehouse’s owner, Derek Rapport, Councillor Berman said.

As reported in the Echo on Saturday, Brian Smart – the landlord of the tiled Victorian drinking spot – has been told he has to be out of the building by June 25.

Coun Berman said: “Time is now of the essence. I am hoping that we can get this announced as soon as possible.

“We have had positive talks leaving us with the clear impression that the pub’s lease can be extended. I have had no reason to believe that I’ve been hoodwinked but obviously until you see something in writing, you cannot say for definite.”

He added: “I have asked council officers to again make contact with all the parties involved in those discussions to see if we can now progress them to a satisfactory conclusion.

“As far as the council is concerned, I know that we are doing all that we can but we need to move on now to reaching a firm agreement.”

Full article here.

Also a link here to a Wales Online interview with Conservative Health Secretary Ken Clarke when he visited the Vulcan earlier in the year.

Brew Wales: Curse of Jonah hits the Vulcan

New post about the Vulcan over at Brew Wales.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Closing time for the Vulcan

From the WalesOnline website and the front page of today's Echo:

THE historic Vulcan pub has been ordered to shut its doors by June 25.

Campaigners had hoped site owner Derek Rapport would extend the brewery’s lease on the 19th-century pub and keep it open.

But Brian Smart, who runs the Adamsdown alehouse with his wife Elizabeth, warned it would soon be last orders at the bar.

Yesterday the 71-year-old said: “Unless something happens then the last beers will be served.

“We have been expecting it for a year or more, that was the date from the start, but we thought there might be, say, another six months or another couple of months on top, but that never happened. I phoned up the brewery today and they said the 25th.”

After that the building’s future is in the hands of Mr Rapport.

Full story here.

Needless to say this is very depressing news. I can't pretend to be a regular at the Vulcan, I don't even drink there that often (although I always have a great time when I do). It is just sad to think that another piece of Cardiff's rich history is being sacrificed for more parking spaces/shops/chain restaurants or what ever the developers wisely decide to build in its place.

Stay tuned for more news on June 13th's day of action.


Friday, 29 May 2009

Save the Vulcan - Day of Action

Date: 13 June 2009
Time: 12:00 - 15:00
Location: Vulcan, Cardiff

It's time for action now.

Please hold this date in your diary, and once we've confirmed details we'll send info.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Vulcan retreat urged

From the WalesOnline website:

THE architect behind the £106m Wales Millennium Centre says The Vulcan pub could easily be saved.

Jonathan Adams has insisted there is no reason for the Victorian bar to be knocked down next month so more flats can be built in the capital.

Mr Adams, who works at Capita Percy Thomas, in Cardiff’s Newport Road, said: “There are plenty of examples of buildings that were deemed worthy of being protected being incorporated into the plans of new developments.

“Howells, the department store, is built on top of an old church. If you go in the shoe department on the ground floor you’ll find you are in the middle of an old chapel.”

Read the full article here.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Guest Blogger - Joseph Conaghan

Today we have our first guest blog, kindly written by Joseph Conaghan. You can visit his blog here.

Save the Vulcan Pub

As soon as Kevin Dwyer (our branch internet expert) mentioned the Vulcan was in jeopardy he mobilised vast numbers of Ambulance signatures on the online peteition/Facebook/ letters to the editor etc to save this overlooked pub with a huge history that has always just been there (Adam St,Cardiff).

Well none other than Jeremy Vine popped in to pull a pint and chat with regulars to find out it’s fate and broadcasted the findings on his Radio 2 lunchtime show from Cardiff last week. It was pleasing to hear that Media students from the recently built Atrium faculty of the University of Glamorgan across the road have made the place their own and numbers of supporters are growing daily.

From an Ambulance 999 call point of view in my 20 odd year on the road answering shouts perspective (and I’ve checked with other colleagues) the main memory 999 wise from us is……NONE ……we never went there!

Even though it was on the route to or home from the actual city centre, there never seemed to be any trouble, fighting, incidents of any kind that stick in anyone’s mind. Remarkable really, maybe we should have our next Branch meeting there.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Literary Shindig Write Up

A brief write up of last night's literary shindig (a phrase that's catching on...) on the WalesOnline website.

Plenty of photos of the event courtesy of Dom Stocqueler here.

Save The Vulcan – the search for Spock

From the WalesOnline website:

ENTERPRISING Vulcan pub campaigners are boldly going where no drinkers have gone before by calling on Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy to save their bar.

More than 100 people have signed a letter to the 78-year-old Mr Spock star asking him to beam the pub from the clutches of developers who want to knock down the Victorian building next month and replace it with a car park as part of the St David’s 2 development.

The Echo has also made several attempts to reach Mr Nimoy. A letter has also been sent to Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the new Star Trek film.

Each reads: “If you would put your name to our campaign it might help save our beloved bar. Please help!”

The full article here.

Keeping with the Star Trek theme, here are a couple of photos from the recent Bar Trek event:

Bar Trekkers

Wrong night?

The winner

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Literary Shindig

A quick reminder that the second literary evening to be held at the Vulcan kicks off tonight at 19:30.

The first one was really successful - in fact it was standing room only so get there early to get a seat!

Writers already confirmed:
Peter Finch
John Williams
Charlotte Greig
Ifor Thomas

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Vulcan Memories

Students from the University of Glamorgan are hosting a performance of verbatim theatre this Friday based on people's memories of the Vulcan.

All are welcome:

Date: 15 May 2009
Time: 16:00 - 17:00
Location: ATRiuM Theatre, Adam Street, Cardiff

Pub of the Year - photos

As promised here are a couple of photos from the Pub of the Year presentation.

Landlady Liz Smart being presented with the Pub of the Year Award by Camra Social Secretary John Lamb

Cardiff Camra members enjoying a pint

Photos by Dom Stocqueler.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

More Vine at the Vulcan

Thanks to everyone who phoned in to the Jeremy Vine show with messages of support - we are already getting comments on the blog from listeners which is brilliant. One thing wasn't mentioned though - the Vulcan is actually situated on the edge of a huge car park! It makes its demolition to build yet more parking spaces seem all the more pointless...

If you missed the show you can listen to an extract here.

Here's a recent photo that shows the pub and its surroundings in a bit more context:

And a few more pics from Jeremy's visit to the Vulcan:

Jeremy Vine interviewing Rachel Thomas.

Interviewing the regulars.

Pulling a pint.

You can get your Save the Vulcan T-shirt behind the bar at the Vulcan or here.

The Vulcan was also awarded Pub of the Year by Camra yesterday - photos coming soon.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Radio 2 and the Pub of the Year

Great couple of hours at the Vulcan tonight - it was good to finally put names to faces. Jeremy Vine and his team were really nice and the Vulcan piece should be on at 1pm tomorrow, you can listen online here. I have to admit to getting a little star struck - as a student who formerly worked nights, the Jeremy Vine show, 12 - 2, has been a highlight of the day for some time. I can also add him to the list of Egg Head presenters I have seen in real life (2 out of 2 - not bad).

Jeremy Vine and landlady Liz Smart

Also thanks to Camra who presented the Vulcan with their Pub of the Year award - more photos from tonight to follow.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Jeremy Vine at the Vulcan

A message from Rachel:

Hi guys,

The Jeremy Vine show (Radio 2) is being broadcast from Cardiff on Tuesday, so on Monday the Jeremy Vine team are coming to the Vulcan to pre-record some interviews. Feel free to come along :)

Jeremy Vine and team will be in the Vulcan from about 7pm on Monday.

Also on Monday, CAMRA will be presenting the pub with the pub of the year award :) I think they'll be there around 8pm.

Thanks for your continued support for the campaign :)

Rach x

On a seperate note I was kindly asked to write a guest blog for the Welsh Bloggers site which can be read here.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Pub of the Year!

The Vulcan has been named Pub of the Year by Members of the Cardiff branch of the Campaign for Real Ale!

From WalesOnline:

Branch social secretary John Lamb said the city centre pub was consistently the best in Cardiff.

He said:

“To win the award the pub has to have maintained an excellent standard, judged by a number of visits by members.

“Not only does the quality of the pint have to be very high, we also judge the quality of the atmosphere, service and other aspects.

“The Vulcan is a pub that is well loved by all our members.”

Read the full article here.

This is actually the second time the Vulcan has won the title, previously picking it up in 1997.

There will be an official award ceremony on Monday - more details on this when available.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Guest Blogs

It would be great to get some guest bloggers writing for the site about why they want to save the Vulcan. Is anyone up to the task? -

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Up and Coming Events

Bar Trek

First and foremost don't forget Bar Trek this Friday from 8pm. Save the Vulcan T-Shirts and 'Spock ears' will be on sale throughout the night with a chance of winning a life size replica of the Vulcan himself (or half Vulcan as I am now informed).

The Monte Dons

The Monte Dons gig on May 11th has been postponed - check their website for further announcements.

Save the Vulcan Literary Shindig

After the success of the first literary evening at the Vulcan (standing room only - I had to listen to Des Barry from the corridor) it is time for another. The next event will be on Thursday, May 14th and confirmed guests include Peter Finch,
John Williams and Charlotte Greig. More details to follow.

Welsh Bloggers in the Pub

It has now been announced that the first Welsh Bloggers in the Pub event will be held at the Vulcan on Wednesday the 15th July. This is a great chance for Welsh bloggers to meet up, socialise, have a couple of drinks and generally get to know each other better. More details here.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Something for the Weekend

Welsh Bloggers who voted us their Welsh Blog of the week this week officially launches a new blog today. They have proposed holding the first 'Welsh Bloggers in the Pub' event, a meeting of bloggers from all over Wales, at the Vulcan which is great news - more on this nearer the time.

Bar Trek Prize

The prize for the best costume at next weeks Bar Trek (Friday My 8th)has been revealed - a life size get up of Mr Spock. Drink long and prosper!


We are slowly but surely building a following on Twitter (84 followers at last count). If you want to follow us you can do so here.

Orion IV

As part of my attempt to bring the best Facebook photos on to the blog here are some taken by Dom Stocqueler of last months Orion IV gig at the Vulcan (more of Dom's great photos of the Vulcan can be found here). The music is a short sample from their new album, String Quartets by Haydn and Dvorak, available from their website.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Welsh Blog of the Week!

Great news - the blog has been voted Welsh Blog of the Week on the Welsh Bloggers blog (too many blogs...).

Photos - Literary Evening

A bit late but here are a couple of photos from the literary evening held at the Vulcan last month. If you have any more please get in touch -

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Photos - Nick Clegg

Here are a couple of photos from Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg's recent visit to the Vulcan.

Landlady Liz Smart shows Nick Clegg how to pull a pint.

Pints pulled by Clegg himself.

Nick Clegg being interviewed by Cardiff Uni's student newspaper Gair Rhydd.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Cadw Application Now Available to View

The application to Cadw which was submitted in March can now be viewed online here, with a fixed link on the side-bar.

The appendices referenced haven't been uploaded as there are about thirty of them but if you are interested in viewing these please get in touch -

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Monty Dons at the Vulcan 11/05/09

The Monty Dons will be playing live at the Vulcan on Monday 11th.

Band member Alan Davies said:

We support the pub and will do all we can to stop the closure

Conference Photos

After putting out a request for photos I have been alerted to the fact that loads of great photos have been uploaded to the Save the Vulcan Facebook group.

Now, there are plenty of people who avoid Facebook like the plague so I will start to upload them here for all to see - kicking off with photos from the recent Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democrat conferences.

Dave Wilton manning the stall at the Plaid Cymru conference.

The leader of Cardiff Council Rodney Berman with campaigners Graham Craig and Joe Cable.

Graham and Joe with Lembit Opik.

Cadw Application

Here is a summary of the recent application to Cadw - a link to the full application to follow.

Professor Dai Smith says:

“This building, fully functioning, is one of the few such remaining to signal the mix of Industry and Popular Culture that has been at the heart of modern Cardiff's identity, and particularly that working-class presence which from Butetown to Newtown has been systematically destroyed with no protection offered either its communal or architectural heritage.”

There are three sections to the Cadw application:-

The Vulcan was built in 1853, and its frontage and layout make a fine example of a traditional small Victorian urban pub – now a rare sight in Cardiff. The pub’s glazed tiled frontage dates from 1901, and the cast glazed terracotta urinals dating from 1914. The following have all written in support of listing The Vulcan:- The National Trust, The Victorian Society, SAVE Britain’s Heritage, Cardiff Civic Society, and Jonathan Adams (the architect of the Millennium Centre).

The Vulcan is home to a group of respected and acclaimed authors. Cardiff author John Williams organizes regular get-togethers for writers at The Vulcan as it offers inspiration and is an ideal place for the group to share ideas. Members of the group include:- John Williams, Rachel Trezise, Peter Finch, and Des Barry. The Vulcan has also been a long-time favourite drinking spot of Manic Street Preachers front man James Dean Bradfield, and during the 1960’s the pub was frequented by Cardiff band ‘The Hennessys’. The Vulcan has also been used as a location for a film about Howard Marks, called ‘Mr Nice’. The film will showcase The Vulcan and South Wales around the world. BAFTA winning Rhys Ifans who stars in the movie has signed the petition to save the pub.

The Vulcan is of remarkable social significance as it is the sole remaining building with any link to Newtown, the area of Cardiff colonized by Irish immigrants escaping the Great Famine in the 1840s and 1850s. The Vulcan housed Irish labourers during the construction and development of Cardiff Docks.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Your Photos

Here are some photos of the Vulcan but the best, most meaningful photos are taken on the spur of the moment. If you have some good photos to share of your time at the Vulcan please get in touch -

Monday, 20 April 2009

Bar Trek - Ideas!

Those of you stuck for ideas for the up and coming Bar Trek might want check out this link.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Nick Clegg Joins the Fight!

From the BBC:

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg took time out from his conference visit to visit a threatened Victorian pub.

The Vulcan Hotel in Adamsdown, Cardiff, is set to make way for a multi-storey car park, retail units and apartments.

Campaigners have called for heritage body Cadw to list the building and sent a 5,000-name petition to the assembly.

Mr Clegg said: "It's an important part of Cardiff's history, and with its tiled frontage and original features, it is an asset to the city centre."

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Bar Trek

To celebrate the release of the new Star Trek movie we're holding a Star Trek fancy dress party at The Vulcan!

There'll be a cracking prize for the best fancy dress outfit!

Save the Vulcan t-shirts will of course be on sale too!

Spread the word!

Date: 08 May 2009
Time: 20:00 - 23:00
Location: The Vulcan Hotel
Street: Adam Street
Town/City: Cardiff, United Kingdom

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Template email and who to send it to...


A new three year lease has been agreed for the Vulcan, so no need to write in for the time being.


Here is the template letter taken from the R.A.T.S website:

Dear Sir,

The Vulcan, one of Cardiff's oldest and most well-loved pubs, is under threat of demolition because of the original St Davids 2 Masterplan and the commitment to provide 500 parking spaces on the Adam Street site.

I understand that St Davids 2 representatives attended a meeting last week with developer Derek Rapport, the local AM and MP, the Heritage Minister and others.

I also understand that a potential line of action is for the local developer and now owner of The Vulcan Derek Rapport, to propose a reduced number of parking spaces (the existing 450) on the Adam Street site.

In order for this to be successful and save The Vulcan, St Davids 2 and the John Lewis Partnership must agree to it. I am therefore writing to urge you to agree with the proposals for fewer parking spaces on the Adam Street site.

This will let The Vulcan survive and flourish where it has been for 156 years - at the heart of Cardiff.

St Davids 2 cannot and must not sacrifice over 150 years of local history for a mere 50 parking spaces.

5000 people signed our petition to save The Vulcan, around 150 people attended a public meeting on the issue in February, and we have the support of one third of all Assembly Members, plus the leader and deputy leader of Cardiff Council.

Please tell me that you will accept 50 fewer parking spaces on the Adam Street site and thereby save The Vulcan for future generations to enjoy.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

And here is who to send it to: (St Davids 2, was at the meeting of bigwigs) (St Davids 2, MD of Retail) (St Davids 2 Project Director) (St Davids 2 Project Manager) (St Davids 2 Deputy Project Director)

You can also write to the Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones, urging him to list the building - (he has powers independent of CADW to list things).

His contact details are:


And a couple of media contacts:

The Western Mail (

The South Wales Echo (

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Family Heritage

A great comment left by Dave the Brewer today that I think deserves bumping up to the top of the blog:

My grandparents ran this pub in the early 1950's...please don't destroy the pub my Mum left to give birth to me in 1952!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Jenny Willott MP on the Vulcan

Glamorgan student Katy Blake asked Jenny Willott MP why she thinks saving the Vulcan is important:

Used with permission of

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Save the Vulcan on Twitter

You can now follow the campaign on Twitter - should you want to...


After running it by the team I decided to include some Google advertising on the blog with the hope of possibly raising a little money for the campaign. What do you think about this? Are the ads appropriate/tasteful? If you have any thoughts/concerns please get in touch.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Pub of the Month!

The Vulcan has the honour of being voted the Pub of the Month for the second month running by the Real Ale Tasting Society - R.A.T.S.

They also have a brilliant page dedicated to the Vulcan on their website with an extensive collection of contact details of people to write to, as well as an excellent, ready to send email - just add your name and it's good to go.

There are also some nice photos of the demonstration at the Senedd back in February on their homepage.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Orion IV

On Monday 16th March drinkers at the Vulcan were treated to an evening of live music by Cardiff based string quartet Orion IV. They played an eclectic mix of music spanning the years from when the pub was built in 1853 to the present day.

Glamorgan University student Nick Jones went along to find out more.

Audio used with permission of

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Plaid Conference

A message from Rachel:

Hi guys,

We have a Save the Vulcan stall at Plaid's conference this Friday and Saturday.

If you can help out manning the stall, handing out leaflets etc, that'd be grand - please get in touch. Even a couple of hours help would be fantastic!The conference is Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th April at UWIC Llandaff. For a map click here.

This will be a great opportunity to raise the profile of the campaign and lobby some politicians about our cause.

For info please email us.


Welsh Wanders

Guardian Travel in partnership with Visit Wales recently visited the Vulcan as part of their Welsh Wanders series.

From the website:

John Williams, author and founder of the Laugharne festival, and award-winning author Rachel Trezise discuss Welsh literary heritage in Cardiff's threatened Vulcan pub - which has a great literary tradition itself.

See the slide show and listen to John and Rachel discuss literature and the Vulcan here.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Text the Vulcan this Friday

This Friday Cardiff based artist Glenn Davidson from Artstation will be giving people the chance to text the Vulcan!

Between 7:30-9:30 you can 'converse with the city via text message' and have your text messages and images projected directly onto the Vulcan's facade.

Have a look at the test he carried out last week and if you are interested get in touch. For more information visit the project blog.

You can text the Vulcan on - 07740173164

Save the Vulcan Audio Documentary

Here is a short audio documentary about the campaign to save the Vulcan by Glamorgan University student Nick Jones.

Glamorgan students are regular users of the pub and have covered the campaign in some detail during a recent project on Adamsdown and the surrounding area. Their website can be found here with a special page for the Vulcan here.

Wales Online Interview

Various members of the team have been interviewed by the press during the course of the campaign and I hope to archive and link to as much of it as I can on this website.

For now here is campaigner Graham Craig interviewed at the end of last year by Wales Online's Gavin O'Connor.

Future of the Left

Right, lets kick things off with this great video from Future of the Left - The Hope That House Built - filmed in the Vulcan!


Hello - my name is Chris Latham, I am a student at Glamorgan University(based over the road from the Vulcan in the Atrium)and I have kindly been allowed by the team behind the campaign to come on board and help out with this blog.

Over the next few weeks I hope to bring it up to date and collate and link to the wealth of articles and information that have been produced about the campaign. I will do my best but if there is anything you would like to see please email us at

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Peter Finch – the Chief Executive of Academi, Cardiff historian and writer John Williams, writer Des Barry and musician Heather Jones will be playing a benefit gig to help save The Vulcan.

On Thursday 12th March at 7.30pm, these creative forces will join together to provide a night of literary magic and musical merriment in one of Cardiff’s oldest pubs – The Vulcan Hotel. All are welcome to attend.

The Vulcan Hotel in Adamsdown, Cardiff is due to be demolished this June to make way for a multi-storey car park. Campaigners are working night and day to ensure The Vulcan thrives for future generations.

Local campaigner Joe Cable says, “I’m glad these high profile writers hold The Vulcan in such high esteem, and are giving up their time to fight for such an important cause. It’s not just the locals that care”.

Campaigner Rachel Thomas added, “I’m thrilled that these talented individuals will be sharing their work in one of Cardiff’s oldest pubs. This is history in the making”.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Save the Vulcan t-shirts!

Behind the scenes we’re working very hard to do everything we possibly can to Save our beloved Vulcan.

We now have t-shirts!

We have very limited numbers at the moment, so if you want one, please order it now!

If you want one,
• Send a cheque for 12 made payable to “Save the Vulcan”
• Send your cheque, and the details below to: David Wilton, 2 Pembroke Terrace, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 1DE.
• Please write your name, address and email address on the back of the cheque.
• When ordering a t-shirt, you MUST include:
o Your name
o Your address
o Your telephone number
o Your email address
o The t-shirt size you require – S / M / L / XL

Or, please visit The Vulcan and buy one from behind the bar for 10. T-shirts should be ready in the pub for Wales v. England on 14th Feb 2009.

St Davids 2 and their role in The Vulcan Hotel

As readers of this blog will be aware, The Vulcan Hotel came under threat due to a Compulsory Purchase Order made by the Welsh Development Agency on behalf of the St David's 2 (Land Securities). Although the order was not activated, and Brains did not want to sell, the Vulcan has nevertheless gone into the hands of Rapport (Marcol Asset Management) a property developer. We are informed that Rapport have a contract to supply a car park for St David's 2. Hence Rapport’s excuse for wanting to knock down the Vulcan is that it’s needed for St David's 2.

We call on St David's to discuss their position with us. The Campaign team feel that the St David's 2 development does not need The Vulcan ripped down in order for their development to succeed.

The St David's 2 website use the strapline ‘Cardiff is evolving’ and their website claims '…St David's 2' brings an outstanding opportunity to make a contribution to the emergence of Cardiff as a major European destination…’

We call for St David's 2 / Land Securites to rethink their position with regard the Vulcan – they are not evolving Cardiff, they have a hand in destroying a part of what makes Cardiff. The Vulcan is a beautiful Victorian Pub that has stood since 1853. It is a thriving business, during a time of economic slowdown.

Normally we would wish St David's 2 well, but if they have a hand in destroying an important part of Cardiff, we will not hesitate to make that known to Cardiff shoppers, when St David's 2 is due to open.

David Wilton

Disclaimer: As the facts in this case have been extremely difficult to unearth, the above information has been gathered at a best endeavour from what sources we can find. If Rapport or St David's 2 wish to contact me to correct anything of the above, the Campaign team would be delighted to meet and discuss further.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The latest on the campaign

I know this blog hasn't been updated in a while, but fear not, the campaign is still going strong! I will try and update this blog with as much information as possible over the coming weeks, so please check back for details!

What's coming up?
SAVE THE VULCAN public meeting on 29th January at 7pm, in The ATRiuM, Adam Street (opposite The Vulcan). This will be your chance to find out more about the campaign, and how you can get involved.

Join us on Facebook - search 'God have mercy...Save the Vulcan'.

Sign the online petition at send the link to friends and family.

Write to the Heritage Minister. Make it clear in your letter or email we want to keep the pub where it has stood for 155 years. Alun Ffred Jones

We have printed several thousand leaflets. If you can spare time to deliver them anywhere in Cardiff, email and we'll get some to you.

Keep writing letters to the press.
South Wales Echo - Email:
Western Mail Email:

More coming soon.....