Friday, 5 June 2009

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.


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