Monday, 8 February 2010

Demolish the Vulcan - a response

Needless to say we were a bit shocked to read an article entitled 'Demolish Vulcan, says man who fought to save it' in Friday's Echo. You can read the full article here but this is the gist of it:

A FORMER Save the Vulcan campaigner has called for the pub to be knocked down, claiming it has lost its “heart and soul”.

Former steelworker Alan Grainger has been drinking at the historic watering hole for almost 50 years.

But now he thinks it should be pulled down – just eight months after it won a three-year reprieve.

The self-proclaimed poet claimed “hardcore” locals had been driven out by students and do-gooders who jumped on the “bandwagon” to save the bar.

“I started the campaign off writing letters to the Echo.

“I was agitated because it was going to be demolished,” the 73-year-old said, adding: “For someone like me to say it should be knocked down – that’s the opposite of what I have said before and what I have fought for.

Mr Grainger claims that hardcore locals have been driven out of The Vulcan by “students and do-gooders”. He also says the pub was “almost empty” one Friday night. He can't have it both ways: if students really are driving locals out then where were they that Friday night? The reality is that the vast majority of 'Vulcan virgins' greatly appreciate The Vulcan's regulars – their friendliness and stories of Cardiff past are part of what makes The Vulcan unique.

Mr Grainger claims to have started the campaign to save The Vulcan by writing letters to the Echo. Without doubt the Echo played a vital part in the campaign, spreading the word far and wide. However, letters to the local paper do not in themselves make a campaign. The 'students and do-gooders', as Mr Grainger calls us, spent hours handing out flyers, arranging a public meeting, speaking to local politicians, organising a demo at the Senedd, researching and submitting an application to Cadw, writing to Cardiff celebrities, giving evidence to the Assembly Petitions Committee.

Without the students and do-gooders signing the petition and spreading the word the campaign would not have had the same weight with neither the Echo nor with local politicians. The same students and do-gooders begged for anyone interested to get involved. Not once did Mr Grainger contact the campaign.

Yes, more people from different backgrounds are drinking at The Vulcan than a few years ago. But for The Vulcan to have the best chance of extending its life still further, it needs customers and it needs people who love it. Age and background should be forgotten in the battle to keep one of Cardiff's gems from the bulldozers' grasp.

Rather than claiming The Vulcan has lost its “heart and soul” perhaps Mr Grainger should set about re-locating his own.


Brew Wales said...

It looks like he was just stirring up the Echo in order to plug his book.

Anonymous said...

So is this a local's pub for local people? I have lived in Cardiff all my life but have never been in the Vulcan. I would like to, I just hope it's actually a friendly place not full of people who sneer at people "jumping on the bandwagon".

God of Fire said...

So Mr Grainger started the campaign did he?
Bollocks, I did. I set up the blog, and initiated the on-line petition even after Liz thought (at the time) that it would be a waste of effort. However not being able to devote enough time to it I happily handed over control to Rachel et al who have done, and continue to do, a superb job.
John (Scouse) McLaren

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