National Lottery support keeps memories of Tiger Bay burning bright

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Thanks to National Lottery funding, a new project will look at the history of Tiger Bay through the eyes of people who came from across the world to work in Cardiff.

The Tiger Bay - Preserving the Stories project will build on an archive that began in the 1980s. It will expand the collection to include maritime and industrial history as well as collecting memories and historic images of the former docklands to tell the story of Wales’ industrial past.

A story worth telling

A team of volunteers led by a professional will be trained to digitise and preserve the stories of those who played a pivotal role in the area’s history. They will work with around 7,000 photographs as well as audio and videotaped interviews of former local residents whose families moved to the area from across the UK and overseas.

Some information and artefacts were first collected in the 1980s, but have never been properly organised or stored and are now at risk of being lost if not cared for appropriately.

Newer memories will also be recorded and added to this unique collection, gathered from Tiger Bay residents born in the 1950s and ‘60s and from those who worked in the docks and supporting industries.

The history of Tiger Bay

Money brought into Cardiff through the docks in the 19th and early 20th centuries from the shipping of Welsh coal mined in the South Wales valleys, put the city on the map and contributed massively to its growth as the capital of Wales.

No one knows where the name Tiger Bay originates but the name became legendary and workers came from rural Wales, Cornwall, Ireland, Africa, Asia the Middle East, Norway, Spain, Italy and the Caribbean to earn steady wages and start a new life on the outskirts of the city.

When the project is completed a year from now, their stories and many more will be featured in an exhibition to go on show in Cardiff.

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