It’s almost 60 years since demolition teams began tearing down Tiger Bay, the old seafaring community in the heart of Cardiff’s docklands.
It remains one of the city’s most controversial planning decisions.
In a new television series starting tonight on ITV Cymru Wales, residents of Wales’ most famous multicultural community reveal the pain of seeing their homes reduced to rubble.
“Dock of the Bay” explores the history and evolution of the city waterfront we now know as Cardiff Bay. In the march of progress, many communities in the capital have faced the wrecking ball. Some neighbourhoods have disappeared altogether.
The community of Tiger Bay could trace its roots back to the 1850s, when sailors from around the world settled in the shadow of Cardiff’s burgeoning docks. People from more than 50 different nationalities eventually made the area their home.
By the late 1950s many of the Victorian houses had become run-down and the council began reconstructing Tiger Bay.
By the 1970s, Tiger Bay had been rebuilt as Butetown, a council estate of high rise flats and maisonettes. In an interview at the time Cardiff Council told ITV Wales that the “comprehensive redevelopment programme” would provide residents with “the best conditions that can possibly be provided for them.”
But for many, the demolition of Tiger Bay marked the end of a way of life.
- You can see more on this story in Dock of the Bay. Tonight at 7:30pm on ITV Cymru Wales. It will then be online at: itv.com/walesprogrammes