Cardiff Bay before regeneration

Cardiff Bay before regeneration

Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff, January 1986

(This post was inspired by www.wearecardiff.co.uk)

Cardiff has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. It’s hard to imagine how different the old Tiger Bay docklands looked before the Cardiff Bay redevelopment and Cardiff Bay barrage was announced by Margaret Thatcher’s Welsh Secretary Nicholas Edwards in 1986.

Dad and I visited the docks regularly and took these photos on a bitterly cold day at the start of 1986. We liked the look of the imposing warehouse on the right (east) bank of the Bute East Dock.

Atlantic Wharf warehouse

Bute East Dock warehouse, January 1986

Little did we imagine that just days later the warehouse would be destroyed by fire.

Bute East Dock warehouse

Fire destroys dockside warehouse

Back in January 1986, the warehouse was in a wasteland. Just a year later, it would have been a prime candidate for transformation into waterside apartments.

Cardif Bay Spillers Bakers building

Spillers building, Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff

By contrast, the Spillers building on the opposite side of the dock was converted into flats a couple of years later. It looked very different in 1986, with abandoned railway tracks leading past the old Midland Railway warehouse (now a hotel).

Spillers building 1986

Spillers silhouette, Cardiff Bay, 1986

The greatest benefit of the Cardiff Bay project is that the Welsh capital is now reunited with its waterfront.

Atlantic Wharf, Bute East Dock, Cardiff, 1986

Signs of a brighter future for Cardiff Bay, January 1986

 

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