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Voices of the Vulcan: Filming Oral Histories

Fflur Morse, 7 Mawrth 2016

Here at St Fagans, many of our curators have been travelling the length and breadth of Wales co- producing audio-visual content for the new galleries.

Last week, my colleague Dafydd Wiliam and I began work on a new and exciting task, this time a little closer to home, a stone throw away in Tremorfa.

Over the next few months, our focus will be the Vulcan pub. We’ll be conducting oral histories with former customers and landlords of the former Adamsdown pub, recording and filming their experiences and memories. The completed interviews will be edited into a short film which will be displayed in one of the redeveloped galleries. But also we hope these memories will give us as curators, a clearer picture of life at the Vulcan, its culture and its community.

Our first interviewees were Rhona and Mel Rees, landlords of the Vulcan pub between 1983 and 1985. From the very beginning, it was clear that they were extremely fond of the pub and its customers, and that they thoroughly enjoyed their time there. They described the pub as their living room, and the words cosy, friendly, and fun, were said regularly. They had plenty of amusing and comic tales from the pub to tell, but they also touched on deeper themes, such as raising a family in a pub and also the economic side of things and the decline of the trade. All in all it was an eye-opening interview, and we learnt so much about their daily lives as landlords of the Vulcan in the 80’s.

My personal highlight of the interview was a story about a prank played on Mel’s 50th birthday involving a kissogram visiting the Vulcan, but I won’t give too much away now!

Mel and Rhona truly captured the atmosphere and character of the pub and its people, and I can’t wait to go out again to meet and interview the people who knew this very special pub.

If you or somebody you know have stories or objects related to the Vulcan, we’d love to hear from you – please leave a message in the comments box below.

#MakingHistory #CreuHanes

Fflur Morse

Uwch Guradur Bywyd Diwylliannol
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sylw (3)

B. Griffiths
21 Ebrill 2019, 19:40
Hello, not sure if this of any significance to your search. I have an old black/white photo Year 1940/50s, of my grandmother sitting inside the pub, as it was one of her local haunts, ( no tele or media them days ). She lived in East Terrace, (now Churchill Way, as it was named in two halves, the other half was named Pembroke Terrace. prior to Churchill Way being built.There is no indication on the photo that it is the Vulcan, but I know it where the photo was taken. I also remember the little shop that was demolished prior to the pub, it was terraced linked to the pub, it sold everything, the man who owed it was called Dan Duff ( UNSURE IF THIS WAS HIS NICKNAME) quite a character. Trying to find a photo of the shop on Cardiff Now And Then.
Geraint Hopkins
25 Chwefror 2018, 09:45
Fel aelod o'r côr clwb rygbi Cymru Llundain gydag atgofion melys y Vulcan, yr wyf yn cofio cymryd fy ffrindiau Llydaw dau o De Finistere i dafarn cerddorol unigryw hwn. Philippe a Jaqueline roedd dan gyfaredd gyda chanu: y dafarn oedd yn agoriad llygad ac felly roedd yr awyrgylch. Ar eu cyfer, bydd y diwedd cerddorol i ddiwrnod rhyngwladol yn aros am byth.

As a member of London Welsh Rugby Club Choir ( with fond memories of The Vulcan, I recall taking my two Breton friends from South Finistere to this unique musical pub. Philippe and Jaqueline were enthralled with singing: the Pub was a revelation and so was the atmosphere. For them, the musical end to the international day will remain forever.
Steve McGrath
23 Mawrth 2016, 14:28
Hi. I'm a member of the London Welsh Rugby Club Choir ( and the Vulcan was, for many years, our unofficial "home" when the choir or its members were ever in Cardiff. Regardless of where we all were scattered during the day of rugby internationals we'd always all end up there and spend many a long night singing the Welsh classics. It was quite the soundtrack of international weekends and the Vulcan was at the heart of the experience. Hope your project goes well and if we can be of any help please do let us know.
Nid yw sylwadau ar gael ar hyn o bryd. Ymddiheuriadau am yr anghyfleustra.