December 18, 2014
by admin

Creating the Castell Coch Exhibit

Castell Coch exhibit

If you’ve visited Castell Coch in recent years, you’ll have seen the fantastic exhibit that tells the story of this wonderful building. We spoke to Glyn Parry-Jones, who designed and installed it.

It’s hard to believe that the exhibit is nearly 30 years old! Glyn explained that the exhibit was created in 1987 and that it was originally in the lower ground floor of the Kitchen Tower. “It was designed in an ostentatious style which reflected the arts and crafts movement and the surface patterns designed by William Burgess for his wallpaper”, he added.

Glyn attributes part of the reason for the long life of the display to the quality of the joinery, which was made by D. Davies & Son of Penarth. Glyn has enjoyed a good working relationship with them over the past 30 years and created high quality structures for most of Cadw’s monuments. He said, “In many instances some of the exhibitions have had to suffer damp and wet conditions and in certain cases have had to rely on natural lighting, so the quality of the joinery and the joints were an important facet in the design.”

Castell Coch exhibit alcove

The script for Castell Coch was written by Peter Humphries (now retired), who was the Interpretations Manager at Cadw at the time. “Peter was a valuable source of information for all the monuments in Wales and the information was well catalogued and presented by him at all times and a resource which has now been lost to Cadw”, Glyn noted.

Castell Coch illustration

Glyn is selling limited edition prints of the illustration, above, that features in the exhibit.

He is offering readers of exclusive discounted prices:

  • A3 + 25mm bleed all round – £45.00 each (normally £72.00)
  • A2 + 25mm bleed all round – £60.00 each (normally £92.00)

To order a print, contact Glyn at or on Twitter.

December 17, 2014
by admin

New Parliamentary Candidate for Cardiff North

Shaun Jenkins

Shaun Jenkins is 26 years old and has just officially formed his own political party. Alter Change is the culmination of four years work by the Thornhill resident who grew up in Tongwynlais.

I spoke to Shaun about growing up in Tongwynlais, why he decided to start his own party and his plans for next year’s general election.

Shaun grew up on Catherine Drive and lived in Tongwynlais for 24 years before moving to Thornhill with his partner Tabitha and son Zachary. He talked fondly of living in the village and told me he’s passionate about improving the area and its links to Cardiff. Shaun attended Tongwynlais Primary School and proudly remembers receiving the “Pupil of the Year” award in year 6.

After attending Radyr Comprehensive School, Shaun had several jobs before the idea of starting his own political party became a reality. He recalls that work first began in the summer of 2010 and the last four years have been spent crafting over 70 policies for Alter Change. I asked him why he decided to start his own party and he explained that he didn’t agree with all the policies of any of the major parties.

When I asked Shaun to describe the core principles of Alter Change, he stated, “We’re a moral, ambitious and progressive party; we’re campaigning tirelessly to ensure that families are valued, young people are given opportunities to succeed, the economy is robust & stable and society is a safer, moral better place.”

You can find a list of all Alter Change’s policies on their website. They include:

  • Banning bailiffs
  • Cheaper, fairer car insurance
  • Better quality affordable housing

To find out who else is standing for election next year, visit our election hub.

Alter Change website

Shaun has also made several pledges for Cardiff North, which include:

  • Saving Rhiwbina library
  • Improving the Taff Trail
  • Campaigning for a train station for Tongwynlais

I asked Shaun what he believes he can offer Cardiff North that the other candidates can’t. He told me, “I’ve always believed that the issues facing Cardiff North are those faced by most in our country; the economy, crime, immigration, the NHS & education, its politics of today that has consistently got these wrong, and it’s the different, better politics that Alter Change is offering that will make our lives better.”

Considering that the last election was won by just 194 votes, Shaun feels that his first steps in politics could have a significant impact on the eventual outcome.

You can follow Shaun on Twitter, Facebook and read about his party at

For news and views on the general election, go to our election hub. is not affiliated with any political party. We’ll be contacting all the parliamentary candidates to offer them the opportunity to be interviewed

December 15, 2014
by admin

Castell Coch Inspires Local Author

Castell Coch

Castell Coch inspired local author Gabriella Lepore when she was writing her recent teen fiction novel “Evanescent”.

The story of Bronwen Snow, who is pulled from her cottage in the middle of the night and finds herself seeking the help of three mysterious boys who reside in an abandoned castle deep in the hillside, has been a big hit for the Cardiff author.

Gabriella told me she loves Castell Coch and the surrounding area and spent a lot of time there when writing the book.

The castle and woods, although fictionalised, are a key location in the book and the home of the mysterious boys that Bronwen encounters.

She recently returned to Castell Coch to take a picture of her book outside the castle.

The book is available to buy on Amazon. Gabriella’s new book, “The Witches of the Glass Castle: Uprising” is released tomorrow.

You can follow Gabriella on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.