Saturday, 9 May 2009

Save The Vulcan - Chris Latham

Built in 1853, the Vulcan Hotel is a tiny oasis of originality in an otherwise bland mass of concrete and chrome. It is a hark-back to historical Cardiff, a place where workmen, the dust and dirt still in their hair, quench their thirst with inky fingered scribes and fresh faced students. While pubs across the land are closing the Vulcan is thriving – but guess what? They want to knock it down!

The Vulcan is due for demolition on the 25th of June 2009 as part of the on going St David’s 2 developments to the city centre. The aim is to provide space for a new development of flats, restaurants, shops and car parking spaces. The public campaign to save the pub has attracted over 5000 signatures, cross political party support, and backing from the likes of Rhys Ifans, the Manic Street Preachers, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Lord Neil Kinnock.

The possibility of saving the Vulcan now seems to hang on a recent application to Cadw the Welsh Assembly Government's historic environment division. They have the power to list the building thus saving the pub.

That’s a brief and incomplete outline of the situation to date; more information including the complete application that was made to Cadw can be found on the blog - – and it is the blog that has lead to the request for a guest post on the fantastic new Welsh Bloggers blog.

The Save the Vulcan blog occupies a fairly unique position in the Welsh blogosphere. Just as the campaign itself has received cross party support, I hope too that the blog can be used and enjoyed by bloggers of all political persuasions. Admittedly it is fairly tame, used mainly for keeping people up-to-date with events etc, but with over 1000 views last month its existence is important and it is great that the Vulcan has been chosen to host the first Welsh Bloggers in the Pub event off the back off it.

So what next? Well next week promises to be interesting. It was announced today that the Cardiff branch of Camra have voted the Vulcan their Pub of the Year 2009, the second time it has won this prestigious award. The award ceremony is scheduled this coming Monday 11th May at 8 pm.

Before hand, from around 7pm (and this might be an exclusive for Welsh Bloggers – I haven’t even posted this on our own blog yet) Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine will be at the Vulcan conducting interviews for a piece to air on Tuesday’s show.

Later in the week on Thursday May 14th, we have the second literary evening to be held at the Vulcan. The first was a great success with standing room only so make sure you get there early! Guests that have confirmed so far include Peter Finch, John Williams and Charlotte Greig.

Finally (although no doubt there will be plenty of events announced in the mean time) the first Welsh Bloggers in the Pub event is to be held at the Vulcan on Wednesday July 15th. This will be a great opportunity for stalwarts of the Welsh blogoshpere to meet in person and socialise – although with the demolition due in June, let’s just hope the pub is still standing to host it!

Chris Latham (Save The Vulcan blog)

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