On 29th April thousands of music lovers marched through Cardiff under the banner ‘Save Womanby Street’. What’s that all about and why should we care?
In this globalised world it is increasingly difficult to tell apart different town and city centres. High streets are dominated by chain stores and local pubs are becoming a rarity, with corporate bars with names like the Slug and Lettuce becoming the norm. Whetherspoons rule the world as the bulk buying power of identikit chains force old skool family pubs out of business.
The towns and cities that are interesting, the ones that are worth visiting, are the ones that have their own character and home grown culture. Culture is the beating heart of a city, without culture the city dies. But culture cannot be manufactured. It has to grow organically from the grass roots, with its foundations in the local community.
Music, art and culture have for decades led the way for the regeneration of run down communities. Previously ignored districts suddenly become vibrant places where people want to live.
Ironically, vultures are never far behind, swooping in to develop properties in areas that are now suddenly sought after and ‘gentrification’ kicks in.
Tyr-y-berth has been revolting this week, as protestors have gathered every night to say ‘down with this sort of thing’, outside a travelling show put on by the UKs last Lion Tamer.
The once famous Chipperfield Circus, regulars on prime time 1970s Saturday night TV, appear to have fragmented. Thomas Chipperfiled now splits his time between running ‘An Evening with Lions and Tigers’ and defending himself in the media.
The show cannot tour England at the moment, because the cages in which he keeps the animals have been declared too small by DEFRA. As a result, he has resorted to touring Wales, where the legislation is slightly different. The aim of the tour appears to be to raise money to increase the size of the animals ‘enclosures’.