We asked readers from Cardiff North for their views about where they live. This week, Simon Braybrook tells us about living in Llandaff North.
I’ve lived in Cardiff North since getting married 11 years ago. I got engaged at Castell Coch, Tongwynlais, rented in Whitchurch, then bought a house in Gabalfa before moving to Llandaff North two years ago. I love Llandaff North because of the beautiful Hailey Park and access to the Taff Trail. I work as a GP in Butetown and commute by bike every day (or, if the weather is truly abysmal, via the highly convenient train service). However, what I love most of all about Llandaff North is the sense of community.
There aren’t many suburbs that are small enough to feel like a village but Llandaff North does exactly that. We have three great pubs, one of the best coffee shops in Cardiff (owned by Lew who has single-handedly done a great deal for the sense of community through the Llandaff North Festival) and some really active community groups. One group I am especially fond of is 2nd Llandaff Scouts.
The Scout group has been in Llandaff North for over 100 years, on the site of Christchurch United Reformed Church. I accidentally became a volunteer when my son joined Beaver Scouts (which runs from age 6-8) three years ago. They needed extra help and my son was nervous about going along. Now I lead one of the two cub packs (ages 9-11). The Scout group is thriving now, having about 130 kids from Llandaff North and the Gabalfa estate. There are boys and girls in every group; Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, and Explorers. Several leaders grew up in the group: Abbie, our Scout leader, was the first girl in Wales to join Scouts. I love how Scouting helps young people develop personal skills, a sense of adventure, an opportunity to serve others in the community and, especially, get outdoors and active in all weathers. We use the hall pretty much every day of the week, regularly use Hailey Park and the woods at forest farm for wood craft and adventure, as well as going further afield on trips and camps.
This year the group faces particular challenges as the church us now up for sale and the land our Scout hut is on is being sold with it. That’s the downside of living in Llandaff North: its desirability as a place to live means land is at a premium and we have to pull together to ensure that community groups don’t get pushed out. But we are hopeful that the community will pull together to help save our Scout group by either raising the money to buy the land or find another home in the heart of our community. As this website is all about our local representatives, it’s important to say that Julie Morgan AM, Councillor Sue White and Councillor Dilwar Ali have met with us and offered their help by accommodating us in a proposed new Council Hub near Llandaff North library. We’re grateful for their help, but this would be our second choice to safeguard a Scout hut of our own at the heart of Llandaff North.
We have exciting fundraising plans. We are asking businesses to support out “Big Bob A Job” by having our group do jobs for them in return for a donation. You can find out more about our group at 2ndllandaffscouts.com and donate at givey.com/saveourscoutgroup.
By Simon Braybrook
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Image credit – Stuart Herbert