Bandstand

In February 1895 the Council accepted a tender of £100 from the Lion Foundry Co. of Glasgow, for construction of a bandstand.[1] This, the first bandstand to be provided in any of Cardiff's parks, was completed by beginning of June.[2] A rockery was built around the bandstand and beneath it was a space for the storage of tools. For the official opening of Grange Gardens on the 19th June 1895 a large number of local persons gathered. The ceremony was performed by Joseph Ramsdale, Deputy Chairman of the Cardiff Parks Committee, and the Mayor, Alderman Carey.[3][4]

In the early 1900s the Council allocated £250 each year to provide bands to play in all Cardiff parks. This was later increased to £500. In January 1913 the Parks Superintendent (W.W. Pettigrew) reported that the season for band performances was from May to August and the majority took place in Roath Park, with performances in other parks only during June and July and on specific days of the week. In Grange Gardens this was every alternate Tuesday evening. Pettigrew also reported that "the majority of the bands sent to Grange Gardens can hardly be classed as anything other than third rate."

The original bandstand is thought to have been removed during the Second World War[5], though the Parks Committee received a report in 1937 on the condition of the Grange Gardens bandstand and the question of repair or demolition was left to the Chairman and the Chief Officer.[6] Aerial photographs from 1942 appear to show an empty space where the bandstand stood.

From the summer of 1943 music for open air dancing was provided using gramophone records and loud speakers.[7] Also in 1943 the Parks Committee decided that the Roath Park bandstand, which had fallen into disuse, should be removed and re-erected in Grange Gardens.[8] There is no evidence that this was carried out.

The present-day bandstand is a replica and was installed in the year 2000. It was built from the original plans which were discovered in a Glasgow library.[9]

Grange Gardens bandstand

Grange Gardens bandstand (February 2014)

Sources of Information

In general, the information in this section is taken from A. A. Pettigrew, The Public Parks and Recreation Grounds of Cardiff, Volume 2 & Volume 4 (chapter on Musical Entertainmants).

Other sources are:

  1. Meeting of the Parks and Open Spaces Committee 4th February 1895
  2. Meeting of the Parks, Open Spaces etc. Committee 4th June 1895
  3. Special Meeting of the Parks, Open Spaces etc. Committee 19th June 1895
  4. Western Mail 20th June 1895 page 6
  5. Grangetown Online History 1895: Grange Gardens
  6. Meeting of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 12th November 1937
  7. Meeting of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 6th July 1943
  8. Meeting of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 5th May 1943
  9. South Wales Echo 3rd February 2000