The bandstand had been completed before the Park was officially opened on Wednesday, 16th June, 1897. In a news report of the opening of Victoria Park it was described as "substantial and yet artistic."[1] The Parks Superintendent, William Pettigrew, stated in 1902 in a report to the Parks Committee that "the bandstand at Victoria Park is a most artistic object and compares very favourably with any similar structure in any of the public parks in the country."[2]

As in other Cardiff parks, there were regular band performances in Victoria Park on summer evenings. These were organised and paid for by the Council Parks Committee, which allocated £500 for musical entertainments in the City's parks. In January 1913 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 Victoria Park this was every Thursday evening. Pettigrew also stated that "at Roath Park only the very best class of (local) bands are engaged; whereas at Splott and Victoria Parks a few second rate bands are sandwiched in between those of a better class."[3]

By the 1940s music was provided using gramophone records and loud speakers, rather than band performances. Sound amplifying equipment was installed in the former refreshment room in the summer of 1943.[4]

The bandstand fell into disrepair in the 1950s and in 1954 the Parks Committee received estimates for repair and redecoration (£250) or dismantling and removal (£100). It was agreed at that time that work should be carried out to render the bandstand safe.[5]

Later in the 1950s the bandstand was removed, and a raised flower bed was put in its place.[6] To mark the park's centenary in 1997 a replica was placed on the original site.[7] A plaque on the new bandstand records its official opening on September 6th 1998.

Sources of information

  1. South Wales District News, 17 June 1897, quoted by A.A. Pettigrew. The Public Parks and Recreation Grounds of Cardiff., volume 2, chapter on Victoria Park.
  2. Meeting of the Parks Sub-Committee 9th October 1902
  3. Meeting of the Parks (Music and Games) Sub-Committee 15th January 1913
  4. Meetings of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 11th May 1943 & 6th July 1943
  5. Meeting of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 8th July 1954
  6. South Wales Echo 15th May 1997
  7. South Wales Echo 7th September 1998