Roath Local History Society


Latest New Additions to our Website:

The Wellfield Tobacconist was at 53 Wellfield Road between 1970 and 1998. The shop was a specialist tobacconist with cigars and loose tobaccos and also a sweet shop with rows of jars sweets and luxury chocolates. Later on the shop diversified and also sold gifts, china and glass. It was owned by Graham Harker.  The Wellfield Tobacconist was themed as Victorian and Mr Harker sometimes donned Victorian clothes to serve customers.  The shop was lined with enamelled cigar advertisements and mahogany fittings that Mr Harker had collected over the years. Amongst the other Victoriana to be found in the shop was an old bronze cash register and a cigar mannequin. Thank you to Sue Pinches, daughter of Mr Harker, for sharing photographs of the old shop. More about the history of the shops on Wellfield Road can be found on our Wellfield Road page

Graham Harker at the Wellfield Tobacconist

Graham Harker at the Wellfield Tobacconist (photos courtesy of Susan Pinches)


Our Aug 2021 Newsletter has now been uploaded onto the website. It contains:

  • A review of our summer visits programme just past
  • A Geordie Knight in Roath – a profile of Sir Llewellyn Thomas Gordon Soulsby (1885 – 1966)
  • Cyncoed Lawn Tennis Club

Roath Park Lake promonade in the 1950s

Roath Park Lake promenade in the 1950s


Visit our Parks page to see more history and pictures of parks in the area. 

In March 1939, in scenes reminiscent of today’s Kabul, Archibald Dickson sailed the SS.Stanbrook into the blockaded Alicante harbour.  Rather than load up with the cargo he was there to collect he loaded 2600 refugees trapped there by Franco’s approaching army and took them to Oran, Algeria.  Archibald Dickson and his family lived in Pen-y-Wain Road, Roath Park and was tragically killed later that year, aged 47, when the SS.Stanbrook was torpedoed at the start of WWII.  Read more of the story of Archibald Dickson in our latest blog article

Archiald Dickson and SS Stanbrook


Jeff Childs - Roath Local History SocietyCongratulations to our former Chairman Jeff Childs who has been awarded a 2021 BALH Award for Personal Achievement in Local History.  Jeff has contributed enormously to our Society over the years including authoring two books on Roath History.  See his virtual presentation 6.30 mins into the Local History Awards video.   

In September 2001 Jeff was made Honorary Life President of Roath Local History Society.



Society Background:

Roath is a suburb of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. Our area of interest is not just Roath as we know it today but all areas that were in the ancient parish of Roath.  That includes the suburbs of Adamsdown, Splott, Tremorfa, Pengam, Plasnewydd, Penylan, parts of Cathays and Cyncoed as well as Roath itself.

St Edwards, Blenheim Road - Photo from church website

Our lively and interesting meetings are held at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of the month from September through to May.  See Programme for details.

We meet at  St Edward’s church, Westville Road, Pen-y-lan, Cardiff. CF23 5DE.

Annual membership is just £10 and visitors are welcome to attend any meeting for £2.

In June and July we undertake a series of trips to places of historic interest in both Cardiff and the wider South Wales area.


Roath, Splott and Adamsdown - 1000 Years of History

We are now over 40 years old. More information on our activities can be found on the  Society page. A Short History of Roath Local History Society has also recently been added and can be found on the Society page

We have published a number of books about Roath history.  These together with links to other books of interest can be found on the Publications page.

On our Links page we have listed websites that ma be of interest to people studying local history in the Cardiff and surrounding areas.

In our Local History section we have started to assemble articles on a whole range of topics connected to the old parish of Roath.

Finally, we draw your attention to our Blog.  We hope you enjoy the posts and having a wander around the website.

Thanks for visiting.