It is hard to believe walking along Wellfield Road today that it was originally built as a residential street. The first house plans were drawn up in 1891. Indeed, looking at the photos of the parade that took place down Wellfield Road to celebrate the opening of Roath Park in 1894 it very much looks a residential street. Over the years all the properties were converted into shops.
Lets start by looking at some historical photos of the road and then moving onto studying the histories of each shop. More shop histories will be added over time.
History of the individual shops and houses are starting to be added below. The dates given are when the shops were known to be present but of course they may have been there prior to the earlier date and after the later date in some cases.
The histories of the shops has been pieced together from various sources. Google Street View is useful to view images of what has been there since around 2008. For the period ~2006-2016 a series of large scale Goad maps available in Cathays library were used. Surprisingly, the most difficult era to complete was the 1980s to 2000. Here I resorted to a laborious trawl through the Yellow Pages of 1980 and 1990, noting down each shop and commercial outlet I came across in Wellfield Road. No doubt I missed some. Prior to 1972 a Cardiff Directory was regularly published that listed commercial outlets and are available at Cathays Library. The information has also been supplemented by using the 1939 Register and the 1901 and 11911 Census returns. Thank you to Yvonne Courtine in our Society for her assistance.
3 Wellfield Road
The Coffi Shop (2006 – present day)
The Light Brigade (1990)
Alice Lighting (1968-1980) WalesOnline carried an article about Alice and Frantisek Lewith opening up an antique and lighting shop in Wellfield Read, opposite the Globe Centre, in 1968, called Alice Lighting.
Parry-Morris, Coresetieres / Drapers (1929-1967)
5 Wellfield Road
La Dolce Vita (2014 – present day) Italian cuisine. formerly known just a La Vita but owner Marco Branciamore gave it a revamp in 2021 and opened it again as La Dolce Vita.
Noa Noa Sport (2006-2011) Fashion boutique. An offshoot of Noa Noa in No7 which started before and closed shut after Noa Noa Sport.
Travel Inc Worldwide (1970)
Roath & Wellfield Coal Co Ltd (1937 – 1972) was known as Roath Coal Co Ltd prior to 1967. People remember being sent to the shop by their parents to pay the coal bill.
7 Wellfield Road
YMCA (2015 – present day) charity shop. Traded under the name PreFab Clothing for two years 2015-2016)
Scarlett’s Bowtique / Closet Dress Agency (2014) briefly occupied No.7 before relocating to Wellfield Court.
Noa Noa ( 1967-2012) boutique
I Maddox (1958) Confectioner
Leslies (1947-1955) Confectioner
B T James (1927-1937) Chemist – this was Benjamin Thomas James, b.1883
9 Wellfield Road
Parsons (2014 – present day) Bakery
@Fab (2006 – 2012) Ladieswear
National & Provincial Bank (1967 – 1972)
Radaelli (1947 – 1958) Ladies Outfitter
M Pierce (1927 – 1937) Milliner
11 Wellfield Road
Blossom Cafe (2019 – present day)
Vacant (2013 – 2018)
Luxor (2006 – 2012) Ladies fashion – now relocated to 47 Wellfield Road
Roxan (1990) Clothes
Wendy (1937-1972) Ladies and children’s clothes
W J Creemer (1932 – 1933) electrical goods
13 Wellfield Road
Charles James Developments (2018-2020) Building and design company
Morgans (2015-2017) Ladies wear
Stepping Stones (2006-2012) Children’s toys
Thayer’s (1939-~1980) Ice cream. Perhaps the shop that creates the most nostalgia on the road. Click here for the story of Thayer’s Ice Cream – the scoop.
F I Day (1927-1937) Dairy
25 Wellfield Road
Subway (2011 – present day)
The Travel House (travel agent) (2006-2008)
Simon Jones (Carpet Specialists) Ltd (1967-1978)
Gordon E Cirel Ltd (gentleman outfitters and school uniforms) (1939-1955)
Cirel family history: Gordon Eric Cirel was born on 18th Feb 1908 in Cardiff. In 1911 we find Gordon Cirel, aged 3, living with his parents Victor and Elizabeth and younger brother Ronald at 62 Keppoch Street. Ciril’s father Victor was a mineral water box maker. Gordon Cirel married Doris Ludlow (b. 29th May 1906) in 1934 in Cardiff. In the 1939 Register Gordon (Master tailor) and Doris are living at 25 Wellfield Road with their sons Barrie and Leonard. They later moved to live in Cyncoed Crescent. Doris Cirel became a teacher. As well as the Wellfield Road shop the also owned a shop in Beulah Road, Rhiwbina, Cardiff. Gordon died in 1988 and Doris in 1997.
W. Wilkinson – Farm Produce (1932-1937)
E. Ramsdale – China (1927-1929)
George Jackson – Manager (1918-1922)
James and Mary Hutchinson (1900-1917)
Hutchinson Family History: James and Mary were both from Aberdeenshire, Scotland. James was a Master Mariner. James (b.1863) and Mary Cardno (b. 1864) marry in Liverpool in 1892. In the 1901 census they are both working on board the SS Zensbia docked in Newcastle. They must have moved to Cardiff shortly afterwards to 25 Wellfield Road which was unoccupied at the time of the 1901 census. The 1911 census for 25 Wellfield Road contains the following information: Mary Hutchinson, aged 45, married, born St Fergus, Aberdenshire, no occupation stated and Helen Evans, aged 22, single, servant, born Cardiff. Mary dies on June 4th 1917 and James must have moved away shortly afterwards. He remarries in Northumberland in 1920 and dies in 1948 in St Annes, Lancashire.
John T Robinson (1895-1900)
41 Wellfield Road
Waterloo Tea (2019-present day) Tea shop. Waterloo Tea have thoughtfully retained the old shop H A Tilley that was uncovered during the renovation of the shopfront.
Ushi’s (1990-2017) Gifts
H A Tilley (1942-1975) Shoe shop
Tilley Family History: Herbert Arthur Tilley was born on June 29th 1911 in Newport, son of John Tilley, a gardener, and Alice Hannah Tilley (nee Underwood). In 1939 we find Herbert living on Sherbourne Avenue, Cyncoed together with his elder married sister Alice Doreen Lewis (b.1906). Herbert describes himself as a boot and shoe retailer whilst Alice is a manageress of a shoe shop. I’m guessing therefore that they may well have run the Wellfield Road shop together. Alice passes away in 1984 in Cyncoed and Herbert died on May 28th 1993 in Bournemouth. I can’t find any record of Herbert ever having married.
1939: Marcus Donald Watts (b.1903) (Clerk at Cardiff Corporation Waterworks) and Doris Oliver Watts (b.1907) (Invoice Clerk)
1928-1937: Charles Louis Brelaz & Maud Emily Williams – Confectioners
Brelaz-Williams family history: In the 1930s 41 Wellfield Road was a cake shop run initially by Charles and Maud Brelaz. Maud Brelaz, nee Williams, was born in Cardiff and marries Charles Louis Brelaz in Dundee in 1923. In 1925 we find she is advertising herself in the Dundee Courier as Madame Brelaz, Revue Actress and Welsh Singer, open to take on pupils for dancing and singing lessons. By 1928 they have moved to Wellfield Road and opened a confectionery shop. In January that year the Western Daily Press reports they purchase two Princip steam ovens, manufactured just around the corner in Albany Road. In 1930 however Charles dies in Lusanne, Switzerland. In 1933 Maud sets up a new company, Penylan Confectioners, with her brother Arthur and family.
1918-1927: Frances H Carey – Tailor
1913-1918: Benjamin Lewis
1911: Roland Lewis (Commercial traveller for a paper manufacturer) and family
1900-1907: Mrs Mary West (1901 census – no return for 41 Wellfield Road)
1895-1897: Henry Webster – engineer
53 Wellfield Road
53 Boutique (2015 – present day). Women’s Fashion boutique opened by Jayne Davies.
Bang & Olufsen (2014) Hi-fi equipment (may just have been using shopfront as advertising space?)
Ocean Hairdressing (2006 – 2013) – now relocated to nearby Bangor Street.
Wellfield Tobacconist (1970 – 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.
T Langdon (1967 – 1972) Confectioners
P A Rees (1922 – 1958) Confectioners and tobacconist
Ah-sing (1918) Laundry
The Even Numbers:
36 Wellfield Road
2019: Jasmin (Falafels)
2011-2016: Tea & Cake
2006-2008: Oblong (gifts)
1990: Willow Fashions
1949-1972: Leslie G Chappell – Iron mongers