Concert Pavilion

From the early 1900s band performances took place in Cardiff's parks, organised and paid for by the Council. This included Llandaff Fields, though no record of a bandstand there has been discovered. A scheme was approved for a sunken bandstand but this was not carried out at the time.

After the 1914-1918 war, when the question was raised again, there was a view that things had changed, and concert parties rather than bands would be the musical entertainment of the future.

A proposal for a covered concert pavilion in Llandaff Fields was first raised in November 1919, because there were plans to provide one in Roath Park. Initially the Parks Committee deferred consideration, but the issue was raised again following the opening of the Roath Park pavilion in 1921. In October of that year the Committee selected a site in the east field[1] and approved a layout that included concert pavilion, tennis courts and bowling green, as well the removal of the Memorial Fountain to a more suitable position near the site of the proposed bowling green.[2] In February 1922, a tender of £2,180 to build the pavilion was accepted.[3] Unlike the Roath Park pavilion, which had open sides, this design provided for the building to have sides which could be drawn up.

The pavilion was ready for the 1923 concert season and could seat up to 1250 persons. It was formally opened on April 23rd 1923 by the Chairman of the Parks Committee, Mr R.G.H. Snook, who stated that Llandaff Fields now provided the best open-air concert pavilion in the city.[4] The opening ceremony was followed by a concert attended by members of the Council.[5]

By the 1930s it was usual for the Parks Committee to lease the Pavilion to a tenant who would be responsible for providing entertainments throughout the summer season, though Sunday performances were not allowed.[6] For example in 1932 both the Pavilion and the Concert Pavilion at Roath Park, were rented to Mr Wally Bishop for £4 per week each.[7]

During the 1939-45 war the pavilion was leased by the military authorities. The Parks Committee leased it to the Glamorgan County Territorial Army and Air Force Association for £200 per year, along with the refreshment rooms and shower baths.[8]

It was reported in April 1950 that the pavilion, which was rented to the Civil Defence Committee as a training centre, required repairs costing in excess of £255.[9] In 1956 it was said to be in a dilapidated condition.[10] In February 1962 it was reported that the Civil Defence Officer had notified the Parks Director that the pavilion would be vacated at the end of March.[11]

In December 1962 the Parks Committee accepted a tender from B.B. Enterprises of Gloucester for the demolition of the pavilion and some remaining civil defence structures.[12]

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, chapter on Llandaff Fields

Other sources are:

  1. Meeting of the Parks Open Spaces and Burial Board Committee 11th October 1921
  2. Meeting of the Parks Open Spaces and Burial Board Committee 18th October 1921
  3. Meeting of the Parks Open Spaces and Burial Board Committee 28th February1922
  4. Western Mail 24th April 1923 page 8
  5. Meeting of the Parks Open Spaces and Burial Board Committee 23rd April 1923
  6. Meeting of the Parks Open Spaces and Burial Board Committee 6th January 1931; & the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 26th April 1939
  7. Meeting of the Parks Open Spaces and Burial Board Committee 19th April 1932
  8. Meeting of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 29th November 1938
  9. Meeting of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 4th April 1950
  10. Meeting of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 6th September 1956
  11. Meeting of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 22nd January 1962
  12. Meeting of the Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 17th December 1962