Home Away From Home - The Somalis of Bute Street, Cardiff

Journeys Down My Street Episode 2 of 3

Amidst all the coverage of contemporary migration to Britain, it is easy to forget the older generations of immigrants from across the world who have settled here and made Britain their

Journeys Down my Street is a new series in which Mike Berlin, an urban historian from Birkbeck College, University of London, visits individual streets at the heart of such communities, to hear the stories of earlier immigrants - their arrival, their early lives and their observations on Britain today.

2. Home Away From Home, The Somalis of Bute Street, Cardiff

At the end of the 19th century many working on the steam ships of the British Empire was an attractive career choice for seamen from Somaliland. Many came to Cardiff, found work in the docks heaving the coal that powered those ships, and the first settled in Butetown in 1890.

A vibrant community grew, centred on the docks and the mosque. But the last coal was shipped out in the 1960s, Cardiff docks are not what they were and Butetown has been redeveloped - and work is scarce.

The older generation of Somalis has, in recent years, been joined by new immigrants, refugees from their war-torn homeland. Their experiences and expectations are very different, as 'De Gabay' recently made clear. This was a day-long production with National Theatre Wales, in which young poets from the Somali community performed all around Butetown.

Mike Berlin meets Somalis whose families have lived in Butetown for a century, and more recent arrivals tell their stories, too.

Producer: Julian May.

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28 minutes

Last on

Tue 23 Sep 2014 23:30

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