Archive Butetown Street, Cardiff

Cardiff's Tiger Bay

Tiger Bay - Cardiff's dockland district - is Wales' oldest multi-ethnic community. Sailors and workers from over 50 countries settled here.

Some of the largest communities included the Somalis, the Yeminis and Greeks. Residents of many races and backgrounds socialised together and intermarried, creating a distinct community.

Tiger Bay was also notorious. A slice of red-light district and gambling dens between Cardiff's city centre and its docks, and home to a rich mix of multi-racial communities, it had a powerful character of its own. Its most famous former residents are former rugby star Billy Boston and singer Shirley Bassey, who were both born in Tiger Bay.

The 1960s saw the wholesale destruction of large areas of the Bay and displacement of the community.

The 1970s and 80s saw a new influx of refugees from conflicts around the world, and the 90s saw the birth of the renewal of the area as a leisure and business hot-spot and the founding of the National Assembly for Wales.

Today, the Cardiff docklands area is known as Cardiff Bay and it has been transformed by the Cardiff Barrage that impounds the Rivers Taff and the Ely to create a massive fresh-water lake.


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