Identity of Place: Tiger Bay

We all feel more comfortable at home. It is where we spend most of our time and where we learn and play. It helps us form a sense of community and feel part of the family of the village, town or city where we live.

Where we live can have a big effect on our identity - who we are. We are shaped by things like culture, history, language and sport.

The identity of places are also shaped by the people who live there.

Tiger Bay

Tiger Bay was a community that grew around the docks in Cardiff when it was one of the busiest coal ports in the world

Tiger Bay was a very diverse place - the people who lived there came from dozens of different countries.

Sailors from Somalia that arrived on ships looking for work, stayed and settled in the area, marrying local women and making Cardiff their home. People came from the Caribbean, the Arab Peninsula, West Africa and all over Europe to make Tiger Bay a unique part of the city.

It was famous for being a place where people of different backgrounds, nationalities and religions all lived and worked side by side. The export of coal from the docks eventually came to a stop. The Tiger Bay that was such a lively and vibrant community gradually disappeared.

In 1999, the Cardiff barrage opened which turned the old docks into a large lake. A new, modern community grew around it called Cardiff Bay. It is filled with new flats, bars, restaurants and even government buildings.

People now enjoy the Bay as a leisure destination - somewhere to go to enjoy and relax. But for some, it will always be remembered as a unique community where people from all over the world called home.

Learn about other communities in Wales that have been shaped by history, events and landmarks.

  • Aberfan

The identity of a place can also be affected by things that happen, some of them unfortunate.

The identity of the village of Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil has been shaped by a disaster that happened in 1966. On the morning of 21 October, coal waste above the village slid down a steep hill and on to part of the village.

It hit Pantglas School and a number of houses and 144 people were killed.

Today in Aberfan, a memorial garden where Pantglas School once stood reminds the community of their loss, something that they will never forget.

  • The Anglesey Bridges

Landmarks can also help form the identity of a place.

Anglesey is an island which is connected to the mainland by two famous bridges. They have been a feature of the area since they were built in the 19th century.

The Menai Suspension Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford was completed in 1826. At the time it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Britannia Bridge was designed and built by Robert Stephenson. It carried two train tracks, and when it opened in 1850 it connected Anglesey to the railway network for the first time.

They were built so that people could travel more easily from Ireland to London. These days they are used by thousands of locals and tourists every day, and are a part of the rich history of the island.

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