CARDIFF was little more than a village at the start of the 19th century, with a population of less than 2,000 and an address 'near Llantrisant'. But by the end of the century it was one of the busiest ports in the world, a status made possible by the growth of the coal industry in the South Wales valleys. Ship owners brought men from the West Indies, Africa, Europe, the Orient and the Middle East to make the port of Cardiff a thriving cosmopolitan town, which was to develop into a proud capital city. It was in 1905 that Cardiff was given the title of a city and the right to elect a Lord Mayor. This coincided with the building of the civic centre, considered second to none, and the founding of the university. In 1955 the city was officially named as Capital of Wales, a role which it had long assumed. By then, it had survived two world wars. Hundreds of Cardiff men died in battle while the city itself was targeted by German bombers who were helped by spies operating in the area before and during the war.
The South Wales Echo has reported the events in Cardiff for more than 100 years and the photographs in this book, from the newspaper's library, give an insight into the city's life up to the 1970s. It is a work which will delight locals and visitors alike, young and old.