Sian Prior

Writer, Broadcaster, Singer, MC & Teacher

Winter Journey 2016 – Chapter Two [June 24]

I’ve spent the past two weeks travelling around Wales with my mother Margot (née Jones) and sister Yoni (short for Merrioneth). We wanted to explore our family’s Welsh heritage. And hang out together. What luxury. Here’s some of what we’ve seen.

The walls of Bute Park, beside Cardiff Castle, are decorated with stone animals. Hard not to pat them.

The walls of Bute Park, beside Cardiff Castle, are decorated with stone animals. Hard not to pat them.

We have visited the seaside town of Penarth a few times. Lovely pier, and part of the Wales Coastal Walk, which is now chiselled onto my bucket list.

We have visited the seaside town of Penarth a few times. Lovely pier, and part of the Wales Coastal Walk, which is now chiselled onto my bucket list.

Pier Head is the building from which all the coal exports were coordinated - traffic control for shipping. Extraordinary history at Cardiff Bay, especially for someone descended from a Welsh coal-miner as I was.

Pier Head is the building from which all the coal exports were coordinated – traffic control for shipping. Extraordinary history at Cardiff Bay, especially for someone descended from a Welsh coal-miner as I was.

I found this public artwork in Cardiff Bay very moving.

I found this public artwork in Cardiff Bay very moving.

This was one of the many glorious objects on display at Tredegar House, preserved in three eras from the 17th to the early 20th centuries.

This was one of the many glorious objects on display at Tredegar House, preserved in three eras from the 17th to the early 20th centuries.

Mallards on the lake at Tredegar House.

Mallards on the lake at Tredegar House.

We visited the town of Blaenevon, where our ancestor Theophilus Jones was a coal miner and haulier in the mid 1800's. We have a diary he wrote on the ship coming to Australia in 1854. A man with a keen eye for detail but not much of a funster.

We visited the town of Blaenevon, where our ancestor Theophilus Jones was a coal miner and haulier in the mid 1800’s. We have a diary he wrote on the ship coming to Australia in 1854. A man with a keen eye for detail but not much of a funster.

Blaenevon is a World Heritage listed town because of its mining history. This signage also proves that the 'si' in Sian is pronounced shhhh.

Blaenevon is a World Heritage listed town because of its mining history. This signage also proves that the ‘si’ in Sian is pronounced shhhh.

Back in Cardiff we explored lots of gorgeous covered laneways. In the Castle Arcade you can find Jones The Barber, Cardiff Violins and Friends of the Earth. And an excellent cafe called Barker.

Back in Cardiff we explored lots of gorgeous covered laneways. In the Castle Arcade you can find Jones The Barber, Cardiff Violins and Friends of the Earth. And an excellent cafe called Barker.