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BBC Wales's Stephen Fairclough
"The museum had houses, chapels and a village store - but not a police station"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 08:25 GMT
Police station 'goes quietly'
Taff's Well police station
Taff's Well police station - as it looked in its heyday
An historic police station is being taken into custody - by one of Wales's flagship museums.

The Victorian station at Taff's Well near Pontypridd starts its journey on Wednesday to the Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagans, on the outskirts of Cardiff.

When it arrives on its new home five miles away, it will be painstakingly rebuilt, brick by brick.

Historic buildings at St Fagans
The museum has restored some of Wales's rarest buildings
The museum already had houses, shops, chapels and industrial buildings rescued from other parts of Wales - but the one thing it was missing was a police station.

The station - which dates from 1896 - was just what curators were looking for.

And, as South Wales Police were getting rid of stations they no longer used, the arrangement suited everyone.

Details recorded

As well as being a workplace for the local constable and sergeant, and a resting place for criminals, it was also home to the resident sergeant and his family.

Every inch of the building has been recorded and measured in preparation for the move - even details of the trademark blue light and the iron bars on the cell windows.

Experts will use a set of photographs from the end of the 19th century to help them in the restoration.

The museum is also fortunate that it has written records from the original architect dating back to 1892.

On the lookout

When the station opens to the public in two years time, visitors will be able to experience what life was like for police officers - and criminals - in the nineteenth century.

Staff at the museum are on the lookout for more buildings which record the history of Wales.

Top of the list are a typical Welsh pub and an Italian cafe of the kind once commonly seen throughout the south Wales valleys.

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