Page last updated at 07:02 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Museum interested in saving pub

The Vulcan Hotel
The National History Museum near Cardiff wants a pub for its collection

A 155-year-old pub which is due to be demolished next year could be preserved at an open-air museum.

The Vulcan Hotel in Adamsdown, Cardiff, is due to close next year to make way for a car park.

But the National History Museum at St Fagans near Cardiff is keen to add a pub to its collection of buildings.

A museum spokesperson said it would "gladly consider" preserving the Vulcan at St Fagans and would be taking a "closer look" at the pub.

The Vulcan, which still has some of its original features, is one of Cardiff's oldest pubs and has previously been voted the city's pub of the year.

Ray Gates
The characters that come here, they're great, you have a laugh
Pub regular Ray Gates

A spokesperson for the museum said: "We are actively looking to add a pub to our buildings collections at St Fagans National History Museum and we intend to take a closer look at The Vulcan Hotel in the near future.

"We would have to look at the suitability of the building and take into account various considerations such as if it has original fixtures and fittings for example.

"Buildings are normally offered to us and if the owner was to donate it, we would gladly consider it."

Pub regulars said they were disappointed the Vulcan was being demolished but liked the idea of preserving the pub at the museum.

Student Steve Perry, 19, said: "It would be better than seeing it knocked to the ground as rubble.

"It's a shame it's going to go because the atmosphere in the pub is brilliant. It's all about the atmosphere and the people."

"It's a Welsh version of Cheers!" added fellow student Gwilym Pugh, 22.

Ray Gates, 64, of Roath in Cardiff, often visits the pub and will be sad to see it disappear.

"I probably would go to see it [at the museum] to see how similar it is to this," he said.

"You can't beat this place. The characters that come here, they're great, you have a laugh."

Brian Smart, whose wife Elizabeth is landlady, would have mixed feelings if the pub was rebuilt at the museum but said it would be "better than seeing it go to dust".

"It wouldn't be the same to see an empty pub there and for it to be locked up every night," he said.

"They travel from all over Cardiff to come here. They keep coming back."

SA Brain, which runs the pub, has been served a compulsory purchase order but an exact closing date has not been fixed, although Mr Smart said the pub was due to close its doors next June.

Isabelle Whitehouse of SA Brain said: "SA Brain & Co Ltd have been served a compulsory purchase order and currently have an open-ended lease agreed for the Vulcan with the developers.

"Within this agreement the developers have to give notice for the termination of the lease. To date we have not received a notice from the developers so we are unsure of a closing date."


We asked you for your views on what should happen to the Vulcan. Here is a selection.

As a regular and long time drinker in The Vulc I feel a bit like the character Mark E Smith of The Fall depicts in that band's 1983 classic single 'The Man Whose Head Expanded', in that of late I have been heard to espouse the notion that the pub should be rebuilt brick by brick at St Fagans. More than that,it should be run as it is now on the new site.

It is a fabulous pub and in these days when all pubs are becoming identical--you know the score;knocked into one big room,piped music that only a moron would want to suffer,massive Sky screens--if there isn't room in a city as big as Cardiff for several old style,what some would call 'proper', pubs like The Vulcan then lets just give up and stay home and admit that the yahoos have won.
Barrie Francis, Cardiff

The Vulcan is simply a great pub which must be saved and if that means moving it to St Fagans then sobeit and it would certainly enhance the facilities at St Fagans too!
Nic Browne, Caerphilly, Wales

There are so few reminders of Cardiff's Victorian past, it would be great if the museum - and brewery - could rebuild the Vulcan at a city location as a working pub. Why not recreate it as it was in the 19th century, with bar staff in suitable costume? It might be too much to ask for the prices to go back in time, but the theme pub could be a tourist attraction and money-spinner for the museum.
Steve (Camra member), Cardiff

As far as I am concerned the pub should stay where it is. There is no excuse for this cultural vandalism. If they want to build a car park make them build around the pub, enough of old Cardiff has disappeared already!
Lee Gillum, Sully, Wales

What would be even better than moving The Vulcan to St Fagans would be to leave it where it is and get the developers to incorporate it into their designs. I'm starting a proper campaign to preserve this part of Cardiff's history.

There is an online petition with over 250 signatures and rising. Look out for campaign stories in the Echo and on BBC Wales cos The Vulcan's not for demolishing!

Too many historic Cardiff pubs have been knocked down in recent years - the Red House and the Inn on the River to name but two. The Council has presided over the demolition of Cardiff history. They need to learn that not everything has to be shiny and new.
Graham Craig, Cardiff

Once again Cardiff lets itself down. Is it intent on removing all trace of character from the city? It seems any building with any history connected to it is demolished all in the name of progress/car parks/luxury apartments! First The Red House now The Vulcan...the list is endless. Are we destined to socialise in a city made up of soulless bars & Wetherspoons?!
Mr Jones, Cardiff

The Vulcan

I have travelled the world and never drank in a more authentic, welcoming, classic British pub than the Vulcan. It is just madness to turn it into a car park - Please don't let this happen Cardiff.
Mike, Cardiff, UK

What is the council on? Cardiff is becoming increasingly souless with the city reduced to chain bars and "luxury" one bed flat complexes. The links between the developers and councillors should be more throughly investigated.
Mogg, Cardiff

This on of the great classic pubs in Cardiff if not the whole UK.It would be a great shame to lose it and every effort should be made to save it.........but if it has to go then yes rebuild it in St Fagans but run it as a proper pub again I'm sure all the visitors would enjoy a drink in there.
Martyn Lewis, Pontypridd

It is always a difficult decision whether to keep a building in its location or to move it to a museum. Places are changing all the time and if the Vulcan was kept where it is it would be part of another phase in the development of the area. In a museum it would be out of context and 'fossilised'. Who knows, when the Vulcan was built perhaps someone said 'That modern pub is spoiling the look of our area'! Whatever the outcome the pub should be preserved and hopefully if it does move to St. Fagans will still serve a good pint of Brains!
Tim Copeland, Cheltenham England

Cardiff has no character or beauty, it pulls it all down for shopping centres and car parks, then pulls them down again and builds again. It is pubs and buildings like the Vulcan that make a city. Cardiff has no atmosphere of its own, no sense of its history, no charm. The is very little pleasure to be gained from visiting beyond shopping. I far prefer to go to Bath or Bristol. If the Vulcan was allowed to remain it would thrive with the new university building opposite. It is such a shame, Cardiff should be embarrassed
Sam, Cardiff

Do we have to destroy all our heritage for the sake of the motor car. This pub is a favourite pub with New Zealand rugby supporters & friends of mine. They like to see how Cardiff was & but not in a museum.
bill davies

I've recently left Cardiff for a short while and it's made me realise what Cardiff is losing. Pubs like the Vulcan are a plenty in other cities - somewhere you can go to without having dressed for the intention of a big night out. They also bring groups of people together who would perhaps not meet otherwise - old and young, student and local (something that really suits the nature of Cardiff). And what replaces them? Shoddy clubs and pubs designed to last until the next financial year. My fear is that in a few years time all the pubs with a sense of history and a community will have gone and, if drinking habits change, many of the new clubs will become derelict buildings.
Emma, London

How about applying for it to be Listed then they'd HAVE to build around it!
Jill, formerly of Cardiff; currently in Northampton

It would be very sad to see a lovely old pub like this close. Here in Manchester they have moved two old pubs, not once, but twice, to accommodate new developments. They are hugely successful businesses and have been sensitively integrated into a new urban setting. It is time Cardiff City planners and developers showed some imagination and did something to retain what is evidently a very popular local pub.
John Beswick, Manchester

I agree with the comments made, I have lived in Cardiff for 38 years and we do not seem to have much of our heritage buildings remaining, particularly one over 100 years old. To demolish The Vulcan in favour of a car park is nothing more than historic vandalism by the Council and developers (who I doubt are from Cardiff). Why can't this pub be incorporated into the development of the new Car Park? I'm sure today's advancements in design and building can accommodate The Vulcan within the design. Take a look at The Atrium across the road from The Vulcan, which looks amazing and has been built around the shell of an old Cardiff office block. The council should be the ones in the museum!!
Lee , Cardiff

I suggest the Cardiff planners are taken to the Vulcan on international day. Then they'd know what they are doing to us. Unbelievable.
David Rees, London

Come on, there is surely enough car parks in Cardiff as it is!! Why can't we keep part of our history going. Everything that has character is being demolished and replaced with souless pubs with no class!! Let's be proud of our historical buildings.
Lee Jefferies, Cardiff, Wales

I'm not Cardiff born but have lived here for nearly 30 years. In that time I have seen Cardiff go from a city with real character and atmosphere to another characterless "design a city" lookalike. To demolish a pub like this which is so evocative of old Cardiff for yet another car park,is disgraceful. Is it not Government policy to discourage inner city car usage? This pub was here long before the car was invented and could, with a degree of sense from city planners, be here long after the oil has run out. This pub should be saved in it's original location.
Pete, Cardiff

I still can't believe that anyone would possibly have the notion of destroying a pub for a car park. It's going to cost 5 a day to park there, but the bus is 3 return from the edge of the city and there are park and ride schemes at many rail stations both in Cardiff and the surrounding valleys, and fares for the closest stations (Caerphilly, Treforest etc) are cheaper than 5 return. What is the council up to?
Matthew Smith, Cardiff

The Vulcan is a character pub next to the atrium and is getting very popular with students a cultural hive. Cardiff council must be mad to want to knock it down. The best cities are a mix of old and new and this is how they thrive. Save the Vulcan.
Jacqueline Jones, rhondda

It's a shame to see The Vulcan under threat, but it doesn't surprise me at all. Cardiff Council want the city to be 'forward looking' and competing with Bristol, Birmingham etc. commercially and to hell with history and sentiment (will they be bulldozing the Castle next to put up a Waitose?) Cardiff is slowly becoming just 'another city' - where is the hwyl now when we need it?

Gareth, Didcot (formerly of Cathays)



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