Spillers Records, Cardiff

Spillers Records recognised as the oldest record in the world was founded in 1894.  In 2010 it relocated to Morgan Arcade in Cardiff.  Photos below were taken December 2017.

This building was previously occupied by Capital Bookshop run by second-hand bookshop owner Andrew Mitchell who ran a bookshop on this site for 30 years.   


The Burton Cooper by James Butler

The Burton Cooper by James Butler, located inside the Cooper Square shopping centre in Burton upon Trent.

From the plaques on the pedestal : 

The Burton Cooper – Created in 1977 by James Butler RA, this bronze statue depicts a cooper, a traditional local craftsman, hammering down the trusses on the cask so that iron hoops can be fitted.  It celebrates the historic cask making and repairing skills which have been associated with Burton Upon Trent since the brewing industry was first founded.

The statue was commissioned in 1977 on behalf of Pensman Nominees Limited in association with The Burton Brewers, the Burton Civic Society and Local Traders.  In 1994 Pensman Nominees presented the statue to East Staffordshire Borough Council in trust for the people of Burton.

Note : one of the images is by Elliott Brown, under a Creative Commons License.

James Butler has a fascinating professional website, including video and documentary details on his sculpting process.

Contemplation sculpture by Harry Iles

‘Contemplation’ a fascinating, taut sculpture carved in wood by sculptor Harry Iles.  It is dated from 1971, so seems to be from the early part of Iles’ journey as a sculptor.  It was photographed in May 2018 at Crickhowell Resource and Information Centre, Beaufort Street, Crickhowell.

Some biography on Harry Iles, quoting him from his website :

Harry was born in Tiger Bay Cardiff in 1951 and grew up in a large family in Morecambe where he spent a lot of his childhood exploring the natural world in the nearby Lake District.

He began carving whilst teaching as a VSO in Swaziland, where he saw the brutality of apartheid and the courage and warmth of those struggling against it.  After studying Zoology at Cambridge he became a full time artist, teaching himself to cast bronze in a backyard furnace, bringing tree trunks back to his studio, drawing and working in stone.  

Sir Michael Sobell bust at Sobell Leisure Centre, Aberdare

A bust of Sir Michael Sobell, in the foyer of Aberdare’s Sobell Leisure Centre.  He was a major philanthropist and his charitable foundation provided major funding for the Michael Sobell Sport Centre in Islingon, London, as well as the Michael Sobell Leisure Centre in Aberdare.

I’ve no further details on this bronze bust at present.  

Vision of Saint Gwynllyw, City of Newport

The vision of an ox inspired the sculpture by Sebastien Boyesen called The Vision of Saint Gwynllyw or The Bell Carrier, finished in 1996 and found in central Newport today. 

Saint Gwynllyw was the legendary founder and patron saint of the City of Newport living around the 5th century.  

The sculpture was originally sited at Austin Friars, Newport.  In 2014 it was re-sited to near the roadside off Usk Way during the development of the Friar’s Walk shopping area.  Since the move, the plaque with details and description has disappeared.  A transcription of the plaque wording included in the gallery below.


David ‘Bomber’ Pearce, Newport’s Rocky

A striking sculpture of British heavyweight boxing champion David ‘Bomber’ Pearce (1959-2000) unveiled at the riverfront in City of Newport on 9th June 2018.  The sculptor was Laury Dizengremel.   He was dubbed ‘Newport’s Rocky’ according to the BBC News story here.

Peace Sculpture, Cardiff City Hall by Anton Agius

The Peace Sculpture at Cardiff City Hall, Civic Centre.  Sculptor was Chevalier Anton Agius.  This sculpture was presented to Cardiff Council in 2003 to commemorate the Greenham Common March (1981).

Story from Wales Online :

More than 30 women – some with small children – set off from Cardiff in 1981 to march to Berkshire to protest about the storing of cruise missiles at an American airbase in Greenham Common.

Some chained themselves to fences and others were arrested in an occupation which lasted until the last missiles were flown back to the US 19 years later.

To commemorate the march, Thalia Campbell, 71, decided to raise funds for a sculpture. She spent nine years raising £13,000 although after meeting Anton Agius, who was prolific in bronze and concrete stone works, she was told he would do it for free.


Some background on Agius here …

Anton Agius – M3P