Cardiff Council Update: 05 April 2024

Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Bomb hero honoured on 100th birthday as World War II saviour of City Hall
  • Pentwyn community gives views on leisure centre plans
  • Flexible learning opportunities to boost career prospects
  • Stateside Success for film makers from Cardiff's Youth Services


Bomb hero honoured on 100th birthday as World War II saviour of City Hall

Cardiff Council has honoured a man who saved City Hall from destruction when he tackled an incendiary bomb dropped on its roof during a German air raid during World War II.

On the night of February 2, 1941, 16-year-old Ronald Brignall was walking home from college where he was studying for his plumbing qualifications. As he passed City Hall, the air raid sirens heralded the onset of a German bombing attack and he saw an incendiary bomb land on its roof.

With no thought for his own safety, he grabbed two sandbags and, holding one under his arm and another gripped between his teeth, he scaled a drainpipe and climbed 25 feet to the roof and doused the flames - cheered on by the official fire-watchers standing below.

As if that wasn't heroic enough, Mr Brignall then went down and carried a fire hose back up the drainpipe - again gripped between his teeth - and finished the job while the fire-watchers supplied water via a stirrup pump on the ground.

By the end of his mission, despite the ongoing raid, a crowd had gathered to hail him as a hero but, despite local newspapers at the time recording his exploits, there has been no official recognition of a feat that averted the destruction of one of Cardiff's grandest and most historic buildings.

Until now.

Today, as Mr Brignall celebrates his 100th birthday, the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Cllr Bablin Molik, travelled to the care home in Sussex where he now lives to present him with a special certificate thanking him for his heroism and recording the events of that day in 1941 for posterity.

At the time, Mr Brignall's only comment was that his jaw was sore from carrying the 12lb bag of sand up to the roof - and he'd ruined his suit - but today he said that at the time he was excited at being able to make some small contribution to the war effort. "I was only a teenager," he said, "and I didn't have any fear. I just wanted to make sure the bomb didn't do any damage to City Hall."

Determined to make even more of a contribution to the war effort, he later became an official fire-watcher, helping to protect Cardiff, and In 1944, he joined the RAF and became a rear-gunner on Whitley and Halifax bombers, featuring in Operation Varsity, the crossing of the Rhine by the Allies, in 1945.

Read more here


Pentwyn community gives views on leisure centre plans

More than 180 people attended a two-day Cardiff Council drop-in session last week to examine plans and give their views on the proposed refurbishment and re-opening of Pentwyn Leisure Centre.

The sessions were a chance for local people to discuss with council officials the details of the refurbishment, planned to take place after the centre is vacated in May by Cardiff Rugby Club, which has been using the centre for its training sessions.

Among the new facilities planned are:

  • A 25m pool with an adaptable moving floor which allows for the depth of the water to be varied, enabling it to be used for a wide range of activities and saving heating costs. The pool slide will also be retained
  • Retaining the existing sports hall and outdoor mini-3G pitch
  • Re-opening the studio and gym facilities and refurbishing the changing rooms
  • Investing in roof-mounted solar panels and an air source heat pump to heat the pool

A Cardiff Council spokesman said: "We were pleased that so many people turned up and that we were able to listen to their views and explain the new plans for the centre. We received positive feedback on our decision to change the pool design and on increasing the size and depth of the new pool. We hope to get on site soon to begin works."

Read more here


Flexible learning opportunities to boost career prospects

Enrolment is now open for adult learning courses starting later this month.

Adult Learning Cardiff provides courses suitable for learners of all abilities in Cardiff and is currently offering a wide range of vocational training and digital support that can help individuals improve their employment prospects.

Summer term courses start from April 15 and enrolment is happening now for courses such as Food Safety, First Aid, Health and Safety-related training, Childcare , various numeracy training courses, and many more.

Courses are free to eligible learners and are designed to help people  take their first steps back into learning, take part in further training or access employment opportunities.

The service also provides digital support to Cardiff residents, including introductions to basic computer skills for those looking to upskill to get in to work, or for anyone who wants to get to grips with the latest technology.

Courses are held in hubs and community buildings across the city.

Read more here


Stateside Success for film makers from Cardiff's Youth Services

Six young people aged 13-17 from Cardiff Youth Services have returned from a unique youth exchange to Carlsbad, California where they scooped the Broadcast Excellence Award at the Student Television Network Convention.

The 11-day trip focussed on film making and attendance to the convention, held at Long Beach Convention Centre, provided a wealth of opportunities for the budding film makers to develop skills, compete in national competitions, attend workshops from industry experts and share culture.

The Broadcast Excellence Awards, presented by the Student Television Network was awarded to the young people from Cardiff Youth Services for their work on Butetown Buzz, a news show co-created with young people where they write scripts, film, report and edit.

The awards celebrate outstanding achievement in student-produced television programming, recognising creativity, innovation, and technical skill across various categories, including news, sports, entertainment, and documentary. Winners showcase the next generation of media talent and inspire excellence in broadcasting.

Whilst in California the group were hosted by American families, attended school, appeared on a young person lead daily television show and took part in cultural activities including trips to Disneyland and Lego Land.

Read more here