Prominent voices in public life have expressed doubts about Huw Thomas’ plans to attract a military museum from Aldershot to Cardiff Bay. Cardiff residents also spoke up against their leader’s plans.
Writing in the Western Mail, writer and broadcaster Carolyn Hitt said:
“Plans for a military museum in Butetown may be free but surely there is a cultural price to pay. The military museum’s previous comments on the significance of the Cardiff location didn’t amount to much more than it’s “viewed as advantageous due to it’s effective transport links and the council recognising the significance of bringing a national collection to the city” Wales has its own “national collections” writes Carolyn. And in a part of Wales that has redefined what it is to be Welsh and given us a history lesson that has particular resonance in a world scarred by racism this is a story that needs its own museum. Black history matters.”
Responding to Carolyn Hitt’s article leading cultural figures said:
“Dyma erthygl gall” [Here’s a sensible article]
– Jim Parc Nest, dramatist, poet and former Archdderwydd.
“History that really matters in Tiger Bay, where nations lived as one.”
– Beti George, award winning broadcaster,
“Such a timely column, I really hope that Cardiff Council and Huw Thomas stop the military museum and give it over to the incredible people and story of Tiger Bay.”
– Laura Kemp, author and Daily Mail columnist.
“100% agree with this. Please let’s not have the planned museum. Let’s have one that has a social & cultural root; one that reflects the people and area of the world famous and historically significant Tiger Bay.”
– Chris Corcoran, comedian and broadcaster
Senior politicians also questioned Huw Thomas’ vision for a museum of military medicine:
“Really Huw Thomas? Why not something which reflects the rich history and unique culture of this part of Cardiff?”
– Alun Davies, MS (Labour – Blaenau Gwent)
“I agree that a military museum doesn’t seem right for Cardiff Bay. A place to celebrate our multicultural seafaring history would be better.”
– Jenny Rathbone, MS (Labour – Cardiff Central)
“For Cardiff Council to watch the Butetown History and Arts Centre close due to lack of funds in 2016 only to welcome a Museum of Military Medicine to the area is an insult to the people who belong there.
“Cardiff is not a military town and it just does not make sense to have a museum glorifying warfare there. What it does have is a rich history, but this is rapidly being pushed aside in the seemingly frantic gentrification of the Cardiff Bay Area.”
– Leanne Wood, MS (Plaid Cymru – Rhondda)
Cardiff residents also expressed their puzzlement at Huw Thomas’ attempts to attract a collection of armed forces memorabilia to the nation’s capital:
“As a veteran, I agree that Cardiff Bay needs something more to celebrate its own history. Can’t see the point of having a museum of Military Medicine in the bay. Seems totally the wrong location.”
– Mark Hayden
“A flag waving “military” museum doesn’t do it for me. This is in Butetown, which used to have a museum of its people from all places. Given current world events, perhaps a museum of the human costs of imperial and military expansion to help us reflect a little more honestly.”
– Mark Barry
“A building full of war paraphernalia – please let Cardiff have some open space so the mind can rest. Cardiff council won’t be happy until every blade of grass in this city is concreted over.”
– Georgina Taubam
“This is to be a military MEDICAL museum, how niche is that? Why isn’t this being located in a former hospital, such as the empty Whitchurch hospital? A more relevant setting. More profitable to knock historic buildings, sell the land for houses. This is typical in Cardiff.”
– Matt Coles
Finally, Dylan Elidyr, also known as DJ Dilys summed up his view of Huw Thomas’ scheme in word: