Photographer finds unseen 1980s photos of Cardiff

March 4, 2011 7 Comments »

1980s cardiff

Clearing out a recording studio is not where you’d expect to find a stash of Cardiff photos – but that’s what happened to one freelance photographer.

Jon Poutney, who has recently bought the Cardiff Music Studios off Whitchurch Road, found the photos while renovating the studios.

He said: “We’d recently bought the music studios and were clearing out the building – as it was a bit of a state. As we did we found a whole host of old prints and negatives.

“As a photographer myself I was very interested and found it they were taken by Keith. I asked around but couldn’t find anymore information about him.”

View a selection of the photos found by Jon

Mr Poutney is now attempting to trace Keith and anyone who appears in the photos.

He said: “It’s odd to think these photos are nearly 30 years old yet apart from Keith no one may have seen them.

“I want to try and track down Keith to find out more about the photos and I hope if people recognise themselves or the areas in the photos to get in touch.

“All I know about him is he lived in the studios for a while, and became a taxi driver.”

The photos mainly show the Adamsdown, Splott and Butetown areas of Cardiff and people going about their daily business.

The 32-year-old who moved to Cardiff to study photography at university said: “These are unusual photos in that they just show everyday life. They are weddings, funerals and children playing in the streets.

“There also a lot of the forgotten parts of Cardiff, what is now Cardiff Bay. I think they are all from around the 1980s. I worked this out as one of the photos has a local newspaper in it showing the date.”

Mr Poutney has set up a blog to host the photos as he finds the time to take photos of the prints and get them online, as well as putting them on display at his studio.

Anyone who recognises themselves in the photos or knows where Keith is can reach Jon by email on or Or take a look at Jon’s Cardiff Before Cardiff blog.

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  1. Lucas March 4, 2011 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Those photos are great

  2. Lisa Buckley March 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Would be great to see these photos in an exhibited

  3. Cmugs March 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    My great great aunt wa in on eof the photos in the Echo this week – very surprised to see her there asp as she wasn't with my great great uncle… dunno who the fella was!!

    • yourcardiff March 10, 2011 at 8:52 am - Reply

      Thanks for your comment Cmugs. Have you emailed Jon (his email address is at the end of the piece) to let him know? He's trying to caption up all the photos and trace people who were in them.

  4. yourcardiff March 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Just to give you all an update. Jon has managed to trace most of the names of people in the photos, and I believe he's going to be taking photos of people who are still alive – hopefully in the same place the original photos were taken.

    There's also plans in the pipeline for an exhibition, and there's also more photos to come as well. We'll try and get some more to put up on the site.

    Plus I had a visit from the mysterious Keith's brother this morning – it seems he's lost contact with him as well, so the plot thickens. But he told me he had a phone call from a relative in Scotland who had seen the photos online! The power of the web eh?

  5. Sue Northmore April 30, 2011 at 5:20 am - Reply

    I've just found this page, I cried when I saw Denise Truman on her bike such a happy little girl and remember her just as she was captured, such a shame she died so young.
    I can remember the day the photos were taken, the children were playing as usual and my daughter Laura and Denise came running in to tell me 3 men were taking photos of them, it was odd, unusual but not the same odd as we would feel nowadays.
    I'm really pleased the photos were taken, a little bit of history preserved.

  6. Eva August 19, 2011 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    The boy in the photo with Denise truman is Lee O'Shea aged about 6

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