The Welsh Harp

Erik Lovold

Erik Lovold’s work ‘The Welsh Harp’ looks at “the Brent Reservoir, more commonly known as the Welsh Harp, a reservoir in north-west London that was built in 1838 to supply the Grand Union Canal and Regent’s Canal with water.” The area has strong Welsh connections and hosts the only Welsh speaking school in London (‘The Welsh School, London’) which for much of its history was the only Welsh educational institution located outside Wales until the opening of a Welsh language school in Patagonia, Argentina in 2006.


“In its heyday in the second half of the 19th century, the Welsh Harp was one of the most popular places in London, thanks to the public house its name derived from – the Welsh Harp Tavern.”


“It was W.P. Warner (1832-1899) who kept it and made the area popular, creating pleasure grounds and attractions such as a music hall, horse racing, and the first greyhound races with mechanical hares. The area, which had been a quiet countryside, became so popular that Midland Railways opened the Welsh Harp train station there in 1870”.


“The Welsh Harp was the place to be for leisure in London for nearly forty years, and then urbanisation hit the area with the development of West Hendon in the early 20th century. The public found a new place to go and the train station closed.”


“Industry and traffic hit the area with full force in the decades after the First World War, consequently dwarfing the reservoir from 195 to 110 acres. Today, the green space sits anonymously between the boroughs of Brent and Barnet, in between motorways and industry parks. But the reservoir remains, and is still a place of leisure and sport among the locals, providing a sense of freedom with its greens and pathways.”

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James O Jenkins

Thirty Years Ago

Roger Tiley

In 1984 Roger Tiley, a photographer from the Gwent Valleys, was 24 years old. The miners strike was unwrapping on his doorstep and he documented it whilst working for broadsheet newspapers.

Roger’s project ‘Thirty Years Ago’, is the re-tracing of that work, “I have decided to celebrate thirty years of photographing in the south Wales valleys, by producing a series of environmental portraits. The work will entail photographing people who have, or are still working in coal related jobs.”

Miner’s wife, Newbridge Memo (Celynen Collieries Miners’ Memorial Hall)

“As all of the deep coal mines have closed in the south Wales region, I’m revisiting ex miners who worked at various collieries and mines rescue centres. I shall also capture aspects of how coal still plays a significant part in the Welsh economy; tourism and open cast.”

Canteen lady, Big Pit Mining Museum

“Although there are no deep mines in the south Wales coalfield now, open cast mining is prominent on the northern outcrop of the south Wales coalfield.”

Marvyn, a miner all of his working life, Swansea Valley

Richard, Tour Guide, Big Pit Mining Museum

The work is due to be exhibited at the National Library of Wales and you can see more of Roger’s work at

James O Jenkins

Made in Wales

This Friday 14th March at 6.30pm please join us at Arcade Cardiff, Queens Arcade for the opening of our first exhibition ‘A Fine Beginning: Made in Wales’.

The exhibition features work from our collective as well as selected work from photographers we have featured on our blog since we started in May 2013.


James O Jenkins