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Darkest Cardiff – Book Launch with John F. Wake

‘Cardiff, the greatest hell on earth,’ was a description of the city in 1908. It prompted John F. Wake to find out why Salvationist John Stanton believed that. He seemed to refer only to women, and to that end the book examines the lifestyles of the most arrested, impoverished the maligned of Cardiff’s back-street women.

John unearthed reports of countless women, and highlights a few of the more notorious, yet likely unheard-of characters, such as Maggie Sawdust and Muscular Mary. There is a long, hard, look at Wales’ most arrested woman – an alcoholic with over 500 court appearances to her name.

Why? What turned young girls to fall into the most savage lifestyle? In the author’s mind, it was social injustice and the need simply to survive in the ‘perfect storm’ that was the incredible growth of a sleepy, coastal village to the economic powerhouse of industrial Cardiff.

John takes you deep into a world that you perhaps never knew existed, and looks under his feet at what lies beneath the shops, streets, offices and houses of twenty-first century Cardiff, indeed under the venue of this launch itself, Motorpoint Arena.

Launch starts promptly at 1pm, doors open as 12.45pm.

Entry is ticket-only via wordcatcher.com.

Motorpoint Arena, Exit 7 (dedicated door facing Charles Street), please do not use the main entrance.


ATTACHMENT DETAILS Motorpoint-arena-cardiff-exit-7-wordcatcher

Map: Google maps

Motorpoint arena photo: Wales Online


17 Jun 2020


12:45 pm - 1:45 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: 17 Jun 2020
  • Time: 7:45 am - 8:45 am
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