Peter Finch is perhaps
the foremost chronicler of Cardiff, past and present. His response
to the 2020 lockdown restrictions confining people to their local
authority area was to begin walking the boundary of his. This was
in a mirror of his long walk along the south Wales coast recorded
in Edging the Estuary.
The Cardiff border rarely
appears on maps. The city is no longer has walls (like York or Chester),
or a modern transport périphérique like Londons
M25. Instead its dotted line boundary travels across fields, along
motorways, up rivers, through forests, over rail tracks and along
miles of intertidal mudflats following the edge of the Severn. The
border itself is made up of waymarked trails, city streets, highway
liminal zones, woodlands. Mud-soaked tracks up hillsides, bridges,
diversions, disentanglements and discoveries all play a part in this
informative text created for walkers and armchair travellers alike.
Edging the City explores
(often literally) why and where borders exist, their purposes, their
love of water courses. It discusses other cities with walkable borders
including York, Chester, London, Paris, Bruges and Seoul. It considers
legal and geopolitical reasons for borders (the battles over placement
of Welcome signs, for instance), how they change and what
happens when politics crosses boundaries. Cardiffs medieval
and other boundaries are tracked. The border is walked, run and sailed.
Finch talks to ultra runners who have traversed the 50 plus mile route
in a single day. He provides textual diversions on border history,
north Cardiff trees, words for mounds, the mountains of Cardiff, the
citys coalmines, its triads, historical figures, battles, hill
forts, poets, politicians, housing developments and other divertissements.
Theres a citys edge playlist which filled the authors
head as he strode available on Spotify. Edging the City is a view
of Cardiff like no other, full of insights and discoveries.
Listen to the Edging the
City playlist on Spotify here.
Check what it all looked
like in the Flickr stream here
View the interactive map at Plotaroute here
A companion to Finch's Edging The Estuary
Edging The City is published by Seren Books
275 pages. Paperback £9.99
all good bookshops & from Amazon
It tells the whole story. Is it a real book? It's real enough.
The City - Peter Finch
available from Seren Books
more with PedrFinch's Flickr photosets
The City - The complete Set
- The Port of Cardiff
Estuary - Sailing on the Waters
- The Land is Sinking
on the Cardiff Bay Barrage
back to the top