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A look at city's characters of the past and present.

Byline: Cardiff Remembered...with Brian Lee brianlee4@virginmedia.com

Ricky Canty on his roof in Barry Ricky Canty on his roof in Barry CARDIFF has certainly had its share of characters over the years.

One present-day Cardiff character is Ricky Canty, always smartly turned out, and best known as Rooftop Ricky.

He can be found three or four days a week standing outside the Cardiff Civil Justice Centre in Park Street. He was dubbed Rooftop Ricky during the months he spent on the roof of his house at Raldan Close, Barry, and served a jail sentence for contempt of court back in 2006 for refusing to come off the roof.

Ricky has had a longrunning dispute with Price Waterhouse over the ownership of a property which was sold at auction when he was in jail and whatever the ins and outs of the case, you just have to admire him for his stamina and persistence. I remember my mother telling me about a man who was dubbed "Oh My Money".

This poor hapless creature used to walk the streets of Cardiff muttering, as he went along, the words "Oh My Money". Apparently, he had lost all his money in some business deal which had gone wrong.

Another Cardiff character who wore a battered top hat and who carried a sandwich board was Bert Jarvis.

I was told his hands were always well manicured and he was never without a large packet of Players cigarettes.

Then there used to be a woman nicknamed Penylan Sal who was always hopelessly drunk every Saturday night at the junction of Albany Road/ City Road.

Two policemen usually lifted her on a small open truck and would wheel her to Crwys Road Police Station.

Then there was, so I was told, old Parry with a horsedrawn trap which had a boiler on the back emitting sparks as it made chips.

He used to shout: "Chips all hot and for a penny" and lived in a whitewashed cottage in fields near Penylan Hill.

And how about the sad tale of the Lady in Black who every morning for years went to the Great Western Railway Station to meet her husband.

She would sit on one of the platform seats all day. However, he never turned up as he had been killed in the Great War.

How many of you remember the tramp who used to walk around town with a lavatory seat around his neck? During my school days there was a well-known tramp who went by the name of Larbo.

Another well known character was Blocko who lived in Rhymney Street and who used to sell tram blocks from his handcart.

We used to call out "Blocko" and he would chase after us.

I recall one occasion the road under Lower Road Bridge in Cathays was flooded and the kids from Rhymney Street put on their bathers, as we then called them, and swam in the waters that had become coal black owing to a coal lorry being stuck in the water.

However, that didn't stop Blocko joining in the fun.

If you have any Cardiff characters stories I would be pleased to hear from you.

Send your stories/|pictures to Brian Lee, Cardiff Remembered, Front Office, South Wales Echo, Six Park Street, Cardiff, CF10 1XR or e-mail brianlee4@virginmedia.com Please include a home telephone number.

CAPTION(S):

Ricky Canty on his roof in Barry

Bert Jarvis with his sandwich board

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 20, 2015
Words:577
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