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Jack Brooks.

Lord Jack Brooks was one of the driving forces behind transforming the run-down docks.

He played a major part in redeveloping Cardiff's docklands in his role as deputy chairman of the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation.

The former leader of the then South Glamorgan County Council and Splott councillor became a life peer of the House of Lords in 1979.

Ex-Prime Minister Lord Callaghan once said: 'Lord Brooks is one of the founding fathers who has helped create modern Cardiff. His heart and his soul are in the place.'

Talking of his time working on the redevelopment of the dock, Lord Brooks, 77, said: 'The reason the Bay was developed was that South Glamorgan County Council was in offices in Newport Road and we decided to move.

'There was a great resistance to moving to the docks on the behalf of many people, but I insisted and the County Hall was built.

'Nicholas Edwards (the former Welsh Secretary) put the idea of the corporation to me. I said if that was what he was going to do then the local authority must be represented on any board.

'The great advantage we had was the support of the Echo and its editor Geoff Rich, otherwise things could have been much harder.

'There was a great deal of opposition to building the barrage, which took six years to go through Parliament. People now forget that they opposed it.

'I worked on every one of those docks. It was a terrible place but it has been transformed.'
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 25, 2005
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