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New trail reveals stories behind park's memorials.

Byline: RHODRI CLARK echo.newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

THE stories behind the memorials in Alexandra Gardens, Cardiff, can now be discovered using your smartphone.

QR codes have been placed on or near the seven main memorials in the gardens, in Cathays Park, so visitors can read about the people they commemorate.

The information about each memorial is connected to form a self-guided circuit of the gardens.

The memorials relate to medical and educational history and to several 20th century conflicts.

The facility was created by information project HistoryPoints and its contributors.

Cardiff Bereavement Services, which looks after several of the memorials, installed some of the QR codes. The QRs are free to use, other than any data download charges in the user's mobile contract.

One of the featured objects is the Thalidomide Memorial, which commemorates the thousands of people who were affected by thalidomide.

The drug was prescribed for numerous ailments in the 1950s and 60s, but for pregnant women it had disastrous results.

Many young people today may know little or nothing about the scandal.

Cardiff resident Rosaleen Moriarty-Simmonds, who is thalidomideimpaired, said: "It's wonderful that we now have little QR code plaques at the Thalidomide Memorial.

"The reason for creating the memorial was to ensure that the story of thalidomide would never be forgotten, and for this we need to pass the story on to younger generations.

"We hope that many of the students who visit Alexandra Gardens, among others, will take a moment to scan the QR codes and read the concise information about the memorial."

Another featured memorial is a tree planted in honour of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, whose bravery helped to save thousands of Hungarian Jews from Nazi deportation before he was taken in by the liberating Soviet Union forces and never seen again.

The oldest memorial is the statue of Lord Aberdare, who helped to overhaul education in Wales.

He was the first president of what is now Cardiff University.

The largest monument in the gardens is the Welsh National War Memorial, which has no interpretation board and does not list the war dead.

The QR codes reveal how it was conceived and what to look for as you view the memorial, as well as providing a link to details of thousands of war dead commemorated at almost 140 local war memorials around Wales where HistoryPoints QR codes are displayed.

QR codes near the Spanish Civil War memorial enable visitors to discover which Welshmen died fighting fascism as volunteers in the International Brigade.

Also featured are the Gift of Life stone, commemorating donors of organs and tissues in Wales, and the Falklands National Monument. | The memorials tour can also be followed online at www.historypoints.org

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QR codes have been installed on memorials at Alexandra Park, Cardiff so visitors can learn more about them. Below, the Thalidomide Memorial ROB BROWNE

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 3, 2018
Words:479
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