Welcome to Sweyne's Eye - the photography project created, developed and continued by local author & photographer Chris Elphick to detail the changing face of his home city of Swansea.

Thursday 31 March 2016


Did a nice long walk from the seafront car park infront of Singleton Hospital to Mumbles this evening, rewarding myself with a nice 4 scoop Joe's ice-cream along the way. Was a tad sad seeing the state of the Amusements building outside the ice-cream parlour. The Amusements have been a feature of Oystermouth for as long as I can remember and I will miss them, though I do have to admit I have only actually been in there once in the last 20 years. You can see what the building used to look like here.

Mumbles itself was bathed in a dreamy blue light and, even though the sun had now set, looked stunning.

Mumbles' old lifeboat house

Mumbles Pier entrance

Shop window display

I loved how the water changed the wheels of the bike in this pic

On the way back to the car, I called in to the West Cross Inn for a coffee...

The stained glass window set in the inner entracce door of The West Cross Inn
,,,which was served with the tiniest of welshcakes, which was well tasty:

The weather forecast is a bit grim for the next few days so I don't know when I will next update this blog sorry.

Wormcasts, Swansea Bay

Wednesday 30 March 2016


An absolutely beautiful evening's sunshine drew me down to Swansea Bay again after work today and I parked up at the seaside carpark outside the 360 Bar. As you can see from the first picture here, the car park was a little flooded after the recent rain but there was still plenty of dry spaces to park up for an hour or so.

The partially flooded seafront car park at 260

Swansea Council's car parking tariff is curious to say the least. Why on earth do they charge 50p for one hours stay but more than double that price for two hours stay?

Luckily, their bizarre (and rather unfair) second hour's car park charges didn't apply to me today as it had only just turned 6pm and it is free parking after 7.

Before going down onto the beach for my evening's walk, I popped into the 360 for a quick Latte and was impressed by the quick service there and also their fresh and rather jaunty decor.

Having lived in Swansea for most of my life, I remember Swansea Bay during it infamous years, when it was regarded as little more than an open sewer by much of the city residents. Thankfully, those dark days are slipping from memory and today the beach is both clean and popular. It really is a great seeing the sands here enjoyed by so many people and I, too, as can be clearly seen by anyone flicking through the pages of my Swansea blog, am finding myself drawn here more and more regularly.

This evening, especially, Swansea Bay seemed to be celebrating the sunshine with a particularly sporting theme:

An evening's game of Volleyball

A run along Swansea Bay

I can see myself spending quite a lot of time down Swansea Bay this year.

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Sad News Re. Swansea TIC

Unfortunately, according to rumours currently circulating around the city, it looks like Swansea will soon be losing its Tourist Information Centre. Unfortunately, its location, tucked away (some could easily describe it as hidden away) out of view near the entrance to the Quadrant bus station, can hardly have helped attract visitors - which is a shame really. In fact, it is a scandal. Swansea should be shouting out proudly about all it can offer, not hiding away its Tourist Information Centre and then actually closing it down. I am still hoping that this rumour is wrong, but even if it is and the Centre does actually survive, please Swansea Council, be proud of the city and its neighbouring countryside and move our TIC somewhere where it can actually be seen!

Lionheart and Lightsout

Lionheart and Lightsout by Bedwr Williams

Located near the soon-to-be-demolished Oceana complex building on The Kingsway is this interesting public artwork by Bedwr Williams. Comprised of four brass high-heeled footprints set in four connecting pavement slabs, the piece celebrates an incident which occurred outside the nightclub in 2009.

Cage-fighters Daniel Lerwell a.k.a. ‘Lionheart' and James Lilley a.k.a. 'Lightsout’ were on a night out in Swansea's city centre when they were set upon by two drunks who took exception to the atheletes' drag outfits. The drunks had already caused a scene by setting upon other members of the public and, fired up by this previous fracas, they then attacked the two, unbeknown to them, cage-fighters. The fight lasted just seconds and was captured on CCTV. The video, showing the two violent drunk's comeuppance at the hands of Lionheart and Lightsout, went viral when it was released on social media and led to the two cage fighters being celebrated across the internet, tabloids and TV.

Bedwr Williams' outdoor art installation, memorialises the events of that night and literally sets in concrete the fight against harassment and persecution that was symbolised in the digital CCTV footage of the fight.

Swansea's Peat Bog Forest

An Ancient 10,000 Year Old Tree Stump on Swansea Bay

Whilst standing on the vast sands of Swansea Bay, looking out over the Bristol Channel to the distant coastline of England, it is difficult to imagine that the scene here looked distinctly distant to our ancestors. 10,000 years ago, or thereabouts, all that separated Swansea from England was a small, meandering river which fed between a huge forest that joined the two nations. As the last Ice Age retreated, so the sea level rose - to a degree when it eventually flooded the forest to form Swansea Bay - as well as the numerous other beaches that lie further west along the Gower Peninsula.

Whilst this may well be a curious thought, what is perhaps a stranger one, is that remains of this vast forest are still visible today. Emerging from the sands of Swansea Bay, fragments of ancient tree stumps and roots can still easily be discerned. Preserved for an Age in stretches of old peat bog that lie beneath the bay, these trees remind us both of the ever changing habitats that fill the space around us and that current environments often hold clues to those that preceded them.

Remains of the Immense Forest Which Once
Occupied What Is Now Swansea Bay

More Peat Bog Remains of Swansea Ancient Forest

The Quiet After The Storm

After the fury of Storm Katie, Swansea Bay was quiet this afternoon. The temperature had taken a definite downturn and there was still a bit of a hefty breeze tousling the sand, the sea and the clouds. But, as I hope I have already demonstrated on this blog, whatever the weather condition, Swansea Bay appears beautiful:

Waterlogged: The Swansea Bay Cycle Track

Swansea Bay and Mumbles

A seagull Struggling Against the Wind over Swansea Bay

The Ever-Beautiful Swansea Bay

Monday 28 March 2016

Swansea Sea Glass

I regularly search Swansea Bay for sea glass. Though it is not the best beach for such finds, it is my nearest bay and there are a few good examples to be discovered there from time to time. This morning, after the worst effects of Storm Katie had passed, I was lucky enough to find these two lovely examples of sea glass amongst the shells scattered along the tide line:

Thursday 24 March 2016

A Gloomy Evening's Walk Through Townhill

I headed out for a walk through Townhill this evening, despite the gloomy rain that has been falling on Swansea for most of the day. Was really impressed how my iphone 4S coped with the conditions too:

Townhill Road

Townhill Water Tower

Townhill Skateboard Ramps

The Phoenix Centre Walkway

Wednesday 23 March 2016

A Few Closed Pubs

Bird In Hand Inn, Clase Road, Morriston

There is not much left of the Pines Country Club, Llangyfelach Road...

Pub Sign - all that is left of the Pines CountryClub Sign, Llangyfelach Road

The Dillwyn Arms, Llangyfelach Road

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Sketty Hall Shelter

A little within the grounds of Sketty Hall lies this very unusual dome-roofed Ingress portal.

This building is the modified remains of the old late 19th Century Swansea folly known as the 'Temple of the Winds'. Originally, the dome rested upon four slender marble columns and surrounded a central ceramic feature. The building fell into quick disrepair and the west side of the temple was filled in during the late 1930's. During this time a wooden seat was added to the structure. The two remaining pillars were filled in during the early 1990's, leaving only the east site of the temple open. At this time, the seat was also removed. Part of the original ceramic feature is now mounted on the back wall of the building.

Cable and Phone Boxes, Townhill

Another Lost Glove, Mayhill

I do not know what is going on but I must walk past at least two lost gloves on the streets of Swansea every day. Here is the latest one, which I found here on a roundabout in Mayhill:

Sunday 20 March 2016

Black Pill, Swansea Bay

Taking advantage of an unexpected further lovely evening, I took another stroll down Swansea Bay tonight, this time heading further west to Black Pill. The tide was nice and full when I arrived around the 6pm mark, making the beach walk even more atmospheric and enjoyable:

Reaching Clyne, I was rather taken by this public art work, known as the 'Musical Osprey':

The piece is part of a set of two ospreys, one nesting and this one ready to take to the air. Made to commemorate the reopening of the  Blackpill Lido in August 2000, the sculpture is located in the children's play area and can be played musically like a giant xylophone.

I ended the evening's walk by visiting The Woodman, enjoying a nice hot coffee there before heading back out into the chill of the night and the return walk along the beach:

Black Pill, Swansea Bay

Saturday 19 March 2016

Swansea Bay at Dusk

I took another walk along Swansea Bay this evening and caught the place lit beneath some beautifully moody clouds. I am so happy that I live in Swansea.