F.A. Jones – Brian Jones
We’re F.A. Jones, and we’re a decorators’ merchants based in the centre of Grangetown, counting lots of other great individual businesses as neighbours on Penarth Road. We specialise in paint, wallpaper, vinyl and other decorating accesories among others, and the same faces have been visiting us for years, but it’s also lovely to see so many new customers.
We’ve been a family-run DIY and homeware store since 1951, when my father, FA Jones himself, came from the other Cardiff suburb of Cathays to set it up. I’m Brian, and I’ve been running it for 52 years. We used to have multiple branches throughout the city, but now it’s just here – the original. The shop has been part of our family for so long I can’t imagine having had any other career. In terms of Grangetown, I also live here, so this area means a lot to me both business-wise and personally.
Having called here home for so long, I’ve noticed dramatic changes to Grangetown. It’s close to the Docks and Bay, so there’s always been immigration. When I started working at 14, I remember talking to all sorts of people – it’s how you learn about the world and other cultures. In the 1970s especially, this was thriving. However, in the past 20 years, even more so in the last 5, it’s been changing rapidly. There are so many different sub-groups to be found here.
In my opinion, the Bay will further overtake Grangetown in the future, but I’m positive and feel Grangetown is set to get better. Lots of visitors from around the world are finding out how great Wales is. I’d sum up this district as having smaller communities within the overall community, sometimes dysfunctional, but overall brilliant.