The Pumping Station: Grangetown’s grotto of antiques

Do you wander around museums wishing you could take the exhibits home with you? At this Victorian warehouse, you can do just that.

Cardiff’s old curiosity shop – every item tells a fascinating story.

Tucked away on the banks of the Ely, looking out to the Vale of Glamorgan, is a Grangetown landmark.

The Pumping Station, an imposing red-brick structure, looms into view from the window of the 92 bus as it rattles along Penarth Road.

The Pumping Station: a mecca for antique-lovers.

Stepping through the front door of the Pumping Station, you quickly realise you’re wandering into an Aladdin’s cave.

From floor to ceiling, as far as the eye can see, is a fantastical hoard of oddities. It feels more like a museum than an antiques market.

An eclectic collection. Whether you’re looking for vintage clothes or a true-to-size model aeroplane, chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
Sunlight illuminates the intricate details of this vintage wedding dress.

Greeting visitors as they arrive is Tony Boyce, who sits at the reception and offers directions around the labyrinth of goods being displayed by more than forty individual vendors.

“We sell everything but the kitchen sink here!” he jokes, before realising that the Pumping Station has actually sold quite a few kitchen sinks in its time.

Xiao, originally from China, likes to visit whenever he’s not at work. “I love old music, and they have a great collection of records here to browse through.”

“It’s called the Pumping Station because it was originally a water treatment plant for the docks. Then it became a dogs home for a while, before the antique market was set up around thirty years ago.”

“We’ve even got an aeroplane!” A replica of the Red Baron’s First World War triplane hangs from the ceiling.

“The most interesting item we ever sold was a helicopter, which sat outside the front door for a while!”

He laughs,”we really do sell anything and everything.”