Businessman, Philanthropist, Sportsman
_During the city of Cardiff’s period of economic success at the turn of the twentieth century when it was rightly acclaimed as the greatest coal port in the world, fortunes and reputations were made by many who were involved in the trade of black gold.
One such individual was Claude P. Hailey, who was energetic and influential, and was extremely well liked and admired by his associates.
He was born on 20 September 1875 and grew up as part of the Congregational Church in Charles Street and attended Howard Gardens School.
At the age of 18 he entered the secretary’s office of the Taff Vale Railway Company, moving on to the Coal Freighters Association and, finally, the prestigious Cardiff Coal Exchange as secretary.
He married Gertrude Seward and settled in Llandaff, residing at Branscombe, The Parade; an address no doubt entirely suited to his position and status. He eventually, was to become the director of 30 companies, such was his business acumen; however, he was always concerned foremost with the welfare of employees and their well-being and not necessarily commercial performance and balance sheets.
As a sportsman he excelled, winning the South Wales Tennis Championship three times. Golf, cross country running and billiards also appealed so it was obvious fresh air and recreation were considered vitally important to this office bound administrator.
The Congregational Church dominated his private life, for as well as being a deacon, he was choirmaster and organist at Christ Church, Llandaff; the latter being built at the turn of the century on land he had donated.
He was a man of obvious intellect, deep religious conviction, and considerable sporting prowess, always with concern and compassion for his fellow man; in fact, stereotypical of the late Victorian/Edwardian gentleman of means.
The residents of Llandaff North will forever be indebted to this mild mannered, quietly spoken, benevolent individual for the donation of land that became Hailey Park. So, it is vital that this area is cherished and cared for to a degree that would have made him proud. Let us hope the park will always bear his name, a constant reminder of his generosity and goodwill to a district he chose to call home.