Spillers Records

Morgan Arcade

Since it was first opened by Henry Spiller in 1894, generations of Cardiff’s music lovers have fallen under the spell of local music store, Spillers. Originally located in the original Queens Arcade, it sold recordings on wax cylinders, examples of which are still in the store today, as well as gramophones and musical instruments. “He must have had a really good business head and understanding of when the rise and popularity of music was going to kick off,” says current owner, Ashli Todd, “There has always been a rich music scene in Cardiff with lots of local bands and Welsh language music.”



The popularity and demand for pre-recorded music led the business to move in the 1940s to the location most people in Cardiff fondly remember it, on The Hayes, with Ashli’s father buying the store in 1986, after being manager for a number of years. Ashli’s own career at the store began in 1996, “I made the mistake of asking for money for the cinema with my friends and my dad said I could either clean out the chickens we kept in a shed or come and work in the shop for a few hours so obviously I chose the shop!” she explains, “I worked here through my degree and then in 2010 I had the opportunity to buy it. There is nothing finer than steering this store through what are still uncertain times. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be as much fun.”

The store moved to its current location in Morgan’s Arcade in 2010. Situated over two floors, it is now proudly the oldest record store in the world. Whilst digital downloads, streaming services and online retailers, have become more popular over the years, Ashli says there are still those who appreciate music in a physical form. “The explosion in vinyl was unprecedented,” she says, “We meet people from all over the world, from San Francisco, New York, Japan. People who are passionate about music are drawn here.”



The creation of Record Store Day over a decade ago has also rekindled the enthusiasm for independent music stores, “It’s huge!” exclaims Ashli, “This year we had the huge honour of Lauren Laverne broadcasting her Friday morning show for BBC 6 Music live from the shop, which is the most surreal thing I can remember ever happening in the store in my time here.”



“The Arcades are the best kept secret in Cardiff. If customers are adventurous and take some time to visit, they will find something really exciting – there’s tons of variety, stuff that is creative and unique,” says Ashli, “The architecture is beautiful, the modern buildings just don’t compare, and for people who like supporting local independents, this is where you’ll find them in the city.”