Valentina Tereshkova in Cardiff
In 1984 former Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova visited Cardiff. She had famously become the first woman in space in 1963 when she orbited the earth 48 times in Vostok-VI. She was in London at the invitation of the Royal Aeronautical Society but, for some mysterious reason, expressed a desire to see Cardiff. Whilst here she took in the delights of Cardiff Castle and Penarth. She also met members of the Wales/USSR Friendship Society for a special luncheon at the Royal Hotel. Via an interpreter she said: “The people in Cardiff and Wales are among the most hospitable in the world. I have heard so much about your city and I wanted to get to know it better. That’s why I decided to see Cardiff with my own eyes and meet the people.” The Soviet space heroine was then presented with a prize-winning poem penned by a Barry schoolboy entitled The Sub. It was about a submarine commander who is ordered to fire off his nuclear missiles. After wrestling with his conscience he carries out the order only to discover moments later that it was a false alarm. Valentina Tereshkova is still alive and even today is a huge name in Russia. She has 2 Orders of Lenin, an Order of Merit for the Fatherland and is a Hero of the Soviet Union.