Friday, 25 March 2011

Penarth Pier

There was an early vision of summer on Penarth Pier today: bright sunshine, kids with ice creams, shorts and sandals, waves on the beach below.

At the entrance to the pier is Tonys, who sells pizzas, other hot meals, and Thayer’s Ice Cream. On the pier itself are two snackbars. The first is Decks on Penarth Pier, specializing in fish and chips, bacon rolls and Joe’s Ice Cream (made in Swansea). Next door is Nicola’s Juice and Coffee Bar, run by Nicola Morgan with some help from her daughter, selling pasties, pies, sausage rolls, baguettes, cakes, and fishing bait. An impressive photo gallery of proud fishermen and the fish they have caught off the end of the pier is on display on the wall.

I had an excellent freshly-squeezed orange juice and a buttered slice of bara brith from Nicola’s Juice and Coffee Bar. She did me a good deal as it was the end of the loaf. Regulars seem to make use of the coffee/teas exchanged for gossip option.

Penarth Pier was built in 1894 and most of the pier is in good shape. Large ships embark from here; the Waverley (a steamboat) and Balmoral board from the end of the pier in the summer for cruises along the Bristol Channel. However, the Pavilion is in urgent need of renovation. The ambitious Penarth Pavilion Project has plans approved to convert the Pavilion into a multi-purpose hall, with a small cinema/lecture theatre, visitor centre, restaurant/bar, observation tower and Café. The funding is currently being raised and everyone hopes this terrific scheme can be completed in 2013.

The plans for the pavilion can be viewed in The Washington Gallery (there is also a good café) in Penarth.

To find out how you can get involved in the Penarth Pavilion Project visit:

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