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Penarth Pier Penarth Pavillion Faรงade of shops on Penarth Esplanade Boats opp. Sailing Club Penarth RNLI lifeboat men cleaning lifeboat Penarth lifeboat station View from the shore towards to the Pier Sailing boats Along the shore The Fig Tree Bar & Restaurant The Pavillion entrance Penarth Pier entrance Commemorative Plaque Memorial Plaques Along the Pier End of the Pier View towards Cardiff Bay

There is something about the British coast that pulls me like a magnet. I love the wildness of it in the north and also the shabby chic and the grandiose-ness of it to the south. Penarth, just west of Cardiff Bay is in transition, Once separate to, it has now been subsumed by Cardiff and its avaricious building programme. The Lifeboat Station and the Sailing Club provide an echo of its fishing and seafaring heritage and the Esplanade and elegant pier with it’s peeling Pavillion speak of happy days by the sea, laughter and fond memories, hunting for fossils on the shoreline. The Pavillion is closed, which is such a shame because Cardiff needs to retain it’s heritage or it is in danger of becoming a ‘toy town’ where the new builds (kiss me quick developments) which seem modern and shiny now, don’t look like they are built to age gracefully. The good news is a heritage lottery fund award last year means it can be saved for prosperity. Penarth Hotel opposite was demolished to make way for a very brown, bland block of flats not at all in keeping with the charm of the Esplanade. A pity we’ve learnt so little from the visionary Victorian builders who knew that building was more than a scale drawing and bricks and mortar. Penarth Esplanade draws you there, exuding charm enough on rainy days to help you see past all the ‘kiss me quicks’ and make you stop and sit a while, wondering who might have the vision to rescue the Pavillion and what will the flats look like that will be replacing the row of shops that have been demolished and where all that remain are the two twin Victorian towers and the thin façade held up by sturdy steel scaffolding. From Penarth you look across the Bristol Channel (Severn Estuary) to Weston Super Mare, and the north Devon coast. Your eyes might skip over to the giant industrial installations along Cardiff Bay with the iconic Millenium Centre singing out in the sunshine in protest (perhaps) ‘within these stones horizons sing’ further on to the west, Barry Island and the smoking chimney stacks of Port Talbot are hidden from view around the corner. You can also see the two islands of Flat Holme and Steep Holme which are well worth a boat trip, even a stop over maybe?

All images contained within this publication are copyright of Juliet Brain, Artsmonkey 2012 . All rights reserved. Any unauthorised use of these images will constitute an infringement of copyright. @Artsmonkey1

Penarth Esplanade  

A rainy Sunday morning in April along Penarth Esplanade

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