Penarth passengers enjoying the sea and sun on board "Westward Ho" yesterday

Penarth-bound passengers enjoying the sea and sun on board “Westward Ho” yesterday

A new summer ‘steamer’ service linking Penarth with Flatholm and Weston Super Mare has just been launched with the first sailing (yesterday) attracting 38 passengers.

Westward Ho's distinctive bow ramp enables her to unload load cargo as well as passengers on Flatholm

Westward Ho’s distinctive bow ramp enables her to unload  cargo as well as passengers on Flatholm

The diesel Island Class passenger ferry “Westward Ho” has now been licensed to enter Cardiff Bay and has operated the first regular run of the year from Penarth to Flatholm . She operates from the passenger-ferry pontoon at the Penarth end of Cardiff Bay Barrage (near the Custom House) from where she crosses to Flatholm – offering passengers a same-day return trip to Flatholm and back. Passengers can also use her as a ferry from Penarth to Weston Super Mare.

The Westward Ho is MCA-licensed to carry up to 100 passengers at a time. She’s being operated by the well-established company MW Marine of Weston Super Mare and now has a full schedule of sailings throughout the summer – and the winter – from Penarth.  The full passenger timetable can be seen on this web site:-

The man behind MW Marine is Martin Woolls of Weston Super Mare who once worked for P&A Campbell Ltd and has been in the marine business for 30 years. The “Westward Ho”  is now offering a far more extensive service from Penarth than the paddle steamer “Waverley” which – as previously reported by PDN ( – is only sailing from Penarth on six days this year.

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Commando Paul Woodland of Penarth

Commando Paul Woodland of Penarth

Strict security precautions were in place at an inquest in Barnstaple, Devon into the death of a Royal Marine Commando – Penarth-born Paul Woodland.

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death on Mr Woodland who drowned in a Special Boat Squadron training course  when a 15 foot rigid inflatable boat in which he and four other men were heading towards Saunton Sands, was capsized by rough seas after its engines became swamped.

Saunton Sands

Saunton Sands

Evidence was heard that the dry suit being worn by Mr Woodland became snagged when he was hurled out of the boat and, although he was dragged clear, it was too late.
The incident has only now become public although it occurred in October 2012. The names of the four men who were with Mr Woodland in the boat were withheld and all gave evidence from behind screens for security reasons

The role of the SBS is to carry out undercover raids, intelligence gathering, counter-terrorism operations and sabotage. Since his death Paul’s fiance , Sian Woodland, has devoted herself to raising money for Royal Marine charities

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Thirteen emergency vehicles attended Sunday's the rock-fall with a police helicopter hovering overhead.

Was it over-reaction? A total of 13  emergency vehicles and a police helicopter attended Sunday’s rock-fall

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

The emergency response to Sunday’s dramatic 1000-ton rock-fall from the cliff face near the Kymin has come in for criticism from former Penarth Mayor Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative, Plymouth Ward).

The cliff-face from which 1000 tons of rock fell on Sunday

The cliff-face from which 1000 tons of rock fell on Sunday

Cllr Ernest – who lives nearby – has highlighted several problems regarding blocked access to the foreshore which – had there been any casualties – would have caused serious problems in reaching them and in getting them to ambulances.

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This Penarth Coastguard and Fire Rescue team had to go the long way around to reach the location

This Penarth Coastguard and Fire Rescue team had to walk  the long way around to reach the location

Welsh Water contractors – already much-criticised for insisting on carrying out major civil engineering works on the Esplanade over the summer – had blocked all vehicle and pedestrian access to the northern slipway adjacent to the Pier.

Cllr Ernest says that as a result there was no rapid means of access from the Promenade onto the beach, He says  “All emergency workers had to get on the beach from the bastion to the south of the pier and walk back along several hundred yards to the incident scene.”

Another major problem he cites is that “no emergency vehicles could have got onto the beach as there was no access in the vicinity except at the far end of the Esplanade by the Yacht Club”. Cllr Ernest points out “It would have taken a long time to recover anyone if they had been trapped – probably too late as it happens”.

There were 13 emergency vehicles in attendance

There were 13 emergency vehicles in attendance

Cllr Ernest also notes that the contractors and Vale of Glamorgan Council had been asked to keep a footway open along the access to the beach to the north throughout the 6 months of works – but have “not bothered to do so, to their eternal discredit.”

He also notes that there were no fewer than 13 emergency vehicles attending the scene -  comprising 6 fire service vehicles, including two special response units from Malpas, Newport and Barry, 3 ambulances, 2 police vehicles, 1 coastguard vehicle, and a Red Cross unit.

Cllr Ernest says  “Total Cost to the public purse? – quite a lot, one imagines”


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A "crocodile" of WW1 soldiers blinded by gas

A “crocodile” of WW1 soldiers blinded by gas

The Penarth World War 1 Commemorative Group – a closed ad-hoc- committee set up under Penarth Town Council to  organise events in association with the start of the 1914-18 War – has been told it must avoid the use of the word “celebrate” .

Keith Howells former chairman of the Penarth Council of Churches

Keith Howells former chairman of the Penarth Council of Churches

The warning has come from the former chairman of the Penarth Council of Churches Keith Howells who has told the group that  any commemorative events held in the town this summer should not be regarded, in any way, as celebrations.

Mr Howells who is also a member of the  Penarth and District Lesotho Trust and whose father was a Regimental Sergeant Major in WW2,  said he’d told the committee that if anyone  used the word “celebrate” he would “throw his cap at them”. He says there is  nothing whatever to celebrate about the First World War . Millions had been killed, he said, but no one really knows why.

The WW1 committee – which is not open to the public – says it is co-ordinating a “myriad of events” to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the war, The Town Mayor Cllr Neil Thomas has told the committee “Penarth can be proud of the unique way we are working together to orchestrate future events”.  


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PDN reader Stephen Huxstable shot this picture of the Blood Moon from Penarth Pier

PDN reader Stephen Huxtable shot this picture of the Blood Moon from Penarth Pier

Penarth Daily News reader Stephen Huxtable took this photo of the so-called “Blood Moon” rising over the Bristol Channel last night.

The distinct colouring was caused as the Moon passes into the deepest part of the Earth’s shadow with the Sun’s rays refracting through Earth’s  atmosphere leaving only the red portion to reflect off the Moon’s surface.

Stephen took the shot from Penarth Pier just as, he says, the moon was rising over Woodspring Bay  on the North Somerset Coast 10 miles east of Penarth . He said the colour of the picture is exactly as it was taken and not altered in any way.

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Penarth's Atlantic 85 lifeboat

Penarth’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat

The RNLI has released details of the special awards made this month at Penarth Yacht Club to the all-volunteer  crews and support team of Penarth Lifeboat.

Penarth lifeboat hero Jason Dunlop

Penarth lifeboat hero Jason Dunlop

Penarth lifeboat helm Jason Dunlop, received a Testimonial on Vellum in acknowledgement of his part in the flood response team who rescued a woman in the West Country in last December’s floods.

Andy Petersen was awarded the RNLI silver badge for carrying out various roles at Penarth, including the training co-coordinator, the lifeboat operations manager and the chairman.

Laurie Pavlin received an RNLI bronze badge for his support to the station as sea safety officer, offering pleasure craft users free advice on a range of topics including lifejackets, safety equipment and anchorage.

Helm Andrew Vye-Parminter

Helm Andrew Vye-Parminter

Veteran helmsman Andy Vye-Parminter received a long-service badge, recognising 20 years of being part of the sea-going crew. Andy was also a member of the RNLI team that worked on flood relief in Mozambique in 2000.

Rod Hill and Mike Kingston received RNLI statuettes for their roles as Deputy Launching Authority, Mike’s wife, Claire Kingston also received aa statuette in appreciation of her role as Penarth’s voluntary press officer .

RNLI Chairman, Charles Hunter-Pease said ”Penarth has a station of which to be proud, but more importantly a team, a real family of volunteers of all generations which make it such a success”

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Legal moves to tighten-up on declarations of interest.

Legal moves to tighten-up on declarations of interest.

All town and community councils in the Vale – including Penarth Town Council are   being sent letters by the Vale  Standards Committee about the practice of  councillors declaring an interest and leaving meetings without adequately explaining  just why they are doing so -  and what the relevant interest is .

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Standards Committee asserts in its circular that in meetings of some town/community councils there’s “confusion over whether a member in such circumstances has a personal and prejudicial interest and, if so, what  the nature is of that interest”. The specific councils involved are not identified.

All town clerks in the Vale are being reminded by the Head of Legal Services  of the Vale of Glamorgan Council about the provisions of a document called the Members’ Model Code of Conduct which states:-

“Where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority and you attend a meeting at which that business is considered you must disclose orally to that meeting the existence and nature of that interest before or at the commencement of that consideration or when the interest becomes apparent”


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