Holder’s Menswear – Penarth’s last traditional gents’ outfitters – is officially closing on March 30th – but with customers  queuing up for bargains it’s reckoned that all the stock will have been sold-out  long before then.

Holders – the gentlemen’s outfitters which has been serving Penarth since 1946 – will be closing for the last time next week.

The shop – which is owned by Ashley Holder – grandson of the founder,  is to be leased – as from next week – to Edinburgh Woollen Mill, the UK-wide retail and property company run by multi-millionaire Philip Day.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill controls the fashion chain Peacocks and its property arm already owns the Holm House Hotel in Marine Parade Penarth and a portfolio of other local properties.

Customers snapping up the bargains at Holder’s Menswear as the stock is sold-off before the shop closes next week.

Holder and Sons – which later became A.C. Holder and Sons, and later Holder’s Menswear Ltd  – was originally established  in 1946 by Mr Ashley Holder’s grandfather  – Arthur Charles Holder, the founder of the firm.

Mr Holder senior was  a professional tailor who acquired the 15 Windsor Road premises (already a tailor’s shop)  previously run by George Kinnersley.

The original frontage of the 15 Windsor Road shop just after WW2 with the “GK” initials above the door

George Kinnersley’s initials “GK” were incorporated in the fretwork above the windows of the original shop frontage.

Under the Holder family, the shop was modernised, and extended rearwards to add well over 100 feet of retail space in what  had been a back yard. A second shop-frontage  and the rear entrance  which opens onto Ludlow Lane was then incorporated.

It is a long walk from the front of Holder’s shop to the rear entrance on Ludlow Lane

The interior of the shop -with its fine wooden panelling, pile carpeting and bespoke shop fittings – still imparts all the hushed, discreet ambience of a Savile Row outfitters.

Holders specialised in high-quality menswear, top-of-the-range ready-to-wear suits, jackets, shirts, ties, waistcoats, leather shoes and essential gentlemen’s under-pinnings such as braces, sock-suspenders and accoutrements like tie-clips and cufflinks – the only place in Penarth which stocked such items.

Holder’s had the ambience of a top-class menswear shop

There once were other outfitters in Penarth – such as Alf Brockington, Evan Roberts,  and – at the cheaper end of the market – Hodges – but they are long gone. Holders was the last one left.

The present owner Mr Ashley Holder – “Penarth born and bred”  –  who  began working in the shop as a schoolboy at the age of 8 –  is now retiring to enjoy life as a landlord.

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The concrete-filled rusty oil-drum that greets bus passengers arriving at the Penarth Heights stop

One of Penarth’s most endearingly-casual bus stops – a scaffolding pole thrust into a rusty oil-drum – may not now make it into the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s architectural heritage list of “County Treasures” .

The unique oil-drum bus stop. There’s nothing else quite like it anywhere in Penarth

The wonky, “distressed-look“,  oil-drum bus-stop – which serves the upmarket area of Penarth Heights and High St Penarth – and is within the architecturally-sensitive Penarth Conservation Area   –  is not to be conserved.

It’s now emerged the rusty drum is to be  replaced by a brand new, “proper” bus pull-in with all the required health and safety trimmings .

However the plans for the new bus stop mean an awkward decision has to be made by local residents.

The Labour controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council – having learned somewhat late in the day that it needs to consult Council-Tax Payers about such things – has dispatched letters to everyone living in the vicinity to ask them what they think about the exciting new plans.

The council says the new “permanent” bus stop will comprise :-

  • Bus Stop Protection road markings,
  • No Waiting at Any Time’ parking restrictions,
  • Raised kerbs
  • A bus-stop “flagpole” complete with “flag and timetable case”.

Local residents are being asked to tell the council what they think about the plans by April 13th. Anyone who doesn’t respond will be deemed to be in favour of the upgrade plans.

The total amount of cleared space to be taken up by the new bus stop will be a stretch of about 50 metres comprising yellow lines & bus stop markings. Those parked cars  won’t be allowed to stay where they are now.

However not everyone is that keen on the plans for the new bus stop – not least because of the total amount of roadside space it’s going to take up .

On this adapted Vale of Glamorgan Council plan the total area where parking will be banned is marked in red

Local  residents who normally park their cars in the area have now calculated that the total amount of roadside real-estate required by the new bus stop –  and associated yellow lines as indicated by the council’s map – could be as much as  50 metres (enough kerb space to park 13 Minis) .

If the new bus stop arrives, all  the cars that are currently parked there – including Cab 64 taxis – will have to go somewhere else. Some local residents are already pointing out that the new bus stop will mean that they will no longer be able to park anywhere near their own homes.

“Safle Bws” means “Bus Stop” . Cardiff Buses 95A and 95B don’t operate on Sundays but the “no-waiting” will apply 7 days a week

In the past however the Vale of Glamorgan Council has quashed such protests  – saying  it’s under no obligation to provide motorists with free car parking on public roads.

One resident says however that the subtext of that council policy is – in effect –  that anyone who doesn’t have a garage,  or a private driveway,  should not be allowed to own a car – and that’s not a very egalitarian policy.

Meanwhile the council  is at pains to point out that it’s actually subsidising the buses that now stop at Penarth Heights with a view to encouraging the use of public transport in preference to private cars.

Currently the bus services that use the stop don’t run in the evenings or on Sundays but the parking restrictions would still apply. There’s no intention of installing a similar stop on the other side of the road.

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CSSIW inspectors called without warning at the Cliffhaven Care Home in Clive Crescent, Penaarth

The Cliffhaven Care Home – one of a number of similar institutions in Penarth – has undergone an unannounced visit by inspectors of the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW).

The home – operated by E & E Homes Ltd – provides  accommodation and personal care to a maximum of 19 people over the age of 55 years with dementia needs.

Cliffhaven Care Home accommodates up to 19 residents with “dementia needs”

Although the inspection was carried out without notice, “in response to concerns raised to CSSIW“.the home seems to have emerged quite well from the inspection, –  with its staff being praised, the premises being found to be secure “clean and fresh”  .

The CSSIW Inspection Report says ” Individual rooms were homely and personalised with photographs and memorabilia”. 

Inspectors found that overall “residents and their families at Cliffhaven care home are complimentary of the care and services they receive” . Staff are friendly and provided supportive interactions. Written care plans detailed how people’s needs are to be met and are person centred. People are accommodated in an environment that is clean and comfortable.

Staff were reported to be “warm, friendly and respectful” and having demonstrating a knowledge of general needs, personal likes and dislikes of individuals living at the home. A range of activities, one-to-one and group activities is offered throughout the week. The only minor hiccup was that  an activity board which timetabled activities at the home did not say on which days the activities were to take place – but that’s being sorted out

Residents and their families praised the home with the following comments:-

  • I’m very happy here, the staff are all very good.”
  • “ Staff are very kind.”
  • “I visit very often and staff have been brilliant here, no problems at all.”

The main entrance of Cliffhaven

Paperwork and records at the home were found to be up to date but inspectors said that home must ensure that “residents’ property lists are complete as appropriate on admission”

The inspectors also pointed out “clutter stored in the downstairs bathroom which was in regular use” . and recommended that  “toilet tissue in communal bathrooms are contained in appropriate holders to prevent cross infection”. They also said “Visible signs” must be placed  in areas where oxygen is stored.

No areas of non-compliance were found at Cliffhaven.

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The Penarth Times hasn’t appeared since March 16th

The local weekly newspaper the Penarth Times failed to arrive in local newsagents’ shops this morning  – the second time the normal Thursday publication of the paper has been disrupted.

One local newsagent said today no advance notice had been given to shops  that the Penarth Times would not be delivered this morning and the Newport based publishers Newsquest –  had not been in touch with them.

It’s the second time in recent weeks the Penarth Times has failed to be issued on its due publication day.The paper last failed to appear on March 9th because of what were then said to be printing problems.

Sources within the South Wales Argus in Newport – where the paper is edited and printed – said that as far as was known, today’s edition opf the Penarth Times had come off the presses on schedule – but for some reason the 4,000 printed copies which are normally dispatched to Penarth had failed to arrive.

Local newsagents have said they’ve been given to understand that today’s paper will be on sale tomorrow .

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Penarth Cemetery is run by Penarth Town Council

The local free newspaper the Barry Gem has reported this morning that Penarth Town Council has issued a formal apology to a local  family this week after mistakenly burying the late Mrs Marion Jarvis (nee Hooper) of Coronation Terrace, Penarth in the wrong plot at Penarth Cemetery.

Mrs Jarvis (82) had died in 2003 but had been interred, by mistake, in a plot which was adjacent to the one in which she should have been laid to rest.

When the mistake first came to light the family asked whether Mrs Jarvis’s remains could be left undisturbed but were informed by Penarth Council officials that this could not be permitted. They were then required to sign paperwork for a re-interment

Mrs Jarvis’s remains were exhumed, moved and re-interred in the correct plot on March 14th, along with the ashes of her  grand-daughter.

The family is to take up Penarth Town Council’s mistake with the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns, Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamrogan

Mrs Jarvis’s son  Mr Paul Hooper says he is planning to  take-up the matter with the Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns.

In the meantime – according to the Barry Gem’s exclusive report – Penarth Town Council has formally apologised to the family and provided complimentary flowers for the reinterment .

From the headquarters of Penarth Town Council  at West House has come an apology for a mistake made at its cemetery 14 years ago.

Penarth Council has issued a statement saying “Penarth Town Council would like to publicly apologise to the family of Mrs Marion Jarvis and the obvious distress this situation has caused. The error occurred 14 years ago when Mrs Jarvis was interred at Penarth Cemetery. The use came to light when Mrs Patricia Quick came to the council to arrange for the ashes  of her baby granddaughter to be interred with Mrs Jarvis.”

Last year there were complaints from local people about Penarth Town Council’s poor standards of maintenance at the cemetery

The council says “From a legal point of view , Mrs Jarvis’s family did not hold exclusive rights of burial for the grave where Mrs Jarvis was originally buried, Therefore this had to be corrected and the only correct action the council could take was to apply to the Ministry of Justice to conduct and exhumation and arrange immediate reburial to the correct grave plot “

The council statement says “At all times officers at Penarth Town Council have worked with the family to redress the error as swiftly and sympathetically as possible”  …”Officers have been thanked by members of the family during this difficult time”.



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The site of the proposed 225 new Barratt homes is on a 7-field site on Murch Road Dinas Powys (outlined here in red) – is only 400 metres from the Penarth Learning Community on Sully Road.

A controversial plan by Barratt Homes Ltd to build 225 new dwellings at the former St Cyres School site at Murch Road, Dinas Powys – on the outskirts of Penarth – is not to be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment – the Vale of Glamorgan Council has decided.

A full planning application for the scheme has not yet been made  – but the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council is said to have already agreed with Barratt Homes that an Environmental Impact Assessment WILL NOT be necessary.

The 7 fields which comprise the site for Barratt’s proposed 225 new homes include the site of the old – demolished –  St Cyres school (Google Earth)

Because it’s so near to Penarth –  (the site is just 400 metres from the new “Penarth Learning Community” campus on Sully Road) – the development will inevitably have implications for Penarth as well as Dinas Powys .

It’s the latest attempt by the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council to shoe-horn yet more housing into the  area in order to meet what many regard as its grossly over-estimated and unjustified housing-construction targets.

The site in question comprises 7 fields of what was once  an ancient woodland. It is described by Barratt’s as “agricultural land surrounded bny mature hederows and hedge trees”.  The old St Cyres School site is in the north-eastern part of the site.

Independent candidates who are standing in May’s Vale of Glamorgan Council elections have now taken action to thwart the cosy agreement said to have been reached last week between the Vale Council and Barratt Homes.

The fight against the proposal is being led by an Independent Dinas Powys candidate for the Vale Council  John Maitland Evans who knows planning procedures like the back of his hand. He is a former Chief Executive of the Vale of Glamorgan Council who retired in 2012 when Labour took control of the council.

He and his colleagues are now challenging the Vale Council’s decision to ostensibly wave-though Barratt’s request not to bother with Environmental Impact Assessment and are now to use a little-known procedure which allows third-parties to ask the Welsh Government directly to override the council’s decision.

John Maitland Evans  and his colleagues believe the Labour administration in the current Vale Council has “rushed the decision and simply gone ‘through the motions’, instead of taking a long and hard look at the developer’s requests”.


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The Church in Wales has dismissed complaints from Stephen Doughty and 9 other MPs about its decision not to appoint a gay cleric as Bishop of Llandaff

There’s been a rebuff today for Stephen Doughty – the Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth and 9 other MPs who have complained to the Church of Wales about its decision not to appoint a homosexual cleric –  Dr Jeffrey John – as Bishop of Llandaff.

Doughty – who is himself gay – had joined with fellow MPs Madeleine Moon, Carolyn Harris,  Nia Griffiths,  Chris Elmore, Chris Bryant, Chris Evans, Wayne David, and Gerald Jones  in urging the Church to “rethink” its decision to reject Dr John.

Dr Jeffrey John

It’s been reported that Dr John was “blocked” from  becoming a bishop amid allegations of “homophobia”  . Dr John, who is currently Dean of St Alban’s Cathedral, is reported to have said the only reason his nomination was rejected was his “sexuality”.

The MPs wrote to the Church in Wales claiming the process for appointing the new Bishop of Llandaff was what they described as  “flawed” and alleging that it had led to what they called “considerable disharmony, anger and confusion”. The 9 MPsincluding Doughty –  had claimed that they had “‘heard from many quarters’  of concerns over “homophobia” and were demanding that a new vote be carried out.

The unappointed candidate – Dr John himself –  is said to have claimed that “a number of homophobic remarks”‘ were made against him during the appointment process  – and that bishops were ‘just too exhausted‘ to deal with the problems which they thought his appointment would bring about.

The MPs  – including Doughty – queried that point in their letter – saying “We are of the opinion that ‘”exhaustion”‘ cannot be acceptable as a reason not to appoint someone eminently qualified and what we are informed was the unanimous choice of the electors of Llandaff.

The Electoral College of the Church in Wales has dismissed the complaints of the MPs

Today the Electoral College of the Church in Wales has hit back saying  We are satisfied that the Electoral College process was carried out properly and fairly. We will not comment on speculation about the nomination and discussion of candidates.”

The Church statement also empaphatically dismisses the allegations that there was  homophobia in the process” .  It says “Neither homosexuality nor participation in a civil partnership are a bar to any candidate being either nominated or elected as a Bishop in the Church in Wales.”

The Church has today also ruled out the MPs’ plea to reconsider its rejection Dr John  –  saying  “The appointment process [ for the new Bishop of Llandaff] is underway and we see no reason to halt it.”


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