The Crazy Cafe on Penarth Esplanade is “open” in all senses of the word – with its bi-fold windows admitting plenty of sea air – to complement the aroma of coffee and freshly-baked bread

The newest addition to Penarth Esplanade – the “Crazy Cafe” – been successfully pulling in the customers during its first week of successful trading.

The cafe/coffee shop  has its own in-house bakery and  patiserrie baking bread, cakes and pastries and is also a bistro .

The interior of the new “Crazy Cafe”/bakery/patisserie and bistro is a world away from “Rabaiotti’s”

The premises occupy the same site  on the “right-hand side” ground floor of the re-built £8,000,000 Beachcliff complex –  just where the Rabaiotti’s snack bar used to be in the dim and distant days when the original Beachcliff was still standing.

The big difference with the Crazy Cafe is not only what it sells, but also its bi-fold windows which means that, in warm weather,  the cafe is open to the sea air.

The Crazy Cafe name raised a few eyebrows at first – but now seems to be accepted

There was some debate about the “Crazy Cafe” name – and the logo, which has now been rendered in colour rather than the stark black and white of the original version . Large Banksy-type artworks decorate the interior.

There is a window counter for people who want to order their coffee or pastry on the go.

Fresh bread and pastries – baked every day on the premises – are a signature feature of the new cafe

The cafe is the idea of  Penarth resident and South Wales property developer Richard Hayward  whose Hayward Group carried out the whole of the £8,000,000 Beachcliff development .

Still to be completed next door (between the Crazy Cafe and the entrance to a planned new  top-flight hotel) is a new top-of-the-range ice-cream parlour – coming soon.

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Balmoral is to remain in dry dock at Sharpness until at least Tuesday May 30th . The ship has now lost all the revenue she would have earned over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The excursion ship M V Balmoral is to remain in dry dock at Bristol –  at least until Tuesday May 30th – meaning that the ship has lost all the revenue she would have made over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Balmoral was to have begun  her season of  sailings from Penarth on Friday last week but has had to cancel all this weekend’s scheduled voyages from Penarth and from other ports.

An underwater  section of her hull is being “investigated”  at Sharpness Drydock. It had been hoped the work would take only two days but White Funnel Excursions and MV Balmoral Trust have now announced that the ship is to spend at least two more days in dry dock .

No firm date has yet been given for her return to service .

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Penarth lifeboat crew stand by the yacht with engine problems (RNLI photo)

Both of Penarth’s lifeboats were called out this afternoon to deal with sailing yachts in distress.

The first call was to  the aid of a yacht with engine problems   off Lavernock.  The problems were eventually resolved by the yacht’s crew and the 36 foot long vessel was able to reach port.

Shortly afterwards a second yacht was discovered aground on the Cefn Y Wrach mudbank off Penarth. Two lifeboat crew members went aboard the vessel . She was refloated later and docked safely .

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Penarth Cemetery this weekend – only a few areas have been strimmed – most of it is overgrown

Once again the Labour-controlled Penarth Town Council is being  criticised for failing to carry out basic maintenance of the grounds of Penarth Cemetery

The town council – which describes itself as “ambitious” – imposed the highest ever precept on local council-tax payers from last month  and now employs more than 20 staff –  but actually only has 3 statutory responsibilities. They are:-

  1. Operating and maintaining Town-Council-owned or leased properties (Paget Rooms, the Kymin and West House)
  2. The management of Penarth Allotments (what are now called “Leisure Gardens”)
  3. Running and managing Penarth Cemetery.

A few areas have been strimmed recently but most of the cemetery grassland is overgrown and unkempt.

The  responsibility for the maintenance and oversight of Penarth Cemetery is one of the Town Council’s most basic  functions – but yet again it is coming in for criticism from local residents for not carrying-out proper maintenance of the grounds.

Local resident Clare Morgan told PDN  “I would like to raise my concerns about the disgraceful state of Penarth Cemetery . It currently resembles a wilderness , all overgrown and grass almost knee-high in places.”

Several gravestones in the cemetery are impossible to identify

A number of bereaved family members are now said to be taking matters into their own hands and visiting the cemetery equipped with gardening tools to tidy up the neglected graves.

Ms Morgan says: –” A cemetery should be a tranquil area where people can visit the graves to reflect on their memories and pay their respects not have to go armed with strimmers and shears, to do what Penarth Town Council have failed to do  – yet again .”

Yellow warning notices are strapped onto several gravestones which are allegedly unstable

A number of gravestones in the cemetery are still unsafe following a survey carried out some time ago and are strapped to wooden posts with yellow notices warning mourners not to touch them.

Penarth Town Cemetery now comes under the “Venues” Committee of  Penarth Town Council which has yet to meet following the May 4th election in which a Labour administration was re-elected – although with a reduced majority.

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The Washington Pharmacy in Stanwell Road

Penarth’s Washington Pharmacy has announced that it has won the “Independent Pharmacy Practice of the Year”  title at the Welsh Pharmacy Awards held at the Vale of Glamorgan Hotel. 

Left to right Laurie Hambly, Jane Soltys and Julie Turner of the Washington Pharmacy

Pharmacist – and proprietor of Washington Pharmacy – Jane Soltys said “We’re absolutely thrilled to have won the Independent Pharmacy Practice of the Year award. Being the best in Wales is a wonderful accolade to have and could not have been achieved without the commitment and hard work of our dedicated team of healthcare professionals and our many loyal customers. This is an award for the many successful independent businesses of Penarth and not just for Washington Pharmacy.”

Washington Pharmacy in Stanwell Road has been an independent pharmacy since the 1950s, and has been owned and managed by Jane Soltys since 2005.

In reaching their decision, the judging panel is said to have recognised the contribution Washington Pharmacy provides to the health and wellbeing of the citizens of Penarth, in particular the close liaison with all GP surgeries of the town.

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It was pitch dark; But then the whole of Penarth, including St Augustine’s Church (in the background) was lit up by sheet lightning last night (Photo Deiniol Harries)

A powerful thunderstorm woke many Penarth residents overnight with a series of dazzling lightning bolts, accompanied by rolling thunder.

The flashes were so powerful they were seen even by people who were sound asleep and scores of people were roused from their slumbers to watch the dramatic weather

One local well-known local Penarthian, Deiniol Harries, captured the storm on  video and posted parts of it on Twitter (see above) which showed some of the flashes were sheet-lightning which lit up the whole of the town almost brighter than broad daylight.

On the big flood tide last night Penarth lifeboat launched to investigate a “false alarm with good intent” regarding people trapped on Sully Island (RNLI photo)

Before the storm Penarth Lifeboat launched just after 18:00 last night to go to people said to be cut off by the tide at Sully Island last night. It turned out to be a “false alarm with good intent” .



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Cooling off in the sea last night was this big Mercedes 4X4  – parked on Penarth’s foreshore on the rising tide.

The driver of a luxury Mercedes 4X4 has discovered, the hard way,  one of the big snags about using Penarth’s foreshore as a temporary car park … the Bristol Channel tide.

The Merc – and its boat trailer –  had been parked-up on the shore alongside the mostly disused Northern Promenade – out of the sight of any prying parking wardens.

In the driver’s defence – there are no “No Parking” signs and no double yellow lines at this spot.

…But the driver hadn’t reckoned with the rise and fall of the current run of big spring tides.

It wasn’t long before the £50,000 car – with the registration letters “SAD” – was looking a bit sorry for itself  – and taking a paddle, with the sea lapping around its wheels.

With some advice and assistance from Penarth Coastguard officers the luxury Mercedes and its trailer was eventually retrieved from the sea. There’s another high tide due tonight (Photo Peter Stealey)

Eventually the owner did manage to retrieve the vehicle and its trailer – but the incident provided a graphic warning to any other motorists who might be  tempted to try to park on the shore without first consulting the tide tables.


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