Penarth lifeboats head out to round up Topper dinghies and their crews being swept down-channel by a strong wind and ebb tide. (Photo Penarth Coastguard)

A number of young sailors from Penarth Yacht Club were brought to safety by both Penarth lifeboats last night after the strength of the wind increased unexpectedly as their  Topper dinghies were sailing off Penarth foreshore.

The RNLI’s next door neighbours on Penarth Esplanade – Penarth Yacht Club – requested assistance as the  strong winds,  assisted by the ebb tide,  drove the little craft off-course and down channel towards Lavernock and Sully .

The young sailors of Penarth Yacht Club (seen here in a Penarth Yacht Club library picture) are very competent and well-trained – but last night’s strong winds and ebb tide pushed some of them them off course

Both of Penarth’s lifeboats were launched this evening just after 20:18 following a request for assistance from our neighbours at Penarth Yacht Club.

It took no more than a few minutes for the lifeboats to round-up all the Toppers and bring them and their crews back to Penarth  safe and well, though a little cold. Three of the dinghies were towed back by lifeboat to the slipway at Penarth.

The rescue operation was coordinated by HM Coastguard Milford Haven and Penarth Coastguard officers.

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The Royal Navy “River-class” offshore patrol vessel HMS Severn passing Penarth Head last night on her way to Cardiff Docks

The Royal Navy’s River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Severn was passing Penarth Esplanade and Pier last night on her way in to dock at Cardiff.

HMS Severn is the 9th of the class to have entered service – and the first warship in 56 years to be named after the River Severn .

With Steepholm in the background, the two tugs Tradesman and Trueman met HMS Severn off Penarth and had the honour of bringing the Royal Navy patrol vessel into port at Cardiff.

As the lead-tug ,“Tradesman” was on HMS Severn’s bow – but going in reverse – stern-first

As is standard practice entering port these days – a marine armed with a sub-machine gun stood guard on the bridge

In time-honoured tradition a detachment of crew was on the foredeck as Severn entered the Wrach Channel. It’s a warship’s way of indicating she has no hostile intent

The ship carries out fishery protection duties around the UK coast – working with two sister ship HMS Mersey and HMS  Tyne but she has also carried out Atlantic Patrol Tasking – an assignment usually allocated to frigates  or destroyers

Apart from catching trawlers fishing illegally,  Severn has also apprehended the M.V. Carib Palm off the south coast of the England .The Carib Palm was  found to have an illicit cargo of cocaine on board – valued at  £350,000,000.

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The proposed new 1st floor frontage of the Mint & Mustard building – which is to have 5 few apartments created on the upper floors and rear and present a new facade to Windsor Terrace.

A planning application has been made for the development of 5 new apartments at the rear of – and on the two floors above  – the popular Mint & Mustard restaurant at 33-34 Windsor Terrace, Penarth.

The Mint & Mustard restaurant itself, on the ground floor, will remain unchanged.

Four self-contained flats would be created on the upper floors of the building and the rear ground floor would be extended  to “create a single annexe structure consisting of a one-bedroom apartment”.

The two semi-detached houses became merged into Windsor Terrace as the town developed

Numbers 33 and 34 were originally built as two semi-detached houses but “became integrated” into  a larger terrace.

In the 1920s or 1930s the ground floor residential rooms were converted into commercial premises and their front elevations extended. In the 1970s there were further internal adaptations

The rear parking area will no longer be available to commercial premises

The former internal staircases to 34 Windsor Terrace will be removed – with a new atrium staircase being attached to the rear of the building.

The rear car parking space – which is currently used by neighbouring commercial premises – is to be designated parking solely for the use of the new flats.


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Penarth will be going to the polls in the General Election on June 8th.

The first opinion poll carried out in Wales since the start of the General Election campaign predicts that the Conservative Party can win  the parliamentary constituency of Cardiff South and Penarth – currently held for Labour by Stephen Doughty.

The poll – carried out for ITV Wales and Cardiff University by YouGov – indicates that the Conservatives can not only defeat Doughty in Cardiff South and Penarth but can win the majority of parliamentary  seats in Wales for the first time since 1922.

Professor Roger Scully of Cardiff University

The findings are broadly in line with last week’s predictions by  Professor Roger Scully of Cardiff University. See PDN report

YouGov quizzed a weighted sample of 1,029 people across Wales with no less than 40% saying they would vote Conservative against only 30% who said they would back the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party .

If the poll’s findings are repeated at the General Election on June 8, the Labour Party will have lost  control of Wales – a country which up until now the party has regarded – and treated – as its socialist fiefdom.

If the poll data is replicated in the General Election YouGov says the Conservatives are set to take the following seats:-

  • Alyn & Deeside
  • Bridgend
  • Cardiff South & Penarth
  • Cardiff West
  • Clwyd South
  • Delyn
  • Newport East
  • Newport West
  • Wrexham
  • Ynys Mon

YouGov predicts that  Plaid and the Liberal Democrats are not expected to make any gains although last week Professor Scully had forecast that Plaid Cymru could take Ynys Mon

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The canal narrowboat Orbis got into trouble in the middle of the Bristol Channel after leaving Watchet this morning.

A 60-foot-long canal narrowboat – which got into difficulties on passage from Watchet on the Somerset coast this morning –  has reached Penarth Marina safely after a combined operation involving a Coastguard helicopter, Barry Dock lifeboat and a Cardiff Harbour Authority launch.

It’s understood the skipper of the narrowboat  had radioed for help as his vessel – called Orbis – began taking on water in mid-channel.

The Coastguard Rescue Helicopter – seen here on a training exercise off Penarth only yesterday – was today involved in a real emergency in the middle of the Bristol Channel.

The coastguard rescue helicopter took off to ascertain the vessel’s position and the big Barry Dock lifeboat was tasked to head out to locate her and escort her to Penarth .

A member of Barry Dock’s lifeboat crew boarded the stricken vessel.

Job done. The Barry Dock lifeboat – escorted the canal narrowboat as far as Penarth Pier and then returned to station at Barry.

The  Cardiff Harbour Authority launch “Harbour 3” accompanies the canal narrowboat Orbis past the Outer Wrach buoy and heading for the locks at Cardiff Barrage

Once the lifeboat and the casualty vessel reached a point off Penarth Pier, the escort was transferred to a Cardiff Harbour Patrol boat “Harbour 3”  to tow the narrowboat in through the locks and into Penarth Marina whilst the lifeboat retrieved her crewman and returned to station at Barry.




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The Crazy Cafe is the name selected for the new bakery, ice cream parlour, cafe, and bistro on Penarth Esplanade

“Crazy Cafe” has been chosen as the name of the new cafe, bakery and wine bar due to open in a few weeks time on Penarth Esplanade.

The cafe’s new logo is now in place

Work on re-fitting the premises – in the re-built £8,000,000 Beachcliff complex –   is still in progress and there is to be a two-week period of staff training before the cafe opens for the first time towards the end of May.

The Crazy Cafe logo has – perhaps controversially – been produced in graffiti-style graphics .

However, as it’s been installed in one of the front windows of the cafe,  it’s unlikely to run into the planning objections which the nearby “Shore” shop received when its proprietors  applied to install a “driftwood” style sign on the exterior wall – a sign which eventually was permitted.

Penarth resident Richard Hayward is the well known property entrepreneur who has carried out the whole of the £8,000,000 Beachcliff development – including the new Crazy Cafe

The cafe – which is owned by the Hayward Group  is to be open from 8:00 am and will sell fresh bread and patisseries, coffee and  tea and has applied for an alcohol licence and is aiming to become Penarth’s equivalent of Fortnum & Mason.

A top-of-the-range ice cream parlour is to be opened next door to the James Sommerin restaurant . Between the ice cream parlour and the Crazy Cafe will be the entrance to a planned new  top-flight hotel .The new ice-cream parlour and the hotel development will follow the launch of the bakery and cafe in a phased sequence.


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The Vale Council claims it’s just responsible for running Penarth Pier . The operation of the Pier Pavilion (left) is down to Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd – but documents give a different impression

With the May 4th local government elections just a week and a half away, the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council appears to be at pains to claim that the operation of Penarth’s Pier Pavilion is nothing much to do with the council itself.

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) Deputy Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

The council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines – but who is standing in Stanwell Ward in May’s elections) has spelled out its stance in an email sent last Friday to Penarth resident Andrew Jones – who is  campaigning for the Pier Pavilion Cinema (closed indefinitely on March 6th)  – to be re-opened.

Cllr Burnett  wrote to Mr Jones telling him that although the Vale Council maintains and operates the Pier,  the operation of the Pavilion is entirely the responsibility of the lessees – Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd .

She reminded Mr Jones  “I briefed you on the position of the council in that it maintains and operates the Pier but that the Pavilion is leased to Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd (PACL).”

Speaking about the current situation in Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd, she  went on to say “I explained again that the operation of the Pavilion is a matter solely for their board [ i.e. Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd] and that it would therefore be inappropriate for me to comment.”

However, it now appears the position is not quite as clear-cut as it seems.

A  Vale Council document called the Corporate Asset Management Plan 2015-2018 indicates that  the council has, in fact, been working hand-in-glove with Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd all along – and under the three-year plan, it still is.

The Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council is- according to its 2015-2018 Corporate Asset Management Plan –  responsible for  “mentoring” Penarth Arts & Crafts Ltd.

In the document,  the council cites the Penarth Pier Pavilion Project as “an example of the close co-operation between the third sector [ i.e. charities etc] and the Council . It says the scheme  “represented one of the first projects to be carried out in accordance with the Council’s Community Asset Transfer Protocol”. 

The document goes on to spell-out an evidently very close on-going working relationship between the Labour-run Vale Council and Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd  –  a much closer relationship than many people were aware of – which included  the mentoring of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd ;  in effect, teaching its board how to run a business.

The Vale Council document says The Council has provided mentoring to our third sector partner, Penarth Arts & Crafts Ltd (PACL), in the form of project management, legal, estates advice, and revenue support to allow the group to develop its design and business plans”.

Despite that mentoring however, Penarth Arts and Crafts – as reported last week by PDN – is now in receipt of yet another grant (£126,000) from the Heritage Lottery Fund to meet the cost of hiring-in professional consultants to develop its long term plans“.  It would appear the Vale Council’s copious “advice” and “mentoring” and “revenue support” provided under the 2015-2018 Corporate Asset Management Plan, hasn’t been enough to stop PACL running out of cash,

The Asset Management Plan document – which covers the period up to and including 2018 – also says “The commitment to capital funding provided by the  [Vale Council]  placed PACL in a strong position to seek funding from the Welsh Government, Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and a variety of  other funding programmes.”

The Vale document says  “The commitment from all parties [ i.e. not just Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd on its own]  has driven the project” .

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