Whilst much of the rest of Britain has been deluged with rain, thunder and lightning, the luck of Penarth Summer Festival held.
As the clouds rolled away, the sun came out and the crowds arrived in their thousands to enjoy the fun and excitement in the town, in the Kymin, on Cliff Walk and on the Esplanade and to enjoy the carnival procession wending its way through the town to the sea front.
At Penarth Pier, the big red pleasure vessel “Dame Shirley” was at last resuming her programme of sailings from Penarth around Flatholm Island. The red tape and the technical delays are now behind her and there was a contingent of passengers waiting on the Pier for a trip around Flatholm in balmy and absolute flat-calm conditions.
At the same time the Carnival procession – led by Town Crier Dave Horgan – was wending its way down the sea front accompanied by a pipe band and scores of participating Penarthians decked out in an imaginative array of costumes.
On Penarth Pier there was the revival of a time-honoured children’s entertainment tradition – a real Punch and Judy show which held its young audience spellbound.
Meanwhile in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s lifeboat-house on the Esplanade scores of children took the chance to sample what it’s like to be a member of a lifeboat crew .The RNLI’s Open Day ran from 10:00 until 17:00 .
Another hit with the (slightly older) youngsters was the Scouts stand on the Esplanade
Here a large climbing wall had been erected – which proved especially popular with girls who proved more than a match for the boys in scaling the heights. There were safety ropes to ensure no one came to grief but it underscored the change that has taken place in the Scouting movement over recent years where there is now no gender discrimination at any level .
The RAF Falcon’s parachutists hit speeds of over 120 miles an hour as they left their aircraft – baling out at an altitude of around 6000 feet. They wear smoke canisters on their left ankles to trace their movements in the sky. At the end of their display this afternoon they lined up on the golf course to receive rapturous applause from the crowd.
Bringing the air show element of the show to a close was an enthralling display by a solo RAF Tutor which performed a series of rolls, flips, stall turns and flew inverted before making a final low pass over the sea front .
And as a finale came the traditional fireworks on Penarth Pier…
Photos of Carnival Day by the distinguished local photographer Ben Salter can be seen on https://www.facebook.com/ben.salter.56/media_set?set=a.516275515139656.1073741835.100002716350998&type=1