PENARTH 1966 ON FILM – AND ON-LINE – FROM THE BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE

In 1966 there was a parking attendant to help drivers manouever there Ford Anglias and Hillmans into what's now a no-waiting area by the pier.

In 1966 there was a a 76 year old  parking attendant to help drivers manouever their Ford Anglias and Hillmans into what’s now a no-parking area by the pier and a deck chair attendant too.

A remarkable film of Penarth as it was half a century ago has been put on line by the British Film Institute.

The film –  made by well-known local professional film-makers Harley Jones and Chris Bellinger –  covers a summer’s day in Penarth on the sea front as it  was in 1966.

Miss Penarth 1966 rides sidesaddle on the pier model railway

Miss Penarth 1966 rides sidesaddle on the Penarth Pier model railway

Miss Penarth 1966″ sits demurely on a model train travelling up and down the pier with the 1966 Mayor Alderman T Glyn Salmon, councillors and holidaymakers.

The day starts with a cuppa and a big teapot for piermaster Tom Fearnley who treated the pier as a ship - his ship.

The day starts with a cuppa and a big teapot for piermaster and ex sailor Stan Galley who treated the pier as a ship – his ship.

Amongst the many characters in the film is Penarth’s immaculately-uniformed Piermaster Stan Galley – who treated the pier as a ship – his ship – and looked every bit the naval officer that he was.

In those days admission to the pier was not free. Tickets cost 3d each. (We were still using pounds shillings and pence back then). A round of golf on Cliff Walk cost 1/- (one shilling including the clubs and the ball) and a game of bowls on the “sea-washed turf” of what was then called Belle Vue Gardens cost 8d.

Rabaiotti's cafe or "snback bar" and restauranteur Eddie Rabaiotti himself who had 4 catering outlets on the sea front at Penarth

Rabaiotti’s cafe or “snack bar” and restaurateur Eddie Rabaiotti himself who had 4 catering outlets on the sea front at Penarth

There too is Penarth’s go-getting restaurateur Eddie Rabaiotti who then owned no fewer than four catering establishments on the Esplanade ranging from the high-end Caprice restaurant to the Rabaiotti “snack bar”. Eddie Rabaiotti had begun the family business in 1959 .

The paddler Cardiff Queen docking at high speed at Penarth en route to Weston and a double-rank of deck chairs hills the promenade

The paddler Bristol  Queen is seen confidently coming alongside Penarth Pier at a surprisingly high rate of knots to embark passengers for Weston.  (Later that year in thick fog she hit the pier hard and caused considerable damage) . A double-rank of deck chairs stretches along the Esplanade as far as the eye can see. They cost 6d a session to hire.

It was a still a time of paddle steamers and deck chairs and genteel snoozing in the sun – but there were also newer elements being attracted to Penarth –  then seen as “modern” but which have now virtually disappeared.

What your rode was what you were - a "mod "or a "rocker".

What you rode – or drove-up  in  – defined what you were; visitor, resident, “mod “or “rocker”.

On summer nights the Esplanade became a drag strip . There were “mods and rockers” and loud motorbikes – many from out of town – racing up and down the front  – to the alarm and evident concern of older folk who came to Penarth for a quiet time.

Penarth-made Moonfleet motorboats - were the thing to have at the time

Penarth-made Moonfleet motorboats – were the thing to have at the time

Out on the Bristol Channel the water-ski boom was just about to begin with Penarth-built Moonfleet Marine runabouts towing the first of what were to be scores of water skiers – skiers who were to stop skiing when the  1973 oil crisis sent the price of petrol through the roof.

Are these young people in their newish Roller a pop group?

Are these young people in their newish Roller a pop group?

Also seen on the Esplanade is a moody group of well-heeled young people looking as if they’d just strolled off the set of a 1966 edition of  “Top of the Pops” as they  posed  – ostentatiously draped on the wings of a classic, new, Rolls Royce.

The Winidsor Court flats as they used to look - and probably styill should - and the old Victorian Esplanade Hotel - now sadly no more.

The Windsor Court flats as they used to look – and probably styill should – and the old Victorian Esplanade Hotel – now sadly no more.

The Windsor Court apartments  – then pristine and white –  looked a lot crisper and more modern than they do now . Across Bridgeman Road Penarth’s much-loved vintage swimming baths were  – at the time – still very much in use. Alongside ss the Victorian splendour of the old Esplanade Hotel enjoying a final flourish of its green velvet curtains before the disastrous fire which was to destroy it a few years later.

Wise words from a 1966 civic leader

Wise words from John Krieger who was mayor of Penarth in 1965

John Krieger who became Mayor of Penarth in 1965 says in the film  “People come over to Penarth because it is quiet and  it is peaceful… That is what we like to provide for our people and for our visitors – peace and quiet.”

“We have not had much development and we don’t intend to have a great deal of development – because other people like it as it is and we like Penarth as it is.”  

The full film can be seen on http://tinyurl.com/jlabjfe

Penarth in the Summer of ’66 – from the British Film Institute

PDN Note : PDN Posters Andrew Rabaiotti and “Cogan nomen” have already helped confirm the identities of some of the people on the film (none of whom is named) .Any other nominations will be gratefully received.

 

 

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Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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21 Responses to PENARTH 1966 ON FILM – AND ON-LINE – FROM THE BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE

  1. EH says:

    Is there a link to the film? I might even be in it…

  2. Andrew rabaiotti says:

    I think you will find the picture or the pier master is Tommy’s predecessor Stan Galley not Tommy

  3. leslar says:

    Very nostalgic and actually so much more stylish and civilised back then……we kind of messed up.

  4. EH says:

    Very good! How little has changed, give or take a few buildings. Oh and the cars and fashions. But as one who cruised up and down on a Norton 350cc and then sports cars in later years, it’s all got a bit sedate now🙂

  5. Johnny Oldfellow says:

    Is that a young Liz Burnett on the pier with a Ms Penarth sash draped around her?

  6. Tony says:

    a different time when you went on day trips to the “seaside” on the “charabang”-no parking problems because you did not have a car-my parents used to take us to Rhyl or Blackpool for the day and said I had been to Barry Island and Weston when I was very young-nowadays you can go abroad, if you survive the airport hold-ups and the fights between stag parties on the plane-holidays seemed much more enjoyable then.

  7. Ford Prefect says:

    Its interesting how much less space the 60s cars take up in those pictures. Modern cars seem to be enormous by comparison

  8. ColaniXL says:

    Those wonderful Bauhaus style flats now shrouded in characterless brick. Pity!

  9. Alan Thompson says:

    I think one of the girls on the Rolls Royce was Dianne Moorecraft
    And the deck chair attendant is Paul McCarthy

  10. Arthur Thistlewood says:

    Interesting … especially the flats (visible in the first picture) which actually looked better in brutalist modern style than they do now with all that sissy cladding and false pediment and cornice. If they’d only waited a few more years before doing the alterations, the flats in their old form would have come back into fashion!

  11. Martin gossage says:

    Ref bowling at Belle Vue gardens .Yes the green keepers used to keep their new turf ready to be laid next down by the Taff Estuary as it gave it a particularly smooth finish to the grass washed and blown by the sea air.

  12. sjleworthy says:

    Does anyone know the name of ‘miss Penarth 1966’ ?

  13. LizA says:

    Does the film have sound…..I’ve tried playing it and I can hear nothing

  14. sjleworthy says:

    anyone know of any other ‘old’ Penarth footage? most interesting🙂

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