Penarth Piermaster Peter Andrews carries out the daily job of hoisting the Vale of Glamorgan Council's official flag on Penarth Pier's jackstaff - but the council still doesn't think it gets enough public judos for management of the pier.

Penarth Piermaster Peter Andrews carries out the daily job of hoisting the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s official flag on Penarth Pier’s jackstaff – but the Barry-based council still doesn’t think it gets enough public kudos for its management of the pier.

Penarth Civic Society is discussing with the Vale of Glamorgan Council a scheme under which its members would be trained to carry out duties as voluntary “meeters-&-greeters” on Penarth Pier .

The ‘pier volunteer’ concept was explained to members by Civic Society treasurer Chris Wyatt after outline discussions about the idea with the Vale Council’s operational manager  Colin Smith.

The Vale Council apparently feels it doesn’t actually receive much public kudos for all the  work it does on the pier – and that many people are under the mistaken impression that Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd (which runs the Penarth Pier Pavilion) also runs Penarth Pier itself.

Chris Wyatt Treasurer of the Penarth Civic Society is inviting members to become a "Pier Volunteer"

Chris Wyatt Treasurer of the Penarth Civic Society is inviting members to become a “Pier Volunteer”

Chris Wyatt told Civic Society members that Penarth Pier is “one of the best-managed piers in the UK”   but the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s efforts and regular expenditure of “tens of thousands of pounds”  had been “largely unreported in local media”. Many people he said had no idea about the extensive maintenance work undertaken on the pier

[PDN Note : All maintenance on the pier has been extensively reported by PDN – see and

Mr Wyatt said that MV Balmoral would be carrying out quite a few cruises from the pier during the summer and there was a pressing need for volunteers – people to “meet and greet” passengers embarking and disembarking – and to act as liaison contacts with the ship. The “meeters-and-greeters” he said, would stand at the landing-stage and explain the situation to passengers in the event of the ship being delayed or sailings being cancelled.

Balmoral embarking passengers at Penarth Pier

Balmoral embarking passengers at Penarth Pier

Vale Operational Manager Colin Smith had pointed out that, even when the Balmoral or Waverley were not operating, there could still be lots of people on the pier –  especially in holiday periods –  who had questions about where they find somewhere to eat and drink, how they could get to Penarth Town Centre,  what time the buses operated, or how they might get from the pier to the Barrage and the Marina .

Back in the 1960s the then piermaster ex-navy officer Tom Fearnley ran the pier as a ship - his ship.

Back in the 1960s the piermaster, ex-navy officer Stan Galley, ran the pier as a ship…his ship.

Mr Smith had suggested extending the scope of the “volunteers for the Balmoral”  to have “permanent volunteers at busy periods”,  each working 3 or 4-hour-shifts   answering questions and giving out maps or directing people to the Pavilion, where this information is already available.

The volunteers, Mr Wyatt said, would need to be “outgoing and friendly types with lots of common sense and enjoy working outdoors”. Full training would be given and the scheme would have to comply with all the regulations pertaining to the use of volunteers.

He said the idea was still in the early stages. Some of the work involved in setting-up the scheme would come from the officers of the council and some administration would be carried out by Civic Society members.

The Vale of Glamorgn Council closed Penarth's only Tourism Information Office at Penarth Pier in 2013

The Vale of Glamorgan Council closed Penarth’s only Tourism Information Office at Penarth Pier in 2013 – replacing it with a now-outdated notice board (foreground) called a Tourist Information Point

[ PDN Note: The Vale of Glamorgan Council closed the staffed Tourist Information Office which operated during the summer months at Penarth Pier –  claiming that visitors could easily get information they needed on-line, at Penarth Library and at “Tourist Information Points” (noticeboards – which are now all out of date) . The Tourist Information Office at Penarth Pier was converted into a sweet shop.]  

Other ideas to promote the Pier ( as opposed to the Pavilion) would use the broad area at the end of the pier – once the location of the old Bijou Pavilion – for free public performances ; not a “rock band” Mr Wyatt said – but possibly a “classical soloist”. Other possibilities were also poetry readings and even “drama performances” .

Another idea is to install information plaques at various locations around the pier giving details of various aspects of Penarth Pier history.




About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address . 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. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Andrew sarchus says:

    A role for S Doughty maybe! He needs something to do locally. I gather with all the problems and choices facing us locally and nationally, he’s seeking publicity by getting on the way overhyped, news dominating, specialist race train. Come on Mr Doughty- you’ll look good in uniform- give us a pier-ance.

    • Lindsay says:

      Is it a role you have any interest in andrewsarchus? The wine at the Pavilion is rather pricey though.

  2. Jan Harding says:

    Would be nice if every three months people cleaned the small pier brass plaques on the boardwalk. The regular cleaning of them should be included in the price that you pay for them It’s a shame some can’t be read, possibly because the people who bought them perhaps don’t live in Penarth or can’t get to Penarth to clean them. Perhaps local children/similar would like to earn some money for doing it. It would make them look so much better. They should also be there for
    life not just a few years.

  3. Mister Pier Master says:

    Yes, I agree a great idea, the spirit of London 2012.

    Who would do the meeting and greeting?
    Phil Rappier could give a talk on outdated socialist dogma, but would meet them first of course,
    if there is time left they could then be met by;
    Alun Michael who could tell everyone how crime is a thing of the past.
    Stephen Doughty could talk about middle eastern politics, cause he knows nothing about Penarth.
    Vaughan Gething could talk about the economic benefits of being a minister in the assembly.
    Neil Moore could talk about the best way to waste money.

    I’m sure visitors would leave with a new sense of purpose.

    • Ann Other says:

      Very good. But don’t forget they would need to perform the artificial greeting act in Welsh.

  4. Johnabutt says:

    If parks can have “friends” then why not a pier? Just the job for some of the critics and funny men on PDN!

  5. johnm says:

    perhaps they could keep tabs on the annoying fishermen, their noisy radios and cigarette smoking too? it defeats me why they get to have priority of use on the pier – there are a few of them from penarth, but far fewer than they like us to think. The council could give over the hut they ude at the end of the pier for a little gift shop or base for a cafe then too.

    • Daily Pier User says:

      cigarette smoking too? johnm The Pier May Be A Little NARROW So It APPEARS Is Your Vision Plenty Of Pier Users Smoke, So Perhaps A Trip To Specsavers Might Help YOU Focus Or Maybe Join The Fishing Club???

  6. Andrew sarchus says:

    Oh yes lets ban anther hobby and drive people to the pub and streets. And what’s the comment about “a few of them from Penarth” or “fewer than they like us to think” mean? You sound like a mean souled, sour and unfulfilled chappy. Are you johnm? But what joy- another tacky junk shop or overpriced and bad coffee caf right on the end of the pier with all that passing trade- that’s just ……….what we need. Or, you could go to Barry Island.

Comments are closed.