A series of unique – and apparently previously unpublished – photographs has emerged of Penarth as it was in the early 1900s.
Over the next few days PDN will be publishing these original photos which were taken on high quality plate cameras.
They contain a wealth of detail for historians, conservationists and anyone curious about what booming Penarth was really like in the days when millions of tons of coal were being exported every year from Penarth Dock, and the town was not only prospering but expanding rapidly.
In Glebe St what is now Pickled Pepper was then Holmes – the fruiterers. The “Chris Capus” shop next door was then run by R H Lea – a butcher. There’s a clean white-tiled external finish to all the shops in the row. Beyond R H Lea is a jewellers – Mannings – just about where 21st century jewellers Anne Morgan is now. A small boy, wearing a cap, peers into the window.
On the rear of the horse-drawn trap there is a “National” telephone number “0400” . National Telephones – an amalgamation of several smaller telephone companies was taken over by the Post Office (or GPO as it was then called) in 1912.
Beyond the jewellers there’s a shoe shop – which is displaying outside the high-laced boots which were commonly worn by women and children at the time. At the top of the street there’s a poulterers with a selection of fowl hanging outside the shop .
…And being drawn up Glebe Street is a wagon loaded with sacks of coal – the commodity which made Penarth as prosperous as it evidently then was.