No prizes for guessing what's now missing on Penarth Esplanade

No prizes for guessing what’s now missing on Penarth Esplanade

They were hardly the Blackpool illuminations, but the strings of gay multi-coloured lights –  looped between the lamp-standards on Penarth Esplanade –  have now been disposed of .

The coloured “fairy-lights” – which  gave a very traditional appearance to the Esplanade – have now been binned – apparently because they’re not energy-efficient and partly because coloured lights just aren’t considered fashionable anymore.

The traditional fairy lights didn't detract from the sight of the moon and stars. Now they've gone.

The traditional fairy lights didn’t detract from the sight of the moon and stars- but now they’ve gone.

The old lights were taken down several days ago – giving a much bleaker look to the serried row of black “Victorian” lamp standards – which were never switched-on and  remain devoid of the customary baskets of  hanging baskets of flowers – even though it’s now mid May .

One passer-by wondered if the Vale Council would also now be insisting on a single uniform colour for the flowers in the baskets when – or if – they are ever re-installed .

What the Esplanade used to look like - the coloured lights were fine - but the whole sea front was bathed in yellowish-orange motorway-style mercury lights on the standards on the right. The "Victorian" lamp standard on the left were never actually turned on.

What the Esplanade used to look like. Locals say obvious problem wasn’t the traditional fairy lights on the left but that the whole sea front is  bathed in yellowish-orange light from the lamp standards on the right. The “Victorian” lamp standards on the left are never actually turned on.

Meanwhile the Vale Council has been constantly criticised for the lack of a properly-designed and coordinated lighting scheme on the sea front. The powerful sodium/mercury street-lights just drench everything in a flat monotone yellowish-orange and sap all the other colour out the night scene.

No more coloured lights on the sea front. From now on they'll all be white at night

No more coloured lights on the sea front. From now on they’ll all be white at night

Local residents say the result is an unappealing mish-mash of lighting which does absolutely nothing to create an ambience for the Esplanade – even on a beautiful moonlit evening.

It’s not yet known whether Penarth Civic Society has been consulted on the new all-white fairy lights- which are due to be installed on Monday. There appears to have been no consultation with Penarth Town Council.


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  1. M davies says:

    Perhaps they will put up “grey” lights to match the ever increasing number of premises in the town that are turning grey

  2. Captain Peacock says:

    Come on Vale of Glamorgan spit spot ! We have standards to maintain

  3. penarthblog says:

    Good point about the greyness of the area. There is an overall truth to be found here, an attractive environment is more likely to attract visitors than a dull dour one.

  4. I am saddened and angered by this act of corporate vandalism. The ‘fairy lights’ were a great touch of vintage to a traditional scene.
    White LED’s it will be ghastly, who is responsible for this action>?
    We appear to be the victim of the totalitarian state of Barry Council………..

    • Tom says:

      Totally agree with you. You see this sort of behaviour at Christmas, on trees, with “middle-class” chavs thinking they’re being “tasteful” and “sophisticated” having “all-white” lights. Anyone with anything about them knows the true tradition of fairy lights was – and is, and always will be – coloured. Trust the Vale to think they’re being clever, and spoiling the seafront.

  5. Penileaks says:

    The reason the Victorian lamps are not switched on, might be that there appear(from the photos), to be no bulbs in them and therefore they would not work anyway.
    Anyone got a few spare 100 watters ?

  6. cathy says:

    Poor old Penarth – once again treated a third class citizens and unwanted neighbours of all important Barry

  7. Dizzydeb says:

    The lovely fairy lights on the front gone, St. Paul’s church in ruins, until it can be demolished & replaced with yet another block of flats, as our labour councillors don’t think it’s attractive. Cliff top park ruined by a huge unwanted lump of concrete? Sully about to be turned into a great big traffic jam. The list goes on…. depressing:-((((

  8. Ivor Bagman says:

    Still pulling the wire boss .

  9. mr and mrs chick says:

    agree with every comment made ,
    have they done the same to Barry Island fair ground lighting

  10. Paul says:

    the sooner Barry council is abolished and these third rate wannabes are thrown out of office the better. But sadly there will always be an idiot that will vote for them regardless of what they do. Penarth and Barry will always be at loggerheads. One is a historic Victorian town and the other a candy floss seaside resort with a laughably awful funfair. The Council at Barry have massive chips on their shoulder

  11. Jillabong says:

    Since when have fairy lights been sophisticated? It’s a seaside feature in a Victorian town. Bring back the tacky lights – I love them! So fed up with the majority Barry councillors making decisions about what they think the people of Penarth want/like/need. Tree felling, lights removal. What will they interfere with next?

  12. The Tax payer says:

    Are well more funds to be spent in Barry as normal 😎

  13. Anne Greagsby says:

    There has been no consultation with Penarth civic society as far as I am aware. Why has the town council not brought this to our attention? If they haven’t been informed when they ought to have been why aren’t they raising this with the Vale council who appear to be bypassing the town council with impunity.

  14. Fishhenge says:

    Isn’t it possible to get a boundary change? I seem to remember St. Dogmaels changing from Ceredigion to Pembroke around 2003, following representations from a minimum of 50 residents. Anyone know any more? The Vale has done little of benefit for Penarth in years, Cardiff is the way forward.

  15. Grapas says:

    Such a shame, the fairy lights created a lovely traditional atmosphere, very sad to see them gone.

  16. hopenotnasty says:

    The coloured fairy lights were obsolete and were costing the council tax payer more to keep running. Move on to the more efficient LED lighting which will give Penarth esplanade a more classic appearance. Personally I would not mind if coloured LED were used.
    Now we have another Labour Welsh government YES bring on council reform. Penarth is much more connected to Cardiff than Barry. Abolish the Vale.

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