Penarth Pier benches

The ebay advertisement offering Penarth Pier benches for £350 each

Public benches described as being from Penarth Pier – bought and paid-for by Penarth council-tax payers – are being put up for sale on the internet auction site Ebay and on Facebook by private dealers.

EBay seller, “sarah-twinkletoes”, describes her bench  – selling at £350  – as “Fantastic piece of Victoria Welsh history. Bench from Penarth pier, timbers are new and repainted to original colours, fantastic design, cast by Evans of Llandaff. Great talking piece”.

The original Penarth Pier benches are being sold on Ebay for £350 each

The original Penarth Pier benches are being sold on Ebay for £350 each

Meanwhile on Facebook another dealer –  Tip Top Salvage and Props – is selling what seem to be identical  “Penarth Pier” benches – once the property of Penarth Urban District Council –  for £275 each.

Quite how these classic benches  – which were  public property and publicly-owned assets  came to be in the hands of a private dealers is unclear.

As far as PDN has been able to check no details of any deal to sell-on the public benches have been published by the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council . One Facebook poster asked the dealer how did they manage to get the benches?

On Facebook a different dealer in original Penarth Pier benches is asked "how did they get these off without anyone noticing? "

On Facebook a different dealer in original Penarth Pier benches called  “Tip Top Salvage & Props”  is asked “how did they get these off without anyone noticing? “

In fact Tip Top Salvage and Props is correct . Most of the original classic Welsh-made benches on Penarth Esplanade had indeed undergone a thorough refurbishment in 2013 with all the timber being sanded back to bare wood before being re-coated.

In thriftier times the Vale Council used to refurbish the original authentic benches. In 2014 all that changed

In thriftier times the Vale Council used to refurbish the original authentic benches. In 2014 all that changed. This photo was taken in 2013

The  following year the benches were unnecessarily replaced  with new, smaller – shorter – “Parkgate”  faux-Victorian benches at a cost of £800 each. The total cost of the replacement programme was over £20,000.  It was pointed out at the time that the existing benches could easily have been refurbished  rather than replaced.

Now however, the true value of the original benches is being realised by the specialist dealers who snapped them up.

The case iron stanchions bear the name of the original maker - "D.Evans Llandaff"

The cast iron stanchions bear the name of the original maker – “D.Evans Llandaff”

The solid cast-iron supports on the vintage benches were of exactly the same pattern as the benches for sale on EBay which were made by “Evans of Llandaff“. The smaller new replacement benches were all made in England.

One of the new recycled plastic benches installed by the Vale of Glamrogan in Dingle Park, Penarth . The Friends ofDingle Park had asked if they could have vintage benches from the Esplanade

One of the new £400 recycled-plastic benches installed by the Vale of Glamorgan in Dingle Park, Penarth . The Friends of Dingle Park had asked if they could have original vintage benches being removed from the Esplanade. They got the plastic benches instead.

Some local groups like the Friends of Dingle Park in Penarth had begged the Vale of Glamorgan Council to be given a couple of the discarded classic Penarth Esplanade benches – but were refused.

The park was supplied with benches which looked as if they were made of cast iron and timber but were actually constructed from re-cycled plastic . They cost £400 each.



About NewsNet

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. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. AK says:

    I wonder whatever happened to the priceless treasures of Dyffryn House, then owned by V of G, before the ill fated project to convert to a hotel/conference venue ?

    Probably gracing someone’s front room !

  2. Brickie says:

    VoG: Explanation required, methinks

    • David Moorcraft says:

      Yes , I’d love to know what the justification for replacing the original cast iron frame benches our lovely Vale Council could come up with.
      I thought we were short of money !
      Silly me !

      Can Penarth join with Cardiff, please ?

      • Martin Coffee says:

        You’ve seen nothing yet if you think it’s bad under Barry. Being ruled from Cardiff will be much, much worse.

      • AK says:

        Cardiff Council sends three men in a wagon around to empty litter bins (Barrage / Taff Trail etc), even on Bank Holidays.

        V of G manage with one

  3. M davies says:

    Interesting seeing that at a recent meeting at the Pier Pavilion there was a suggestion of purchasing”bespoke benches” !!!!! For Penarth ( no coasts were mentioned ) the mere addition of the word “bespoke” adds to the price though

  4. HB says:

    This smacks of maladministration, if not of corruption. A detailed response from the council is required – no response will add to the suspicion and perhaps the need for the police to be involved.

    • Martin Coffee says:

      The offence would probably be Conspiracy To Defraud an indictable offence heard in the Crown Court.

  5. Christopher David says:

    Its a benchmark as to how this useless council operates.

  6. Anne says:

    This is a disgrace. Yet again there was no consultation about replacement benches. This raises many questions. Who was responsible for this decision? Where they actually sold? These benches should have been reused in Penarth town centre and Dingle Park. Next we will see strings of coloured lights for sale.

  7. Anne Greagsby says:

    Are we talking about sea front benches or/and pier benches? Different management for each?

    • newsnet says:

      ALthough the benches for sale are described as “Penarth Pier” benches on EBay, they are of the same design as the previous Esplanade benches. The Penarth Pier benches, whilst similar, are of slightly different design with a different ironwork pattern.

  8. David Davis says:

    People should realise by now there is the Vale Of Glamorgan Council and ‘ EVERYBODY ELSE !’
    this Council takes your Council tax but in reality does what ‘ IT’ wants with it . They behave as if the tax you pay does not entitle you to any say on how it is spent, they set their own priorities , ‘flights of fancy’ included . They are public servants who could not exist without the life blood of Council tax on the people, and yet they treat the general public with indifference, they act like they know best (which is clearly untrue , as they are deluded ) they do as THEY WANT , NOT DO AS REQUIRED, THEY DO NOT WORK CLOSELY WITH THE PUBLIC. They are and behave as faceless officials who deem what they do as wise and , they know better than the ordinary public. They are and have been a liability to Penarth and still are, the fact that Penarth is not a litter ridden town , with more potholes than solid road , and all services are now centered in Barry and Penarth is slowly ‘ going to the dogs’ , no Police Station that the public can use , mad axemen attacking the trees in town , no traffic wardens . This Council is happy to take your money yet is aloof and irresponsible in its use and are a law unto themselves. The phrase , ‘who do they think they are ‘ comes easily to mind . Whatever they are being paid is too much and they are not worth whatever they are getting from the poor ignored tax paying public.

  9. johnm says:

    it is annoying when there are so many decrepit benched in and around the town centre!
    the new benches look pretty drab too – and i can’t believe how much each cost.

  10. cathy says:

    Well done all at Penarth Daily News – excellent reporting – where would we be without your excellent stories

  11. Penileaks says:

    The company who were employed to replace the old seats, were probably told to remove and dispose of the old ones……………..and they did !

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