PENARTH PUBLIC SEATING PUZZLE 2: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BENCHES OF BEACH ROAD?

Have you seen this GWR public bench ? It was one of three which stood on Beach Road, Penarth - but has now disappeared

Have you seen a GWR bench like this one? Three similar GWR benches once stood on Beach Road, Penarth – but all have unaccountably disappeared (Photo Ben Salter)

Hard on the heels of  PDN‘s revelation yesterday that “Penarth Pier” public benches are being put up for sale on the internet sites EBay and Facebook – a new mystery has emerged.

Long-time residents of Penarth recall that three public “GWR” benches  once stood at intervals along the steep incline of Beach Road (one of the steepest pedestrian climbs  in Penarth). They are no longer there.

One of the other GWR benches 0- now missing from Beach Road - bore a different version of the railway company's insignia

One of the other GWR benches now missing from Beach Road was of the same design as this one – with a different version of the railway company’s insignia (Photo Ben Salter)

The GWR benches had been strategically installed many years ago at intervals along the length of Beach Road – providing welcome stopping points for people making the climb up the steep hill from the Esplanade to Penarth Town Centre.

Great Western Railway was the company which took over the Taff Vale Railway Company and operated Penarth’s original  twin-platform railway station . The original Victorian stone-built station was demolished in 1968 and the present  “modern” and  smaller – station erected on one of the platforms.   The GWR heritage was something which may have made the benches highly desirable to collectors and enthusiasts.

The only bench where people can take a breather climbing beach road is this single standard bench. The GWR benches have disappeared

The only bench where people can take a breather climbing beach road is this single standard bench. The GWR benches have disappeared

Now there is only one plain public bench left on the entire length of Beach road – alongside a Vale council litter bin. Old videos suggest the three original GWR benches may have been removed some time before 2006  – and not replaced .

No one seems to know knows who removed the GWR benches, or  when they were removed – or why.

Where the GWR benches were once bolted to the pavement of Beach Road there is now only a patch of tarmac to hide the holes

Where the GWR benches were once bolted to the pavement of Beach Road there is now only a patch of tarmac to hide the bolt holes

A  patch of tarmac on the pavement may be the only remaining vestige of the location of one one of the original GWR benches which has been lost .

Local residents are asking whether the Vale of Glamorgan Council uprooted the benches and disposed of them?  – And if they did so, why weren’t they replaced? Climbing Beach Road is a challenge for a fit person – but for the elderly or less-fit,  the lack of somewhere (apart from the one remaining bench) to take a breather on the way up is a daunting deterrent.

These two art deco benches in Penarth's Garden of Remembrance in 1934 unaccountably "disappeared" and had to be replaced in 2010 by Penarth Civic Society.

These two art deco benches in Penarth’s Garden of Remembrance in 1934 unaccountably “disappeared” and had to be replaced in 2010 by Penarth Civic Society.

The benches are by no means the first to “disappear” from Penarth. Two art deco benches which were installed in Penarth’s Garden of Remembrance in 1934 somehow “disappeared” – and had to be replaced when the  Penarth Civic Society revised the layout of the Garden in 2010.

The provision of public seating in Penarth by the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council is a matter which is of concern to Penarth Town Council and its “Momentum Group” which declared at the recent Penarth Pier Pavilion meeting on the Future of Penarth that it is examining the issue.

 

 

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.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to PENARTH PUBLIC SEATING PUZZLE 2: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BENCHES OF BEACH ROAD?

  1. Johnabutt says:

    There is a GWR bench at the top of Llandough Hill, outside St Dochdwy’s church. That has been there for many years.

    • Penileaks says:

      Now you’ve flagged up the existence of that one, it will no doubt disappear in the coming weeks !

  2. Philip Rapier says:

    GWR style benches of similar design are currently offered on e bay from £390 to £620 EACH .. (A years Council Tax for some on Benefits)
    A simple FOI or note to the District Auditor should answer the question as to the whereabouts of the Benches for those who are concerned about them. They may be being rennovated. Let’s hope so. .
    The fact that Health and Safety Rest Benches on one of the steepest climbs in Cardiff and The Vale have been removed is a cause of great concern to me and will I will raise the matter at PTC straightaway..

  3. snoggerdog says:

    the seat outside of barclays is in such a state nobody will halfinch it,the most popular bench in penarth & a disgrace.getting back to the GWR benches,when i was a valleys guard going up them thar hills on the first train,three long benches had been taken apart. the cast iron GWR brackets were gone but they left the teak seating scattered over the platform! i think the only old bill about now is in portland, (shipping forecast).anybody got a wand,we could maybe bring back thePUDC,walking police,street cleaners,traffic wardens,drinking fountains & public urinals,unisex now of course.

    7

    • snoggerdog says:

      and the chun ho,and rocknroll in the sea scout hut, and guidis,and the washouse & the windsor kin,and the solid six down the marina,and the snooker hall in ludlow lane,and jack savages in the arcade,and woolies,and top rank in cardiff,and the fairs down cogan,and the subway under the ely river,and mini skirts,whoa better stop there.

  4. penarthblog says:

    I have mobility problems and if I did have to walk up from the beach, I would welcome a number of seats on Beach Rd.

  5. Frank Evans says:

    A funicular railway would be a great asset for penarth

  6. Parcel says:

    Clearly the council are sitting down on the job……..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s