1904 PHOTO FOUND OF THE LAYING OF PENARTH LIBRARY’S FOUNDATION STONE

The vintage photograph of the laying of the foundation stone of Penarth Public Library has been superimposed with the building as it is today. The foundation stone is aligned in the same position.

The vintage photograph of the laying of the foundation stone of Penarth Public Library has been superimposed (by PDN) on the building as it is today with the stone aligned in the same position.

A remarkable photograph of the laying of the foundation stone at Penarth Public Library in 1904 has been unearthed by Penarth’s head librarian Marcus Payne and his staff.   

The original 1904 photo has been re-published to mark “World Photo Day”  and shows the foundation stone-laying ceremony carried out by Samuel Thomas, chairman of Penarth Urban  District Council’s Library Committee, on September 10th 1904

It was clearly a proud day for turn-of-the-century   prosperous bustling Penarth. Everyone who was anyone in the town was there to witness the event.

It was clearly a proud day for turn-of-the-century prosperous bustling Penarth. Everyone who was anyone in the town was there to witness the event – and a few turned around to look at the camera.

It was a time when ladies still wore hats – and men wore, depending on their social rank, top hats, bowlers, avant-gard trilbys or the humble cloth cap. The builder’s scaffolding is all made of wooden poles – not steel tubes – and there isn’t a safety helmet or a high-viz yellow jacket in sight.

Edwardian benefactors built and endowed Penarth's library

Edwardian benefactors built and endowed Penarth’s library

When the foundation stone was laid the ground floor walls of the library had yet to reach window-sill height and the main entrance – opening onto Stanwell Road – had yet to be built. (Today’s side entrance onto Rectory Road is a later addition) .The library was a gift to the people of Penarth – its construction having been funded largely by the Carnegie Trust on land donated by the Earl of Plymouth.

Samuel Thomas was the chairman of Penarth District Council who two years earlier in 1902 had opened Alexandra Gardens on what was to have been the day of the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra (daughter of the King of Denmark) . The coronation was postponed because King Edward had to have an operation for appendicitis – but neverthess there was no postponement of the Alexandra Garens opening.

World Photo Day – is an Australian-inspired celebration of photographywhich is held to “inspire thousands of photographers across the planet to share a single photo with a simple purpose: to share their world with the world.”

 

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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.
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11 Responses to 1904 PHOTO FOUND OF THE LAYING OF PENARTH LIBRARY’S FOUNDATION STONE

  1. Anne Greagsby says:

    Time we had a Penarth museum to display the history of the town. The Turner gallery would do nicely.

    • Doctor David says:

      Turner House was presented to the town to display an art collection – not actually to do whatever we want to do with it, despite its recent misuse. We should be hounding the National Museum of Wales to restore Turner House to its original purpose.
      The history of the town belongs in the library. However, we have to ensure that funds are available to maintain the library and pay the staff.
      Combining the two would condemn both Penarth’s art collection and the library, where an extensive archive is now held.

    • snoggerdog says:

      couldnt agree with you more anne, can you imagine the residents of this town digging deep into their family photo collections & either lending or donating them to turner house,there must be some real gems hidden away all over penarth.we cold have a rotating collection with copies on sale,with the monies put going to a charity or whatever.

    • Janet says:

      What an excellent idea. One of the best ideas for the Town I’ve heard in a long time.

    • Hamish Munnypenny says:

      I’d rather see a photo archive in the many unused parts of West House. Turner House should be kept solely for the purpose for which it was originally bequeathed to Penarth – as a beautiful setting for the art collection which has been snapped up by the Welsh National Museum.

  2. AK says:

    One of the world’s great philanthropists, Andrew Carnegie.

    Who says Scots are tight with money?

    http://www.biography.com/people/andrew-carnegie-9238756#early-life

  3. Alistair says:

    This story should remind everyone of how precious the library is to Penarth.

  4. Peter Church says:

    I’m sure I’ve seen this photo before?
    Has it already been on PDN

    • newsnet says:

      PDN has not shown this picture before – but it may well have appeared elsewhere and was published by Penarth Library on Twitter this month.

  5. Tim Hughes says:

    Bequests were often made by people who embraced change in their lives and that often created the wealth that funded their later philanthropy. When we are considering how we spend our current funds and what with we do with our building assets we do not need to follow the past but look to the future.

  6. Mgg says:

    A lot of hiistory of Penarth books have this photo

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