Residents of Penarth who happen to be passing by Barclays Bank today had their first opportunity to try out the prototype of the new concrete-and-timber “Penarth Bench”
The new bench – made by local firm Concrete Carrot, of Station Approach – was commissioned by Penarth Town Council and designed by local architect Chris Loyn who is president of the Penarth Civic Society .
The bench comprises a wooden slatted seat and two concrete end pieces which are embossed with a representation of Penarth Pier created by the Penarth Youth Action – the body said to represent most youth organisations in Penarth.
The new bench – which is called a “Penarth Bench” replaces the old broken bench in the same location which – at one time – was the focus for anti-social behaviour by local teenagers and is still a target for graffiti vandals.
[ PDN Note: A survey by local resident Julian Marsh in June this year revealed that of all the 77 public benches (i.e. benches with backrests to them) in Penarth – only one (the broken bench outside Barclays Bank) – was actually located in Penarth Town Centre. Mr Marsh had found that the “Barclays” bench ( it didn’t actually belong to the bank) was “Very likely the most used bench in Penarth”. Mr Marsh had found that the top rail of the old bench had been missing “for at least 5 years – and been in situ for 15 years” .]
As the new “Penarth Bench” doesn’t appear to have a continuous backrest it probably doesn’t qualify to be called a “bench”. (Only those people sitting at the two ends have a back support – there’s none in the middle)
The cost of the new bench is £1,080 and is funded from the Penarth Town precept – the element of the council tax which is raised by Penarth Council .
Subject to public reaction, further “Penarth Benches “will be installed in other locations around the town centre even though it’s £300 more expensive than the Vale Council new Penarth Esplanade benches .