Outside the busy Griffin Books where customers enjoyed a glass of wine as they browsed for presents, The Crepe Escape had set up a stall selling their noted crepes and pastries …and hot coffee

Despite last night’s wintry weather, the new-look Late Night Christmas Shopping Evening – organised not by the Labour Town Council  but by Penarth retailers themselves – has proved to be a big hit with customers.

The event had languished under the town council’s management – and last year’s event was such a disaster the council had pulled the plug on  it. Afterwards the leader of the council Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) had criticised fellow councillors for not bothering to turn out to support local shops and announced there would be no late night shopping event in Penarth this year .

Penarth Community Choir singing Christmas carols helped set the festive mood for the most successful event yet (Photo J Horton)

Street stalls selling gifts and cards had a busy evening

Families with young children found there was plenty to enjoy on the streets of Penarth

Penarth’s Windsor Arcade was open and doing a roaring trade

But that withdrawal by the council proved to be just the impetus needed for local retailers to get together and organise a  much better event  themselves.

One of the organisers  – Justin Horton of the Funky Monkey children’s wear shop said “What a night! The town saw a great turn out, despite the weather, and many of the shops were well supported and had bumper sales.”

Long established Penarth jewellers Rowleys said It was the best late night event in 14 years” .

Sian Fox of Foxy’s on Victoria Road was delighted with the way the evening went

Sian Fox – who runs the eponymous Foxy’s restaurant and delicatessen in Station Approach said it was the “best ever”.

In Station Approach were entertained by a jazz band and the Penarth Community Choir sang a  selection of Christmas songs and carols in Windsor Road.

As last year, there weren’t many councillors to be seen around town – but this time they did have an alibi – there was a council meeting on last night.

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  1. A big thank you to everyone involved, this was a great example of team work and so many diverse people and businesses working together. Most of all to the people of Penarth (and further afield) who turned out and supported the many wonderful local businesses in our town.

  2. BigpooSki says:

    A hit? really, looks dead

  3. Dai Jones says:

    I attended – not a nice night for weather but business seemed brisk. Bravo Penarth.

  4. Andrew Worsley says:

    Well either the photographer was late or he/she avoided taking photos of the crowds of people just look at the crowd outside Windsor bookshop quite a crush and the couple under the stall for rural events must have been wondering if they’d get home in one piece and just look at the numbers outside Foxys , yes this is the sort of event we need more of to bring out the crowd? Now someone will say the streets were packed you could hardly move and the camera didn’t quite catch the excitement .

    • Melanie Griffin says:

      It’s really not necessary or helpful to be so negative and sarcastic. There may not have been crowds outside on the streets, but this was after all a cold and drizzly December night – I can confirm that INSIDE the bookshop (Griffin Books, not Windsor Bookshop), it was busy throughout the evening and business was brisk. Most other shops that stayed open are also reporting a very healthy trade for the night. We are all doing our best to keep Penarth’s local shops alive and kicking for the benefit of the whole community, so a bit of support wouldn’t go amiss!

  5. Dan Potts says:

    I trust the organisers had permission to set all that up on the pavements and had arranged appropriate first aid cover to meet the legal requirements ?

  6. snoggerdog says:

    half a crown a pint in wetherspoons!

  7. Keith Stevens says:

    Hate to sound negative – I was in Penarth last night (wanting to support local shops etc) and I must have missed the crowds – they must have come before I got there or later – I was there between 6pm & 7pm ????

    • Dr. Strangeglove says:

      I get off a bus every day, except Sunday, at approximately that time – between 6 and 7pm. I am used to seeing a few people around when I buy groceries on the way home from work. On the day, I was surprised at how busy it was in town – there were many dozens more people than is usual for that time of the day.
      Furthermore, all of the shops normally open at that time of the day were busier than normal.
      I disagree with any implication that this venture was a flop. It should be measured against what is normal for a cold grey weekday evening, and not against a midsummer picnic in the park.

  8. Andrew Worsley says:

    Melanie Griffiths I said what I saw , and I didn’t see large numbers of people in any of the photos , as for sarcasm , if a situation seems as the opposite of what it is being portrayed I am prone to sarcasm . And I’m tired of hearing of all the lost causes , being trotted out time after time. The pier Cinema being one and the none existent Penarth cliff walkway folly another waste of hot air and useless idea. We got the stupid , imbecilic , unwanted viewing platform on the cliff top , whilst at the same time the town cannot even keep its CCTV cameras working, talk about priorities and the Council have proved so useless at planting a stable Xmas tree on the towns clock roundabout it has actually allowed others to step in (according to info given out).

    • BigpooSki says:

      well said, Andrew

      • Plodder says:

        No, it’s not well said at all. You weren’t there, and nor was Mr. Worsley, so your comments can be dismissed without further fuss.

      • Dr. Strangeglove says:

        Very little fact-checking or even careful reading going on from these detractors. Melanie Griffin, the owner of Griffin Books, should not be confused with Melanie Griffiths, whoever she is. Perhaps you were getting mixed up with Melanie Griffith, daughter of Tippi Hedren who married Don Johnson?
        It’s difficult to tell what they meant, as neither of them was there, and based their assumptions on photographs taken OUTSIDE the shops. You might as well criticise attendance for a film after viewing pictures of the cinema entrance.
        Most people were inside shops, and that is where the business was being done. That’s where I saw lots of increased activity on the night.

    • Bart Henderson-Brake says:

      So, did you see any police officers, or was it easy pickings for pickpockets?

    • Hello Andrew.

      Nobody is claiming that Wednesday night resembled the chaos of ‘Black Friday’ – far from it and thank goodness it didn’t. From our point of view (and bear in mind that I was there from 5pm until 8.30pm) it was a busy night. We were delighted to see so many lovely cheerful people supporting local businesses, and our shop had one of its busiest times since starting up (this is our third year). That, Andrew, is an indisputable fact.

      Evidence from other shops in the town suggests that they too had a busy time and were well supported (read the report). I really don’t think that you can argue with actual evidence from the people involved, can you?

      If you remember last year, the town resembled a ghost town; this year there was a healthy number of people about and the tills were ringing. Not bad, and certainly a sound platform to build on for next year.

    • Plodder says:

      Very cynical and negative! How are these traders accountable for your dislike of the Vale of Glamorgan Council blunders?
      Scattergun approach achieves nothing, but I’m sure you’d be much happier if everyone did nothing. Stop doing everyone and everything down, or the ghost of Christmas future will be scraping at your bedpost, you miserable curmudgeon!

    • Dr. Strangeglove says:

      It’s no good claiming you said what you saw if you weren’t actually there! You didn’t SEE anything at all! You have no direct evidence one way or the other.
      I WAS there, and I saw a lot of activity – not as much as the Downhill Derby, agreed, but on a wet, cold wintry evening, it lifted me to see so many smiling faces making the most of less than favourable weather to support local businesses. It was much busier than usual for the town centre at that time of night.
      If traders decide to do the same again, I am sure that they will be able to build on this encouraging start – not exactly a flyaway success, but a very promising effort enjoyed by many.
      They will most certainly have my support for their next evening project, and they should be commended for what they did achieve.

  9. Andrew Worsley says:

    Look I said what I saw in the photos and agreed withthat it didn’t look as lively as was being made out . Nice bit of unwanted sarcasm , Bart Henderson- Brake (does that double barrel name come with chips ?) sigh!. Now back to real people , I agreed with BigpooSki but because I elaborated I get jumped on , as for in the shops themselves , I wasn’t commenting on trade enjoyed by individual shops but the absence of any crowds outside or on the streets . In short the photos gave the impression of a sparsely attended event as I and BigpooSki made note of and based it on what we saw not what we couldn’t see.

    • Plodder says:

      So you weren’t there – is that what you’re saying? You can be cutting and sarcastic about an event you didn’t attend, but you don’t like sarcastic remarks addressed at you? Double standards from a double header!
      YOUR sarcasm is unwanted and unwarranted, you hypocrite!

    • Bart Henderson-Brake says:

      Andrew, try changing your surname to Betterley, and see if it improves your disposition.

  10. Mike Yorke says:

    Well done to all the traders and those involved…..I hope you all made a decent amount of profit for the night. I couldn’t attend as was tending to my nippers.

    Couple of things…..seen as it went so well…..would it be possible to stay open even later next year so that those with young children can attend (after getting them off to sleep, fingers crossed) And would you consider a couple of late opening nights, perhaps a Friday or Saturday as its tricky on a week night?

    Again, well done and thanks for making what seemed like a great evening

    • Thanks Mike; at this stage anything is on the table, the more ideas the better! I’m sure that the traders’ will meet in the New Year to talk through the options and ways of developing the event in 2018.

    • penarthblog says:

      I agree with all of that and would add this suggestion. A midsummer festival, such things are popular in Europe, Scandinavia in particular and attract large crowds on the summer solstice.

  11. BigpooSki says:

    Why is everyone getting so riled up? is it all the traders commenting on here apart from myself and Andrew Worsley I’m glad you all had a fantastic time and made lots of money but the pictures don’t lie and it looks dead you lot need to calm down your starting to come across like bullies

    • Plodder says:

      When you say the pictures don’t lie, can you explain why the picture of Foxy’s is in daylight, and why there are no pictures of activity within the participating shops?
      I’m not a trader. I was a customer on that night, and I can tell you, categorically, that the pictures were not representative of the activity on that night. If you choose to criticise, then at least pay attention to those who actually attended and did something positive towards getting this event off the ground.You have no first hand evidence, and you have based your opinion on a handful of quickly taken photos that missed much of what really took place, so it is absolutely fair to dismiss your worthless opinion. It is not bullying to contradict someone who is incorrect in their assumptions when better evidence is available.

      • BigpooSki says:

        Calm down dear

      • Dr. Strangeglove says:

        That’s a no, then. He can’t explain. Just likes to criticise for the sake of it, and then patronise anyone who disagrees. I’m with you Plodder. I went around the shops and saw dozens of people who wouldn’t normally be around town at 7pm, and the pictures, frankly, were hurried and unrepresentative.

    • Dr. Strangeglove says:

      Well I am certainly not one of the traders, but I was there on the night – see my previous comments.
      You say the pictures don’t lie, but the fact is, they don’t represent the truth either, yet you have based your assumptions on this meagre evidence. That is so gullible! You clearly believe what you want to believe, and you are very easily misled.
      If people are getting riled up, it is because those who were there consider the photos to be unrepresentative, yet the comments made by customers who WERE there at the time are being contradicted by a couple of stubborn and opinionated people who WEREN’T there. You don’t accept being corrected by those who know better.

      • BigpooSki says:

        I was talking to someone that was there and they said it was dead.Boring in fact!!! they ended up in the Bears head :))) But really it’s time to move on now guys…STOP typing read a book go for a walk there’s a big world out there >__<

      • Dr. Strangeglove says:

        You clearly have limited comprehension ability.There IS a big wide world out there, and the person who wasn’t part of it just wants to snipe at those who were.
        Tell the ‘someone’ you know that they missed a pleasant evening around the shops because they were in Wetherspoons. He or she clearly didn’t realise that the shops were busy, and possibly expected Windsor Road to be packed with crowds, which wasn’t the case or the intention. The traders wanted people in their shops, and that worked – see the headline.
        Furthermore, did your ‘someone’ visit Windsor Arcade, Rowley’s or Station Approach? I doubt it. Just a cursory glance along the main stretch on a cold, wet evening before settling in for a few pints, I’ll bet. So, once again, you stubborn ignoramus, your denigration of the efforts of these traders is contradicted. YOU stop typing.

  12. Andrew Worsley says:

    I couldn’t agree more BigpooSki especially Plodder who seems to be taking it personal . As for his use of the word ‘hypocritical’!!? where on earth was I hypocritical??? you need to stop using big words if they don’t apply and you misuse them as you have. As myself and BigpooSki said we based our comments on the photos of the event , neither of us said we had attended Plodder, and if you cannot talk without using insults and misunderstanding my comments on photos you need to go and sit in a corner somewhere . As for Bert Henderson Hand Brake I rest my case.

    • Plodder says:

      I’ll explain exactly why you are a hypocrite, even though it is probably quite obvious to everyone except you. You seem to think it’s perfectly alright to be sarcastic, and yet when someone uses sarcasm directed at you, you view it as unwanted. That is hypocritical. I’m not sure I can break that down into words of one syllable for you, but maybe you can ask a child to explain it to you slowly.
      Study the photos again, especially the photo of Foxy’s – it was taken during the daytime, so it isn’t representative of the attendance levels on the night of the event. Furthermore, the other photos show the stalls set up on the pavements, but when I visited, the participating shops were busy, with lots of people browsing and buying – they weren’t stood outside in great numbers, because it was cold and miserable outdoors, and it was all taking place within the shops – the whole point of the exercise.
      All of these negative comments, criticising the efforts of a number of people to do something positive – reveal armchair critics at their worst, bemoaning the state of the town, while actually discouraging those who try to do something to improve matters. That is also hypocrisy, so I stand by what I wrote. You are a small-minded, petty man, with a narrow outlook and a nitpicking mentality.

      • BigpooSki says:

        Wow, this is really affecting you, your spending to much time on this, taking it personally can you sleep at night? or is this keeping you awake maybe you have a boring life with no friends and this is exciting to you IDK I’m sure if I had a boring life looking around a bookshop at night would be fun.Well, this gives you something to do I guess just stay away from sharp objects I don’t want you to hurt yourself or anyone else…

    • BigpooSki says:

      Well said again

      • BigpooSki says:

        I was agreeing with Andrew Worsley BTW not Plodder

      • Plodder says:

        No, you don’t agree with me.
        It’s all very well being rude and making wild assumptions – I actually earn a living which includes my colleagues and I taking sharp objects, and blunt objects, away from stupid people at public events and stopping them from hurting others. Sometimes, because of this job, I am awake into the night, and I don’t always get a chance to visit friends or visit shops in Penarth because of the anti-social working hours. So, when I get that rare opportunity, I appreciate it greatly, and I don’t appreciate stupid people spreading nonsense that might jeopardise my enjoyment.
        I find myself agreeing with Dr. Strangeglove, that most people were inside the shops, and that the photos did not reflect the activity that actually took place, as witnessed, in person, by myself and the many others who were actually there.
        I certainly don’t like being contradicted by some knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing keyboard warrior with limited understanding of the word ‘evidence’. My friends would back me up on this. I dislike ignorance, and I dislike those who are happy to spoil other people’s enjoyment. I would like to be able to shop out of normal hours in my home town more often, so I’m glad the event was ‘ a hit’, as stated in the headline that tops the article.
        Penarth could do with a lot fewer of the negative people who belittle and ridicule and criticise every positive thing that anyone else does – usually found on a barstool in Wetherspoons, it would appear, safely ensconced in an alcoholic bubble.

      • Plodder says:

        Incidentally, have you not heard of punctuation, or is it another one of those issues where you tell someone to ‘get a life’ because you are too lazy or too ignorant to communicate properly?

  13. penarthblog says:

    The way I see this is that this late night venture is desirable for both local independent businesses and customers. It can be argued about the numbers, but some businesses owners have stated that they are happy with those numbers. So it is what it is, hopefully lessons will have been learnt and next time will be better.

  14. Andrew Worsley says:

    My , my , my Plodder has really got a bee in his bonnet about this event and the comments of BigpooSki and myself , its gone as far as using insulting and personal insults all over a small event that photos shown gave the wrong impression so neither I or BigpooSki were at fault , the photos were deceptive . And to get worked up about certain peoples perception or understanding over a trivial matter (in the scheme of things, before that’s thrown at me) is just plain silly. I have a few books around my home concerning WW2 which I will now throw out because they give the wrong idea in some of the photos but I now cannot trust the photos BECAUSE I WASNT THERE.

    • Bart Henderson-Brake says:

      In ‘Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall’, the pictures were Jim Dale, not Spike Milligan. Also, the illustrated ‘Mein Kampf’ is not really history anyway.

    • Dr. Strangeglove says:

      Marilyn Monroe riding a pterodactyl attacking Japanese soldiers in Trafalgar Square may be photoshopped. Mum’s the word.

    • BigpooSki says:

      Andrew Worsley , Plodder is like Duracell he goes on and on and on, The other people commenting on here remind me of the old hells angel gang in Every Which Way But Loose, I’m sure if you keep repeating on here that it was a great night and the pictures don’t tell the real story people will start to believe you :))

      • Dr. Strangeglove says:

        People generally either believe the facts, based on evidence – in this case, eye witnesses – or they believe what they want to believe, despite being wrong. You fall into the latter category.

      • Hamish Munnypenny says:

        Intelligent people will start to believe it.

  15. Danny Oakentrode says:

    Despite all the ridiculous criticism by a few individuals who didn’t support this event, I thought it was a real treat. There were people buying in every shop I visited and, despite the miserable weather outside, tills were ringing, and the participants, shop staff and customers, seemed to be enjoying the occasion. I look forward to the next late opening event.

  16. Andrew Worsley says:

    I it was a great event pity the photographer decided to take photos of next to nothing and by doing so caused much controversy especially from people outraged individuals who seem to think HOW DARE HE SAY THAT?, HE CANNOT SAY THAT HE WASNT THERE???? , photos are irrelevant they didn’t show enough people and IF YOU WERE NOT THERE you are not allowed to speak about it OR CRITICISE ……………….unless of course your a naughty , naughty boy.

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