The Vale Council has given negligible publicity to this week’s closure of Penarth Pier

There appears to be escalating chaos around the filming of a Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard movie called “Six Minutes to Midnight” – being apparently being filmed partly in Penarth and partly in Llandudno,

Requests by  the film crew to carry out “structural alterations” to Llandudno Pier were refused by the firm that owns the pier and filming work is said to have “come to an abrupt end

As a result scenes which were to have been filmed in Llandudno are to be shot on Penarth Pier – further limiting access to Penarth Pier for local residents and visitors.

This morning the Vale of Glamorgan Council issued a brief and unexpected press release saying that Penarth Pier would be closed from today Wednesday July 18th until Saturday July 21st.  It’s most unusual for such minimal notice to be given of the closure of a major public facility.

The release also stated that businesses on Penarth Pier would be able to claim compensation for loss of business during the closure . The Vale Council has said that “any businesses affected by this will be compensated by the production company” [i.e not from the council]

An official Vale of Glamorgan Council notice has been posted at the entrance to Penarth Pier. There was little – if any –  advance notice of the closure.

Confusingly later today local traders said they had been told by the film company that the pier would be open as usual today and – said that notwithstanding the council’s official announcement, members of the public would still be allowed on the pier today.

It seems however that this is entirely at the discretion of the film company and applies – or may apply – just during times when  equipment and props are   being wheeled into place.

The huge caravan of film trucks which was parked up at the Penarth end of the Barrage last week, is now is on its way back to Penarth – after a failure to reach agreement to film on with Llandudno Pier

Meanwhile the Six Minutes to Midnight film crew – a massive caravan of some 40 trucks – is pulling out of Llandudno and returning to Penarth to carry on filming .

Llandudno Pier owner Adam Williams said he was “unable to meet the demands the film crews were asking for in such a short space of time.”  and said Llandudno Pier would have been forced to close for at least a week in the peak season.

Mr Williams said of the structural changes proposed by the film company to Llandudno Pier I can’t let that happen, I have the future of the Pier to think about. I need to make sure we can open after the film crews have gone.” Mr Williams’s decision to refuse the film company has been backed by Llandudno mayor, David Hawkins

Nowthe scenes that would have been filmed on Llandudno Pier will be filmed on Penarth Pier – and that – say insiders – is likely to impose further restrictions on public access to Penarth Pier at the peak of the summer season.

The irony is that the production company making the film Mad as Birds Ltd is based in Llandudno.

Two of the electric golf carts used to tow props to the end of the pier

Small electric golf carts are have been towing trailers loaded with miscellaneous pieces of scenery and props to the end of the pier throughout the day

The miscellany of weird stage props assembled at the end of Penarth Pier for the movie ” Six Minutes to Midnight “

Some of the props appeared to be pre WW2 restaurant advertising boards, a native American Indian head-dress, a piano

The Six Minutes to Midnight crew at work on Penarth Esplanade a few days ago (Photo
Matthew Horwood / )

As already reported on PDN, the movie crew  carried out two days of filming on Penarth Esplanade last week where – on one of the warmest and driest nights of the year –  night sequences were shot in simulated heavy rain .

One PDN source says the fact that two locations in Wales are being used for filming indicates that the production may well be being underwritten by the Welsh Labour Government – using taxpayer’s money.  To date PDN has not been able to obtain any confirmation of this, nor any details on how the production is being financed

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  1. Ford Prefect says:

    Hopefully they’ll be paid enough money to cover the closure, and pay for continued upkeep of the building. Still a shame the cinema isn’t more frequent.

  2. whatsoccurin says:

    Is this one of these “Pinewood Wales” films financed by the Welsh Government (the tax payer), if it loses money (the tax payer) picks up the bill-if it makes money the Production company is quids in!

    • Edward says:

      It’s called “funding the arts” and it’s not only people’s livelihoods, but it brings a lot of additional business into Wales. So, by offering money to bring a production here, you bring in 100s of people who spend money on food, accommodation, equipment and all sorts of things which strengthen the local economy. That is nonesense that the tax payer picks up the bill if it’s a flop.

      • Ralph says:

        Don’t get me wrong I’m all for funding the arts but to say that local filming boosts the local economy is disingenuous at best.
        The very fact that the production company is prepared to compensate local traders for lost business suggest quite the opposite.

      • Dis gruntled says:

        Pathetic statement !!

  3. Hope Paignton Pier is open next week as Il be on my weeks yearly hols there, Bleepping cheek I think , what if people are on holiday?

  4. Johnny says:

    Might have enough left over to resurface the roads properly – doubt it though.

  5. Alison says:

    The information that you have broadcast is incorrect.

    The crew will be setting up today, transforming and dressing the pier to period. The pier will be open to the public until 9pm.
    Filming will take place on Thursday and Friday and there will be no accreted for the general public.

    On Saturday the pier will open as usual and the crew will be dismantling the set.

    So for clarity Decks will be open for usual hot and cold drinks and food and that delicious Joes Ice Cream on both Wednesday and Saturday.

    Can we send a big apology to all our customers who have been disappointed not be able to come to us.

  6. AK says:

    What a fantastic coup for Penarth, one of the world’s leading character actresses filming here. Continuity will be fun dealing with the Bristol Channel tides in the background.

    When the Dylan Thomas movie ‘The Edge of Love’ was filmed in New Quay, the cast were made very welcome in the local hostelries and several locals ended up in the film as extras.

    I reckon Dame Judy will be hustling pool in the Railway this evening !

  7. Ben Rive says:

    Only the far end of the pier will be closed off for filming. The Pavilion and surrounding businesses should not be affected. Our screening at the cinema on Friday night is going ahead as planned.

  8. Ben Rive says:

    Correction to my earlier message: Businesses on the pier itself may be closed though.

  9. Doug Nicholls says:

    Just what you’d expect from a Tory-run Council. Chaotic Conservatives locally and nationally.

  10. Le Compte says:

    Just too much filming in Penarth and about… it interferes with Penarthians’ daily lives for no obvious gain….

    • Edward says:

      Oh grow up! It brings business and money to the town and puts us on the map in terms of being a focus point for the arts. How does it interfere with you daily life? You might have to do a small detour, or cross the the other side of the road. You don’t live in an isolation where YOUR way of life is the only way of life. I’m sure you’re happy to watch TV and go to the cinema. Seriously, was it worth you even having these thoughts, let alone writing them down.

      • Le Compte says:

        Dear Edward,
        Thank you for the insults. It beings negligible money to the town. The only way it puts Penarth on the map is for more film companies to block the roads further.
        The companies use the houses, halls and roads in Penarth as its cheaper than building a set. Don’t presume that everyone goes to the cinema, I haven’t been in years and I watch very little television. I haven’t mentioned my way of life is the only way and you have no idea what my ‘way of life’ is.
        You may like to live in the middle of a film set for low budget films and as a backdrop for soaps looking for a cheap sets, I don’t.
        I’d rather have the use of the car park near the barrage and not to have the road blocked with film lorries.

  11. Jedi stench says:

    I will down there protesting tomorrow. How very dare they close the pier!!

    • Edward says:

      Why? It’s a privellege that this is filmed here and brings business and the arts to Penarth. So, part of the pier might be closed for a short while on a Thursday. What are you, some kind of monster? Grow up!

  12. whatsoccurin says:

    Searches indicate it is a “British Council Film”, the company is called “Mad as Birds” and Eddie Izzard is an Executive Producer-finance is from a number of sources including Welsh Government and Film Cymru Wales.

  13. Alan Thompson says:

    The Pier Pavilion is open and The Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir are performing a Concert there tonight 7 for 7.30 tickets £10 available at the door!

  14. Ford Prefect says:

    I think he’s a good actor, Eddie Izzard, but every time I see him I just want him to shout “Heeeelp, I’m covered in bees!” 🙂

  15. Caress Morell says:

    I’ve left my smalls on the line….
    I hope they don’t get in the shot. I don’t want Hollywood discussing my undergarments with all and sundry.

    • cogan nomen says:

      What a wonderful name !
      May I have a small talk with you
      About Penarth ?

  16. Clive Jones says:

    Fantastic for Penarth to have such stars of the screen and anything with Dame Judy in it has to be an Oscar contender.

  17. Who do they think they are? What about the tourists during the holiday season, including the children who would have liked to have used the rides and the amusement arcade? Who has the right to hold them to ransom like this, just for personal profit? The local council should say “No!” with a firm hand and send these fly-by-night opportunist bandits packing. Loyalty belongs to the ones who visit Llandudno honestly and who are not to be ripped off or cheated by these greedy, thoughtless and very uncaring pigs! The council’s credibility is on the line here. And I suspect the proposed fiasco of advantage taking will not be forgotten for a very long time to come.

  18. Booted off Llandudno. Get off Penarth! Greedy opportunist grabbers!

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