Spectators searched out every best vantage point on Penarth Esplanade last night for the now-traditional,New Year’s Eve fireworks display organised by Michelin Star chef and restaurateur James Sommerin.
It was a dry and warm evening – and an estimated 3-400 people – including many families with young children joined restaurant customers to watch the spectacle as – once again Mr Sommerin’s team set off a 12-minute sequence of fireworks from the beach.
Some of the crowd took up positions on the roof of the Fig Tree Restaurant which, like Restautant JS, was also open for the occasion along with its ground floor pavement ice cream and coffee bar.
This year – in contrast with previous years – there was a detachment of about half a dozen police officers standing by on Cliff Hill – but there was nothing for them to do.
As the tide was coming in, there was less space than usual for the pyrotechnic team to operate in but the organisers had thought of everything and – with safety in mind – had staff asking people ( very politely) to move onto the landward side of the Esplanade.
Although the display appeared to slightly jump the gun in terms of starting time there was plenty to see and hear and local residents and restaurant customers seemed unanimous that this year’s display was the best yet .
For the first time the Holm House Hotel launched a spectacular firework display from its rear garden and for a time both displays competed for attention – but the Sommerin display had by far the greater fire-power and the longest duration.
In previous years the Penarth Pier Pavilion has been deserted and in total darkness on New Years Eve – but last night, under new management, it was open for a special Snowcat Cinema New Year’s Eve showing of the classic 1960 movie “The Apartment” starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacClaine.
The movie was timed to end at 23:55 after which a chorus of a lustily-sung “Auld Lang Syne ” could be heard emanating from the direction of the Pavilion .
With all the activity on the sea-front Penarth Town Centre seemed relatively quiet. The Penarth Town Council Christmas lights – or at least 4 strings of them in the most prominent position on Windsor Road – were still out as they have been for several days .
The Penarth Town Council Christmas Lights have now been out of action for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and now New Year’s Day. [The Penarth Town Council has consistently refused to be involved in any way in the New Year’s Eve fireworks on the Esplanade ]
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL PDN READERS