I looked into the history of Penarth and the town owes its development to the massive expansion of the local coal industry in the 19th century. Its proximity to Cardiff, which was the natural outlet for the industrial valleys of Glamorgan, and its waterfront meant that it was ideally situated to meet the world demand for Welsh coal.The development of the town was rapid through the late 19th century to early 20th century and Penarth soon became self-sufficient with its own local government, thriving shopping centre and community facilities. Many of the town's features owe their origin to the landowners of the time and many fine buildings and parks are still evident. Thanks to the generosity of these landowners, Penarth earned the reputation of "The Garden by the Sea" because of its beautiful parks and open spaces and many of the buildings and features of the town have led to a substantial part being designated as a Conservation Area today because of its Victorian and Edwardian architecture including Penarth Pier which is over 100 years old and is in the photo above.
The pier is in the process of being redeveloped as it fell into disrepair like the Esplanade on the sea front. Above is a photo of the end of the pier wher people were fishing and below is a shot showing the beautiful railing that runs the length of the pier. There were many people about enjoying the brief spells of sunshine on a chilly wintery afternoon. Many had stopped by the pier as there were cafes selling hot drinks which were welcome to warm the hands. I found that the wind cut through my fleece jacket and that my ears became numb. Still the fresh air blew away the cobwebs.