Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
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Volume Four - An Era of Change, Uncertainty, Depression & War - The proceedings in London - Penarth Dock Engineering v Pounds . . .

The chronological order of events between 1961 and 1964 are somewhat difficult to establish with complete certainty as there are few reliable records available, however, the following sequence is based on the evidence to hand.

In 1961, Penarth Pontoon and Ship Repairing Company Limited changed its name the Penarth Dock Engineering Company Limited. The source is the Dun and Bradstreet Directory for 1963. [070] The change of company name signified the end of the era of ship repair at the dock but heralded a change of direction for the company toward general and precision engineering. It is logical a decision therefore, that the Directors decide to dispose of their ageing and redundant asset and sell the pontoon for its scrap value to Pounds Shipbreakers of Portsmouth.

The Tyne Built Ships [102] website states that on 9th August 1962 the pontoon was sold to Pounds Shipbreakers at Portsmouth for breaking up for an undisclosed sum; this date however, is incorrect. I was unable to ascertain for what value the pontoon was sold but from my research the invoice covering the sale stated “Although it desirous to remove the pontoon as speedily as possible, no time limit is to be imposed.”

'The pontoon had stopped work in September 1962' states Roy Thorne in his History of Penarth Dock and he credits 'I am indebted to W. J. Quinnell, the last manager of the pontoon for this information.' [385]

We could then envisage that the British Transport Commission, who were responsible for the dock, placed the company on notice that the docks were to close (date of closure and date of notice unknown) otherwise, it would be reasonable to suppose that there would have been a time limit imposed upon Pounds Shipbreakers from the outset.

At the 3rd March 1962 we have established from the Shipping Lists that the dock was closed to shipping. I could not establish however, if the lock gates were still operational and/or that there remained access through the basin to the sea to permit egress from the dock. In the intervening period between the sale of the pontoon and 9th August 1962, it is known from court papers that that Penarth Dock Engineering Company Limited requested Pounds fulfil their contract and remove the pontoon on a number of occasions. Finally, time, became of the essence, and 9th August 1962 was the deadline set for removal. Pounds failed to remove the pontoon by the appointed date!


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