Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
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Volume Six - Pre-Victorian to the Present Day - Select Aspects - The subway under the river Ely story . . .

I suppose it must have been filtered by the river bed above as it dripped in or maybe it was mostly rainwater? Either way it was crystal clear! Anyway that was the end of our exploration that day.

On the way home up Dock Hill a police car pulled up and asked us what we had been doing in the docks, as we could be clearly seen carrying our torches. Not wanting to get in trouble we didn't say. Then to make matters worse, when we were asked for our names and addresses, I said my name was 'John Smith'. It must have been obvious to the policeman that I was lying, and we were told to get into the car. This was too much and I gave my real name and address and were ceremoniously carted home to our parents with a stern warning! The Police thought we had been breaking into warehouses on the docks. A great shame that the Subway was never re-opened as part of the Bay redevelopment plan.

Penarthgirl posted her account of the subway on July 29, 2014 »

'This brings back some happy memories of my childhood in the early 1950s when I was about 10 or 11. Our friends, my cousins, my sister and I would walk from where we lived in Paget Terrace all the way to the subway. Then we’d walk through, singing a boy scout/girl guide song, “My Tall Silk Hat” at the tops of our voices because we knew all the words, and we loved the way we sounded in the big echoing space. We’d walk downhill and then uphill, balancing on the pipes, dodging the drips coming from the top, until we got to the other end and after a while we’d come back through again doing the same things, then making our way up Dock Road to home. Simple stuff, but loads of fun and plenty of fresh air. We didn’t tell our Mothers though, because we’d been forbidden to go there on our own.'

Thank you to all who contributed their personal recollections of the subway to the forum.


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