Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

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Volume Six - Pre-Victorian to the Present Day - Select Aspects - Crossing the River Ely . .

By the late 1850's, numerous people from the Cardiff side of the river Ely were employed at the Ely Tidal Harbour or the Penarth Dock during its construction and possibly, within the fast developing town of Penarth. The track from Cardiff to Penarth was primitive and often impassable due to flooding. The alternative was a trek on foot or by wagonette from the suburbs of Cardiff, such as Grangetown, to the northern bank of the river, then, for a fee, rowing boats plyed the river too and fro. I can't imagine that the boatmen entertained their passengers to the strains of a Neapolitan song but more often than not, simply muttered those immortal words "bloody weather".

1859 - "Penarth. - Trade at the Harbour. - This place of business is now getting into work, and the arrangements are being completed by which cargoes of coal of considerable importance are being shipped there. Unquestionably it will become a place of much business in the course of a few years, but very shortly the merchants who have business premises at the Bute Docks will find the inconvenience attending the mode of communication between the docks and Penarth harbour." Cardiff Times [019] 8th October 1859.

The communication problem was partially addressed when a ferry service commenced across the river Ely complimented with a regular omnibus service from Bute Docks or St. Mary Street, Cardiff during 1859 : -

1859 - "Penarth. - Omnibus and Ferry Route. - Mr. John Powis, with a spirit which is truly commendable, has put on a ferry boat to cross the Penarth harbour. This is in connection with his omnibus, which runs to Penarth Harbour in fifteen minutes, there is a complete communication between Cardiff and Penarth, effecting a saving of two miles distance with a great saving of time." Cardiff Times [019] 21st April 1859.


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150 years of Penarth Dock History and Heritage

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