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

Volume Eight - Pre-Victorian to the present day - more aspects - Pamir and Passat - the end of an era . . .

Passat and Pamir in a mirror flat Penarth Dock

A photograph of 'Pamir' and 'Passat' (nearest) moored up at the northern quay of Penarth Dock on a snowy day. Behind the ships are two Quonson huts; a leftover of the Americans from their wartime usage of the dock (until July 1944) as a base for the 'D' Day operations.

But which snowy day? From my research on the Bristol Channel lightship 'Breakwater' which had its periodic bottom scrape on the Penarth pontoon, I was able to date the photo fairly precisely!

Snowfall - 1949-50 - lightships - Bristol Channel

The 'Journal of Glaciology' [289] has a 'Report on the Snow Survey of Great Britain for the Season 1949-50'. In that report a new section on snowfall in British coastal waters stated:

'Through the courtesy of the Elder Brethren of Trinity House and with the co-operation of the masters of twenty-six lightvessels, details of snowfall at sea are now available for the first time in these records.

No snowfall was reported during September, October, November, May or June at any ship station, and the Seven Stones lightship, off cornwall, and the Helwick and English and Welsh Grounds vessels, in the Bristol Channel, reported an entirely snow-free season. (February was also snow-free in the Breaksea, Helwick and Welsh Grounds lightvessel reports)

In December snow was reported on the 9th at Breaksea and Scarweather lightships in the Bristol Channel. . . '

Since the Breaksea lightship and the coastguard (probably looking out of his house on Penarth Head at the Passat and Pamir in dock through the falling snow) reported only two days of snow for the season. So by simple deduction the upper photograph was taken on, or after, the 9th December 1949 - "Elementary, My Dear Watson!"

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