Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
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Volume Eleven - Pre-Victorian to the Present Day - some more aspects - The Calm Before the Storm - 1936 to 1940 and War . . .

The Chapter in Volume Four, Activity at the dock during World War II dealt at length with activity at the Penarth Dock during WWII and the Chapter, Penarth Dock Closure in 1936 dealt with the depression in trade and the subsequent decision to close the dock for coal exportation.

The scope of this Chapter is the activity at the dock during the intervening years between closure and re-opening the dock for the war effort during 1940. The dock stayed open for laying-up of vessels and ship-repair upon the pontoon throughout these years and the Ely Tidal Harbour continued its coal, general cargo and oil importation and exportation activities without interuption. Just to recap . . .

1936 - Closure of Penarth Dock : -

A GWR notice at the dock stated:- 'Notice is hereby given that on Monday 6th July 1936, and until further notice, vessels will not be admitted into Penarth Dock for the purpose of loading or discharging, nor will any traffic be dealt with in that dock.'

The last commercial sailing from the dock is reported to have occurred two days earlier on the 4th July 1936; the ship named the 'Amiens' sailed, appropriately, with a cargo of coal bound for Rochefort on the French coast.

1939 - Declatation of War with Germany : -

The UK declared war on the 3rd of September 1939 two days after the invasion of Poland. France followed with its declaration later the same day.

1940 - Re-opening of Penarth Dock : -

The Engineer [015] [016] reported on the 12th April 1940 ; 'Penarth Dock - A scheme is being prepared by the Penarth Council for the re-opening of Penarth Dock which during the past four years has only been used by ships for laying up.'

On 4th October 1940, development of the north side of the dock was authorised for the War Department.


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