Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
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I explained that the “King’s Boat” was the Customs vessel, the Taxman for the King, which was moored at the harbour on his land at “Cwtch-y-Cwm” a small "pill", or inlet, a few hundred yards upstream.

Then Cerys asked for some paper and crayons and proceeded to draw the smuggler and his boat. I thought that she had become confused with my story since in her version, the smuggler was a pirate and he was standing on the deck of the King's Boat. She explained that the smuggler had stolen the boat when the King's men weren't looking and he had become a pirate and sailed on the Severn Sea to board trading boats and rob them of their gold, silver, rum and sweeties! I shivered at the thought that Cerys might become a modern day pirate, a banker as they are commonly called, when she leaves school!

By 1750, the Customs Surveyor had had enough and they pleaded with the Revenue Commissioners to purchase the Inn. The case put forward included that “it will prevent a smuggler from living there” and it “will keep the mast and sayls dry that belong to the boat” and that “it will be of great service to the poor officers to keep ym from the inclemency of the weather who when it rains or blows have no shelter to go for an ill natured Landlord can deny them admittance if he please which have been the case before now”. How could they refuse such strong arguments? It fell upon deaf ears!

Smuggling continued after the Inn was closed down and in March 1869 the “Cardiff Times” [019] reported that Mr Mitchell, Officer of Customs; “met with some sailors, belonging to the steamer “Hartlepool” as they were leaving the vessel, and, fancying that their legs looked rather over the ordinary size, told them to take off their sea boots, when eight and a half pounds of “hard” (tobacco) were brought to light.”

Thank you Cerys for your special contribution to the website and the story of the docks. Love and kisses.


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150 years of Penarth Dock History and Heritage

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