Be a tourist
in your own town
Penarth History Month returns in September and we caught up one of the organisers Martin Gossage from Penarth Tourism and Visitor Association to find out what it is all about.
PV: How did it all start?
MG: There are individual history projects in Penarth, but with the lack of a coordinated Heritage display strategy from our institutions I felt it would be valuable to promote our history under a collective banner
PV: What are your highlights from the event?
MG: The enthusiasm, support and creativity from individuals and business is quite overwhelming. People like yourselves, Hi Plan interpreting my technological requests, Glass by Design, the speakers, the venues, the list goes on. Most significant is the public who attended in numbers and made their donations which means, PTVA as an entirely self-funded group, can administer History Month.
PV: What are the highlights for this year?
MG: As it is Wales Year of the Sea the events are centred on The Esplanade, Seafront Gardens and The Marina. The highlight will be The Grand Victorian Stroll on Sunday 23rd where the public can deliver their own experiential event. Sign up for Sew Lovely’s dress up workshop, get down the charity shops, and come along to The Kymin in all your finery.
Strolling in Windsor Gardens reflect how they were initially private and laid out without nooks and crannies to deter cuddling out of sight! Take afternoon tea in the fine establishments on the Esplanade remembering the “unsightly stalls and donkeys ” that once littered the beach inspiring Robert Forrest, land agent for Lord Windsor, to report to his Master in 1878 noting a need to deter the “rabble from the hills ” (Manual workers from The Valleys) and make Penarth more like Brighton. Visiting the Pier don’t look for any “gaudy entertainment” like Weston, the Pier was only a landing stage to accommodate more visitors on larger boats.
PV: Future History Plans?
MG: To establish a heritage display strategy through the Penarth Community Heritage Project. There is so much history still to present and topics for next year are already in the planning, such as The History of Glebe Street and Early Penarth ironwork. (There is a cellar cover in Maughan Terrace dated 1865!)