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Photographer's Note

A high spring tide and shower clouds surround Penarth Pier. Penarth is situated just to the south west of Wales' capital city of Cardiff.

In the middle of the 19th century Penarth was little more than a fishing village on the north shore of the Bristol Channel. Then in 1865 the newly construced docks were opened and the population boomed. The docks were built to accommodate the huge amount of steam coal that was being exported from the mines of the South Wales Coalfield. In 1913 4,660,000 tons of coal were exported from the docks in one year. In 1886 Isambard Kingdom Brunel's ship SS Great Britain, now converted to a coal trader, left the docks on her last fateful voyage. A disastrous fire during the voyage all but destroyed the vessel and she foundered on the Falkland Islands, where she remained until salvaged and returned to Bristol Docks for restoration in the 1970s.

The pier was opened in 1895 and the art deco pavilion opened in 1930. In 1931 a severe fire destroyed a wooden theatre that stood at the seaward end. The pier has also been hit by two ships in 1947 and 1966.

The Bristol Channel has the second highest tide range in the world and the tide at the time the image was taken was 13.2 metres.

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Additional Photos by Gerwyn Gibbs (gibbsy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 61 W: 0 N: 178] (1358)
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