Today we had an interesting tour of the mining heritage museum in the Rhonda Valley. The miners worked over 1000 feet bellow the pitheads with its winding gear at the museum. Metal cages took men down to extract the quality coal in these Walsh mines. In these places Margaret Thatcher name remains unspoken, with the closure of the pits following the miners strike in whole communities change forever the heart of many mining village was lost with each pit that closed. Driving up the Rhonda today the the deprovation of these villages in some places is clear although in other parts regeneration can be seen.
We returned to Penarth pier after a short look last year in 2014 when it had been awarded pier of the year. The weather this year allowed a full visit of both the pier and the seafront. Costing £4 million the run down grade 2 listed pier reopened in 2013. Penarth Arts & Crafts Trust campaigned for its restoration. They raised money locally the Trust succeeded in obtaining grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, CADW, the Coastal Communities Fund and the Headley Trust. The pier first opened in 1895 steamers and paddle steamers offered trips across the Bristol Channel to destinations such as Ilfracombe Lynmouth and Minehead. 1902 saw some 25,000 visitors paying the small fee to walk on the pier. This pier has survived both fires & shipping collisions. During the 1960s it’s Pavilion played host to star’s such as Gene Vincent, Matt Monro and Tom Jones.