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Penarth wins Pier of the Year

Penarth pier opened in 1895. Credit: ITV News

Penarth has been voted Pier Of The Year 2014 by the members of the National Piers Society. It received more than twice the number of votes of its nearest rival, Cromer.

Bangor was in third place, making it a good year for Welsh piers.

Penarth pier opened in 1895 and soon began to attract steamers offering trips to Ilfracombe, Lundy Island, Lynmouth, Minehead and Westward Ho!

Apart from its jetty the pier had a café and tea gardens, a florist’s and a weighing machine.

In 1902 alone it attracted some 25,000 visitors who paid 2d (1p) to stroll along its deck, but it wasn’t until 1907 that a pavilion, the Bijou, was built at the seaward end.

It was destroyed by fire in 1931.

The pier has undergone a £4m restoration. Credit: ITV News

Another pavilion opened at the shoreward end in 1929, costing £10,000. In 1932 it enjoyed a short spell as a cinema before becoming a dance hall (the Marina Ballroom).

During the 1960s it played host to the likes of Gene Vincent, Matt Monro and Tom Jones but eventually it was used, first as a snooker club and later a gym.

By 2005 the Grade II listed building had become seriously run down and the Penarth Arts & Crafts Trust campaigned for its restoration.

As well as raising money locally the Trust succeeded in obtaining grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, CADW (Welsh Heritage), the Coastal Communities Fund and the Headley Trust.

At a cost of over £4 million the building has now been transformed into a gallery, cinema, café, observatory and community workspace. It reopened in December 2013.

Its full-time cinema is the only one on a pier and the first in Penarth for 43 years.

Resident finds 14 geckos dumped in bins

The RSPCA say the dumped geckos are in good health. Credit: PSPCA

Fourteen geckos have been found dumped among communal bins in Penarth.

The lizards were discovered inside four plastic boxes by a local resident who was using the bins at Park View Court on Sunday.

The RSPCA says there was no food or water inside the boxes but the geckos were in good condition and were transferred to a local wildlife centre.

RSPCA Inspector Gary Lucas said, "We are trying to find out where these lizards came from and how they came to end up among these bins.

“It is unusual because there was such a large number of them which makes it more likely that someone will have information about where they came from."

Anyone with information is asked to call the RSPCA inspector information line on 0300 123 8018.


Investigation continues into leisure centre fire

The fire started at around 5.15 pm yesterday Credit: Luke Collinson / @lukeitn

An investigation continues into a fire at Penarth Leisure Centre in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Around 30 firefighters were called to the facility in Cogan.

There are no reports of injuries and fire investigation officers are returning to the scene at 10.00am.

Penarth leisure centre fire 'scaled down'


Firefighters tackling fire at Penarth leisure centre

Health board urges caution after Norovirus outbreak

Members of the public are still urged to stay away from University Hospital Llandough following an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug Norovirus.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, which first issued the warning on Saturday, said precautions will continue over the next few weeks in a bid to contain the spread.

Public urged to stay away from Llandough hospital

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is recommending people stay away from Llandough Hospital following an outbreak of norovirus.

Winter vomiting bug can 'can be more serious'

Norovirus is an extremely common bug, which is not normally dangerous.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has warned that "the effects can be more serious" for ill and vulnerable patients.

Many people will have the norovirus bug at this time of year – we see it every year and, for most people, it will be unpleasant but not serious.

But when norovirus spreads in hospitals, where patients are already unwell and are in close proximity to each other on wards, the effects can be more serious.

At this stage, we’re asking people to be sensible and to stay away from the hospital if they possibly can, to avoid spreading the bug.

It may be that you’ve had norovirus yourself and are feeling a bit better and think it’s safe to come in and visit. The reality is that there needs to have been at least 48 hours since your symptoms cleared before you can be confident that you’re not going to spread the bug to someone else.

We know that it’s difficult when people have friends and relatives in hospital. Over the coming weeks, we’re asking for the public’s help in helping us to limit the spread of norovirus so that we can protect vulnerable patients from the effects of this nasty bug by staying away from the hospital.

– Alice Casey, Chief Operating Officer, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
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