Penarth praised as a "special place to live" by TV weatherman Derek Brockway

Penarth Times: WEATHERMAN: TV presenter Derek Brockway has praised Penarth as a special place to live (Pic: Huw John) WEATHERMAN: TV presenter Derek Brockway has praised Penarth as a special place to live (Pic: Huw John)

WEATHER presenter Derek Brockway has praised Penarth as a "special place to live" after a survey showed Welsh residents were friendlier and chattier than their English neighbours.

TV presenter Derek Brockway, who is rumoured to be interested in moving to Penarth, recently joined forces with the organisers of The Big Lunch, the UK’s annual get together for neighbours funded by The Big Lottery.

Results of a nationwide study of 500 adults reaffirmed the chattiness of the Welsh population by proving that small talk comes more naturally to people in Penarth than its English neighbours, with 97 per cent of people saying they were comfortable making small talk with pretty much anyone – compared to just 72 per cent in England.

The study also showed that more than three quarters, 77 per cent, of people surveyed in Penarth considered their neighbour to be a friend compared to just one in ten people in England.

Small talk in Penarth seems to be a popular past time for the Welsh with three in five, 65 per cent, people saying they actually enjoyed engaging in small talk compared to just one sixth, 14 per cent, in England.

The majority of people, 56 per cent, talk about the weather over any other topic.

The Big Lunch ambassador, Derek Brockway, said: “Everyone knows how chatty and weather obsessed us Welsh are so it’s no surprise that so many of us enjoy engaging in small talk and even consider our neighbours to be friends. It’s what makes living in Penarth so special."

Derek, who recently held a book signing in Penarth, added: “What really struck me about the results of the research was how important these everyday interactions seem to be to people and the positive impact they can have on not only the individual but the wider society too. It makes people feel like they matter and are part of their local community.”

Derek, who grew up in Barry, added: “Naturally we all lead busy lives so it’s not always easy or convenient to stop and chat but it is important to make time which is why I’m encouraging the people of Penarth to join in and host a Big Lunch in their community on Sunday, June 1. It’s the perfect opportunity to get everyone in your street or community together to share some food and conversation and show just how friendly and community spirited we are here in Penarth”.

Spokesman for The Big Lunch in Penarth, Gwion Thorpe, said: “The Big Lunch is calling on chatty neighbours across Penarth to build on community bonds and boost the conversations happening in streets and gardens nationwide. The significance of small talk shouldn’t be underestimated. It might seem trivial to some people but it can have a powerful impact and can lead to big things.

“And as our survey has proved, that Welsh people are amongst the friendliest in the world but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to work at strengthening our neighbourhood and community ties, so I hope plenty of people join with us this year and host a Big Lunch of their own, whether that be in their back garden, street, the local park or on the beach”.

To join in or for more information request a free pack online at www.thebiglunch.com. Packs contain invitations and posters to adapt for your community, as well as seeds, a bunting template and an inspiration booklet with lots of ideas to help get you started.

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