Iconic hero from Penarth's past honoured at ceremony to mark Pier Pavilion handover
ROOM 617: Squadron Leader Mike 'Taff' Brown, Stephen Doughty MP, author ElizabethTurner, war veteran Eileen Younghusband, Flight Lieutenant Chris Howard, and Vaughan Gething AM.
AN ICONIC hero from Penarth’s past has been remembered as part of a momentous occasion marking the official hand over of Penarth Pier Pavilion to the charitable trust governing the seafront landmark.
Contractors R&M Williams handed over the keys to the Grade II Listed Victorian building, following completion of the £4 million redevelopment on Friday (September 20).
To celebrate, the seaward-facing observatory has been named Room 617 by Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd – a tribute to local Dam Buster, Guy Gibson, Wing Commander of the 617 Squadron who married a Penarth girl and lived at Archer Terrace.
Among the guests present for the special unveiling was the current leader of the now renamed 617 Squadron, and a flight lieutenant currently flying with them at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.
They were joined by Sully war veteran Eileen Younghusband, who was in the filter room on the night of the fateful 1943 Dam Buster raid.
A portrait of Gibson went on display, together with a short biography by Penarth local Elizabeth Turner.
A painting signed by 617 Squadron members was presented to the charity.
Pavilion director Dr David Trottman said the room would be partly used as a meeting space for veterans suffering from combat-related Post-traumatic stress disorder.
"Gibson an iconic part of Penarth’s history," said Dr Trotman.
“We wanted to honour that. An art exhibition displaying work by ex-servicemen will be shown in Room 617 from November 2.”
The exhibition will coincide with the final leg of the current charity walk around Wales by war veterans, including Penarth man Mark Horwood.
Local politicians, dignitaries, cadets, and service members also attended the event on Friday – one of many trials before the official opening in December.
Clive Palfrey, president of Glamorganshire Golf Club held a reception afterwards. Gibson was playing golf at the local club when he found out he would receive the Victoria Cross.
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