Flypast marks pavilion's grand opening

Penarth Times: OBSERVATORY: People line the balcony of the 617 room OBSERVATORY: People line the balcony of the 617 room

THE official opening of Penarth Pier Pavilion was celebrated with an amazing flypast by a Dambusters Tornado with full tail regalia,

Hundreds of people lined the pier to witness the plane flying over, in honour of Penarth's connection to the famous bouncing bomb raid on German dams in 1943.

Many spectators crowded into the observatory room, named the "617" room in honour of the Dambusters squadron, to view the flypast at 12pm on Tuesday. November 3.

The event not only marked the official opening of the pavilion but also commemorated the actions of the 617 squad, led by Commander Guy Gibson who lived in Penarth, having married local girl Evelyn Moore.

The £4.2million building is now officially open to the public after months of renovation, and now boasts features such as a 70 seat cinema, bar, cafe, restaurant, gift shop, exhibition hall, and even a meeting room which offers a view across the Bristol Channel.

Before closing for the New Year this Christmas Eve, the pavilion will host a series of events to celebrate the Christmas season.

Some of these events include Pavilion Advent Sundays, where four different choirs will perform on consecutive weekends, as well as carol singing, mulled wine, mince pies and children’s crafts.

There will also be a Christmas exhibition, in collaboration with Penarth Town Council, displaying the finalists and winners of the Town Mayor’s Painting Exhibition until Monday, December 23.

The pavilion was build in 1929 after the original wooden building burnt down. Prior to the renovation it has been used over the years as a dance hall, snooker room and gymnastics club.

Speaking about the official opening and the realisation of a long term project such as this, fundraising and sponsorship manager Alice Turner said: “It’s a really exciting time for us. We are thrilled that we can finally open and invite people in, rather than tell them about it and not be able to show off the building.

“It’s the end of a really long campaign and journey," she said. "Not just for us as staff, but for everyone that has seen it deteriorating more and more and then watched it be brought back to life.”

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