Penarth Town Trails came about through an initiative by Penarth Town Council in the 1980s.
As developers moved in it was realised that Penarth would soon lose its identity so people should be encouraged to look around and record what they saw before it was too late. What better way than to organise a competition open to all age groups to take a walk around a local area, appreciate the environment and make notes along the way. Hopefully the Trails would attract visitors and inspire residents to take an interest in their town.
The initial walk was to be in the Sea Front area and this received a good public response. Prizes were awarded and the material gathered was collated as Town Trail 1, head-lined as provided by Penarth Town Council and The Penarth Society. But what was the Society’s role in this?
Apparently the Council had been unable to find an illustrator to accompany the text so publication had been held up. It was then decided to ask The Penarth Society ( now known as Penarth Civic Society ) if they could help. Naturally Diana Mead, who provided all the art work for the Society, was delighted to help so printing went ahead, followed shortly by Town Trail No 2. Winners of the competition saw their names in print at the end, including Class 6 of Evenlode who had benefited greatly from their walk of discovery organised by the school.
After these Trails came others, the next appearing in 1993. This time the text was provided by Alan Thorne, a local historian who has played a prominent part in the life of the Society. Diana Mead continued to provide all the illustrations. The agreement had been that the Society provide the material and the Council provide the finance. So the project was a true collaboration between two organisations anxious to preserve and promote their town.
You can also access these trails on Penarth Town Council’s website where three are pdf and digital versions.