domingo, outubro 02, 2005


Very much a modern part of Swansea, the Marina is a result of the redeveloped docks, located immediately to the west of the River Tawe.
When the First World War broke out, the emphasis on local copper and coal import and exports declined rapidly, leaving the docks somewhat redundant. The whole area fell into dreadful dereliction until finally in the 1970s the council embarked upon a cleaning up programme, culminating in the development and grand opening of the Marina in 1982. Yachts both big and small frequent the Marina from all over the world.
Worthy of mention is the impressive artwork, plaques and sculptures to be found around the Marina and seafront here. These, often surreal or abstract, pieces were created by various artists who were invited to reflect and express their impressions of Swansea's past and present maritime traditions.
Distinctive buildings around the Marina include the Swansea Observatory along Marine Walk and the red-brick Pumphouse at Pumphouse Quay. Now utilised as an attractive restaurant, the Pumphouse was once used to power the swing bridge, lock and other dock-side facilities from the early 1900s. Its huge tower once housed a huge balancing ram and accumulators and ended its industrial life in 1971 when the last vessel left the South Dock.
The following decade, left the building neglected and vandalised, with its machinary badly corroded by time and exposure. Structural work was carried out to make the building sound and the internal mechanisms were removed in 1981. The Pumphouse was given a Grade 2 listed building status in 1987.
The old dock itself is home to several floating exhibits, the Olga, a 1909 Bristol Channel Pilot cutter, the Helwick, a 1937 Lightship and Canning, a 1954 steam tug.
Photo Paul
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