Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
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Volume Eight - Pre-Victorian to the present day - more aspects - Pamir and Passat - the end of an era . . .

'Pamir' departed Port Victoria and arrived Falmouth on 2nd October 1949. She left Falmouth under tow and arrived at Penarth Dock on 6th October. 'Passat' departed Port Victoria and arrived Cobb on 19th September 1949. On the 24th she sailed and arrived at Penarth Dock 3rd October 1949. Both vessels were charted by the British Ministry of Food to store their cargoes, and their Finnish owners were looking for buyers. 'Pamir' stayed until March 1951 creating a frenzy since they were world renowned as the last of the commercial sailing ships which sailed the old trading route rounding Cape Horn.

In Volume 4 Chapter 8, about activity at the dock in the 1950's to early 1960's, I showed some of the aerial images of the dock that survive and later we will look again at those. In the meantime, an article by Matt Locke in the wonderful periodical 'Traditional Boats & Tall Ships' [278] dating from the February/March 2007 issue tells the story of the Pamir and includes references to the Passat as well.

Pamir: The End of an Era - The whole nation, it seemed, held its breath on that sunny September day. Radio stations throughout Germany cancelled all light entertainment and the sombre tones of Mozart's Requiem echoed throughout the land.

Churches held special services as the country waited for news from mid-Atlantic, some 1,500 miles from the coast of Spain, where a great ship was in distress with 86 crew on board. This was no ordinary ship, but the Pamir, one of Germany's last seagoing four-masted barques, a relic of older, braver days and now at the mercy of Hurricane Carrie's 127-knot winds.

Finally, in the late afternoon of 21st September 1957, came the news that despite the efforts of ships and aircraft from half a dozen nations, the 52-year-old steel barque had sunk and all but six crew were lost. Amid the stunned grief and angry outcry which greeted the news, there were many to complain of the needless sacrifice of the nation's youth but many more to defend the traditions they died for.


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