Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

Volume Eight - Pre-Victorian to the present day - more aspects - Pamir and Passat - the end of an era . . .

Passat and Pamir in a mirror flat Penarth Dock

The 'Pamir' moored at Barry No. 2 Dock alongside the Atlantic Mills of J. Rank Ltd. having been towed from Penarth Dock. Whilst at Penarth the delay in obtaining permission to unload the cargo of 4,233 tons of barley meant that rats had infested the ship which seemed an obvious outcome given the natural ability of the species to exponentially increase their numbers according to food availability. In the hold of the ship it would have been a cosy environment with wall-to-wall food for our rodent friends - not even a need for room service! The previous account from Sea Breezes of lads using air-pistols and sling shots against the rats at Penarth provides a clue to the fact that when the hatches were opened at Barry the dockers were met with a sea of rats. Passat and Pamir became know as the rat ships! Note the 'anti-rat' attachments fitted to the mooring ropes.

An appeal apparently went out for locals who owned terriers or other dogs who had a taste for a rat hunt to turn up at the dockside. It was estimated that 5,000 rats were killed whilst unloading the Pamir and another 3,000 were gassed after the cargo had been unloaded using normal dock fumigation techniques. The ships then returned to Penarth. [000] [002]

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