Snow on Penarth pier pavilion, 23 December 2010. Photo: Bob Skinner
It's lovely waking up at Mum & Dad's home on Penarth's seafront and looking out the Bristol Channel past the town's pier. The view wil be even better soon, as the Heritage Lottery Fund has just awarded £1.65m to Penarth Arts & Crafts' plans to restore the distinctive art deco pavilion at the pier entrance. Fittingly, I heard the news after we got back from a weekend in Penarth.
Penarth is a small town in the shadow of the Welsh capital, Cardiff. It was once a significant port, but is now best known for its short seafront and pier. Penarth has featured in countless family memories - ice cream on the pier and trips on P&A Campbell's steamers to Weston and Ilfracombe.
The winners of Penarth's lottery funding, Penarth Arts & Crafts, are based in the excellent Washington Gallery, which hosted the launch of my father Bob Skinner's autobiographical book on 60 years in journalism and PR, Don't hold the front page.
Penarth has a special place in our family. Mum was born here in 1928, and both parents started their journalism careers on the Penarth Times in the 1940s. (Mum took Dad's job as chief reporter when he joined the army in 1944!) Now Owen is the latest member of the family to discover the town's charms. It will be even better when the iconic pavilion is open again.
The pier and pavilion, November 2010
Winter sunrise: 28 December 2004
Penarth Pier, February 2008