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About Penlan

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  • Birthday 19/04/1957

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  1. If Stena had not spent beyond stupid money on the Europa which has barely passed safety tests for hull integrity for a few years now. Would be wild to have Barfleur up in Fishguard but would she get onto the linkspan? Rhys
  2. Some observations on the new booking system. Not sure I would want to pay the extra for full flexibility, I would rather risk having to pay £20 occasionally when plans change. We are in a position to book a while ahead and build our activities around dates booked. It's nice to get a bit of reward for being able to give BF more certainty over crossing occupation. It would be almost unthinkable that we cancel a crossing so losing the full amount would not really be an issue for us. HOWEVER, there has been a major backwards step in that you can only see the crossings on the date you choose, we like to be able to see the days when there are afternoon crossings Ply Ros, saves a fortune on cabins. Obviously you can still book afternoons but you can't chose your crossing time at a glance. Would be nice if the crossing times on each day was visible again. The system used last year was the best ever for us! I know BF read this forum so I hope they will take this as a positive suggestion. Rhys
  3. The Olympics was a mess but, with two weeks notice the Police and military had a viable operation up and running, just like that. In Wales G4S were left providing cover on two hotels in Cardiff, as it was,when the security was stress tested someone smuggled a viable bomb and an assault rifle into the Marriot. Not when my team was on, we nailed him as he came through the door. Rhys
  4. Proper training,state run, the logical group to oversee this are the old bill. We saw the private sector give a job it's best shot at the Olympics. G4S had two years to set it up and we know how that panned out. Their shambles extended to having as one of my collegues the guy who ran the operations room of Hms Invincible during the Falklands who was employed as a guard while they had selected a school leaver who had just finished his A levels and a retired school teacher to be team leaders. And please don't tell me G4S didn't coin it on the project - they billed the government for all the people they trained and did not use and charged a fortune for the uniform they supplied but did not issue. Rhys
  5. As a comparison, I've just run security for a small festival and had people working for 15 pounds an hour with their food included. Last time I checked port security locally were on in the region of 8 pounds an hour, they have terrible trouble recruiting staff as the hours are long and pretty anti social. Added to that, a few years back the dole would fund training for door supervision and guarding licenses. Now, these were people who had very little choice over attending the course and would then be shoved in the general direction of whatever work was going. This is probably where a lot of Portsmouths unemployed are shoved, because the proper security work on doors and clubs simply would not employ them, for their own safety as much as anything!! Not sure what scanner they have in Portsmouth now but when I came through there last it was one of our old ones from the Olympics.
  6. You should not really blame the staff for this, these services are put out to private tender and getting the contract after that is based on how low the price is not how well you can do the job. I work in the security industry and I've seen from the frontline. If you will not pay realistic rates for staff, fund their training properly and look after them. Then you get what you pay for, staff who are shirt fillers and non existent security. The companies of course make a million, look at G4S and the Olympics, they coined in a huge pile and didn't even end up doing the job. Rhys
  7. The thing is a museum piece, why they spent 50p on it I have no idea. Apparently they sawed it in half length wise, jacked it up and put a metre of extra height on the car deck. Why you would do that I can't understand.. The linkspan here was due a serious upgrade which was to be paid for by the assembly, Irish Ferries (who are desperate to get out of PD) and Stena. The project has stalled because Stena won't shell out their share of the dosh. Still we have Brexit to come and Stena will probably just walk away at that point. Rhys
  8. Whilst evveryone is worrying about the PA being stuck somewhere with the bonnet up, spare a thought for us in Fishguard whose ferry Europa went off to be refitted ages ago. First of all the Turkish yard reworked the bow thrusters but did not put in new seals so she was leaking when she went to sea. Latest is that she is on her way to Liverpool as one of the props is out of alignment and keeps smashing bearings, that will be the whole season she has missed. Rhys
  9. The website is still up and gives the address as St Pol Rhys
  10. Coming up through St Pol today, I was just going to pull in when I noticed Red Cash wine seemed to be closed and the site for sale. Is this another Brexit casualty?? Rhys
  11. Sadly they don't, just a bare list of numbers adults / infants. Had to contact BF today, we set off from West Wales to the passport office in Newport to find the passports Social Services said "were there", weren't actually ready. In fact they were only "ready" at 14.00 - sailing 15.00. Now my driving style is a bit brisk, given free rein my VW Transporter can shift and I know SS expect miracles but that wasn't going to happen. So it was back to a very helpful customer services person from BF who managed to get us on the PA tomorrow night. Could be real fun with two infants on an overnight. But that's 250 miles I didn't need to drive and an additional 100 pounds ferry fees, at least SS agreed to cover it. Rhys
  12. Dragging this thread back to it's original theme.... We are due to sail to Brittany tomorrow, taking two children who are subject to a care order. Social Services being the legends they are, told us not to apply for passports for the children, it was their job. Which why we still have no passports..... The latest , I needed to prove the children are booked on the ferry tomorrow which you cannot do with a ticket as al it says is two infants. It took BF customer services 5 minutes to come up with the details. At least someone is on top of their job... Rhys
  13. We have had a few issues over the years (not many) Each time an email to customer services produced a response that more than met our expectations. On one occasion we made it very clear that we were not actually complaining but making a suggestion of how they might do things better. They sent us a 50 pound voucher for the restaurant, which we definitely were not expecting. Rhys
  14. My all time favorite - just like all the other ships. Sailed on Bretagne when she was about a month into service, 30 years ago, has been a favorite ever since. Actually I like the current Armorique, (the first was just awful in any sort of sea) never feels crowded. The Trecastel was also pretty grim. I can cope with the PA, not a huge fan but worth doing the Thursday out of Plymouth to get the restaurant. Never been on the Barf, thought the MSM was huge and a bit souless. Normandie felt second hand about 2 years ago. Must book another crossing on the Bretagne before she goes, it's worth is just to be up forard as she comes into St Malo!! Rhys
  15. We have gone the Barbican route for a few years now, glad this was highlighted as we are on a 3PM crossing later this month and could do without chaos at the end of what will probably be a long day. Leaving Fishguard with two infants (not us) in the back, never done a long car trip before, picking up daughter on the way (who is so organised she will probably wait for us to arrive before she starts packing). Would have been a lovely end to the day..... That said, my new Garmin would probably have picked this up and offered a diversion. Rhys
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