Porthcawl is a seaside town with a population of around 17,000 on the coast of south
Wales, some twenty miles to the west of Cardiff, within the Vale of Glamorgan.
Formerly within the historic county of Glamorganshire, it is now part of the modern
county borough of Bridgend.
It was founded in the early 19th century when a port was established between the two
villages of Newton and Nottage for the shipment of coal brought to the coast by means of
horse-drawn trams from the coalfields to the north. It was not an ideal location for a port,
being somewhat exposed to the wind, and with the entrance to the dockside hampered by the
presence of sandbanks and the imposing Tuskar Rock. The port therefore rapidly declined
with the opening of the Barry and Port Talbot docks nearby.
Porthcawl later re-emerged as a popular seaside resort capitalising on the attractions of
the nearby beaches at Sandy Bay and Trecco Bay and benefited from the rapid popululation
growth of south Wales in the years before World War I, rapidly becoming the largest
resort on the south Wales coast.
It remains one of the main purveyors of the traditional seaside holiday in south Wales
and is home to the Coney Beach Pleasure Park which features the usual fairground rides and
the Trecco Bay Holiday Park which claims to be Europe's largest caravan park.
Porthcawl was also the birthplace of the popular music group who go by the name of Gene
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