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What a pity head toll collector's on-site cottage was demolished.

THE photograph in the Yesterdays supplement (October 9) of the former toll gate on Penarth Road shows the head toll collector, a Mr Morgan.

He is clutching a ticket-issuing machine, introduced by the City Treasurer's Internal Audit section (where I was employed at the time) when the toll gate was bought out from Plymouth Estates in around 1950, the machine replacing the previous system of issuing flimsy tear-out receipts on behalf of Plymouth Estates, Ltd.

It has to be said that the advent of this machine was certainly not welcomed by the toll gate staff because although not 100% foolproof itself, it provided - shall we say - "better accountability" of the tolls received from motorists...

The toll gate was understandably not very popular with motorists. Government Hansard records show a question being asked in Parliament as far back as 1927 about the possible purchase of the toll gate by the then local authority.

This was not to take place, however, until circa 1950, when the Cardiff Corporation effected the sale from Plymouth Estates Ltd (I think the purchase price was PS14,000, but am open to correction on this).

Tolls continued to be charged by the Corporation until such time as the original purchase price and costs were recovered, whereupon the road was opened, free of toll, to all.

Whether or not the staff were found jobs elsewhere I do not know, but Mr Morgan's on-site cottage was eventually demolished. A pity.

It had character, as photographs show, and was worthy of a place in The Welsh National History Museum at St Fagans.

| Norman Rendle Rhiwbina, Cardiff | There is another Yesterdays supplement in next Tuesday's South Wales Echo

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| Cars at the Cardiff-Penarth toll gate in the 1950s and, right, Mr Morgan and his ticket machine
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 12, 2012
Words:296
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