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Contractors rebuilding the damaged inner wall of Swansea West Pier (pic courtesy of APB, free for BBC wire partners but please credit accordingly)

Mysterious ‘banging noise’ in Swansea explained

THEY can hear it in St Thomas, Mount Pleasant and Sketty, and it reverberates across the bay to Mumbles when the wind direction is right – but just what is that banging sound?

A drum beat signalling a breakthrough in the Brexit trade negotiations?
A celebration of the new coronavirus vaccine?
Or the Liberty Stadium drummer building up momentum for Saturday’s Championship derby between Cardiff and Swansea City?

The answer can be found at a construction site near Swansea Marina, where steel piles are being driven into the bed of the River Tawe where it empties into the sea.

Close-up of the work at Swansea West Pier inner wall (pic courtesy of APB, free for BBC wire partners but please credit accordingly)

The work is part of a £10 million rebuild of the Swansea West Pier inner wall, which is due to finish next June.
And you better get used to the banging, as the piling is expected to continue through to mid-May, although by no means continuously through the day.
A spokeswoman for Associated British Ports, which has commissioned the work, said operation times at the site were from 7am to 7pm, but that contractors would down tools from December 18 to January 3 to give marina and SA1 residents a break.

Becky Jones, the owner of Coast Cafe, which is a couple of hundred metres from the West Pier, said of the piling work: “My parents live in Uplands and they can hear it.
“It’s pretty loud. I notice it every now and again. I guess it’s just something that has to be done.”
She said updates were given to local residents and businesses about the ongoing work.
“It is a massive job,” she said.

The 10-month project will shore up Swansea beach, which is just across from the river mouth, and maintain safe navigation for incoming and outgoing vessels.
The main West Pier itself was built in the 1800s. The inner wall has been deteriorating for years, requiring emergency repairs.

In August two people had to be rescued from the pier, which is closed off to the public, after being cut off by a particularly high tide.

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