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Glamorgan Archives
Anthony M. Ernest and Robert M. Ernest of Penarth Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0214 D387

Held at: Glamorgan Archives

Title: Anthony M. Ernest and Robert M. Ernest of Penarth Papers

Short Title: Anthony M. Ernest and Robert M. Ernest of Penarth Papers

Creation date(s): c1938-2005

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.06 cubic metres (3 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Anthony M. Ernest and Robert M. Ernest of Penarth


Administrative/Biographical history: Robert Monroe Ernest (1904-1991) was born in Cartago, Costa Rica, the son of John Robert Ernest of Dundee and Elizabeth Monroe of Hartlepool, later of Penarth. His father's work as a master mariner led him to Costa Rica, where he settled with his family. John established a successful coffee plantation of some 3000 acres, 'Rosemount Estates', along with the 'Juan Vinas Concrete Products Co. Ltd', which manufactured concrete paving and kerbstones from imported South Wales Portland cement. John and Elizabeth raised five sons in Costa Rica, and sold their estate to the country's government in 1947. Robert Monroe Ernest was educated at Westwood College, Penarth, travelling back to Costa Rica for the long summer break. In the early 1930s he purchased the Costa Rica Coffee Co. Ltd., coffee and tea importers and merchants based at 14 Dumfries Place, Cardiff, from his uncle Ralph. The company moved to 1 and 2 Great Western Approach sometime around 1938. This allowed for expansion in response to trade with UK hotels and restaurants, in particular the Italian owned cafes of the south Wales valleys. The company purchased coffee from the family estate along with most of the principal coffee producing countries of the world. During the Second World War it supplied coffees and teas to the Armed Forces and the ship stores victuallers based in Cardiff Docks and beyond. In 1950, the Costa Rica Coffee Co. Ltd. purchased premises at Caribbean House, 62 St. Mary's Street, Cardiff. In 1981, the business was sold to the Avana Bakery Co. of Cardiff. Robert became a consultant to Avana, and retired a year or so later. Robert Ernest was appointed Honorary Consul for Costa Rica in Cardiff and Bristol in the early 1930s, and was Dean of the Cardiff Consular Corps for some years. Living in Penarth, he joined the Penarth Operatic and Dramatic Society in 1931/2, becoming its Stage Director and later Chairman. During the Second World War he was instrumental in staging concerts for troops billeted in Penarth. He was a founder member of the Penarth Civic Society, serving as Vice-President under James Callaghan MP.


Scope and content/abstract: Papers created, collected and received by Anthony M. Ernest (b. 1936) and his father, Robert M. Ernest (1904-1991). Including material relating to Penarth RNLI station, Penarth Yacht Club and Penarth Civic Society; papers relating to the yacht 'Firefly'; deeds and papers relating to properties in Bridgeman Road and Park Road, Penarth; telephone directories for South Wales (1952 and 1957); 'Reef Knot', the house magazine of the South American Saint Line; tourist map of Costa Rica; biographical notes on Robert M. Ernest and Anthony M. Ernest.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged chronologically by record series

Conditions governing access: No Restrictions

Conditions governing reproduction: Normal Glamorgan Archives conditions apply

Finding aids: A full version of the catallogue can be searched online at


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records offered have been accepted and listed

Accruals: Accruals are possible

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by a private individual, 2005



Archivist's note: Compiled by Annabel Wickham for the ANW Project; Sources used: Glamorgan Archives finding aids

Rules or conventions: Description follows Archives Network Wales guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition; AACR2 and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: March 2006


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