|MUSEUM VOLUNTEERS WIN CIVIC AWARD
In recognition of their commitment in manning the museum to provide a much need facility for the town, Pembroke Town Council presented the Museum volunteers win a Civic Award. This annual event gives recognition to the considerable contribution individuals and groups make to the community voluntarily.
The Museum is now open daily Monday - Friday 10.00am. to 12.30pm.
The opening of Pembroke Museum in the Court Room of Pembroke Town Hall has been a big success story. It has proved a popular community venture and has come about by the successful partnership between Pembroke Town Council and local heritage groups including the Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society, the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society, the Pembroke Civic Trust, the Sealed Knot and interested members of the community. It has all been done completely voluntarily - a museum for the community run by members of the community.
MUSEUMS MORNING - CELEBRATING OUR MARITIME HERITAGE
We held a joint event with West Wales Maritime Heritage Society in Pembroke Town Hall in February. David James (Secretary of WWMHS) led the proceedings with a talk about Hancock’s Shipyard, where the Society is based and where they restore vintage boats. Often called the Cinderella Yard, overshadowed as it was by the Royal Dockyard, it survived a lot longer and continued shipbuilding until 1979. Peter Hancock & Sons took over the yard in 1921 from former owners J & W Francis and among the many ships built there were the Hobb’s Point ferries – the Cleddau Queen in 1956 and the Cleddau King in 1962. The last ship to be built there was the Fastnet Rock in 1979. The yard is still popularly known as Hancock’s Yard. Many local people served apprenticeships there, some of whom were among the audience, and enthusiastically joined in with their own memories.
At the end of his talk, David James presented Mr Peter Hancock with a model of the ship Isabella, the first ship built by Hancock's shipbuilders in 1896 (above photo).
The WWMHS last summer opened a maritime museum in the Yard and this was very successful. They will now reopen it on
25th May – 10th September on Wednesdays to Saturdays from 12 to 4pm.
Anyone interested in volunteering, please contact Brian King on 01646 680554.
LAUNCHING THE MARY FORTUNE
David James has also contributed a stunning model of a Tudor ship to Pembroke Museum. The ship is Henry VII’s battleship the Mary Fortune and it was ‘christened’ to great applause by the large gathering of well wishers who had assembled for the ‘launch’ event hosted by the Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society in Pembroke Town Hall.
David is a very talented and prolific model shipwright, building scale model ships – the Mary Fortune is the latest of a string of constructions, many of which can be found in museums in Pembrokeshire. Four of his models have even been displayed in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
“It was following a talk in Tredegar House in Newport, Gwent that the idea of making it originated” David said. “I was approached to make a model of the Newport ship – the ship that had been discovered in the docks in 2002. " But what better place to house this latest model than in Pembroke’s own museum where the Henry VII story is so important and our Tudor links celebrated? In fact when I initially heard David was contemplating making it, I begged him to consider placing it here.
In Pembroke museum we are fortunate to have David's model of the Kathleen & May, a model of utmost importance to us as she was the last of the coastal traders to sail up the Pembroke River to trade at Pembroke's North Quay in 1960. As such she represents the end of a chapter in the town’s history and still lives on in the memories of Pembroke people, including David who can remember the Kathleen & May coming in to unload cargoes of corn and potatoes etc at the North Quay.
The Kathleen & May model was commissioned by Pembroke Town Council in the late 1990s and was for many years on show in the foyer of the Town Hall: it now forms a focal point in the Court Room museum, central to our maritime display, to which the WWMHS is the major contributor.
VOLUNTEERS NIGHT - CELEBRATING OUR MUSEUM
Thanks from the Mayor of Pembroke
On Friday May 30th, Pembroke Town Council played host to Volunteers Night in the Town Hall. People who have helped run and support Pembroke Museum were invited to a social evening as a ‘thank you’ for their contribution. It was a birthday celebration too as Pembroke Museum celebrated the first anniversary of its opening on June 1st 2013.
Altogether 65 people accepted the invitation to attend the function which was opened by Pembroke’s new Mayor, Clr Aaron Carey. Clr Carey conveyed the Town Council’s thanks to all who had helped make the Museum a success and for voluntarily giving up so much of their time to promoting Pembroke’s heritage. He then proposed a toast to the museum and was thanked by our President George Lewis, who with wife Jeanne, painted the Pembroke Murals which adorn the walls of the foyer, staircase and landing of Pembroke Town Hall. No one has done more to promote our heritage than George and Jeanne, and for this reason George was elected President of the Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society, a position he fills with great enthusiasm.
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