Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Search of our Maritime past

To someone not familiar with our history, it comes as a surprise to learn that Pembroke was once the most important and richest port in south west Wales. Instead of celebrating this, the powers that be have destroyed the Pembroke Quays - only recently giving planning to build an intensive development of flats on the North Quay and, only thanks to the recession, has the South Quay escaped the same fate - so far. Even so it hardly looks like a quay with most of the old buildings demolished.
Stuart and I are planning a talk next February on the subject of some of the boats that once sailed up the Pembroke River (for the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society) and whilst on holiday in Devon last week we decided to track down two that are still around.
The top photos are of the Kathleen and May moored in Bideford - exciting to see her at last. She has a special place in the affections of us here being the last ship to sail up to Pembroke in around 1960. Sadly, although renovated and in good sailing order, she has to remain moored here as funding has not been forthcoming to keep her afloat! It seems scandalous that such a ship, a real national treasure is not funded and in danger of being lost to us.
Down to Morwellan Quay next to see the Garlandstone. Morwellan Quay too has been in danger having lost its funding and the fate of the Garlandstone looked bleak. However, things are looking brighter now as the Quay has been taken over by a Company who are looking to develop it as a tourist attraction. It is well worth a visit and we spent a super day there - with the added bonus of a warm Autumn day of brilliant sunshine!

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