Friday, December 30, 2011

Turner's Reach

Pembroke lost another historic house on Wednesday night as no 4 Rocky Park burnt down. The neighbourhood fought to save this house from demolition as its owner wanted to pull it down as it interfered with projected housing development plans. CADW refused on the grounds that the house made a significant contribution to the conservation area. For a long time now this once lovely Victorian house has stood empty, its windows thrown open to hasten deterioration and its demise is no surprise to anyone. It was known as Turner's Reach, standing as it does on high ground overlooking the Castle on the opposite side of Castle Pond. Turner painted this view, as did many other 18th and 19th topographical artists.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011 is DISMAL. This weather is well and truly depressing and not a bit in the Christmas spirit - contrast the lovely Christmas pics of Pembroke Castle in the snow of last year!! Still, on the bright side, it is mild even though dull and wet. Happy Christmas everybody!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Last week

Last week was quite busy, a committee meeting, a visit to Monkton Old Hall and a Saturday morning presentation and coffee morning.
We are very grateful to the Landmark Trust for allowing us to visit as the Old Hall is usually let to visitors and not open to the public. It was great to see it and to be able to take photographs for our records. Sorry to say, we didn't see the ghost!
Last Saturday was not like our usual coffee mornings. I wanted to introduce our community history project "Through my eyes" to more people with a view to getting them involved - so I gave a presentation and Stuart worked his usual magic with the computer!. As it was Christmas the coffee was on the house and for an added bonus we supplied lunch (thanks to Pauline) as well.
Must find time to write those Christmas cards now I guess!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Archaeology Day

On Saturday 19th, we participated in the Archaeology Day at Pembrokeshire College. It was organised by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and PLANED and we were invited, with other heritage groups, to put on a display showcasing the work we, in the Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society, are doing. The event was a sell out with 200 people attending. The speakers covered much ground from Paleolithic and Neolithic rock art and stone circles of the Preseli’s, the excavation of the12th century Castle at Nevern to 20th century military installations in Pembrokeshire.

Monday, November 14, 2011

We remember them

This past week has been dominated, of course, by Remembrance Day. A few months back I received an email from Martin French attached to which were a set of photographs taken of Pembroke’s war memorial when it was unveiled in 1924.
Historical note: I contacted Keith Johnson, local historian and editor of ‘Pembrokeshire Life’ magazine, to find out more about Pembroke’s fine War Memorial. Keith told me it is a replica of the national cenotaph at Whitehall made locally by T.W. Colley & Sons and was built of silver-grey granite at a cost of £500. Sir Frederick Meyrick of Bush donated the plot of land to the Pembroke Corporation for the siting of the memorial, on which were inscribed the names of the 87 local men who died in the First World War. The service was led by Canon David Bowen of Monkton, and the cenotaph unveiled by General Sir Francis Lloyd, first commander of the Welsh Territorial Division.

Quiz Night November 11

A good crowd turned up for our Quiz Night last Friday, which was a nice surprise in view of the fact that the Pembroke Male Voice Choir were singing in Priory Church across the road. They are terrific and would like to have gone but this clash of events was not apparent when we put together our programme last year. Everyone enjoyed the evening and by popular demand we are going to put on more of these Quiz Nights next year.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Saturday November 5th

Our exhibition this month was on a wartime theme - we prepared a display of wartime memories and photographs of Pembroke people and some WWI photos as well. We also had a display of military weapons and artefacts from Philip and Briggette Thomas as well as an old home movie belonging to the Haggar family . This featured parades, the Queen's visit to Pembroke and the 60s demo against the coming of the German army to Castlemartin and much more. Fascinating stuff!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

November Events

Haggar's Night - a huge success!

Last week in Pembroke the Michaelmas Fair drew the crowds but there was another big attraction in Pembroke Main Street on Friday October 14th. In Pembroke Town Hall, Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society presented Haggar’s Night, a celebration of the life and work of William Haggar, pioneer of the cinema and moving pictures. Pembroke has a long association with the Haggar family and the closing of Haggar’s cinema and ballroom is still a matter of huge regret to so many here. Testimony to that affection was the huge turn out as around 100 people attended the meeting which was presented by Sarah Haggar, great great granddaughter of William Haggar. The audience were then treated to a showing of some of the films, and they were fortunate indeed to welcome Mark Jones, a colleague of Sarah’s at Milford Comprehensive School, and who has now put the films to music which really made them come alive. The evening ended with a tribute to Roy Haggar, Sarah’s father and family historian, sadly missed. Haggar’s Night was quite an occasion and a great many people commented that they had enjoyed it so much they would love a repeat performance.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Coffee Morning October 1st

Saturday October 1st was according to the 'News' the hottest October day on record! It was also the day we recommenced our Local History Coffee mornings and we were pleased that so many dropped in to see us - regulars, newcomers and even holiday makers. The theme of our exhibition this time was 'Entertainment in Times Past' and we found lots of material from Pembroke Fair, cinema, amateur dramatics, festivals, carnivals, church events to horse and greyhound racing. The theme was inspired by our big event next Friday 14th - Haggar's Night at the Town Hall. Looking forward to that!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

We begin our Autumn Programme

We began our Autumn programme yesterday, and what a good beginning! Popular local character Reg Williams spoke to a packed Church Hall about his long career as a local postman in a talk entitled “50 Years a Pembroke Postman”. Reg was in good form as he recounted his memories of leaving school at 14 and getting a temporary job as a telegram boy, a job for a fortnight in 1945 but which he actually left in 1995, 50 years later! As you can see from the photographs, we had a pretty full house!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

October Events

Our Next Event - Friday September 16th

Well known local character Reg Williams will be talking to us at Monkton Church Hall on Friday 16th September. The talk is about his life as a postman"5o years a Pembroke Postman": his memories, anecdotes and photographs. Promises to be an entertaining evening - as always, we do not charge for entry and afterwards there will be refreshments and time for a chat. All welcome!

Open Doors Event Friday 2nd September

Friday saw us in Pembroke Town Hall participating in the Civic Trust Wales Open Doors 2011, an event shared with Pembroke Civic Trust and Dyfed Family History Society. We provided the refreshments and collected donations for the Mayor's Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support who also did their own fundraise at the event.

Friday, August 12, 2011


There will be a change to the advertised programme in September. We are participating in the Civic Trust's Open Doors 2011 event which will take place at Pembroke Town Hall on Friday 2nd September from 10 am - 4 pm. This will replace the Saturday meeting scheduled to take place on the following Saturday morning at Monkton Church Hall.

Pembroke Town Hall is opening its doors and we are displaying Vicki Haggar's Main Street exhibition which many have requested that we show again. Rosalie Lilwall and here team from the Dyfed Family History Society will also be there and a display from West Wales Maritime History Society.

Entry is free but we are putting out an appeal for donations for the Mayor's Charity which is Macmillan Cancer Support.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

At the Pembroke Show

On Wednesday August 3rd we attended the Pembroke Show, putting together a small exhibition based on some of the work we are involved in at the moment and showing off our new banner. We had lots of interest and met lots of people - hardly stopped talking all day. "It always rains on the Pembroke Show" they say - well its not true. This year the sun shone and it was a grand day out for everyone.
Sorry, I haven't yet downloaded my photos but will add a few when I am able.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We steam up the Pembroke River!

Today the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society accompanied two steam boats in a small flotilla up the Pembroke River to be greeted by the Mayor. First time I've travelled up the River - had a great time. Glorious sunny day - couldn't have been better!

Congratulations Pembroke North Community Association on a great day!

The sun shone on Saturday afternoon July 23rd and crowds gathered on The Green to join in the Community Fun Day organised by the Pembroke North Community Association. It was a lovely community get together. We joined in to help and put on a display in the marquee, held a bric a brac and book sale while Rachel did a magnificent job on the raffle. The event was organised by volunteers with very little funding and who have freely given up their time to work for the local community. They want to see more done for Pembroke North which has no facilities and has recieved no funding whatsoever. They also held this event to consult with residents and gauge public opinion. The overwhelming response has been for a play park for the children and a community centre on the Green to act as a focus for the community of Pembroke North. See their website

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our maritime exhibition July 2nd

Our last event of the summer was held on Saturday July 2nd, an exhibition about Pembroke's Maritime Past. It l featured also the work of another local heritage Society, The West Wales Maritime Heritage Society . As there had been a mix up with the bookings at the Monkton Priory Church Hall, where we usually meet, we held the exhibition in the Priory Church. Whilst it meant that we had to pack up early and could not show the whole of the exhibition, on the plus side we had a lovely time sitting outside enjoying coffee, cakes and a chat in the beautiful morning sunshine. Best day of the summer so far!

Filming on Castle Pond

Pembroke became a film set last week chosen by the BBC for a production of Richard II and mediaeval soldiers could be seen standing along the Castle Pond. They certainly chose lovely weather for it - a beautiful summer's morning, bit too hot for chainmail though.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Next Event - Pembroke's Maritime Past

Long Ago, Down Below

Our talk by John Russell on Friday June 17th was another huge success with just under 100 people attending!
John talked about the families who lived on the farms on the Castlemartin peninsular and who were, prior to World War II, dispossessed of their land to make way for the tank training range. He told their story "Long Ago, Down Below" and some people affected actually attended the talk!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Growing Up in the Main Street - June 4th

This exhibition,organised by Vicki Haggar, attracted huge interest. Vicki was was born and grew up in Pembroke Main Street and her exhibition was a memoir of the Street as it was while she was growing up. Said Vicki, " Many people have helped me in my search for historical facts about Main Street premises and I am truly grateful to them all for their kindness and help. Although I am not an historian I have done my best to collect historical data and present it but alongside this I have tried to convey a picture of Pembroke as I saw it in my time. What the people meant to me, the local characters, the shops, the shopkeepers etc. There is so much to say but one can only write a few words on a display and this is why I ask that anyone with memories, photo’s or anything of interest on Pembroke Main Street contact us so that we can build a bigger picture and leave our memories recorded in time never to be lost as so many things are. "

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Right Royal Affair

We joined in the Royal occasion by making the subject of our exhibition this month Royal visits to Pembroke and Monkton. The Monkton Bingo Plus group also sported the red, white and blue and held a high tea to which we were invited. Afterwards we gave a short talk and showed pictures and films of old Monkton.

Friday, May 6, 2011