Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Saturday May 4th - Castlemartin farms and buildings

On Saturday Gordon Smith gave his presentation on the subject of Castlemartin's farms and buildings, a subject dear to the hearts of many as the Hall was packed to hear him.  Gordon has been collecting pictures over many years and it is so sad to look at some of those once lovely old farmsteads.  Some of the buildings like Flimston and Pricaston are actually Medieval buildings - now derelict ruins on the tank range.

April 21st - out on the Castlemartin tank range

I was unable to take part in the minibus tour of Castlemartin which I had arranged with the National Parks.  It is not often one gets the opportunity to visit the buildings on the tank range so this was a rare treat.  Despite the inclement weather the trip was enjoyed by all who went and we hope to repeat the experience later in the summer.

April 19th - Pembroke and Tenby Railway 150th Anniversary

Last Friday, April 19th  I was not able to be present at our Friday evening meeting as I was, as per previous blog, in Bergen with Pembroke Town Council.  I was disappointed however, in missing our meeting in which our president, George Lewis, gave a talk on the Pembroke and Tenby Railway – which drew, I am told, a very large crowd: evidence of the popularity of the speaker and the very great interest in the subject.

Our forthcoming exhibition
This year is the 150th anniversary of the Pembroke and Tenby Railway and we are making this the subject of our major exhibition which will be featured in the Town Hall throughout the summer as part of the Court Room museum initiative of Pembroke Town Council in which we are participants. 

In this exhibition we will be looking at the Age of Steam.  Steam had powered the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century which changed our society for ever.  It also changed the way we travelled during the 19th century with the advent of the railways.

Tuesday April 16th - Twinned with Bergen

I went along on a Twinning Visit to Bergen leaving Pembroke just past midnight on Tuesday 16 and returning on Saturday 20th.  I had never been on a twinning visit before and have to say I was impressed with our counterparts in Bergen.  Lovely people, so hospitable and they took such good care of us and showed us around.

We visited Belsen where our Mayor, Mel Phillips laid a wreath on behalf of Pembroke Town Council accompanied by Burgermeister Rainer Prokop, a moving moment which all felt deeply. Afterwards we went to the Becklingen War Cemetery for another moving ceremony. Our Mayor on behalf of Pembroke Town Council and Cllr Brinn on behalf of the British Legion,  with the Burgermeister again in attendance, placed wreaths on the memorial while bugler Neil MacIsaac played the Last Post so beautifully. It was so sad seeing all those brilliant white grave stones uniformly arranged in rows, so many young lives lost.

“I found both visits to be unbearable and heart breaking experiences” Mel told me afterwards “Having said that I do truly believe that everybody should visit these dreadful places once in their lifetime, as a reminder of man’s inhumanity to man.  As the great poet and author Rudyard Kipling once wrote.  ‘Lest we forget’


A museum for Pembroke?

It has long been an aspiration to have a museum in Pembroke – but where do you begin?  Well, a start is now being made by Pembroke Town Council which has now formed a Museum’s Committee of which we are a part along with other local historians.  We met on Friday April 12th and present on this occasion were  Cllr Aidan Brinn (Chairman of the Committee), Cllr and Mayor Mel Phillips, George Lewis, Cllr Linda Asman,  Stuart Asman , David James, Terry John, Gene Ryecroft ,Vicki Haggar, Cllr Pauline Waters, Cllr Dennis Evans with Karen Didcott ( Town Clerk).

Pembroke Town Council has granted permission for the Court Room to be used as a museum during the summer months, June to September inclusive, and we will start assembling the displays following Mayor Making which takes place in the Court Room on May 11th

Through My Eyes - a film preview evening on Wednesday 10th April

On Wednesday evening we invited participants and their partners to a social evening to preview their films.  We recently completed a batch of 11 more films and it was nice to get together to enjoy them.  Afterwards we supplied a buffet - a most enjoyable evening!

Pleased to say the end is in sight.  With a further 10 films to make completion is certainly not so far away. It will be a proud moment when the project is completed and published: eagerly awaited!  

April 6th - Monkton Headstones by Owen Vaughan

Stories Behind the Headstones
On Saturday last our monthly coffee morning was accompanied by a talk.  Owen Vaughan came to tell us about his work of researching and recording the inscriptions on the gravestones and plaques of Monkton Priory Church.  The cemetery lies in front of Priory Church but the headstones have been cleared away: many are arranged around the Churchyard walls and some have disappeared.  There are many stories behind the headstones and Owen told us of a very small selection from his researches.

Owen has photographed, recorded and researched all the pre-1950 headstones and memorials in the parish, including those in the new cemetery and in the Church itself.  This valuable resource (on CD format) is now being sold to help raise Church funds and will be available to buy for £5 (£7 by post to include p&p.  Any queries please contact Liz Jenkins on 01646 684277 or email us.  The CD will be available to buy at our events.