Tuesday, November 28, 2017

At the Christmas Market

Pembroke Castle Christmas Market was again a great success and we again held a stall to advertise what we do - as well as raising funds with the sale of our books and merchandising.  Rose Blackburn donated a very large dog for us to raffle which proved very popular - the raffle was drawn in the Town Hall by the Town Clerk on Monday and the lucky winning ticket was number 101.  This was purchased by Dominic Stanley pictured here with his little sister Lily-Rose- clearly delighted to have won!

Our shop window competition entry

We have entered the Pembroke Town Council shop window competition with this snowy offering.  All credit to Vicki Haggar for masterminding this snowman made of recycled white cups and to Rachel Norman for making the smaller ones from pompoms (think we need a close up!).  We managed to find some historic snow scenes as a background - some from the famous winter of '82.  

Archaeology Day

We took part in the annual Archaeology Day organised by the PCNP and Planed.  A most interesting talk was given by Liz Rawlings of the Llangwm Historical Society - we really must organise a visit to see the amazing work this Group are doing. 

Our Christmas Quiz a great success!

Our Christmas Quiz proved very popular raising £204.  Worthy winners against much opposition were Meg Burrell, Mel Phillips, Pam Evans and Pru Pattison pictured here with Quiz Master Rose Blackburn (right). The lovely buffet was prepared by the committee of the P&M History Society and the raffle organised by Rachel Norman.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Christmas Quiz

Talk by John Thompson Saturday November 4th

John Thompson with P&M History Society Trustee, Rose Blackburn

Metal Detector John Thompson gave a talk at our Coffee Morning on Saturday, bringing with him a collection of thimbles which he has accrued over many years.  The thimble he told us reveals an amazing social and technological history.

The earliest known thimble, in the form of a simple ring — dates back to the Han Dynasty ancient China. Thimbles dating to the 10th century have been found in England, and thimbles were in widespread use there by the 14th century. Although there are isolated examples of thimbles made of precious metals—Elizabeth I is said to have given one of her ladies-in-waiting a thimble set with precious stones—the vast majority of metal thimbles were made of brass. Medieval thimbles were either cast brass or made from hammered sheet.

Early centers of thimble production were those places known for brass-working, starting with Nuremberg in the 15th century, and moving to Holland by the 17th. In 1693, a Dutch thimble manufacturer named John Lofting established a thimble factory in Islington, in London, expanding British thimble production to new heights. He later moved his mill to Buckinghamshire to take advantage of water-powered production, resulting in a capacity to produce more than two million thimbles per year. By the end of the 18th century, thimble making had moved to Birmingham, and shifted to the "deep drawing" method of manufacture, which alternated hammering of sheet metals with annealing, and produced a thinner-skinned thimble with a taller shape. At the same time, cheaper sources of silver from the Americas made silver thimbles a popular item for the first time.

I don't think anyone realised that there was such history behind the simple thimble.  After the talk those present were encouraged to examine the thimbles - John's talk and collection certainly created a great deal of interest.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Pembrokeshire Murders - Talk by Keith Johnson

‘Pembrokeshire Murders’ was the topic of Keith Johnson’s talk at Monkton Church Hall last Friday and this drew a large audience despite the bad weather conditions.  Well known author and former editor of Pembrokeshire Life magazine, Keith is well familiar with local murder cases having scripted the ‘Music Hall of Murder’ which was performed to much acclaim by the East End Flyover Company at the Torch Theatre.  Keith began his talk with the shocking case of Tenby’s Mayor, Thomas Athoe and his son who murdered George Merchant in 1722.  The two set upon George and his son with such savage frenzy that poor George’s nose was bitten off before being strangled.  This appalling act resulted in the hangman’s noose.  
But not all murders were quite as brutal – Keith cited one where the pathetic perpetrator earned clemency and escaped hanging.  In the year 1864 Mary Prout gave birth to a baby girl in Narberth workhouse. Mary was poor, alone and unmarried: to have baby out of wedlock carried a great social stigma. She left the workhouse and began the eight mile walk to her grandmother’s house in the village of Amroth, carrying her new-born baby but on the way she threw the baby down a disused mineshaft. She was subsequently charged and convicted of the wilful murder of her newborn baby, a crime that carried the death sentence. However, Mary Prout’s case resulted in widespread public sympathy and she escaped the death sentence: fourteen years later she was released and returned to Pembrokeshire where she married a farmer (James Rees) in 1883 and had two more children. 
A murder that has a Pembroke connection was that of William Roblin, the last man to be hanged in Pembrokeshire.  His body was anatomised and dissected, then buried within the prison grounds without Christian ceremony. But, even then, he was not allowed to rest in peace. His body was dug up and the skeleton sold. After passing through several hands, most of it was lost - except the skull. And that now lies in a box in Pembroke Castle. How it got there remains a mystery!

Our next talk on Saturday, November 4th

Ron's Birthday in the Museum

Museum volunteers met on Thursday morning to celebrate Ron's birthday with coffee and cakes.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

We begin our Winter Talks Programme

Alex Powell and Christian Donovan (centre) with some of the P&M Local History Society Committee

We began our Winter Talks programme on Saturday October 7th at Pembroke Town Hall with a talk by Carew Castle Discovery Guides Alex Powell and Christian Donovan 'Carew Castle and Sir Rhys ap Thomas: the man who killed Richard III'.   
Between them, the ladies gave a detailed presentation of the life of Sir Rhys and his relationship with Henry Tudor - his support was crucial to Henry's victory at Bosworth and it is believed that it was he who delivered the death blow.  
Rhys remained a close ally and trusted friend to Henry and, in recognition for his loyalty, he was made a Knight of the Garter in 1505.  To celebrate this honour Sir Rhys held a great tournament at Carew Castle in April 1507, the last tournament to be held in this country. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

October Events

Quiz Night, September 22nd

The winning team are Michael Howlett, Lottie Howlett-John, Wendy George, Graham George and (not pictured) Abby John. On the right of the photograph is Rose Blackburn, the Quiz Master for the night.
Rose extended thanks to all who supported the Quiz Night and especially to the ladies of the Committee for providing the excellent buffet.  £140 was raised for Society funds.
Next Quiz Night will be held on November 17th.

Dyfed Family History Fair September 16th

We attended the Dyfed Family History Fair which was held in St Peter's Hall, Carmarthen.  Good opportunity for networking as so many Societies take part. Nearby is St Peter's Church, where can be seen the tomb of Sir Rhys ap Thomas who played such an important part in Henry Tudor's victory at Bosworth.

Monday, September 4, 2017

And off further afield to Bosworth!

out and about this summer

Summer is always a busy time for us - supporting local events with exhibitions and stalls:
St Mary's Church Welsh Week

Carew Castle Archaeology Day

The Pembroke Show

Display in Brown's Fish and Chip Cafe window on the Digital Town Trail
Stackpole Church annual Flower Festival - theme, Childhood

Pembroke River Rally
Cider with Henry on the Commons - RNLI fundraiser

July 31st 2017 - Museum volunteers follow the digital Town Trail

We launched the new Town Trail 18 months ago - funded jointly by Pembroke Town Council and Pembrokeshire County Council's Town Centre Support Programme.  The Trail is marked out in 30 bronze plaques accompanied by a booklet with fold out map - now you will find wall mounted plaques bearing QR codes close by.  

Scan these with your mobile device to discover the history of the site complete with heritage photographs.  The QR codes link to our website www.pembroketowntrail.wales  and can be accessed in both English and Welsh.  The Digital Town Trail was implemented by Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society working with Modern Print and Design, Pembroke Dock with funding from the HLF.  

Thank you Heritage Lottery Fund!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Exhibition - the Making of Henry at St Mary's Church

An exhibition of photographs showing the processes involved in the making of the Henry VII statue is currently on show in St Mary's Church, Pembroke.  Henry was baptised in St Mary's Church and here you can see a fine, stained glass window of the King by Thomas Kempe.

The unveiling of the Henry VII Statue on Saturday,June 10th

Photos of the unveiling by Martin Caveney

Despite the rain, crowds turned out on Saturday to the unveiling of the Henry VII statue - everyone appears delighted with our beautiful statue installed on the Mill Bridge and standing proud against the stunning backdrop of Pembroke Castle.  Our sculptor Harriet Addyman has done an amazing job, so talented - we are all so proud of her and what has been achieved for our town, the birthplace of the first Tudor monarch and the first Welshman to sit on the English throne.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Winners of Friday's Quiz Night

Winners of last Fridays Quiz Night were: (left to right) Lottie Howlett-John, Michael Howlett, Quiz master Rose Blackburn, Wendy George, Michele Carter and Graham George.
The £285 raised will be put towards a bench and memorial plaque to our much missed Pauline Waters and will be sited on Pembroke Mill Bridge where the statue of Henry VII will stand. Pembroke Town and the County Council have together undertaken the enhancement of the Mill Bridge to make it a public space with seating, tables and flowers - a lovely setting for our King, born in Pembroke Castle 1457.  Pauline was a founder member and trustee of the Pembroke&Monkton Local History Society and a passionate advocate of the Henry VII statue.  She was Mayor at the launch of the statue project and took a prominent part in raising its profile and in the Statue Fundraising Appeal for which our Society organised fundraising events.  The Committee wish to thank all who came to the Quiz for their support and to those who gave donations.