Thursday, December 29, 2022

'The History Beneath our Feet' - Talk by Jack Tree on January 7th

Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society will begin the New Year with a Talk and Coffee Morning in Pembroke Town Hall on Saturday, January 7th 10am – 12pm. Doors will open from 10am for coffee and an opportunity to visit the Museum and Council Chamber, which are situated on the first floor of the Town Hall – a lift is available for disabled access. There will be an opportunity to purchase our latest publication ‘Monkton: a Hidden History’ and an accompanying display can be viewed in the Council Chamber. Following this, at 11am, Jack Tree will give his talk ‘History Beneath our Feet' in the George Lewis Room. Jack Tree is well known for his work with the Pembrokeshire Prospector’s Society, of which he was a former Chairman, and he will be bringing along a display of artefacts discovered during his many years with the Society.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Christmas display in St Mary's Church

With Christmas upon us, time to change our display in St Mary's Church with something more seasonal. I chose the theme of Christmas traditions. First, a nostalgic look back to the time when St Michael's Hall was the scene of amateur dramatics, most memorably the Christmas panto. Sadly, the Hall fell into disuse and was sold. It has now been converted into a private dwelling. Second, the Pembroke Christmas card. George Lewis, sadly missed by us all, began another tradition - designing Pembroke's official Christmas card. Each year he painted a Pembroke snow scene for the Mayor's Christmas card, copies of which are on display. Dudley Jones is now carrying on this tradition - his 2022 card depicts the new William Marshal statue.

Icy weather

'It's getting to look a lot like Christmas ...' so the song goes. And it was certainly exceptionally cold yesterday when I took this photo. The Castle Pond was frozen over and I haven't seen that for many years!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Pembroke Castle Christmas Market

We had a great time at Pembroke Castle's Christmas Market. We launched our latest publication 'Monkton: A Hidden history' which proved a big success and a big thank you to Heritage Lottery Wales for awarding us the grant to make it possible. Despite being closed on Saturday because of the high winds, Sunday made up for it - absolutely packed out! After an absence of 2 years, it was so good to see the return of this lovely event.

Getting ready for Christmas

Christmas is coming and we have changed the shop window next to Brown's Cafe (courtesy of Mrs Genys Brown). This time the theme is Toys from Christmas Past - featuring some of the Museum's vintage toy collection.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

New publication - Monkton: A Hidden History

We are pleased to announce the publication of its latest book ‘Monkton – a Hidden History’. Written by Linda Asman and Keith Johnson with contributions from many local people, the book brings to light the rich heritage of Monkton, much neglected by historians. We are very thankful to the Heritage Lottery for funding its publication and the book will be launched at Pembroke Castle’s Christmas Market where the History Society will have a stall. The Market runs from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November. Overshadowed somewhat by historic Pembroke, Monkton too can boast an impressive history, a history which dates back to the Old Stone Age. It encompasses the rise and fall of Pembroke Priory, the Civil War when Cromwell located his cannons here, the building of the Victorian terraces of Priory Mains to house Dockyard workers and the restoration of the Priory Church. In the course of researching the book, lesser-known information emerged such as the surprising fact that Monkton was a centre of the Mormon religion in the 1850s, with one of only three Mormon chapels in Wales. And research into the village's maritime past has revealed that it once had a thriving shipbuilding yard and that timber from Canada was imported to Monkton quay. Proudly independent of its larger neighbour, Pembroke, Monkton was virtually a self-contained community for over a century with shops and tradesmen of every kind, farms and quarries, schools and pubs and regular livestock fairs in the village street. Sadly, much of the character of the village was lost in the early 1960s when the local council decided to bulldoze most of the old terraces and replace them with a modern housing estate. The late Pauline Waters was a leading member of our Society and we have dedicated the book to her memory and to all who shared her love of old Monkton.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Remembrance Sunday, November 13th

It was good to see so many, including large numbers of children, at the Remembrance Sunday service at Pembroke Cenotaph. A Church Service was held at St Mary's afterwards where the History Society had put up a display for Remembrance.

Museums Morning & Talk - Saturday November 5th

Despite the dreadful weather, we had a great turnout for our Museum's morning with a most interesting talk by Liz Rawlings entitled 'The Flanders Connection' - Llangwm's wonderful community project which has attracted national interest and resulted in the renovation of St Jerome's Church.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Our new shop window display

Pembroke Museum has a fine collection of late Victorian and Edwardian costume - just hanging out our underwear for an airing! The display is in the shop window next to Brown's Cafe. The Museum will be open for another 2 weeks, closing at the end of half term (November 5th ) for the winter months.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

November 5th - Our Next Talk by Liz Rawlings

Our Programme of Talks continues on Saturday morning, November 5th, 10am -12pm in Pembroke Town Hall. Doors will open at 10am for a Coffee Morning and, for the first hour, there will be an opportunity to visit the Museum. At 11am sharp, in the George Lewis Room, Liz Rawlings will give her talk ‘The Flanders Connection '. Liz is a prominent member of Llangwm Local History Society and her talk explains ' How a Flemish mercenary started a dynasty, which included Princess Diana, Winston Churchill and 3 American presidents. And how Llangwm developed as a result of the family’s expansion.' Everyone is welcome and entry is free.

Gareth's Talk a great success

Gareth Mills' talk on 'A New View on the Pembroke Dock' was a great success with around 100 people attending. The talk explored the remarkable story of Pembroke Dock and questioned why - despite it being a world leader in shipbuilding in its Victorian heyday - it does not receive the recognition it deserves. The Waterfront Museum in Swansea, part of the National Museum of Wales, barely mentions it. Further to that it was the great Sunderland base, playing a vital role in WW2. Gareth is an impressive speaker and he has promised to return next year to give us another talk.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

October 1st - we begin our Talks Programme

September 8th - The end of an Era

It was with great sadness that we all heard of the death of Her Majesty - for most of us she was a constant presence in our lives. My earliest memories are of the Coronation day - I was 4 and I remember it so well. All sorts of activities and a wonderful street party! And our living room full of people who descended on us to see the event on television - not many had tv then! Truly, the end of an era, the second Elizabethan age and a third King Charles. The Castle was lit up red and the moon was full - so beautiful and poignant somehow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

St Mary's Church Welsh Week

Supporting St Mary's Welsh Week with a Wales themed exhibition.

The Pembroke Show - Wednesday, August 3rd.

Fab day at the Pembroke Show raising funds for the Society.  So many visitors - and the weather was fantastic! A great success after having no show for 3 years.  

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Trustee Rose Blackburn is awarded the BEM

Congratulations to Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society Trustee and Vice Chairman, Rose Blackburn for her award of BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in this Platinum Jubilee year.
No one deserves it more than Rose, a popular and colourful figure in Pembroke. She has been a Town Councillor for many years and former Mayor, and has served as our Town Crier for 27 years.  Her volunteering roles over the years have been widespread, ranging from the youth justice board to animal welfare and the Pembrokeshire Community Health Council.  
Rose is also passionate about the history of Pembroke and is Trustee not only on the Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society but the Henry Tudor Trust, formed to plan the exhibition in the forthcoming Henry Tudor Centre.  She has been very much involved in developing Pembroke Museum, and has been active in the fundraising campaigns for the Henry VII and William Marshal statues.
And we must not forget Rose’s much loved Gracie, the town dog for many years and sadly missed.  However, Gracie has a lasting memorial in our statue of Henry VII as she modelled for Henry’s greyhound, which sits beside him.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

 Getting ready for the big event - our Jubilee window ( next to Brown's cafe, Main Street) decorated for the occasion.  


On May 7th the long awaited statue of William Marshal was unveiled.  And what a great day it was - the community turned out in force to witness it. And they were not disappointed. HM Deputy Lord Lieutenant Mr Meurig Raymond did the honours. pulling away the covering sheet to reveal the magnificent, life size, bronze statue. Following the unveiling ceremony, everyone made their way to the Castle for a community celebration which, thanks to the generosity of the Castle Trustees, was opened up with free entry for all.

A programme of entertainment, music and activities ran throughout the afternoon including a concert by Pembroke Male Voice Choir, Neil Thomas, stalls in the marquee, children’s activities organised by Messy Church and a competition for the best-dressed knight and princess . To add to the occasion, visitors were be able to find out more about William Marshal and his times from the Living History Society, Historia Normannis.After a couple of years of restrictions, it was lovely once more to be able to come together as a community. Around 2 ½ thousand people attended the event and it was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves – young and old. Even the weather was perfect. It was a truly memorable day- a great day for a great knight. So proud to be Mayor of this amazing, historic town!