Visit to National Heritage Centre, Pembroke Dock

Twenty members of the London Pembrokeshire Society visited the National Heritage Centre at Pembroke Dock today.

We heard a fascinating talk by Derek, one of the volunteers at the centre, about some of the history of the area, in particular the fire of August 1940 when an oil storage tank was hit by a German bomb, causing a fire that raged for 20 days; the longest burning fire in British History.  Over 500 firemen from fire brigades as far afield as Birmingham fought the fire to prevent it spreading.

The centre has a wealth of information about the area, with a focus on the Sunderland seaplanes that were stationed at Pembroke Dock during the second world war, one of which (T9044) lies at the bottom of the harbour.  The Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust is in the process of raising money to raise the aircraft and some parts have been recovered and restored, including one of the engines which is on display at the Heritage Centre.

There are also lots of fascinating artefacts from the period, with uniforms of servicemen and women, each with a personalised background story.

Did you know… The lifesized Millenium Falcon (from a slightly different era) was built in Pembroke Dock for the filming of Star Wars?

We can highly recommend a visit – a fascinating slice of history, served up with a mean Latte from the coffee shop.