Part 5: Pembroke Dock

Part 5: Pembroke Dock

Connections | Cysylltiadau

David James shares his memory of moving to Pembroke Dock as a child and what it was like growing up in the town in WWII.

Pembroke Dock to Rosslare Harbour | Doc Penfro i Rosslare Harbour

This experience draws on the creative, film and heritage material of the project to set out a trail of stories stretching from Rosslare Harbour to Pembroke Dock. It covers the ferry crossing between Pembrokeshire and Wexford, including creative work, stories, interviews and poetry. It tells the story of sights and sounds of the Irish and Welsh coasts, social change and natural wonders, images of the Irish Sea captured in documentary films and many of the overlapping accounts and events that have clustered around the crossing over centuries.

The experience can begin at either end of the route, and can be downloaded in advance of your journey. Once downloaded, no data is needed to read the text, look at the images and listen to the audio while you undertake your ferry trip.

On the crossing between Pembrokeshire and Wexford, this includes stories of birdlife, sandbanks, shipwrecks, oil spills, biodiversity, shipping and coastal fortifications. It presents to naval history of Pembroke Dock set in the context of the rich and varied environment of the Milford Haven waterway and its ties to Wexford and Ireland.

The three Ports, Past and Present crossing experiences on Port Places bring the past to life by showing that the Irish Sea and its long frequented crossings are not focused on a single topic, but cover every aspect of human life at sea and on land. They present personal accounts together with large-scale tragedies, traces of ancient histories together with the upheavals of recent decades.

David James shares the story of the planting of a Japanese ginkgo tree in Pembroke Dock in the late nineteenth century.

Cloud of Voices

This piece is an app-optimised audio storyscape for the Port Places App created by inviting members of the local community of Pembroke Dock in Wales to bring Kathy D'Arcy for virtual walks around the town. This was achieved during the Covid-19 pandemic travel bans by using video-calling on their smartphones.

Kathy is a poet, scholar and feminist activist based in Cork City. Originally trained as a doctor, she completed a Creative Writing PhD in UCC, where she taught with the Women’s Studies MA programme. She has also taught creative writing undergraduate and adult education courses. Her poetic practice involves walking ancient paths and engaging with the natural and cultural landscapes she encounters.

To learn more about Kathy and the participants, click here.

Pembroke Dock Town Trail | Arweiniad i Lwybr Tref Doc Penfro

This experience is based on a published town trail created as part of the Pembroke Dock Townscape Heritage Initiative and funded by Heritage Lottery, Pembrokeshire County Council, the Welsh Development Agency and the Welsh Assembly (now the Senedd). The project assisted in the regeneration of Pembroke Dock and the refurbishment of many of the historic buildings. Edited by Christine Willison and Dave Ainsworth. It contains personal and community stories that show a new dimension of Pembroke Dock, collecting recollections and poetic responses to the buildings, events and tragedies that have shaped the town. It mingles shipbuilding with oil fires, penny farthing bicycle riding with the day that Buffalo Bill came to town.

The locations of the Town Trail were published in print by Pembrokeshire County Council in 2007. Digitised and enhanced by the Ports, Past and Present Project in 2022, funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme.

The locations on the trail are accompanied by a set of plaques created by Robert Jakes. Robert is also the creator of 'A Sea of Stories', a wall-mounted depiction of the Irish Sea between Wexford and Pembrokeshire. The piece is a rich and informative map of memories, fusing together images and text onto bisque fired ceramic tile as a wall mural that celebrates the stretch of water between Pembroke Dock and Rosslare, and is sited at the Ferry Terminal at Pembroke Dock.

Our tour of the Irish Sea is now complete! We hope that you will find the Port Places app entertaining, educational and useful during your next ferry crossing or visit to Dublin Port, Rosslare Harbour, Holyhead, Fishguard or Pembroke Dock. For more information, browse the list of featured experiences on the app to learn more.