The WWMHS was founded in 1984 by a group of enthusiasts which included Val Howells, Peter Davidson and Barry Burgess. It has the following aims
- To conduct and encourage research into the maritime history of the region.
- To encourage the preservation of craft, buildings and sites of historical or local interst.
- To seek to preserve artifacts and records associated with this history.
- To retain and encourage the skills associated with all aspects of building, repairing,
- handling and the use of craft.
- To set up a Centre or Centres where these craft, items and skills can be preserved and shown to best advantage.
- To encourage members of the public to take an interest in and develop or acquire the skills mentioned.
- To operate such a Centre or Centres as a viable economic enterprise.
- To increase public interest and support for maritime heritage by giving members educational and training experience afloat in heritage vessels.
West Wales Maritime Heritage Society is a Company Limited by Guarantee no. 2611959
and a Registered Charity no. 1042428. .
Click to see the Constitution
The Society is run entirely by volunteers and new members are welcomed. Its present Chairman is Robert Phillips and its Secretary is Steven Preece.
WWMHS's registered address is
Hancock's Historic Boat Yard
WWMHS is based in Hancock’s shipyard on Front Street, Pembroke Dock, an historic shipyard where ships have been built for over 200 years.
Boasting a long history of shipbuilding, Peter Hancock & Sons took over the yard in 1921 from former owners J & W Francis. Many ships have been constructed here. Francis’ built 2 and 3 masted ships such as the Verbena pictured here.
Hancocks began by building fishing smacks, Brixham trawler type but larger, and more recently the Hobb’s Point ferries – the Cleddau Queen in 1956 and the Cleddau King in 1962.
The last ship to be built there was the Fastnet Rock, coal carrier, in 1979.
The yard is still popularly known as Hancock’s yard and many Pembroke Dock people served apprenticeships there. David James has now written a book about Hancock's Yard and gathered memories and stories of those former employees and from Mr Peter Hancock himself.
Pembroke River Rally
One of WWMHS's main annual events is the Pembroke River Rally organised by Pembroke Town Council. The Society transports Pembroke's Mayor and dignatories up the Pembroke River, leading the flotilla of boats to maintain the right of navigation
Click on the picture below to see David James' video about the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society and the River Rally. This links to the National Library Wales' Peoples Collection website.
This video is part of a collection of digital stories published as a book with accompanying DVD by Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society. It is part of a project entitled 'Through My Eyes: a Community History of Pembroke and Monkton' and can be purchased from the Society. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org