The speaker at the January Meeting was Mr James Hedley-Phillips who gave an animated and most informative talk about shipwrecks off the coast of Pembrokeshire. Surprisingly there are some 1000 wrecks.
However, he spoke, in the main, about the schooner Frederick constructed in 1833 for Sir John Tobin who, like some of the period, made his fortune from the slave trade. The Frederick sailed from Liverpool bound for West Africa loaded with trinkets and muskets for trade, onward to America’s Southern States where the slaves where offloaded after which the schooner would return with cotton and other commodities. The schooner sunk off the coast of Pembrokeshire having been caught in a gale.
Schooners were replaced by steam ships, the next element of the talk concerned the ship “Nimrod”, constructed in 1843 just ten years after the Frederick but now with the benefit of steam propulsion with additional sails. The Frederick too was to founder just off the coast near St David’s Head breaking in to three parts.
James showed photographs of items recovered from the stern where the first class berths were to be found and the dining room, rows of silver spoons, serving utensils and forks but no knives!
It is amazing to think what lies on the sea bed not far from where we paddle and to be told there are some 300/400 wrecks alone in the locality of Ramsey Sound, a really entertaining and interesting talk.
Penny Thomas 3rd January 2019