Milford Haven, The Swimming Pool 1948
Photo ref: M77018
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More about this scene

The modern Milford Haven grew in the 1790s and the port was to cater for the needs of the whaling ships, as they brought their cargoes here to be processed in blubber oil. Dockyards were also created here for the Navy. As these activities moved away, Milford reinvented itself from the 1880s as a true fishing port. This trade declined as well, despite the landing of a record catch of 60,000 tons of fish in 1946. Milford then turned to oil again, but this time a different kind of oil, and four oil refineries came into production from the 1950s, making Milford the second largest oil refining port in Europe in the 1970s. This was not without hazard, as the disaster of the spillage from the 'Sea Empress' at Milford in 1996 was to show. With the boats and quays in the background, this open-air swimming pool has a definite industrial maritime feel to it, but that did not prevent it from being very popular.

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A Selection of Memories from Milford Haven

For many years now, we've been inviting visitors to our website to add their own memories to share their experiences of life as it was, prompted by the photographs in our archive. Here are some from Milford Haven

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The image is from july 1948,not 1955. The ship in the photo is the SS CLAN FARQUHAR she arrived at Wards shipbreaking yard in july 1948.
Learnt to swim there... well, pushed in - bloody cold! I have now swam all over the world and scuba dived. I have swam over to the other side of the Haven from just under the pool, then got a thick ear for doing it... grounded for a month. Still swim when I can - now do a lot of shooting.
I used to fish from the fishmeal wall when it was working, caught my first mullet there and lots of smelt to eat. When the tide was out I made a spear to fish in the stream that was left, and fish for flat fish to eat. I used to live at 93 Combes Drive... them where the days.
When we were down in Pembrokeshire we sometimes walked back from Hakin Primary School to Hazelbeach and Black Bridge was a landmark on the way. I remember the rotting hulks of the old barges in the Pill and the transformation of the tide, turning a muddy inlet into an attractive little valley. On the turn of the tide there was a flood from the culvert under Black Bridge as the waters behind flooded out towards the sea.