‘PASSION for the past ensuring a better future for residents and visitors’: a visitor’s comment set the theme for a recent study tour organised by PLANED and hosted by the Saundersfoot Bay Heritage Regeneration Trust (SBHRT).
More than 20 community heritage group representatives travelled from St Dogmaels, St Davids, Dinas, Solva, Dale, Marloes, Llangwm, Pembroke and Tenby to exchange information and share ideas.
The Saundersfoot Bay group, representing a mix of heritage and business, offered a programme of innovative presentations and walking tours. The visitors explored the varied heritage of the communities spanning the bay: from Saundersfoot, to Wiseman’s Bridge, Stepaside, Summerhill and Amroth.
The visit is part of an Innovative Heritage programme, a partnership of communities with PLANED and Peoples Collection Wales, funded by LEADER’s Arwain Sir Benfro fund. Promoting Pembrokeshire’s ecomuseum movement, it is helping communities to explore digital and other innovative ways of portraying the past.
In the Regency Hall, local history group members outlined their decades of research into coal mining, wartime and tourism history. Michael Davies, chief executive officer for Saunderfoot Harbour gave an inspiring 3D presentation of plans for the harbour’s 21st century transformation which includes renovation of the Old Coal Office.
Innovative and inspirational, his presentation also emphasised that the integrity of the local group’s work would be retained in the futuristic harbour complex, helping visitors to understand the area’s origins through maps and documents, photographs and coal mining memories. Innovation is built into the SBHRT group’s plans in the character of Tomas, a young lad from the coal mining days, who guides visitors. Currently in leaflet format, his tour may take on a digital form in future.
A delicious ‘networking’ lunch prepared by Regency Hall volunteers set everyone up up for an afternoon tour on the Bloomfield Community Bus, taking in Stepaside Ironworks, Colby Woodland Gardens and Amroth churchyard, concluding with an informal session over a tea of home made, Welsh Cakes and Bara Brith, hosted by Amroth Parish Hall. An ideal way to end a truly local experience!