TENBY TODAY: CHURCH bells rang as Pembroke RNLI Guild celebrated its founders’ decision 75 years ago to start a Pembroke Fundraising Branch for the charity.

The late Mrs Basil Ramsden, supported by the RNLI, decided to start a fundraising branch in Pembroke on February 11, 1949. Members of her family still on the ‘Pembroke Guild Crew’ to this day. What a legacy! 

St Mary’s bells rang, in honour of guests arriving at the church in Pembroke and those who have supported the RNLI in the town for 75 years. This was a priceless gesture of Tower Captain Ann Bunker, Sue Harris and their team.

An outstanding programme of music had been rehearsed and arranged specifically for the evening, courtesy of Pembroke and District Male Voice Choir and their musical director, Juliet Rossiter. Jenny John’s accompaniment was superb. Interestingly, the choir is only three years younger than Pembroke Ladies Lifeboat Guild; a long association with Guild fundraising, no doubt for many years to come too !

Pembroke Guild chair Daphne Bush welcomed the supporting audience, Choir president Cllr Clive Collins and Mrs Enid Collins, Mayor of Pembroke Cllr Aden Brinn and Mayor elect Mrs Ann Mortensen.

Compere Matthew John then took control of an amazing programme of singing.

David Ramsden, grandson of Pembroke Ladies Lifeboat Guild founder, spoke during the interval, drawing attention to funds in his grandmother’s time to funds now: thankfully more year on year since 1949.

The evening concluded with RNLI community manager Alice Coleman taking the helm with the raffle. Four superb prizes were won, all donated, hugely appreciated by the winners.

Daphne thanked everyone again, in fact, one thank you is never enough! The audience were then invited into the vestry for complimentary Tan y Castell Welsh Cakes, Barabrith and hot drinks.

Then the choir was ushered to the Old Kings Arms Hotel dining room, courtesy of vice president and proprietor Mrs Shirley Wheeler and Hotel director Mr Norman Edwards, to a sandwich buffet prepared by guild volunteers.

The evening raised £400 thanks to everyone mentioned here. Raffle proceeds were shared with the St.Mary’s Church Bells Restoration Appeal Fund. As Pembroke Guild chair Daphne Bush said, “Our church bells and the bell ringing team's importance is huge.

“A huge thank you to you all,” she added. “We all enjoy what we do to fundraise, but couldn't do it without you, supporting our crews in all RNLI rescue services ‘Saving Lives At Sea’ - all only possible thanks to local residents past and present, business support and numerous choral concerts.