In the corner of Front Street, Pembroke Dock, next to Y Cerrig Glas pub, is a reminder of a bygone era.

The West Wales Maritime Museum holds what remains of the famous Fishguard lifeboat that was used to rescue sailors from a Dutch vessel in 1920. The crew members were awarded medals for bravery.

The lifeboat was built in 1908. Volunteers are working on the hull and there is a further exhibition and information in the museum.

The boat was the Fishguard Lifeboat from 1909 to 1930 and has a significant place in the history of RNLI boats, being one of the first three specifically designed and built to have an engine. Previously there had been some initial experiments of modifying existing rowing and sailing boats. Charterhouse has the builder’s number one carved into the bow of the boat and is the only survivor of those first three motor lifeboats.

On Monday, August 14, the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society and Museum welcomed some special visitors to view the Charterhouse lifeboat.

Charterhouse Lifeboat visitors
(West Wales Maritime Society)

These visitors were the Lomas family who had owned the boat since the 1940’s when it had been converted into a private motor cruiser/sailor. By 2009, the boat had become unseaworthy and the family donated it to the Charterhouse Returns Trust at Fishguard who three years ago donated the boat to the Maritime Museum in the historic Hancock’s Yard in Pembroke Dock for conservation and display.

It was a fascinating few hours spent finding out so much about its life as a private cruiser called M.Y. Marian from the last people to sail her, writes Chris Barlow.