May_2023_-_3-1.jpgOn 18 May I boarded the train to Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire for a week away with the Mistress and a few friends. The weather was stunning, and our long walks on the coastal path were spectacular. The views over St David’s Head are truly breathtaking.  I was fascinated to find bricks on the top of Carn Llidi, left over from World War II when an early warning radar station was sited there.


We visited the disused slate quarry at Porthgain which opened in 1831. By the early twentieth century the slate had deteriorated into shale which was used for brick making. Subsequently, brick hoppers were built to load granite brought from a quarry nearby. Slate production ceased by 1910, and the business closed in the early 1930s. It remains a fascinating site full of industrial history. 

Our newly affiliated Royal Navy vessel HMS Magpie was on duty nearby, so on 22 May, courtesy of Commanding officer Lt Cdr Hywel Morgan, the Mistress and I were able to visit the ship. 


She moored briefly at Brunel Quay, Nayland, near Milford Haven, before setting off with us on board to survey the area in and around the bay. 


The Commanding officer and his crew kindly posed for photographs. Part of HMS Magpie’s brief is to map the ocean floor to detect obstructions such as wrecks or other debris which could pose a hazard to submarines, and we were specifically seeking a civilian mooring which had been recently washed away. The submarine imaging equipment is the very latest available, and the crew highly skilled. We quickly identified the missing mooring and noted its precise location so that it may now be recovered. In addition, we deployed some sea-bed data recorders designed to gather information about currents and water movements.


I had the interesting experience of taking the wheel of the ship for about fifteen minutes and managed to steer a reasonably true course! My thanks to Lt Cdr Morgan and his crew for a wonderful morning on board.