Pembroke Dock - About Pembroke Dock
The industrial town of Pembroke Dock is situated on a flat,sheltered area of land on the southern section of the Cleddau River.
The town was established in the year 1814 and immediately it burst into existence in every way the original New Town of the 19th Century. The town relied heavily on industry generated by the Dockyard. On 10th February 1816, the first two ships, the Valorous and Ariadne were launched and Pembroke Dock's 112 year history of shipbuilding had begun. Over the next thirty years the Dockyard and Pembroke Dock as a whole expanded at a rapid rate.
By 1855, the Dockyard employed almost 1,000 men and was already the major employment agency in West Wales. The launching of ships was a great attraction and crowds from the town and surrounding areas lined the banks to watch. The year 1860 marked, with the launch of The Warrior, the beginning of the age of the iron warship. Pembroke Dock, like numerous other Admiralty yards, had been established with the main purpose of constructing wooden ships. However, the Navy was required to keep up with modern developments of the age and this spelt the end of the wooden battleship.
Pembroke Dock had suddenly become obsolete; located many miles from a suitable ironworks, with a workforce unskilled in iron shipbuilding, the possibility of closure seemed the next step. Pembroke Dock had been saved partly by its railway link but despite this, communication between the town and other parts of the country remained very slow. The 20th Century brought modern was and the death of the Dockyard. 1926 saw its' sad closure. 1,400 men were now unemployed and by 1937 the figure increased to 2,590.
The 2nd World War brought devastation to the town. The Pennar oil tanks burnt continuosly for 18 days and was Britain's biggest blaze since the Great Fire Of London. In 1941, the bombing claimed many lives and approximately 1,000 homes were destroyed. Since then, many developments have taken place in the town. A bridge replaced the Pembroke Dock - Neyland ferry and in 1988 the route to Ireland reopened. Now owned by Irish Ferries it is very successful and undertakes two sailings each day.
In the late 1990s two call centres were built by the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) next to the cleddau bridge these two call centres were occupied by digital television giant ITV digital, this was seen by the area as the escape from what had been seen as the end of a slump in employment in the area, many companies enjoyed ties with ITV digital to which it was stated that over 1,400 people were directly employed by Manpower the management company who operated the call centre on behalf of ITV digital. Many thousands more were employed as a knock on of the boom effect caused by ITV digital.
However this bubble was to burst. In 2002 ITV digital crashed due to shortcomings in profits after overspending in a contract between itself and the Football league. [ Link : Source BBC] Many of those jobs were to be lost. A number of smaller companies took hold in the call centres, including a short term deal with NTL: in the call centre. Today the call centre environment has improved in the town with a number of large name clients active in the area.
Pembroke Dock is constantly attracting new industry and looks set to continue in the future, there has been much talk recently that Pembroke Dock will soon get a marina which will mean that millions will be ploughed into the area and causing a very positive affect on the economy and tourism. This has yet to be confirmed but hopefully we will have positive news to report in the future.
Watch this space...