The Pembrokeshire Story is a collaborative project, led by Milford Haven’s the Torch Theatre, that set out to capture the untold or forgotten stories of Pembrokeshire so that they are remembered for generations to come, as told by the people who live here. A story might be something as simple as how life has changed over the years or it might be a special event that you would want to remember. So often these stories remain as legends within our own families, but this is a chance to share them with the world.
The inspiration behind The Pembrokeshire Story originated from the Torch Theatre’s Artistic Director, Peter Doran, who found an undiscovered story whilst talking to his father who was suffering with Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic in 2020. Peter wanted to hear his father’s stories and memories during these worrying times. If Peter had not pushed to hear them, these stories may never have come about. Thankfully, Peter’s father has gone on to make a full recovery and talk about these stories and others in more detail with the rest of his family.
“In March 2020 my 90 year old father had Covid-19 and therefore we as a family moved in to care for him, thankfully, he’s fully recovered now but during this period we spent a great deal of time chatting and reminiscing; he told us of his time as an evacuee, having been sent from his home in Liverpool to the Welsh speaking village of Llamberis in North Wales. It was a fascinating tale and one that we might never have heard about had it not been for Covid-19. I feel we just don’t spend enough time with each other to allow these moments to happen, we’re all so busy it would seem.”
The Covid pandemic has hit us all hard, families have been split, unable to meet in person and living in isolation with little contact to the outside world. The Pembrokeshire Story has given a platform for people to connect and talk. Everyone has a story to tell and The Pembrokeshire Story will allow these stories to be recorded and told across a variety of media platforms.
From Peter’s initial idea of gathering the lost stories from across Pembrokeshire, The Pembrokeshire Story evolved into a community focused project that encompassed all corners of Pembrokeshire, led by Tenby based creative, James Williams. James alongside a team of 10 freelance Pembrokeshire creatives have gathered stories from their part of the county, either told in Welsh or English. The stories have been interpreted by the creatives, putting their artistic flair into the story gathering part and also reflecting the true ethos of Pembrokeshire. As you can see from this website, the stories offer variety, they are full of heart and they carry the spirit of this wonderful part of the world. On top of the creatives adding in their collected stories, we have received stories from you, the people of Pembrokeshire, told from both in and out of the county. These stories will be continued to be added to The Pembrokeshire Story, making it a living archive of Pembrokeshire.
All the contributions have been combined into a final video reflecting this current stage of the project – 'The Pembrokeshire Story'. This 20-minute clip is a reflection of all the stories gathered so far plus the artistic process of projecting the stories onto some of Pembrokeshire’s most iconic landmarks. Late into the night, during April 2021, James was joined by Ceri James and the Torch Theatre’s technical team, whom with permission, projected a specially commissioned video of the stories on to these landmarks. These projections were filmed and photographed to create another chapter of stories that feed into the final Story video. The team visited Pembroke Caste, the Trinity House Jetty at Burton Ferry, Capel at Ty Rhos, Siop Y Sgwar at Maenclochog, Cambridge Gun Tower at Pembroke Dock, Manorbier Castle, Haverfordwest Castle and of course our home, the Torch Theatre. We would like to thank all those involved for their ongoing support and cooperation throughout this project.
A special thank you must also go out to Christopher Harris, Anwen Francis, Nexmedia, Stagetext, Bla Translation, WNO, National Theatre Wales and anyone else who has helped to shape The Pembrokeshire Story.
The outcome of The Pembrokeshire Story is to leave a legacy, for memories to be shared and, most importantly, to connect generations and the communities of Pembrokeshire together through storytelling. The first chapter has been written and there will be many more to follow…