A Famous Visitor


Mauretania off Pwllgwaelod, Dinas Cross

Fishing boats, like the one in the foreground, were regulars in Pwllgwaelod bay at a time when the little port was known for its fine catches of herring, so the photographer’s lens was actually trained on the ship you can see across the water – on its way into Fishguard harbour. Against the cliffs, across the water, you can just see the four funnels of an ocean-going-liner. This was the Mauretania and the postcard is telling us how the little village of Dinas grows in stature by its mere proximity to the ship on this momentous occasion.

RMS Mauretania, launched in 1906, was the first ship of the Cunard Line to call in Fishguard. At the time of this visit on 30th August 1909, she was the world’s largest ship and until 1929, she was the world’s fastest. She had taken the record for the fastest eastbound crossing of the Atlantic in November 1907. In September 1909, Mauretania was awarded the Blue Riband for the fastest westbound crossing.

Fishguard celebrated ‘Mauretania Day’ with enthusiasm and many of the townspeople walked down to the port at Goodwick for a closer look.

Celebrations at Fishguard on Mauretania Day

From Fishguard to Goodwick on ‘Mauretania Day’, August 1909. Photo: People’s Collection Wales

Mauretania passengers disembarkingFishguard had prepared for the visit with the construction of a small breakwater, still sometimes known as the ‘Mauretania Mole’, but it had led to silting in the harbour. This put an end to hopes that Fishguard could become a regular stop on transatlantic routes.

About bookvolunteer

I'm passionate about books, about Oxfam and about making the world a better place. When I'm not filling the shelves in Oxfam Wilmslow, I might be found reading the books I've bought in the beautiful surroundings of North Pembrokeshire.
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