Family First for Trust Fellowship

20 Jan

The first ‘Fellowship Family’ has been signed up by the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust as it launches an exciting new fundraising phase designed to see a major flying boat display at the town’s Heritage Centre.

The Wiggins Family of Pembroke Dock and Abingdon – long supporters of the Trust’s initiatives – joined up during the Christmas holidays. Dad Brian, who lives in Abingdon, donated £1,000 to become one of the early recruits to the ‘Fellowship’ category of membership.

Brian Wiggins had another flying boat experience in January to celebrate his 84th birthday. He visited Solent Sky museum at Southampton and saw at close hand their star exhibit, Sandringham flying boat ‘Beachcomber’ which began life as a wartime Sunderland.

Brian Wiggins had another flying boat experience in January to celebrate his 84th birthday. He visited Solent Sky museum at Southampton and saw at close hand their star exhibit, Sandringham flying boat ‘Beachcomber’ which began life as a wartime Sunderland.

Joining Brian at the Heritage Centre were son, Simon, daughter-in-law, Michele, and grandson Joe – one of Simon and Michele’s nine children.

The Sunderland Trust Fellowship carries the name of the Trust’s Patron, Wing Commander Derek Martin, who died last year, aged 94. A wartime flying boat pilot with a very distinguished RAF career, Wing Commander Martin flew Sunderland T9044, the actual aircraft which in November 1940 sank off Pembroke Dock.

Derek was another massive supporter of the Sunderland Trust and its heritage initiatives and his legacy lives on through the Fellowship funding. This will contribute to the recovery of much more of T9044 from the Haven Waterway and to a major Sunderland flying boat and Battle of the Atlantic exhibition – already in advanced planning by the Trust.

After a tour of the Heritage Centre Brian Wiggins commented: “I am very impressed by all that has been achieved at the Heritage Centre, and also so pleased that my family can enjoy regular visits there. It is very important that the Centre and the work of the Trust are supported and this is a way in which we as a family can do so.”

Showing the family around the Centre were Sunderland Trustee Martin Cavaney and Project Manager John Evans. Added Martin: “The support of Brian and all his family is crucially important to our successes in the future and our ability to deliver a unique, world class attraction about a key part of our recent history, all enacted here in ‘PD’.