A mystery machinery item – found in a house clearance – has set the team at the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre a weighty puzzle.
It was donated recently with suggestions that it might be connected to the wartime Sunderland, T9044, which sank off the town 75 years ago this month.
Aled Lewis, who recently joined the Sunderland Trust team for five months to help get the Archive up to Museum Accreditation Standard, has been seeking views on the new acquisition, which may have been long immersed in the sea.
“We understand it was discarded in the Royal Dockyard. The consensus is that it is not aviation related but is likely to be from a vessel of some kind. What it is though is the puzzle and we hope that someone will be able to offer clues on its origins,” said Aled. “There must be other such items recovered from local waters and we are always keen to hear of them.”
Before joining as Archive Projects Officer Aled had, since 2011, regularly volunteered for the Sunderland Trust, travelling from his home in Blackwood, Gwent, at his own expense in order to work in the archive.
“I came for a week every season – each time ready and raring for a hefty amount of scanning and photoshopping of images in the collection.”
A Masters graduate in Care of Collections – a museum preventative conservation course – Aled brings with him special skills and knowledge which are key to developing a professional archive and achieving Museum Accreditation.
Aled added: “When I began as a volunteer I was mid-way through my undergraduate History Degree and I had to do work experience to qualify for my final year. I am passionate about aviation and aviation history, so I thought I’d look for an aviation museum in Wales. At the time I did not know much about flying boats but I am definitely hooked now and the wonderful Sunderland has crept right up in my favourite list of aircraft”.
Aled Lewis shows Volunteer Alan Porter the mystery object. Alan, an engine fitter on Sunderland flying boats at Pembroke Dock in the mid 1950s, confirmed that this is not from a Sunderland.
PICTURE: Martin Cavaney Photography.
From: John Evans, Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust, 01646 684220.