The Charterhouse is craned into her new home at the West Wales Maritime Heritage Museum, Pembroke Dock. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney
The Charterhouse is craned into her new home at the West Wales Maritime Heritage Museum, Pembroke Dock. Picture: Martin Cavaney


Fishguard's historic Charterhouse Lifeboat has docked in its new home, the West Wales Maritime Heritage Museum in Pembroke Dock.

The boat’s move coincides with the 99th anniversary of her most famous rescue – the doomed Dutch ship Hermina which foundered on Needle Rock on December 2, 1920.

The intrepid lifeboat crew, led by coxswain John Howells, carried out a heroic operation, saving nearly all the crew with just one fatality.  Their feat was honoured with the boat and crew being taken to London and receiving medals from the then Prince of Wales.

The Charterhouse Returns Trust, a group of local volunteers responsible for the boat’s care, plans to restore the Charterhouse to her former glory.  However they have struggled to find a suitable exhibition space in her home port.

In the meantime, the boat has remained under wraps in a corner of Goodwick Harbour provided by Stena Line.

Now, 110 years after the ground-breaking lifeboat was first launched, she will be prepared to be put on public view in spring 2020.

A ceremony to officially welcome her to the maritime museum is planned for the new year.

“We are delighted that we have saved the Charterhouse,” said trust chairman Gwilym Price. “We didn’t have a location for her in this area and we need to preserve the work we have already done.

“We are delighted that she has been accepted in the museum. We’ve saved the boat and there is a stipulation that if we get a location here, we can have her back any time.

“We have saved this important artefact for Fishguard and Goodwick. She will be well-cared for down there. They have got an expert team of boat builders and people from the twin towns will go down there to continue the restoration.

“The main thing is to preserve the work already done on it by the wonderful people devoting their skill in Fishguard and Goodwick. The work will continue and we’ve safeguarded her.”

During her stay at the museum, restoration work will continue to be carried out by volunteers.

Meanwhile the Charterhouse Returns Trust is working on plans to commemorate the rescue’s centenary in December 2020.

“We are pleased to be working with the Maritime Heritage Museum to ensure the Charterhouse continues to be looked after and cherished as an important part of west Wales’.

News item taken from the Western Telegraph 9 Dec 2019.