Dale Fort Blog Number 40

3 04 2015

Rebranding at Milford Haven

Join Dale Fort Tutors Martha Boalch, Catherine Gillat as they explore rebranding with some fortunate sixth formers.  Milford Haven (Aberdaugleddau = mouth of the two Cleddaus) has a short but fascinating history beginning as a planned town set up largely by Sir Charles Greville a little over 200 years ago.  The initial plan was to capture the Atlantic shipping trade, lack of rail links and inland communications made that a limited success.  Greville then developed the town as a whaling centre with a community of Quaker whalers from Nantucket.  Their leader was Samuel Starbuck and the Starbucks were important in the early development of the town  To this day you will find more coffee in Milford than anywhere else in Wales (only joking).  The development of coal gas street lighting in London led to a fall in the value of whale oil (it was valued because it burned clean, producing little soot).  The whale oil industry failed.  Railways came and with rapid communication links inland Milford began to develop as the major fishing port in Wales.  Fishing peaked just after World War Two and then began a fairly rapid decline.  The Suez crisis (1956) meant there was a need for a port that could accept huge oil tankers on the west coast of Britain.  Nelson himself had declared Milford Haven as the finest natural harbour in the world and it was deep enough and sheltered enough to accommodate huge oil tankers.  Thus began the rise of the oil industry.  By 1985 there were four oil refineries along the Haven.  The ups and downs of the oil industry have seen this reduce to one by 2015.  However, since North Sea Gas is beginning to run out and the UK has become dependent upon natural gas, yet another new industry has developed.  The most costly project in the history of Wales has seen the building of the new Liquified Natural Gas plant at South Hook on the old Esso refinery site.  This imports LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) from Qatar and is capable of handling up to a third of the UK’s gas requirements.  There are five huge cylindrical tanks to hold the gas, each about the size of The Albert Hall (43m high, 80m or so in diameter).  Milford has an interesting cultural life as well.  Its Torch Theatre being one of the best in Wales.  All in all it’s a very interesting town and you would do well to investigate it for yourselves.  Why not enquire about geography courses at Dale Fort?

The next blog will be another film about geography at Dale Fort.

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