THOUSANDS of people lined the streets of Pembroke Dock on Wednesday (March 14) for a spectacularly colourful parade to celebrate the town’s bicentenary.

It was exactly 200 years since the construction of the first houses at Paterchurch, which later became Pembroke Dock.

The parade, led by the Royal Marines Band, went from Pembroke Dock Community School to the Royal Dockyard Chapel for speeches.

Dressed as everything from military personnel to seventies hippies, several hundred schoolchildren took part wearing costumes reflecting the town’s history.

“Pembroke Dock is a town born to build ships and we are so proud of our naval heritage which covers all of our two centuries,” said Pembroke Dock mayor Councillor Pam George.

“Today that is remembered, not only from the origins of the town and its Royal Dockyard, but through the visit of Pembrokeshire’s own warship, HMS Pembroke.”

BBC Wales presenter Jamie Owen paid tribute to the town’s impressive history as well as looking to its future, asking children to “dream big dreams”.

“When you leave here today, remember how important your town is,” he said. “This town gave the world one of its most important dockyards.”

Naval regional commander Commodore Jamie Miller also spoke, with prayers by Rev Nicky Skipworth.

Pembroke Dock bicentenary co-ordinator Martin Cavaney said: “Pembroke Dock has put more into its 200 years than virtually any other town in Wales and it still continues today to be a town with very strong support for the military, especially the Navy.”