THE HISTORY of the shops which have made Haverfordwest a centre of local commerce in Pembrokeshire has been documented in a new book.

The Shops of Haverfordwest is by local historian and former shopkeeper Patricia Swales Barker and was released at the start of May.

Pat spent a large part of her career working at the family business, Swales Music Shop, which was on High Street, and had known many of the town’s shopkeepers through her close connection to the town centre.

“Because of my long-held interest in local history I was always really interested in what has happened in Haverfordwest over the years.

“Over the years I have done research on the shops and shopkeepers. I have kept thinking I must put all this research into a book on the shops,” said Pat.

Pat, who is also a church warden at St Marys Church on High Street, said she used the newspaper archives in the National Library of Wales for her research, as well as her own knowledge of the town centre.

The book takes a look at the streets throughout the town which have traditionally been its shopping centre, including High Street, Bridge Street and Market Street, as well as the history of out-of-town areas like Snowdrop Lane.

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Pat said some of the inspiration behind the book came from seeing the growth in Facebook groups like Honey Harfat, where memories and old photographs about the town are shared.

“Now is the time for it, while people who remember the town as it was are still with us,” she said.

Funding for publishing the book came from Pembrokeshire County Council’s Townscape Heritage Initiative.

County Councillor Thomas Tudor, Chairman of Haverfordwest THI, said his group was pleased to be able to support the book.

He explained: “It is Important to recognise and record our proud past as we work to provide a successful future for Haverfordwest.”

The Shops of Haverfordwest by Patricia Swales Barker is available from Victoria Bookshop and other local outlets and from the author (01437 766107) price £7.99.