The Royal Dockyard Chapel, Wales’ only Georgian military chapel, is today the home of the town’s Heritage Centre – opened by The Queen in 2014.

But it is not the first museum in this iconic building.

In the 1960s Midlands businessman Chester Smith and his wife, Phylis, bought the chapel and established a Motor Museum.

It was – together with preserved Sunderland ML824 located nearby – Pembroke Dock’s first visitor attraction.

The ‘Pembrokeshire Motor Museum’ contained a wonderful mix reflecting motoring history; cars, motor cycles and memorabilia.

Opened in July 1968, it was soon on the list of destinations for noted motoring writer Bill Boddy.

His article, in the September 1969 issue of Motor Sport Magazine, spotlighted the exhibits, some owned by Mr and Mrs Smith and their son, others on loan.

Bill Boddy enthused: “There is a well-used Graham Paige, an actual 1928 Show model;… a 1911 A.C. Sociable; a 1928 Austin 12/4 Clifton tourer found near Honiton and since nicely restored, and an impressive 1937 Lagonda Rapide tourer, its bonnet open.

"Veteran interest is held by an 1898 Léon-Bollée tricar... next to which is a 1924 Morris-Oxford tourer. A rarity is a 1919 Hazelwood motorcycle combination…, which was bought, the complete outfit, for 35 shillings nine years ago.”

Others listed included a 1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost; 1923 Dodge 24/35 hp tourer; 1926 three-litre Bentley; 1933 20/25 Rolls-Royce Hooper limousine, and “Mr Chester Smith’s own 1903 curved-dash Oldsmobile, which he has used in the Brighton Run since he forsook Bentleys for veterans in 1953.”

In a gallery was a large collection of motorcycles and other interesting finds included a 1904 Arielette prototype tricar, a Bristol Cherub aero-engine and a De Dion stationary engine.

The Motor Museum welcomed visitors from Easter until October, seven days a week.

Admission was two shilling and six pence for adults and one shilling for children.

Refreshments were available from an annexe, which provided a good view of the Sunderland flying boat – owned and operated by the original Sunderland Trust.

In the early 1980s the Museum closed and there was a major sale, conducted by Sotheby’s, of the contents.

Subsequently the chapel was sold and, as history records, became derelict and vandalised.

It was subsequently purchased by Pembrokeshire County Council and restored to its former glories, enabling the present-day Sunderland Trust to establish the Heritage Centre, which currently is open Mondays to Fridays, 10 am to 4 pm.