MEMBERS of Gilds of Freemen from across the UK recently visited Pembroke and Pembroke Dock.

The occasion was the 51st Annual General Meeting of the Association of Freemen of England & Wales, organised and hosted by the Gild of Freemen of Pembroke.

The event at the Cleddau Bridge Hotel was attended by some 130 people representing 17 Gilds across England & Wales.

Deputy Mayor of Pembroke, Councillor Linda Brown, opened the AGM by welcoming members to the area.

A welcome dinner was held on the Friday when a short talk was delivered by Councillor Rose Blackburn. The Pembroke & District Male Voice Choir received a rapturous response to their performance on the Saturday evening prior to a grand banquet. Among the guests present were the Deputy Lieutenant, Martin Green; the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Susan Balsom; the Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor Paul Harries; the Deputy Mayor of Pembroke, Councillor Linda Brown; the Bishop of St Davids, The Rt Revd Joanna Penberthy; the Bishop’s Chaplain, The Revd Canon Paul Mackness.

During the weekend the Freemen, Burgesses, and their spouses also enjoyed visits to Pembroke Museum and the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre.

On the Sunday a special service was held at St Mary’s Church Pembroke conducted by The Revd Canon Roger Jones, Chaplain to the Gild of Freemen of Pembroke, and the address was delivered by The Rt Revd Joanna Penberthy, Bishop of St Davids. Following the service presentations and a luncheon took place at Pembroke Town Hall.

“It has been an honour for us to host this demanding, but most enjoyable, weekend,” said Roy Folland, Master of the Gild of Freemen of Pembroke and Warden of Gilds in Wales, “and we are grateful to the Cleddau Bridge Hotel, Pembroke Town Council and Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre for their help in enabling us to present a wide and varied programme.

“All members attending have been fulsome in their praise of the wonderful and warm welcome they have