What’s Going On?
The Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre hosts throughout the year exciting fun events and exhibitions suitable for a variety of audiences that bring our collection, and local history to life. We believe that by making history fun for all ages, we aid learning…just don’t tell the kids that whilst they’re visiting us and enjoying themselves they will also be learning at the same time.
Come and see our permanent Millennium Falcon Exhibition!
Our exhibition ‘The Millennium Falcon – The Last Ship Built in the Royal Pembroke Dockyard’ was made possible thanks to £8,000 funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The permanent installation tells the story of the building of the original iconic Star Wars starship in the town in 1979 for the Oscar-winning film The Empire Strikes Back. This includes many photographs, unique film of the construction in 1979 – not seen in public before – and a detailed sectioned model of the stages of construction of the original.
(Please note that we do NOT have the full-sized original or a full-sized copy of the Millennium Falcon at the Heritage Centre; that was dismantled and disposed of after filming. Also the original would have been too big to fit into the Centre!)
“The worst kept secret in Pembroke Dock”
Craftsmen from a local engineering firm built the model – the first of its type ever constructed, in the Western Hangar – a former RAF aircraft hangar in the town’s dockyard.
“It was the worst kept secret in Pembroke Dock – everybody in the town knew they were building a UFO in the hangar and that period of time and that story is an important part of the town’s living memory” remembers Gareth Mills, trustee of the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust.
“One of the most iconic starships in science fiction history”
The Millennium Falcon exhibition at the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre was built under the watchful eye of local Star Wars expert and enthusiast Mark Williams.
“George Lucas set a new standard in both storytelling and film making with Star Wars and the story of the Millennium Falcon being built in Pembroke Dock was big news at the time. The whole world knew about it, then the story faded into legend.”
“The idea of a town in West Wales making a significant contribution to this incredible story by being the place where one of the most iconic starships in science fiction history was built, creates a mixture of disbelief, awe and pride.”
National Lottery funding
The National Lottery Heritage Fund helped finance a permanent display in the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre about the building of the Millennium Falcon model.
A walk-through display tells the story with photographs, film, models and costumes.
“Pembroke Dock – the birthplace of the first-ever life-sized model of the Millennium Falcon – now has a permanent exhibition for an often overlooked and largely unknown but major Welsh contribution to film and cinema history and popular culture,” said Andrew White, Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales.
“The funding for the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust has been made possible by National Lottery players who raise more than £30 million every week for good causes in the UK. It is just one of the more than 635,000 good causes in the UK that has received a share of over £41 billion raised by National Lottery players since 1994.”
The Millennium Falcon isn’t Pembrokeshire’s only connection to Star Wars. Lynwen Brennan, Lucasfilm EVP and General Manager, is a Pembrokeshire native. “I am so delighted that this wonderful moment and place in Star Wars history will be preserved,” said Lynwen Brennan. “I love that such an iconic, beloved ship was built in the town where my Mum was born and in the county where I grew up, and I’m hopeful this exhibit will become a new destination for fans around the world.”
Events and Talks
Evening Talk at Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre
Thursday 21st September 2023 at 7.15pm
A Free Evening Talk on ‘Flying Britain’s Secret Spyplane’ by Brian King
Evening Talk at Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre
Thursday 26th October at 7.15pm
‘Biplane Swansong – the Supermarine Sea Otter at RAF Pembroke Dock’ by Brian Mitchell
Battle of the Atlantic in Wales 80th Anniversary Commemoration.
Friday May 26th 2023, 10.30 until 12.30.
A parade and service to mark the commemoration of the part played in the Battle of the Atlantic, by the Royal Air Force in Pembrokeshire during World War Two. This event will be held in our grounds and a flypast by a present-day Royal Air Force Boeing P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft is planned, weather and operational requirements permitting. Spectators are welcome.
PLEASE NOTE: The Heritage Centre will be closed to the general public on this day.
A flypast over Pembrokeshire by one of the RAF’s latest aircraft will salute veterans who took part in the Battle of the Atlantic and will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the World War II Campaign.
A P8 Poseidon jet from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland will approach from the west and overfly the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre at precisely 10.30 am.
In wartime RAF Pembroke Dock became the largest flying boat station in the world, operating the famous Sunderland and other types of flying boat. And Pembrokeshire’s many wartime airfields all had, at some stage, a connection with Coastal Command and the protection of the Atlantic convoys from attacks by German submarines.
The Battle of the Atlantic 80th anniversary is being marked nationally and Wales’ focus is upon Pembrokeshire, which made major contributions to winning the battle.
The Heritage Centre team is working closely with the RAF in Wales Team and there will be a wreath laying ceremony at 11 am in the Centre grounds. The public are welcome to witness this short ceremony but the Centre is not open to visitors on Friday.
The flypast is subject to weather conditions and operational requirements and will be made at a minimum height of 1,500 ft due to restrictions over the Haven area. Good vantage points are near the Cleddau Bridge and on the Barrack Hill and it will also be seen from around the Haven Waterway.
Pembroke Dock Falcon Fun Day 2023
Bank Holiday Monday 29th May 2023 11.00 until 15.30.
Come along and enjoy a day of Star Wars inspired events and activities, together with a chance to interact with some costumed characters from the movie franchise. More details to be confirmed soon, see our social media for updates!
Armed Forces Day Service 2023
Saturday June 24th 2023.
A short service of thanks in our grounds, for the work of our Armed Forces on behalf of the Pembroke Town Council. All welcome.
Please note that Heritage Centre will not be open to the public, just the grounds.