Cychod Marwaidd Llangwm – Dead Boats of Llangwm

Llangwm is a small village of approximately 450 properties, adjacent to the River Cleddau, which feeds into the Milford Haven estuary. There’s a lovely slipway into the river, which is known as Black Tar or Black Tar Point, which is illustrative of the days when Pembrokeshire had a large fleet of small fishing vessels that caught herring, the tar was used to keep the small boats watertight.

Llangwm, or Langum, as pronounced by the non-Welsh residents, is a lovely, friendly, creative village with a very strong spirit of community. For example, an annual Scarecrow competition has been held for the past 20-years, with a different theme each year. This competition takes place every summer between the end of June and the beginning of July. Additionally, the villagers produced an award-winning film, which can be seen here. The film documents the settlement of the Flemish following the Norman invasion in the 11th century and was made to raise funds for the restoration of the village’s medieval church.

It was on a walk with my dog that I noticed, what seemed to be, an abandoned and discarded boat on the riverside that nature was attempting to reclaim, but due to the predominantly GRP construction, it was only managing to disguise it with lichen and weeds. As I’m always on the lookout for a possible Flaneur, I continued my walk and took a few Establishing Shots with my phone. I was amazed at the number of abandoned boats and decided to return the next sunny day with my trusty Nikon to photo-document the discarded boats I discovered.

The effects of the early morning sun, and the remains of the overnight frost, was striking. The strong sunlight emphasising the shadows and intensifying the battle between nature, time and the GRP hulls and superstructure to dissolve the vessels into some sort of natural state. One wonders; what will become of all these boats? Will they be reclaimed and made seaworthy again by their owners, or rescued by a benevolent pirate and retuned to sea, or forever languish in the salty mud banks until the end of time?

Additional information obtained from ‘Pembrokeshire Coast’ web site

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