Members of Saundersfoot WI enjoyed an illustrated talk on the history of St Catherine's Island, off Tenby.

President Gwen, welcomed everyone to the May meeting. The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed. Dates were noted in the newsletter. The July outing is likely to be a visit to a garden centre followed by afternoon tea. 

Speaker was Tudor Thomas, who gave a slide illustration on the history of St Catherine’s island and Fort. Tudor works as a volunteer on the Island, which is now open to visitors as much as possible, tide and weather permitting. 

The Island has had a varied history. Roman coins and even an Egyptian amulet has been discovered there. A medieval chapel dedicated to St Catherine, giving the island its name, was demolished during the Protestant Reformation and the island left derelict until the nineteenth century, when it was rebuilt 1867-1870 as one of the Palmerston forts that ringed the British Isles.

The islands was demilitarised in 1904 and was then sold to private owners until World War II when it once more became a garrison. The zoo, which some members remembered, arrived in 1968 until 1979, when that closed down.

It was 30 years before St Catherine’s Island and Fort have once more been opened up and become a tourist attraction. 

Jean, who remembered visiting it as a schoolgirl, gave the vote of thanks. 

The raffle prize was won by Val, and the competition for an item with royal connections, was won by Val and Jennifer.

Saundersfoot is a small, informal and friendly group which always welcomes new members.