27. Jun, 2014

Nowhere to hide!

Think of pirates and one will often think of the Caribbean or some out of the way exotic islands but the coast of Wales was once littered with pirates and their ships.

     Take for instance, the infamous Henry Morgan, Haven-born Howell Davis, William Arthur, John Griffiths, Black Bart and Leaky Porridge. They were all pirates who used the secluded Welsh bays to store or to upload their treasure, probably whisky!

      Leaky Porridge got caught and sent to jail in Tenby, after someone spotted him wearing a captains silver buckle which had been stolen some time before. He only just avoided hanging when he was sent to The Royal Navy instead, as a quartermaster.

      Bays like Brandy Cove, Brandy Brook, Ogof Tobacco, Ogof Whisky (‘ogof ‘ means cave) were named after the piracy that went on, a sort of legacy you could say.

      I heard stories as a child about tunnels that went from farms to the beach which were almost two miles long. And it is here I shall let you into a little secret, I know of one such tunnel! But that is all I can say about that.

      Now during the Spanish Invasion, attempts were made to control the pirates after fear arose about raids being organized by the North African “Barbary Corsairs”. But it was not until the Napoleonic Wars, when Royal Navy ships began to patrol along the coastline that piracy came to an end. But did it ever come to an end? I wonder!