Britain’s Yankee Whaling Town

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Only one liner actually made the trip. In 1889 the City of Rome arrived at Milford Haven carrying Barnum’s circus. The 134 passengers had to be transferred by tender because the anchorage was too shallow, and despite euphoric noises from the local business community the experiment was never repeated. The London Financial News said unkindly: “Milford has been the port of the future for so long that it is surely time that the future took account of the limitations of the present.”

In the 1960s, oil—crude rather than whale—again came to the rescue. Scores of giant storage tanks are located near Milford Haven, and major American and British oil companies provide much of the region’s employment. They intrude upon, but in no way spoil, the soft beauty of the landscape.