Capt. Andrew Cassels, Chairman of the Board was delighted to be asked by the Reverend Andrew Wright of the Mission to Seafarers to formally open the new seafarers' centre in Port Talbot. After many years of campaigning and planning by the Centre Manager, Alwyn Bamford, amongst others, the seafarers' centre moved from its very cramped accommodation to a new building close-by.
This new centre provides almost 7 times the space of the old building which allows the provision of a TV area, a quiet area for reflection and a pool table in addition to a small shop/kitchen area where seafarers can purchase essential items, snacks and hot drinks. The berths at Port Talbot are a long way from the fairly moderate facilities in the town centre making the taxi ride for seafarers prohibitive. Yet for the seafarers that visit Port Talbot a 'run ashore' is just what is needed having sailed from ports as far away as South America and Australia. The new centre is close to the berth area and provides recreational facilities and free Wi-Fi allowing them a short period of repsite before the return on board for a further 4 or 5 weeks to their next load port.
The new seafarers' centre is a great example of what can be achieved by a few dedicated and determined individuals supported by funders, in this case, the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, The Mission to Seafarers and Garfield Weston to mention just a few.
It was Capt. Cassels great pleasure to meet Mrs Beryl Leyshon. An amazing lady who was recognised by the Reverend Andrew Wright for her 63 years' service to the Mission in Port Talbot with a certificate signed by The Princess Royal, patron of The Mission to Seafarers.