THE ROYAL CHARTER
”The Royal Charter disaster was the worst shipwreck
in Welsh maritime history.”
According to a statement by Mr Rod Pace,
Moelfre RNLI Lifeboat Station’s Operations Manager,
This is the nightmare tale of a ship that was torn to shreds by a 112 mile an hour hurricane storm and ripped apart on the rocks just north of Moelfre in the early hours of October 26th, 1859.
Hundreds of lives were lost in terrifying weather conditions oh so close to the Moelfre shore. Close enough for a Breeches Buoy (Bosun’s Chair) to be tied between the already destroyed Royal Charter and the shore.
Before this single lifeline was lost some forty unfortunate travellers, alive and injured were brought to the shore.
Over four hundred people were lost to the storm and the rocks. This despite astonishing courage by members of the community who formed a human chain into the sea.
For more details I refer you to my 150th Year Commemoration to the Royal Charter Disaster. Please Click Here.
A STRIKING SCULPTURE COMMEMORATING THE ROYAL CHARTER DISASTER
A visit to the Moelfre Seawatch Centre - whether open or not - is an education and a pleasant experience. The Anglesey Coastal Path makes it way right at the edge of the coastline on the seaward side.
The Seawatch Centre is an exhibition that commemorates the Maritime History of Moelfre and the astonishing record of achievement and bravery of the ordinary people who have lived in the community.
As mentioned above the Royal Charter was torn apart on the rocks a few miles north of Moelfre and artefacts that bear testimony to its destruction can be found, including a piece of its iron hull.
For more information about Moelfre Seawatch Please Click Here.
Walk around to the right of the Seawatch Centre it's not only the glory of Anglesey's coastline that will immediately captivate your attention.
Sam Holland's work is not only engaging of the visual senses, but seems to draw you directly into the experience of the Royal Charter Tragedy.
Ms Holland's commissioned sculptures for the RNLI demonstrate a very deep understanding of the values of the organisation.
Ms Holland has an uncanny ability to 'Nail It'. Ask any elderly Anglesey resident who has visited and stood in amazement at the captured aspect of the late Coxswain Dic Evans.
The late Richard ‘Dic’ Evans was one of Anglesey and the RNLI’s greatest heroes. A few metres away from Sam Holland’s sculptured plates commemorating the Disaster of the Royal Charter’s sinking is her astonishing brass statue of Dic Evans.
The posture and set of his face capture this individual to perfection.
JOSEPH RODGERS - GIUSEPPI RUGGIER
The sculpture commemorative bronze plates were created by Sam Holland and were unveiled by the Operations Director of the RNLI, Michael Vasto.
The two feature plates portray the destruction of the Royal Charter in massive, wild seas and the pays homage to the remarkable courage of the Maltese sailor, Giuseppi Ruggier, who was also known as Joe Rodgers.
It is the panel which portrays Joe Rodgers that fully captures the drama of the event. Jo Rodgers swam and struggled toward shore where he climbed the cliff to the safety of the outstretched hands of Moelfre residents who sought to offer aid.
It was all that they could do, because the sea was far too rough for the lifeboat to launch. With the rope bound about Joe Rodgers’ waist a Breeches Buoy was established between the stricken ship and shore.
For his outstanding courage Joe Rodgers was awarded the RNLI’s Gold Medal. Such was scale of this maritime tragedy that it captured the British public’s imagination drawing even Charles Dickens to the village.
For more details about Joe Rodgers and the tragedy may I respectfully guide to a webpage designed and written by Raymond Agius Click Here.
The bronze plate opposite that singular, visceral representation of Giuseppi Ruggeri, shows the dying ship as no more than a toy cast hither and thither by awesome Nature.
It's as if the sea merely indulges Man his passion in a genial and patronising manner. Now and again, Man's hubris is demeaning of Nature, and, like a cobra, she strikes.
She strikes and tears away the very last breath you shall ever possess.
A PLEASANT MORNING IN MOELFRE
The landscape and seascape on Anglesey vary according to the light. And there can be very little more pleasant than passing time in Moelfre on a gentle sunny morning.
The small bay at high tide feels very Mediterranean. A gentle walk along the Anglesey Coastal Path to the north and Lligwy Beach and Traeth yr Ora builds up an appetite for a decent meal inside the bay itself.
You are spoiled by the quality of the welcome in the Kinmel Arms, where you can sit outside with a drink and a snack.
On the hill that you drove or walked down to the bay you'll find Ann's Pantry. This is another lovely place to sit outside and enjoy a cup of tea and a lovely cream cake.
If you fancy eating on the hoof, then you'll find a pleasant little food stand in the carpark.
I usually sit on the wall listening to the lapping of the waves and exchanging pleasantries with other gentle folk.
The synergy of Place and Genial Bonhomie always makes me feel at home.
Learn about the role of LLANALLGO CHURCH.
Visit ROYAL CHARTER CELEBRATIONS PAGE.
Return from Memorial Sculpture to HOME PAGE.