The Sunderland Trust

Address: The Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre, Pembroke Dock, West Wales, UK
Tel:01646 684220


The editors visit a range of museums and collections they consider to have a connection with Chapman. In particular there is an obvious interest in motoring/motor racing, engineering, aviation, and industrial /product design.

Museums are visited not only to learn from the content but also to study the presentation, levels of interpretation and educational opportunities offered. Also considered is the extent that opportunities are exploited and educational /participation opportunities are created.

The editors have been impressed by the engineering and role of the Sunderland since building scale models in teenage. It was a valuable experience to visit the Trust and related sites in the locality.

The Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre capitalizes and celebrates the Docks two hundred year social, economic and military history.

The Trust is housed within the former Georgian Garrison Chapel in the main historic dock complex which is conveniently located close to the town centre and shops
In particular it is proud of the fact that it was during the Second World War one of the largest flying boat stations. Pembroke Dock facing west out into the Atlantic played a very important role being the station for Sunderland engaged in rescue and anti-submarine activities guarding convoys. The Sunderland and Pembroke Dock played a significant role in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Sunderland T9044 and Pembroke Dock
From the net:

The Short S.25 Sunderland was a British flying boat patrol bomber developed for the Royal Air Force (RAF) by Short Brothers. It took its service name from the town (latterly, city) and port of Sunderland in northeast England.

Based in part upon the S.23 Empire flying boat, the flagship of Imperial Airways, the S.25 was extensively re-engineered for military service. It was one of the most powerful and widely used flying boats throughout the Second World War,[1] and was involved in countering the threat posed by German U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic. RAF Sunderland’s also saw service throughout the Korean War and continued in service until 1959. It also took part in the Berlin airlift. Sunderland’s remained in service with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) until 1967.

Sunderland’s converted for civil use, known as Short Sandringhams, continued in airline operation until 1974. A single airworthy example remains on display in Florida at Fantasy of Flight. A sunken Mark I Sunderland, identified as the Sunderland T9044 of No 210 Squadron, RAF, was discovered in 2000 off the coast of Wales; there are plans to raise it in the near future.

Sunderland T9044 lies on the seabed off Pembroke Dock in Wales.[33] The site is protected, and The Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust aims to recover the aircraft in the future.[34] Certain parts of the aircraft have already been recovered including two engines and one of the machine guns and are on display at the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre.[35] The Heritage Centre is located in the restored Georgian Garrison Chapel where it tells not just the story of T9044 but also that of Wales’ only Royal Dockyard and over 200 years of social, economic and military history.

General characteristics
• Crew: 9—11 (two pilots, radio operator, navigator, engineer, bomb-aimer, three to five gunners)
• Length: 85 ft. 4 in (26.0 m)
• Wingspan: 112 ft. 9½ in (34.39 m)
• Height: 32 ft. 10½ in (10 m)
• Wing area: 1,487 ft² (138 m²)
• Empty weight: 34,500 lb. (15,663 kg)
• Loaded weight: 58,000 lb. (26,332 kg)
• Powerplant: 4 × Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder radial engine, 1,065 hp (794 kW) each
• Maximum speed: 210 mph (336 km/h) at 6,500 ft. (2,000 m)
• Cruise speed: 178 mph (285 km/h) at 5,000 ft. (1,500 m)
• Stall speed: 78 mph (125 km/h)
• Range: 1,780 mi (2,848 km)
• Service ceiling: 16,000 ft. (4,880 m)
• Rate of climb: 720 ft./min (3.67 m/s)
• Wing loading: 39 lb./ft² (191 kg/m²)
• Power/mass: .073 hp/lb. (.121 kW/kg)
• Guns:
o 16× 0.303 inch (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns
o 2× Browning 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) machine gun
• Bombs: various defensive and offensive munitions, including bombs, mines and depth charges carried internally and, some, winched out beneath the wings. Manually launched flares, sea markers and smoke-floats.


The Sunderland was primarily all metal flush riveted construction.

The Editors believe there are other salvaged Sunderland’s at Hendon and Duxford.

The Trust Experience

The exhibits are located in an attractive building which is an invitation itself.

The approach builds expectation.

First impressions are excellent and the building is naturally lit and spacious.

Exhibits are accessible to disabled visitors.

A circular route can be followed. As mentioned there is reference to all the armed services but the material relating to the Sunderland is integrated throughout and possibly will be the main focus for most visitors.

The Trust has an impressive merchandising area close to reception and a wide range of books models and memorabilia are available.

Its early days in the Trusts history and their programme to raise T9044 from the seabed.

As with many museums budgets might limit what can be achieved.



Figure 1.These two postcards on sale at the Trust sum up the charisma of the Sunderland

Exploiting potential

The editors consider that the Trust and the Sunderland have enormous potential.

In order to enhance the visitor experience it is thought possible that the Trust might:

  • Reinforce the connectivity with the dock, water and flying boats by providing viewing platforms to the sea and or a history trail to the water edge or guided tours
  • Provide flying simulators which visitors can use including the attack procedures
  • Floating simulator as many will never have experienced what a flying boat means
  • Provide period film and stills linked to flying boat activities
  • Until T9044 can be raised and restored consider a recreation of parts especially cockpit and fuselage again for purpose of introducing public to reality
  • Explain the logistics of servicing the Sunderland’s i.e. land to sea connections and ferrying
  • There are multiple layered educational opportunities not least in weather, flight navigation , radio, logistics and the significance of the convoys and their role supplying Britain with food and raw materials
  • In-depth connectivity with linked local interests such as Carew historic airfield
  • The promotion of related flying events on the water and around the neighborhood
  • Creation of environmental facilities to support creative media and TV/film opportunities
  • Greater use and presentation[JS1] , accessibility of related archive

The editors accept that there might be budget constraints but some extraordinary volunteering and education opportunities exist. Local tourism and businesses will benefit. Its thought that purpose built simulators could be constructed that would withstand high visitor usage and provide greater educational opportunities imparting experience without damage or risks. These are seen as totally complementary with restored items.

Pembroke Dock offers a ferry connection to Ireland.

Chapman /Lotus & Motor Racing Circuits in Wales

Visitors to the Sunderland Trust might be interested in motor racing sites in the principality.

These include:

  • Llandow
  • Pembray
  • Pendine
  • Anglesey
  • Portmerion

Items in bold are dedicated A&R articles.

The Proposed CCM&EC

The proposed museum believes that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our Business Plan includes provision for promoting products and services which share Chapman’s ideals of mechanical efficiency and sustainability. In addition we propose merchandising that explain and interprets the social and cultural context of Chapman’s designs in period. It’s suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.

In particular we would wish to integrate and support all related museums and collections. The intention is increase and intensify visitor satisfaction, enjoyment and learning opportunities. Support will also embrace exchanges which in term will permit exciting exhibition opportunities.

On line facilities will enable visitors to network, plan, buy, book and order on line.


The Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre/Sunderland Trust has the potential for a very special authenticity .It has made an encouraging start and it’s hoped it can build on its momentum and that the experience will particularly take off with the raising of T9044.