At an event on the 5th September hosted by Terry Davies, the Mayor of Milford Haven, the Lord Nelson Hotel, which is owned and operated by Brains, was presented with a replica of the original Admiral Lord Nelson portrait that hung in the hotel from 1802 to the 1840s.
The presentation of the replica demonstrates the town’s embracing and celebration of its history. Furthermore, a book written and illustrated by John T Morgan, a previous Mayor of the town, that depicts the story of Milford Haven was printed and distributed at the event by the Port of Milford Haven. The event was attended by over 30 people, including the CEO of Brains, Alistair Darby.
Art historian Martyn Downer made the connection between the original portrait and the hotel. Through his work with the Nelson Society, he procured the replica and arranged for its presentation to the hotel, recognising this would help the partnership between The National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Port of Milford Haven to help develop the Haven’s visitor economy. Painted by Italian artist Leonardo Guzzardi, the original painting was in due course gifted to The National Museum of the Royal Navy, and now hangs in the Admiralty Boardroom on Whitehall in London.
In presenting the painting, Martyn outlined Nelson’s well recorded 1802 publicity tour of South Wales, accompanied by his mistress Emma Hamilton and her husband, that included Pembrokeshire stops in Haverfordwest, Milford Haven and Tenby.
Commander Tim Ash, Director of Partnerships at The National Museum of the Royal Navy commented: “I continue to be amazed at the fascination of people with Nelson and I am proud to have been involved in this project. On behalf of the NMRN I would like to thank the Nelson Society for their support and passion for the project.”
Clare Stowell, Director of Tourism at the Port of Milford Haven, who is working with multiple partners to drive forward the telling of Milford Haven’s story is very passionate about the significance of this event: “Not only does this demonstrate the power of collaboration, but it is indicative of the enthusiasm that there is in Milford Haven to tell our stories and share our unique history. By embracing this we will encourage people to choose Milford Haven as a place to visit when exploring Pembrokeshire.”
Cerys Radclifffe, Manager of the Lord Nelson Hotel added: “We are so grateful to be installing this portrait. Having a strong sense of place as a result of our unique history makes great business sense. We have already taken a conference booking for 2020 as a direct result of this event, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Milford Haven.”