Energy workers’ tribute monument, The Rath, Milford Haven
This artwork was dedicated in July 2013 as a tribute to the energy workers of the Milford Haven waterway, including those who died in oil refinery accidents. A tribute bench was also installed near Pembroke Castle.
Pembrokeshire’s oil refineries were developed in the 1960s and early 1970s in response to the growing size of oil tankers. The sheltered waterway provided unusually deep water for very large ships to unload. The refineries turned crude oil into petrol and other products.
The aerial photos, courtesy of the Welsh Government, show Robeston refinery in 1977 and the waterway with refineries and jetties in 1969.
In 2009 Queen Elizabeth II opened the Liquefied Natural Gas terminal at South Hook for gas imports from Qatar – a strategic investment to balance declining of North Sea gas production.
The monument’s centrepiece is a flame-shaped structure of contrasting bronze and stainless steel. The rough bronze surface was crafted with the touch of many hands, symbolising people working together to process raw materials. The smooth stainless steel provides a mirror in which you can see reflections of energy facilities on the waterway.
Around the plinth you can see a 360-degree depiction of the waterway, energy facilities and distant London (symbolising the markets supplied by Pembrokeshire’s energy sector). Other features to look for include one of the Sunderland flying boats which were based on the waterway in the Second World War. Notice also the wind turbine and biofuel references in the etchings.
The paved area around the centrepiece is shaped as a Celtic cross, where you’ll see depictions of fossilised primeval life forms – symbols of the finite supply of fossil fuels.
The stainless steel pillars memorialise oil refinery workers, including David Sterlini of Tenby, who died at the Pembroke refinery in 1989. The other four pillars relate to workers killed by an explosion at the Chevron refinery in Pembroke in June 2011: Julie Jones of Pembroke and Robert Broome, Andrew Jenkins and Dennis Riley, all of Milford Haven.
The monument was designed by was designed by Greg Hänggi of Chevron and sculpted by Andy Griffiths of Carmarthenshire College. Karl Sedgwick and Matt Long, from the college’s graphic design department, used computer technology to create the plinth image. The monument was funded by the Chevron Corporation, which operated the Pembroke refinery from 2001 to 2011.
Postcode: SA73 3JR View Location Map