Porthcawl Museum

About Porthcawl Museum

The Porthcawl Museum and Historical Society was founded in October 1972.
Through the enthusiasm of the founder members and the co-operation of Ogwr Borough Council, premises were eventually provided in a part of the Old Police Station.
The Police Station had been built on ground granted to the County in 1881 by Mrs. Mary Caroline Brogden, wife of Mr. James Brogden who was instrumental in developing the docks at Porthcawl. The museum was officially opened in November 1977.

Over the years, through donations and loans, the Museum has amassed in excess of 8,000 items. These include: a documented history of the town and surrounding areas, a wide range of artifacts covering household items, commerce, education, politics, social history and entertainment. Other items include military history and memorabilia from the last century, ceramics, rare local documents, thousands of local photographs, and archaeological items including the Blundell Collection. The second largest costume collection of an Independent museum in Wales, is contained in the upstairs storerooms whilst special items from the Samtampa and Stalheim disasters and the Porthcawl Railway are a significant part of the collection. 

Significantly, as established by Major Harry Judge, the Commanding Officer, before his death, Porthcawl Museum is the only museum that holds the memorabilia of the 49th Reconnaissance Regiment, formed in Porthcawl in 1942. Visitors from Utrecht visit every year to pay their respects to the regiment that helped liberate their town. It is the intention of the museum committee, to display all the items in May 2015, to mark the 70th Anniversary of V. E. Day.

This wealth of objects is meticulously recorded and catalogued according to the procedures laid down by the National Museum of Wales; of which the Museum is an associate member through having achieved Full Accreditation Status through Cymal since 2009.
Accreditation has many benefits – Links with other museums enables items to be often loaned or shared to facilitate richer displays. Moreover, being a charity, the Museum has the option to apply for a plethora of grants, some available through Cymal and CADW.

Porthcawl Museum has always involved itself in the life of the town but no more so than of late. Over the last two years committee members have worked tirelessly to support other organisations in the community, such as the Buckaneer Carnival, Christmas Swim Appeal, a variety of youth groups, Porthcawl Townswomen’s Guild, W.I, U3A, Probus, the Porthcawl Town Orchestra and Church groups to name but a few. Links with schools in Porthcawl are developing with a programme of educational visits being developed for the new school year.
A programme of monthly lectures runs throughout the year, with speakers invited from all over the South Wales area. Members of the Museum also deliver historical lectures to local societies and organisations.

The Museum is visited annually by an assessor for the Welsh Government’s Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme, VAQAS. Although the scheme has changed, becoming more rigid in its criteria, the Museum has maintained the award for the 6th year running. Both Cymals’ Full Accreditation Award and the VAQAS award are proudly displayed at the museum.

Porthcawl Museum has come a long way in its 40 years existence, yet the plans for the future, which are already in the design stage, intend to surpass all expectations, accommodating more interactive displays, video/audio equipment, educational themes and topics, community involvement, field trips, and a greater variety of historical detail

Contact Information

The Old Police Station, John Street, Porthcawl, CF36 3DT

Tel: 07592 448284