Hook is a peaceful and characterful village with an intriguing and unique history.
Nowadays there is virtually no visible trace that would indicate that there was a time when the village of Hook was part of the industrial heartbeat of Pembrokeshire, producing thousands of tons of top-quality anthracite coal that was exported to many exotic corners of the world.
The village gets its name from the meandering bend in the river Cleddau over which the village stands sentinel. The river has played an integral part in the development of the village as ships docking at the quay would have arrived to transport coal all over the world. The river is also the scene of the much photographed and written about ‘compass net fishing’. A fascinating form of fishing which was introduced to the area by two West Country miners who found employment in the colliery.
Hook was first recorded in the 13th century when there is a tale of storm battered Spanish sailors landing at Hook and on seeing the smokeless coal realised its potential for smelting.
Life was a struggle as villagers had to fight tooth and nail to obtain a school to avoid their children walking miles in all weathers to neighbouring Llangwm.
For decades, authorities refused to construct a road to the village. Doctors refused to answer calls after dark and to get to the market town of Haverfordwest one had to walk-through ankle-deep mud. Finally, thanks to their indomitable spirt the Local Council capitulated and in February 1921 the road from Freystrop Cross to Hook was formally opened.
Over the years, the coal industry developed but for many years workers endured appalling conditions. The colliery eventually closed in after the Second World War, in 1946.
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