A Pembrokeshire museum, and the local school community, is set to benefit from a £5,000 grant from a California-based author.

Milford Haven Museum will now be able to engage with local primary and secondary schools as part of a new programme of creative writing workshops, which will see a book published, showcasing their writing.

This comes after a £5,000 donation from Mara Purl, an American author known for her Milford-Haven novels, about a fictional town on the California coast.

The book, which will celebrate local pride, the concept at the heart of the new curriculum, will draw inspiration from the museum’s collection and the town’s rich maritime history.

“I am so thrilled to be able to help this local organization,” said Mara Purl.

“All the proposals were excellent, and my advisory board and I discussed each at length. Ultimately, we feel we can provide the most help to the project we’ve chosen.” 

Cllr Colin Sharp, chair of the trustees at the museum, said: “Thanks to the generosity of Miss Purl, Milford Haven Museum will be able to start an exciting project involving the youth of our town both educating them in the environment and encouraging them to be creative with their writing.

“Enabling them to publish a book of their work will such a special achievement. The Trustees and the Volunteers of the museum would like to thank Ms Purl for her generosity.”

Sue Davies, the museum’s development manager, added: “This funding is helping us to pilot first-class education workshops, which will lay the foundations for a reinvigorated educational mission ultimately for the museum.”

Clerk to Milford Haven Town Council, Barbara Fitzgerald, said: “We’re very pleased that an excellent local project will be fully funded by Ms. Purl’s grant, and we’re delighted to welcome her to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her first visit.”

Mara Purl will present her cheque to Cllr Sharp at Milford Haven Town Hall on Thursday, May 19 at 2pm.

During her visit to west Wales, she will also discuss the workshops at the museum with Sue Davies, the museum’s trustees and Pembrokeshire-based author Nicola Davies.