The Construction of Swansea Kings Dock
Cutting the first sod
In the early hours of Wednesday 20th July 1904 the Royal Yacht ‘Victoria and Albert’, accompanied by the Royal Navy cruisers ‘Dido’ and ‘Juno’ and the torpedo boat ‘Leda’, arrived in Swansea Bay. On board were King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra who had made the journey to Swansea where the King was to perform the ceremony of ‘cutting the first sod’ of the new Kings Dock. Later that same morning the Royal Yacht entered the Prince of Wales Dock where the King and Queen disembarked, and where they were formally welcomed on the quayside by Viscount Windsor, Lord Lieutenant of Glamorgan, and Mr. Griffith Thomas, Mayor of Swansea and Chairman of the Swansea Harbour Trust.
After several speeches and formal addresses the King was invited by Griffith Thomas to cut the first sod of the proposed new dock, and to allow it to be called ‘Kings Dock’ in his honour. After the ceremony, during which Griffith Thomas received a knighthood from the King, the Royal couple rode in an open carriage past the cheering crowds that lined the festively-decorated streets of the town. The King and Queen departed from Swansea aboard the ‘Victoria and Albert’ the following morning.
Links to photographs showing the construction of the Kings Dock:
All photographs in this section are taken from the Gareth Mills collection