While Saundersfoot is today a renowned holiday resort, it began as a small fishing village which by 1800 had become a thriving coal port, the harbour and railway where constructed in 1829 to provide rail and sea links for the collieries.


The Williams family have had a long association with the coal mining industry with Willie William’s mother being employed at the coal offices which today is Saundersfoot’s information centre and Joan’s grandfather, Frank Johns was also an engine driver.

In 1971 Joan and Tom Griffiths had the forsight to develop Swn-y-don and the adjacent cottage to build Waters Edge, since this date Waters Edge has been run as a family business with many returning guests who are as much a part of  Waters Edge as the Griffiths family.

The 4 foot gauge Saundersfoot Railway was built to carry primarily coal in the developing Daucleddau coalfield where Saundersfoot was rapidly developing as an industrial centre, by 1846/7 collieries were using the line. It was the first railway in Pembrokeshire and remained independent until the end. It consisted of two main mineral lines and a number of small branches and was originally worked tramway style by pairs of horses pulling 3 loaded drams. One main line connected Stepaside/Kilgetty Collieries & Ironworks (a mile east of Kilgetty railway station) to Saundersfoot Harbour, running along the coast through a series of 3 tunnels. In Saundersfoot itself the Street now known as The Strand was originally Railway Street where it passed through the town.

During this industrial period,  Willie Williams, father of  Joan Griffiths drove the Rosalind Steam engine from the coal mines through the three tunnels pulling drams full of coal to the harbour in Saundersfoot.  Joan and her sisters grew up on Railway Street in Swn-y-don with the steam engine being  a part of their daily lives.





Quay colliery train tunnel
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