Friday 31 March 2017

Now and Then, former South Wales Railway Inn, Cardiff

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the South Wales Railway Inn dates back at least to 1855. The address was West Wharf as the canal ran in front of the pub where St Mary Street is today. What is more remarkable is that this building is still standing although no longer trading as a pub.

Thursday 30 March 2017

Now & Then, the former George Hotel, Bute Street, Cardiff

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the George Hotel, 138 Bute Street, Cardiff was demolished sometime before 1975 and housing was built on the site

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Coffee grows Brains profits

S A Brain & Co Ltd has announced operating profit up by 23% to £5.5m, as turnover grew by 7% to £135m, for the financial year ending October 1, 2016.
Sales increases were largely the consequence of continued growth of the group’s award-winning Coffee#1 business, which grew by 28% following the opening of 14 new stores, and underlying growth in existing stores.
The company’s managed pub estate grew by 3% in total compared to the previous year, and by 1.5% on a like-for-like sales basis, outperforming the overall national pub market by about 0.8%.
Chief executive, Scott Waddington, said: “A wide number of initiatives were undertaken across the business during the year as we implement our five-year plan. I have been pleased with the progress that has been made in the last 12 months and delighted by the customer reaction to our pub developments, coffee shops, new food offers and beers.
“The opening of 14 new coffee shops, the development at The Dock Bar & Kitchen in Cardiff Bay and the brewing of Phonics, in collaboration with the Stereophonics, have been particular highlights.
“Everyone across the company worked extremely hard on managing the development of the business during the year and I would like to thank them all for their efforts. We recognise that our people are the key to our success and we have continued to invest in training and development for both our head office and retail teams.”
More than £6m was invested in the company’s managed pubs, including £1.2m in the Dock. Sales were boosted by strong growth in food of 5%. Pub operating costs were 0.5% lower than prior year, despite continued investment in staff development, marketing and the additional costs resulting from the introduction of the National Living Wage.
Coffee#1 was named coffee chain of the year at the CafĂ© Life Awards for the seventh time in eight years.
                          Letting agreement
Underlying sales across the leased and tenanted pub estate were down by just over 1%, while rationalisation continued with the sale of 13 commercially unviable pubs.
The year saw the successful introduction of the company’s new letting agreement, tenant support packages and pricing initiatives. Thirteen new agreements were signed during the year and six major pub redevelopment schemes were undertaken.
Sales of Brains’ portfolio of ales followed a wider consumer trend for more moderate alcohol consumption, with sales of Brains beers down on the prior year. However, The Rev James range, comprising Original, Gold and Rye, continued to grow, with sales increasing by 20% in the year. Total volume through the brewery increased by 8%, mainly driven by contract brewing for Heineken. This contract came to an end in March 2017.
John Rhys, chairman of S A Brain, said: “The year saw good progress being made across many of the fundamental areas of the business and it is encouraging to see the significant improvement in operating profit”.
“We invested significantly in the fabric of our managed pub estate at a level ahead of our business plan in order to continue to improve our guests’ experiences. Through our new agreements and an enhanced level of investment in our leased and tenanted pub estate we are now seeing real growth potential, whilst Coffee#1 expanded further in terms of store numbers, sales and profit contribution.”

Now and Then, former Glamorgan Hotel, Cardiff

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Glamorgan Hotel stood on the corner of North Church Street and Canal Parade in Cardiff

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Now and Then, former Union Hotel, Abersychan

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Union Hotel, corner of Union Street and Broad Street, Abersychan, demolished for road widening and a car park. Union Street has been diverted to the left of the picture today.

Monday 27 March 2017

Now and Then, former Railway Bar, Aberdare

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Railway Bar Hotel, on the corner of Commercial Street and Duke Street, Aberdare, is now a Co-Op Bank.

Sunday 26 March 2017

Now and Then, former Heathcock Inn, Aberdare

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Heathcock Inn, Aberdare was situated on 'Heath Corner', the junction of High Street and Seymour Street. The pub and the surrounding buildings were demolished in the 1970s for road widening and to build St Mary's Day Centre.

Saturday 25 March 2017

Now and Then, former Cwmneol pub, Cwmaman

The former Cwneol pub, Fforchamen Road, Cwmaman, Aberdare. An inn on this site is marked on the 1881 map. This former Rhymney Brewery pub appears to have been demolished in order to widen the road.

Friday 24 March 2017

Now and Then, former Ivorites pub, Aberbeeg

The former Ivorites pub in Aberbeeg was named after a Victorian friendly society and was owned by Rhymney Brewery. The pub was demolished to widen the Cwm to Aberbeeg Road

"At the centre of Aberbeeg was the brewery, Webb's Welsh Ales, and, at the front of
it, the Hanbury Hotel. In my mind, I was able to use this pub before its "oldness" was
ripped out before the brass and copper, and the old smokers' chairs and the mahogany bars were replaced with plastic and polystyrene, Formica and chipboard.
The other pub in the village was situated about 150 yards to the north, at the entrance to a small narrow side valley called Cwmbeeg Dingle. The meeting of the brook which flows down the dingle and the River Ebbw gives us the name Aberbeeg. The pub was called The Ivorites after a friendly society of the Victorian period.
It was demolished to make way for the re-routing of the Cwm to Aberbeeg road. My parents often took us there and we would sit outside in the summer sunshine, the corners of our mouths
burning from the salty, greasy, scrumptious crisps, and then a sip from a lemonade that 
actually contained essences of lemons.!

Thursday 23 March 2017

Now and Then, Railway Inn, Pencoed

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Railway Inn, Pencoed, is now known as the Chatterton Arms

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Now and Then, former Griffin Inn, Rudry

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Griffin Inn, Rudry, Glamorgan, is now a private residence called, "The Old Griffin". Situated next door to St James' Church, the pub was reputed to have had medieval origins

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Now and Then, former Blandy Arms, Ogmore Vale

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Blandy Arms, High Street, Ogmore Vale has been converted into a private house

Monday 20 March 2017

Now and Then, former Ogmore Valley Hotel, Ogmore Vale

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Ogmore Valley Hotel, Commercial Street, Ogmore Vale, has been converted into flats.

Sunday 19 March 2017

Now and Then, former Halfway House, Pengam

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Halfway House, Glan-y-Nant, Pengam, Mid-Glamorgan was situated on the bottom of Pengam Street and the road leading to Pengam Railway Station. Unusually , Pengam straddled two former counties, Monmothshire and Glamorganshire with a railway station in both of them!

Saturday 18 March 2017

Now and Then, Former White Swan Llandewi Rydderch

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, The White Swan, on the B4233, Llandewi Rydderch, Monmouthshire,
Appears not to have had a bar when open:
"there has been three public houses that have traded in this locality with out a bar ie. the Cupids / White Swan / and the tump Tavern and when these pubs had cards and darts nights the public used all the rooms available within the dwelling"

Friday 17 March 2017

Now and Then, former Court Arms, Merthyr Tydfil

The former Court Arms was on the corner of High Street and Swan Street in Merthyr Tydfil. Demolished to widen the road. The building to the right of the photographer with the projecting window was also a pub, the Eagle.

Thursday 16 March 2017

Now and Then, former Sea Laws Hotel, Ogmore-by-Sea

 The former Sea Lawns Hotel, Slon Lane, Ogmore-by-Sea, Bridgend. Another ex-Rhymney Brewery pub, demolished somewhat controversially in 2012  Street View shows the hotel was already closed and boarded up back in 2008.

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Now and Then, the former Tre-Ivor Arms, Merthyr Tydfil

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Tre-Ivor Arms, Lower Row, Penywern, Merthyr Tydfil, has now been converted into flats.

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Now and Then, The Lamb at Penyrheol

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, The Lamb at Penyrheol, Pontypool has been closed for the last 6 years despite their website still being up

Monday 13 March 2017

Now and Then, Lord Nelson, Pontlottyn

The Lord Nelson, Heol Evan Wynne, Pontlottyn is still open as a pub, above as a Rhymney Brewery pub and below as a Whitbread pub

Sunday 12 March 2017

Now and Then, the former Glamorgan Arms, Abercanaid

The former Glamorgan Arms, High Street, Abercanaid, Mid-Glamorgan is now a private residence. Another old Rhymney Brewery pub with the famous Hobby Horse sign.

Saturday 11 March 2017

Now and Then, former Glantaff Inn, Troedyrhiw

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Glantaff Inn, Troedyrhiw, Mid-Glamorgan was originally known as the Glantaff Hotel and was demolished in the 1970s.

Friday 10 March 2017

Now and Then, Ye Olde Salutation, Weobley

Ye Olde Salutation, Weobley, Herefordshire was one of Rhymney Brewery's ventures into England. The pub is still open

Thursday 9 March 2017

Now & Then, former Red Hart, Llanvapley

The former Rhymney Brewery pub. the Red Hart, Llanvapley, Monmouthshire, was turned into a private residence without planning permission some years ago.
From Wickipedia:
"The current owners closed the pub in 2002 and applied for change of use to a private house . This was turned down by Monmouthshire County Council The owners appealed to the Welsh Assembly and the appeal was turned down in 2004. The pub was boarded up for a short period after this. Prospects of the pub reopening have not changed since 2004 but the current economic conditions have improved as shown by the success of other local pubs such as the Hogs Head and Warwicks. The owners of the pub applied for a certificate of legal development in 2011 but were once again unsuccessful. The Owners of the Red Hart have subsequently and more recently submitted an application to build 3 houses on ground to the rear of the pub and this further planning application is pending.
The closure of the Red Hart occurred around the time of the closure of three other local pubs, The Hostry Inn, in Llantilio Crossenny, The Halfway House, in Talycoed, and The King's Arms, in Llanvetherine. The Halfway House reopened in summer 2007 and is now known as Warwicks. Being a rural community the pubs in this area are the heart and soul of the villages, providing villagers with socialisation, inclusion and improving relations and quality of life. The villagers feel strongly regarding the closure of the pub and would like the Red Hart re-opened for the benefit of the people of Llanvapley and surrounding areas as well as visitors to the area. Those with a very long memory will remember The White Swan, a pub once situated 1 mile outside the village towards Abergavenny, which for many years now has been a private dwelling. Llanvapley is situated on the old main road from Abergavenny to Monmouth, hence the once abundance of pubs along this route to quench the thirst of herders and farmers going to market."

UPDATE: The Red Hart reopened in late 2019 after a closure of 17 years! Follow them on Facebook, or better still visit when you have the chance!

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Now and Then, former Stuart Hotel, Treherbert

The former Stuart Hotel, Treherbert has been demolished and a car park stands in it's place at the moment. Another former Rhymney Brewery pub.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Now and Then, former Beaufort Arms PH, Rhymney Bridge

The former Rhymney Brewery pub, the Beaufort Arms PH, Rhymney Bridge, now a private residence called "Beaufort House"

Monday 6 March 2017

Now and Then, The Crown Inn, Raglan

The Crown Inn, Raglan, Monmouthshire. This picture dates from the 1970s when this former Rhymney pub was owned by Whitbread.

Taken from Raglanpedia:
For at least 180 years The Crown Inn has hosted clubs and events but none as exciting (and upsetting) as the 'Navies Riot of 1856'. The Navies were building the new Railway through Raglan. They didn't always get along with the locals. The fight started at the Crown Inn but engulfed the whole village before it was over.
Sergeant Beswick, Superintendent of Police in Raglan Division reported: about 7 o'clock last Saturday night I was sent for to the Crown inn, at Raglan, and I went there in company with railway police constable Clark; we found two men fighting in the passage. We separated the combatants a great number of navvies came into the street, and with fearful shouts commenced an attack upon us with stones' When the police interfered two of the navvies ran to the Ship inn, which was full of navvies; there came out from 40 to 45 navvies, who immediately commenced an attack upon the police. Beswick continues, 'I then sent for my cutlass, and the Irish retreated up the street; on their way up, they threw stones at every one whom they met, breaking a great number of windows and creating a great disturbance; assisted by a great number of constables, and by several of the inhabitants, we drove them out of the village. Fearing that lives would be lost, I desired the party to halt opposite the church'. The inhabitants of Raglan were in a state of great terror and excitement.'
Things weren't always this exciting at the Crown. The more common activities were meetings, dinners, and celebrations. Such a treat was the Raglan Club Feast for members of the Friendly Society that was headed by the Clytha and Llanarth band, playing lively airs to accompany them to church services followed by an 'excellent dinner' that lasted into the night.
During World War II, The Royal Veterinary Corps were stationed in the village at the Crown Hotel and Beaufort Hotel stables. Spencer, Graham (b.1934) (of Kings Head Inn) was often seen there talking about the injured horses.

A few years ago, the "N" of "Crown" had fallen off and the Brew Wales editor thought this pub was called the Crow!
The building to the left of the Crown was also a pub, the Kings Head Inn and lasted from 1820 until 1928, when it became a butchers shop which it still is today.

Sunday 5 March 2017

Now and Then, Railway Hotel, Pontypridd

The Railway Hotel, 132-133 Broadway, Pontypridd, as it was as a Rhymney Brewery pub, it is now known as The Railway Inn. It had been previously known as "The Golden Age" and was shut for a while.

Saturday 4 March 2017

Now and Then, Red Lion, Llangorse

The Red Lion, Llangorse, Powys, a former Rhymney Brewery pub, still trading as a pub and recently owned by CH Marlow, the company behind the now defunct Breconshire Brewery

Friday 3 March 2017

Now and Then, Cottage Inn, Llandeilo

The Cottage Inn, Pentrefelin, Llandeilo, a former Rhymney Brewery pub, has been extended since these black and white photos were taken, the extension now dwarfs the original building!

Now and Then, Torbay Inn, Llandeilo

The Torbay Hotel, 27 Heol Cennen, Ffairfach, Llandeilo, is now known as the Torbay Inn and this former Rhymney Brewery pub is now owned by Brain's Brewery. There's more information about the pub on the CAMRA What's Pub page than on the Brain's brewery page. The pub sign used to show the eighteenth century Naval ship HMS Torbay, perhaps there was a local connection with one of it's crew as there does not seem to be any other local connection with the seaside town?
A pint or two of Brains beer is recommended here as the locally-brewed ales available elsewhere in the town are very poor quality.

One of Cardiff's oldest pubs to have Wendyballl makeover

The former Dempsey's Bar at 15 Castle Street in Cardiff is to have a makeover and reopen as 'Elevens Bar & Grill' a Wendyball-themed bar. A pub on this site is recorded back in 1731 when it was known as the Globe, there is a building on this site on the corner of Castle Street and what is now called Womanby Street on John Speed's map of 1610 so it may have older origins. The pub has previously been known as Duke's and the Four Bars before being turned into the Plastic Paddy Palace known as Dempsey's.
Interview with some Wendyball player called Gareth Bale below

Thursday 2 March 2017

Now and Then, Tower Hotel, Jersey Marine

 The Tower, Jersey Marine, Swansea has been given something of an extensive makeover since these photos were taken in what appears to be the 1970s. The former Rhymney Brewery pub is shown in it's Whitbread livery in the photos but today it's known as The Towers Hotel and Spa.

 The tower itself was built in the nineteenth century as a camera obscura and after lying derelict for years has been converted into the bridal suite for the hotel.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Now and Then, Griffin Inn, Hendreforgan

The Griffin Inn, originally the Griffin Hotel, Hendreforgan is an isolated former Rhymney Brewery pub that has been in the hands of the same family since 1961, shortly after the above photo was taken. Its remote location is due to the existence of an exploratory coal shaft close by, as well as the railway running through the valley, so the coal board applied for a license on a building they owned. Although the exterior has changed, the interior still has nineteenth century fittings and the pub is listed on the CAMRA Historic Pub Interior database


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