This book is the fourth in a series which covers the history and social background of the hotels, taverns and inns that have existed throughout Pembrokeshire.
In this volume all existing hostelries in north Pembrokeshire from the just to the west and north of Haverfordwest across to the coast are included, along with many that have come and gone. The ﬁrst chapter covers the attitude of St. David to alcohol, and the ironic impetus that pilgrimage to his shrine gave to the requirements for drinking places; explains the difference between ale-houses, inns and taverns; tells of the numerous shebeens; the changes in legislation over the years; the rise of the temperance movement and the more hard-line teetotallers who often petitioned successfully for the closure of inns; and the more recent changes to the type of customers who frequent pubs.
Each following chapter then takes a geographical area, telling the history of its various hostelries, with stories of landlords and of strange goings on. There is the tale of a pub that provided space for the local dentist to conduct his business which resulted in an argument as to whether the dentist should pay rent, or whether the beer drunk by those waiting to see him provided sufficient return. Ghosts feature fairly frequently, perhaps the most odd being that of a smoker who declares his presence with puffs of smoke. Elsewhere, one shebeen tried to get around the letter of the law by giving its beer away free, the landlady instead charging customers for having to polish the bench on which they sat.
Keith Johnson was born in a Pembrokeshire pub — the Carew Inn, where his parents were licensees in the 1950s. He has spent most of his working life as a journalist in west Wales, either on the Western Telegraph or the Carmarthen Journal, and currently combines freelance writing with editing Pembrokeshire Life magazine. He lives in the tiny hamlet of Pisgah, close to Cresswell Quay (and the Cresselly Arms).
Paperback | 256 pages | 234 x 156 mm | 2010
Over 230 b&w illustrations