HRH The Prince of Wales dropped into a Pub is The Hub project at The Prince of Wales in Kenfig, near Bridgend on Friday to the delight of crowds of local school children and customers waving flags and a local male voice choir who burst into song at his arrival.
Staying for over an hour, the Prince took his time to say hello to the assembled crowd before touring the historic 15th Century Inn which has, in its time, been a school room, courthouse and even a morgue! The Prince took some time to chat to the societies who meet at the pub, the trustees who own the pub and even took tea and cake with the ‘girls’ from the ‘Tuesday Club’.
Whilst chatting with members of Pub is The Hub, the Prince asked whether rural pubs were closing at a faster rate than any others and expressed his thanks to Pub is The Hub’s Chief Executive, John Longden and his team for the work they have done so far in supporting pub diversification.
Then, after a half pint of Gareth’s famous draught Bass, he was off through the crowds to a waiting helicopter and away.
A little stunned, but delighted with the day Gareth said of his time with HRH: “Well he was everything that Pub is The Hub said he would be. What a gentleman! What a great day! I cannot tell you of all the nice and good things people have said to Julie and myself today. The visit went without a hitch and will be an experience that we, as a family and community, will remember for the rest of our lives. If it hadn’t been for Pub is The Hub this journey would have never started.”
The Prince of Wales pub boasts of many legends and tall tales linked to the historic site. Keeping those myths and legends going for subsequent generations led to the licensees Gareth and Julie Maund coming up with and launching a pub heritage ‘experience’ at the pub earlier this year. Gareth contacted Pub is The Hub last year for help and they organised £10k funding from the local Bridgend council and its ‘Reach’ and ‘Let’s Innovate’ initiatives, funded by the Welsh Government, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Pub is the Hub Co-operation Project led by Cadwyn Clwyd.
In the first project of its kind in pubs, six short films featuring locally born actor, Owen Teale are available to watch and listen to at a Perspex kiosk in the pub.
Malcolm Harrison, Director for Pub is The Hub commented: “This is a unique and imaginative scheme – a real first for Wales and for pubs – and only goes to show how well pubs are embedded into our history, heritage and cultural psyche. We are grateful to all the agencies involved in funding this project and supporting it with their expertise but this would not have been possible without the tremendously infectious energy shown by Gareth in making this happen.”