‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Midsomer Murders’ actor, Owen Teale, launched the first pub heritage project of its kind at the Prince of Wales, Kenfig near Bridgend for his childhood friend and current landlord, Gareth Maund.
Over 150 guests attended the launch event to celebrate the Pub is The Hub scheme to recognise and celebrate the pub’s incredible rich history; from its beginning as an Inn in the 15th century, its large adjacent vaulted hall has served over the years as a town hall, courthouse, schoolroom and even a morgue!
Local to Kenfig, Owen Teale, the Welsh TV and film actor, agreed to take part in six short films about the history of the pub. His father had been the Mayor of Ancient Borough of Kenfig in the 1970s and served on the committee of trustees for the Kenfig estate. Owen himself used the pub as a regular haunt before he left the area to become an actor and each film involves him telling one of the historic tales handed down through the pub and its customers. Pleased to be involved in the project, he said: “The Prince of Wales embodies a tremendously rich seam of stories with a tradition of storytelling. There is a great generosity of spirit and openness from the whole community making this a most enjoyable project.”
Describing himself as only the eleventh licensee since 1816, Gareth Maund and his wife Julie have run the Prince of Wales for the last nine years and Gareth has thrown himself wholeheartedly into the history of the building and local area. The interior of the pub is a shrine to the local area and its old customers, with photos, maps and ephemera tightly framed on every square inch of wall space.
Gareth contacted Pub is The Hub when he heard that there might be opportunities for funding diversification schemes in Wales and – with the support of the rural development programme ‘Reach’ and its Let’s Innovation Fund – the £10k project has been 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.
Visitors are able to watch the films via a web-based APP available at a special Perspex ‘kiosk’ which surrounds a digital touch screen. The APP also provides details about the history of the pub, the surrounding area, other useful websites and can also be accessed via digital mobile phones through QR codes sited around the pub. See more on YouTube
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.”