HRH The Prince of Wales delighted regulars at the New Inn in Llanddewi Brefi in Ceredigion last week by joining in with the Young Farmers’ cockerel racing in the pub car park – a game where a wooden cockerel is reeled in from behind on string.
The Prince was at the pub as part of his annual visits in Wales and at the invitation of Pub is The Hub, the rural pubs champion. He called in to meet the landlady, Yvonne Edwards and several community groups to learn more about a recent diversification project at the pub to improve local services.
In November 2014 Pub is The Hub completed a project at the pub to extend the back room and install a state-of-the-art sound and Wifi system with drop down screen and projector to create a community meeting room and cinema. Since then the room is used almost daily by groups such as the Women’s Institute, Young Farmers, a Pudding Club for the local PTA, embroidery guild, dominoes club and local artists. It also provides the space for film nights and regular fund raising events. The Women’s Institute were even able to live stream a broadcast from the Albert Hall last June for the NFWI’s Centenary Annual Meeting thanks to the Wifi, screen and projection facilities.
The pub has also set up a book exchange area for customers and sells local produce on behalf of the producers including jams, preserves and chutneys as well as hosting a darts and football team.
HRH spent over an hour at the pub meeting all of the community groups involved and Yvonne was on hand to introduce him to everyone there. Afterwards she said: “I was quite overwhelmed with the impact of the visit today and we will be talking about this for years to come.” Yvonne has run the pub for 26 years, taking over from her mother, the previous landlady.
Malcolm Harrison, a trustee for Pub is The Hub and advisor in Wales added: “Yvonne and the residents from Llanddewi Brefi have really made the most of this great new meeting space at the pub.
“Meanwhile our patron still wholeheartedly supports the work we are doing with rural pubs. He has pulled pints, played pool, thrown darts and even cut someone’s hair in previous visits in Wales but we think that cockerel racing like this is a first!”
The total cost of the project was £13,000 and was part-funded by Ceredigion County Council as part of their Micro Business Investment Fund. For full details see the case study.