Nantlle Valley History

Y Groeslon



This page is a continuation of the author's original posting about the Victoria Hotel, Penygroes, entitled "Just some old memories by Graham Bell ~ November 2006".

  »»  Read the original posting by following this link (there is a link back to this page at the end of the original posting)

"Memories of the Llanfair Arms"

by Graham Bell ~ December 2007

Since posting my Pen y Groes Victoria Hotel Memories, I have had various messages from people who have read them, including one from the daughter of a previous landlord. Additionally please see the following document, which is part of some e-mail correspondence concerning the Llanfair Arms which may kindle more memories from readers.

An old photo taken by my dad or mum of one of the locals showing off his horses outside the pub garage
an old photo taken by my dad or mum of one of the locals showing off his horses outside the pub garage (enlarge this image Internal link: Opens in a new window).

Best Regards,

Dear Graham,
I have just been reading the Nantlle Valley website, just thought I could share my findings with you.

I have been tracing my family tree and in the 1851 census Llandwrog, my great great grandmother Margaret Williams aged 32 years old was married to Owen Williams who worked as a butler in Glynllifon park. Margaret Williams was living at the Llainfair Arms Groeslon, an employer of the inn. She lived at the Llainfair arms with her children which included my great grandmother Ellin aged 2 years old. Margaret remained at the inn for another 30 years. In 1881 Owen and Margaret were 63 and 62 years old, working as innkeeper and farmers of 35 acres.

A few years ago my sister and I visited the pub, though unfortunately the name had changed. We were taken into the cellar which I found fascinating. It seemed amazing that we were in the place of our ancestors.

Do you have any information on the Llanfair arms even stories of the past? Photographs etc I would love to hear.

Yours sincerely,
Linda Magrath.

Hello Linda,
Unfortunately I have been unable to trace any previous landlords of the pub before my father and mother were looking after it. I have checked various census results up to 1901 without much success but will try again with the info you have indicated. I can only relate to when we lived there so----

As you will see from my memories - we as the Bell family, took the pub on from the Brewers Marston Thompson and Evershed of Burton on Trent (note-they do not have any records of pre war tenancy as their files are only from the recent years due to modernisation of their record keeping in the 60's/70's) c1946 until 1953 and my father was landlord and ran the garage + taxi service.
My mother ran the the B&B side of the pub as well as looking after me and my brother and helping out in the bar.

I remember that when I was about 7 or 8 we cleared out the first outbuilding next to the cottage part of the building (the right hand side of the pub looking at the front door)--this had been a stable because it had a cobbled floor and we found an ancient flint lock musket and an old mandolin that both I and my brother played with for many years both unfortunately were lost in time.

The pub in those days, consisted from left to right of the bar, an outdoor snug for off licence take away, a parlour where the old farmers and railway station manager used to drink mulled beers in winter - they would heat up the iron poker in the coal fire and then put it into their pewter tankards of ale to get a "winter warmer".

To the rear of these rooms towards the back garden and railway line, there was a corridor that connected all 3 with access to the gents urinals, cellar trapdoor and the upstairs landing then ran to the right down some 3/4 steps into the living accommodation which consisted of a parlour,living room leading to a small kitchen with access into a tiny yard with outside loo and a coal shed there were some 6/7stone steps up into the large long garden that ran the full length of the property.

To the right of the living accommodation was the stable/store room mentioned above, the garage office and battery charging area a garage for 1 taxi then a small parking area in front of the main garage building where my father did welding and other repairs + garaged the second family car-cum-taxi.

In front of the "office" there was the hand cranked petrol pump with a BP globe on top and later it was replaced by a new fangled electric dispenser with a glass Shell on top.

Upstairs there were 3 bedrooms and a new bathroom that my father made from a box room again all linked via a landing at the rear of the house.

I have no bad memories of living there, only a child's recollections of a great place to play, with all the attractions of a rural country life. Lots of small tales keep coming back such as the "pet" orphan lambs we reared, that mysteriously disappeared when they got big enough and we had chops and roasts at week ends...

One of the ram lambs "Larry", I taught to butt the farmers as they bent over the fire to make their mulled beer... this being great sport for me but not appreciated by one of the farmers who ended 1/2 way up the chimney and Larry was banished from the house to the outside shed during opening hours.

That's it as I remember, if you get any more history, let me know

Best regards,

If you have any more history about the Llanfair Arms, please do let and Graham know by sending e-mails to:

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