Posts Tagged ‘The Swan Inn’

The Swan Inn, George Street, Pontnewynydd.

November 7, 2012


Yesterday I received a comment from Andrew Palmer of Bristol. He said:

“I have an old postcard of a pub called the Swan Inn, landlord Frederick Harvey, circa1920 which I am trying to identify as to its location. I can forward a scan of the card if you let me have an email address. There is a large party of people outside plus a vehicle but the upper floor of the building is visible plus the signage. It is on a corner site.”

The Swan Inn, George Street, Pontnewynydd

I followed this up with a visit to the Frith website and saw a message by Sarah Vann, together with a photo of George Street, Pontypool. She said her great grandfather, Frederick Harvey, was the beerhouse keeper and that her grandfather, Arthur James Harvey, was born in the Swan. I wrote to her via the Frith site to point out that the photo was of the wrong George Street. The Swan was in George Street, Pontnewynydd. My grandparents and my father lived in the same street many years ago.

Today I received another email from Andrew Palmer with a scan of the photograph of the Swan. Andrew said:

A friend of mine Nigel Bowen has found a reference in the 1911 census to a Fred Harvey as licensee of the New Swan Inn, George Street, Pontnewynydd, Nr.Pontypool and I wondered if my unidentified postcard was this property. The brewery is Bristol United Beers and I wondered if they operated as far out as Pontypool. The men on the image appear to have daffodils in their buttonholes and the signboard shows the licensee as Frederick Harvey.”

I tried to enhance the photograph a bit on my computer and
selected this section showing the sign above the door.
You can clearly see the name of the licensee  “Frederick Harvey”.
I wonder what is significant about the teddy bear.

Some while ago, one of my postings on this blog referred to the Swan Inn. I said:


A friend of mine recently asked whether I had a photograph of the Swan Inn, Freehold Land, Pontnewynydd. He wants one for his father who actually does have a photograph of the Swan but there are so many people standing outside it that the building itself can scarcely be seen. He tells me that the building no longer exists.

So if any visitor who lives, or used to live,  in the Freehold Land or George Street area has a photograph of the Swan Inn I should be delighted to hear from them. If no photograph is available it would be helpful to know where the inn used to be.”

I don’t recall the name of this enquirer but, from all the foregoing, it seems that this is definitely a photograph of the Swan Inn, George Street, Pontnewynydd.

As a result of a comment by Lionel Barrell we now have the exact spot where the Swan was located. He says:

“‘The Swan’ was about 200yds up George St., on the right, from the ‘Pavilion’ cinema.   My great-aunt Edie was the land-lady in the 1940s and I remember going there with my mother.  Edie, my maternal grandfather’s sister, had the maiden name Haysum but I don’t know her married name.   Her daughter, Dorothy, married Elvet Baker.   I don’t know when Edie took over the pub but I tend to think it was pre-war, I seem to think she was well-established when I was there.”

I hope this satisfies the enquiries of Andrew, Sarah and my unremembered enquirer. It seems as complete a picture as we are likely to get unless any visitors who lived in Freehold Land during the 1930s and 1940s have anything more to add or any further photos.