Elephants in Eben’s Lane!

Elephants taking a short cut back from the Black Lion to the Netpool Safari Park!
No, seriously just a few elephants wandering around the town trying to promote a circus which had just arrived.
Note the ‘…CUS’ on the poster – lower right of the photograph. c. 1965.
The gentleman on the left was Cyril James (with possibly his wife Kathleen) , who lived in no. 7.

Cardigan People 20: John Weston; Eluned Griffiths

Coach and horses possibly in front of the Black Lion, Cardigan? The gentleman marked with a cross is John Weston, Market Lane (below). Does anyone recognize any of the other passengers? [with thanks to Dr Rhian Davies]
John Weston (centre) (1872–1964), saddler and coachman at the Black Lion.
A group of actors and a harpist. The person standing next but one to the harpist is Eluned Griffiths (below). Does anyone have any information about any of the other characters?
[with thanks to Dr Rhian Davies]
Eluned Griffiths (1917–1938) of the Royal Oak family, Quay St.

Saturday Night at the Black – new book


to order a copy by post £10.00

Cardigan in the Swinging Sixties!
Cardigan in the Swinging Sixties! (front cover)


Cardigan in the Swinging Sixties! (back cover)
Cardigan in the Swinging Sixties! (back cover)

Saturday Night at the Black: Cardigan in the Swinging Sixties. 183pp. with over 100 illustrations, many of which you will not have seen before, by William H. Howells. Price £10. Printed by E. L. Jones, Aberteifi. ISBN 978 1 78280 7698

Is Cardigan ready for this?

It’s a remarkable story! The background is the close connection between some of the town’s characters and those linked with the emerging Liverpool music scene at the time. People like the dramatist Alun Owen, who came to live in St Dogmael’s between 1963 and 1967; Allan Williams, the Beatles’ first manager; Bill Harry, founder and editor of the pioneering Mersey Beat newspaper; Bob Wooler, the Cavern’s famous DJ; and George Melly, who bought a summer house in Pen-y-bryn. This motley crew, with their partners, were warmly welcomed by Frank Aspinall, of the Black Lion, and with their help organised Liverpool bands to play in the Black.

The book contains a complete list of all the groups who played there between 1963 and 1973. At first they came from the Cavern – many via the Kaiserkeller and other Hamburg clubs. Do you remember the visit of Screaming Lord Sutch to Cardigan? What about Rory Storm and the Hurricanes; Ian and the Zodiacs; The Clayton Squares; Vince Earl and the Talismen; Freddie Starr and the Nightriders; Sony Webb and the Cascades; Derry Wilkie and the Pressmen; The Kirkbys; The Masterminds; The Chessmen and The Kinsleys and many more?

Later the groups came from South Wales: do you remember James Hogg, The Iveys; Haverson Apricot; Peter Shane and the Vikings – and let’s not forget local groups including Ricky and the Raiders and Strawberry Maize?

Every Saturday night over 200 teenagers flowed into the town from a wide area of Cardiganshire, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire to dance, to listen to music and to enjoy.

But not everyone was happy with these developments. Parents warned their offsprings not to go near such a place, and the respectable town councillors were unhappy that the Black gave the town a bad image.

Cardigan has not seen anything like this before or since.

Read the truth about the connection of the Beatles with the local Eisteddfod!

Read about the close link between ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and St Dogmael’s.

You’ll be surprised to read the candid memories of those who were a part of the scene.

Available in bookshops NOW £10.

or email netpool1960@gmail.com to order a copy by post £10.00

25 July (1964) Freddie Starr & Midnighters at the Black.

  • 25 1964 (Sat.) Freddie Starr & Midnighters appear at the Black Lion.
  • 25 1901 (Thurs.) T. M. Daniel commenced a motor car service to NCE in direct competition to the coach. A second car was introduced on 30 July. ‘It looks as if the scheme will be a permanent one’ said the Tivy-side.
  • 25 1876 (Tues.) Brickworks workers annual treat to Gwbert.

18 June (1880) Revd John Williams begins his ministry at Bethania

  • 18 1760 (Sat) 1st official meeting of the Sea Sarjants, in the Long Room, Black Lion.

Revd John Williams (1850–1929)
Revd John Williams  (1850–1929)

  • 18 1880 (Fri.) Revd John Williams begins his ministry in Bethania. He arrived in Bethania from Birkenhead. A native of Llansadwrn, he was a popular minister and a prominent individual in the political life of the town and county. He became a member of the Cardigan School Board in 1882, and a chairman of that body ten years later. In 1895 – a year before the new school opened – he became a chairman of the Board of Governers of the Secondary School and he remianed so until his resignation in 1913. He was elected again in 1929. He became a county councillor shortly after the establishment of the County Council in 1889 and he was a chairman twice, in 1894–5 and again in 1914–15. He was elected alderman in 1916.  He served on almost every committee on the County Council and he was chairman of the education committee for three consecutive years and a chairman of the police committee twice. He was also a member of the Court of Aberystwyth and Cardiff colleges for many years. In 1903 he became a member of the Board of Guardians and from 1911 onwards was the chairman. He was also chairman of the Cardigan and District Education Committee and a chairman of the local Pension committee. He served as a JP for many years.

He also climbed the ranks within the Baptists and achieved presidency of the Baptist Union of Wales in 1905. He was a staunch Liberal and when he died in 1929 the officials of Bethania received a telegram from the former Prime Minister David Lloyd George:

‘Deeply regret to hear of the death of my old friend, Rev. John Williams … It will be a real loss not only to Cardiganshire but to Liberalism throughout Wales.’

Revd John Williams was probably one of the most influential person in Cardigan during the end of the 19th century and the first decades of the 2oth century.

23 April (1964) Visit of Screaming Lord Sutch to the Black Lion

Screaming Lord Sutch
Screaming Lord Sutch

  • 23 1964 (Thurs.) Visit of Screaming Lord Sutch to the Black Lion signalled the beginning of the ‘swinging sixties’ in Cardigan. For more information visit : http://saturdaynightattheblack.wordpress.com/ If you can add to the story please get in touch.
  • 23 1949 (Sat.) Visit of James Callaghan to see his old friend Sylvan Howell.