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 to order a copy by post £10.00

2 December (1887) First Salvation Army funeral at the cemetery

  • 2 1936 (Wed.) Grand Celebrity Concert at the Pav: Cardigan County School Choir. Conductor: Leslie W. Evans; Bass-Baritone: Idris Daniels; Tenor: Haydn Adams; Soprano: Jennie Evans-Jones; Contralto: Mattie Davies; with Dan Matthews, Pontardulais.
  • 2 1887 (Fri.) First Salvation Army funeral: Thomas Davies,  Mwldan.

6 November (1968) 1st sod cut at site of new Catholic Church (1912) Pav opened

6 1968 (Wed.) 1st sod cut at site of new Catholic Church. Contract of £49, 700


  • Joseph Higgins 1930-32
  • John Tole 1932
  • Wilfred Brodie 1932-3
  • Basil Rowlands 1933-36
  • Thomas Williams 1936
  • Joseph Wedlake 1937-9
  • Thomas Canning 1940
  • James McAniff 1941
  • B. O’Connell 1942-5
  • Phillip Dwyer 1946-7
  • William Andrews 1947
  • Albin Kaltenbach 1947-51
  • George A. Anwyll 1951-9
  • Raymond Joyce (curate) 1951-9
  • John McHugh 1950-61??
  • Arthur Davies 1961
  • Seamus Cunanne 1962-99
  • Augustine Paikkatt 1999-2003
  • Jason Jones 2003-
  • Paul Joseph
  • 6 1912 (Wed.)  Pav (The Pavilion Cinema) opened at 7.30 by the Mayor Ivor Evans. In the interval Cardigan Male Voice Party (conductor H H Evans) sang ‘Martyrs of the Arena’. Admission 3d, 4d, and 6d. Children half-price. Sold to H D Claypole, Pembroke Dock in 1919 and he was responsible for forming the Cardigan Cinema Co. Ltd. First workers: Mechanic operator: Harold Squibbs; Hall and door keeper: Tom White Jones; Pay Box attendant: Fred Mulraine; Pianist: Morien Peregrine; Indoor attendants: John L Griffiths, W Johnson; engineer: Owen Williams
  • 6 1908 (Fri.) Burial of John Conwyson Roberts, 20 Quay St., 67 years old

8 October (1956) John Wayne in Blood Alley in the Pav!

  • 8 1956 (Mon.) Blood Alley  (U) starring John Wayne and Lauren Bacall on at the Pav. In Cinemascope and WarnerColour. Admission prices: 3/4, 2/9, 2/-, 1/3. Tax 1/3 ¾ , 1/0 ¼ , 9 1/4, 3 1/2.

But: “A deduction of from ¼ to 1 ¼ on the various prices is also made towards the financing of British Films. Your Cinema is left with… 1/11, 1/7 ¼,1/2¼, 11d”

3 March (1949) Drama at the Pav

3 1949 (Thurs.) Drama Festival with Ceredigion’s most famous drama groups. Y Pibydd yn y Maes, T. C. Murray; trans. by Nan Davies with Gwmni Aelwyd Aberystwyth; Y Ty ar y Rhos, Amy Parry-Williams with Cwmni Talybont; Adar o’r Unlliw, J. O. Francis with Gwmni Beulah (T. Tegryn Davies). Also two one act plays by St Mary’s Cymry’r Groes: The Other side of the wall, P. M. Bentley; and Uncle Joseph, J. B. Trenwith.

Compere T. Tegryn Davies. Stage organisers : Fred Lewis, Garfield Thomas, Lemuel Morgan.

President : Cllr. W. L. Davies, Pantyderi; Chairman Ald. Hubert M. Davies DL, Chairman of Ceredigion Education Committee.

Doors open at 6.30. Start at 7.00 prompt; 5/- a 3/6 reserved seats; 2/6

Tickets from Nance Jones, Welsh Stores, Phone 191 (in case there are any tickets left!)

Proceeds to Memorial Hall Committee: Cllr. Jenkin Richards JP, mayor, Treasurer Nance Jones; Sec.: J. H. Johns.

1 January (1916) Calennig at the Pav

Happy New Year! Here we go! Gems will be revealed during the year!

  • 1 1916 (Sat.) New Mayor D Timothy James, Gwalia 1st mayor to give the town’s children a free cinema show as a New Year treat (Calennig).
  • 1 1888 (Sun.) Club for gentlemen opened at 22 St Mary’s St.
  • 1 1873 (Wed.) Presentation to Revd Evan Thomas, Bethania on his departure to Carmarthen.
  • 1 1631 (Wed.) Birth of Katherine Phillips, later of Cardigan Priory.