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

29 August (1923) Unveiling the Cenotaph


Remembrance Day 1932: Canon Hamer, David Williams, the mayor, Tommy Jeremiah, one of the mace bearers and other.
Remembrance Day 1932: Canon Hamer, David Williams, the mayor, Tommy Jeremiah, one of the mace bearers and others.


  • 29 1923 (Wed.) A rainy day: Ceremony of Unveiling the Cenotaph by Maj Gen S F Mott, CB at 2.30; Naval contingent was under Chief Gunner Moore RN, and the military under Capt Evan Davies MC. Maj Gen Mott was a guest of Sir Lawrence Jenkins and Lady Jenkins at Cilbronnau. Gen was accompanied to the cenotaph by Sir Lawrence Jenkins SC, Grismond Phillips, Cwmgwili, W. Picton Evans and Glodydd Jenkins son of Sir Lawrence.

Procession was headed by naval and military guard of honour, followed by local Scouts and Girl Guides, relatives of the fallen carrying floral offerings, Mayor of Cardigan, Ald Dan Williams, attired in his robes and chain of office, along with mace bearers, members of the Town Council, local magistrates, ministers of religion, and the general public.


27 July (1885) Monthly Markets at Pensarnau began.

  • 27 1885 (Mon.) Monthly Markets at Pensarnau began. Posters and handbills circulated by N. W. Mitchell, Town Clerk.  When the railway arrived in 1886 an attempt was made to advertise the marts:

Here is Ysgawenydd, the local poet:

 The markets of late have suffered in town

Thro’ the want of conveyance close to the ground

Now the train is convenient and not far away

To carry the stock away the same day.

Good number of hurdles are here to keep,

Some for the cattle and some for the sheep.

And stables close by, and stalls all complete,

And corn, if required, or good hay to eat.

30 June (1950) Councillor resigns – ‘no boxing here’

  • 30 1950 (Fri.) Clr Rosina Davies resigns from the Town Council because the Cardigan Boxing Club wished to use the Council’s Meat Market. Revd  Rosina Davies was born at St. Dogmaels, and later moved to the Rhondda Valleys. She was baptised  on 27 August  1911 and began preaching that evening. She was pastor at Bryn Seion, Cwmtwrch, 1926–8, where she was ordained. She returned to St Dogmaels in 1930 with her widowed mother. She was assistant minister Blaenwaun 1930–40, and similarly at Bethania, 1941–60. In 1933 she married David Evan Davies, who kept a  butcher’s shop (opposite Shire Hall) . She was the first woman member of the Town Council, and in 1943 the first female mayor. She died on 3 July 1983, aged 87 years.
  • 30 1921 (Thurs.) Cardigan Liberal Club Company Ltd formed.

1 June (1295) Edward I’s visit to Cardigan Castle

  • 1 1921 Town Council decided to tar-spray the main streets of the town for the first time.
  • 1 1866 (Fri.) First issue of the Cardigan and Tivy-side. Happy 147th birthday!

Its first editorial declared: ‘We intend making ‘all mankind our business’ – our native land particularly so; and our native town we shall consider under our peculiar care. Its interests, whether generally as a part of the body politic or locally, shall have our special advocacy; and whatever is calculated to advance its trade, to raise its political position, or to add to the social comforts of its inhabitants, shall have our hearty assistance’.

  • 1 1295 Visit of Edward I to Cardigan Castle. He stayed for 2 nights only. [Nothing much on in the Pav perhaps?]

9 May (1653) Birth of Cardigan Town Council – where are the balloons?

  • 9 1994 (Llun.) Dinner to celebrate Cylch Cinio Aberteifi 21 years old in Castle Malgwyn.
  • 9 1953 (Sat.) Opening ceremony of the Netpool by Roderic Bowen and Col Harewood Williams
  • 9 1860 (Wed.) Borough Surveyor was instructed to put up an oak post to the turnstile beyond Netpool Well. The turnstile was popularly known as Barney’s Gate. Mr Barnaschoni , watchmaker and jeweller lived at top of St Mary’s St., took a daily walk to Netpool.
  • 9 1653 (Mon.) Cardigan Town Council came into operation.

1 April (2013) Dinosaur egg found in Castle dig

  • 1 2013 (Mon.) Dinosaur egg found at Castle dig! Over the weekend what looks like a dinosaur’s egg has been discovered in the Castle grounds. A local scientist has reported that as soon as the Post Office opens on Tuesday the egg, weighing some 7.5 kg and measuring about 20ins across will be sent by post to Cardiff Museum for some DNA testing. If it is confirmed as a dinosaur’s egg, then the Castle site is obviously a lot older than previously thought.
  • 1 1959 (Wed.) Sidney J. Woolnough , deputy clerk of Dorking and Horley Rural Council, Surrey starts as Town Clerk.
  • 1 1889 (Mon.) End of the turnpike gates throughout the county. Northgate and Eastgate in Cardigan were removed.

19 March (1991) Death of Owen M. Owen (Mr Eisteddfod)

Owen M. Owen (1912–1991)

  • 19 1991 (Tues.) Death of O. M. Owen (Mr Eisteddfod) . Buried on 22 March 1991. Born in Blaenporth in July 1912. He moved to London for 15 years before returning as an estate manager. He and his wife later ran a milk round and established a shop in Maesglas. He was a Town councillor for over 30 years, and mayor in 1975, 1977 and 1989. Best known for his work as general secretary of Gwyl Fawr Aberteifi and secretary of the Show. Received an MBE in 1979 for his services to the community.

1 March (1963) Dick Richardson, the boxer visits the Cliff Hotel

  • 1 1983 (Tues.) Robin Morris-Jones starts his job as Town Clerk.
  • 1 1963 (Fri.) Visitor Dick Richardson, heavyweight boxer guest of Cardigan branch British Legion at Cliff Hotel.
  • 1 1880 (Mon.) Dr. John Thomas, age 49 was the first to be buried in the new cemetery.
  • 1 1879 (Sat.) Masons went on strike. The walls were cracking as soon as they were built. The trouble stemmed from the fact that the bricks and copings were not sufficiently burnt at the Brickworks.