Ye Olde (RIP)

The Gower has the sheep and traditional pubs, but Swansea has the vitality at the moment.  Each trip reveals new regeneration projects, while the Swansea Bay lagoon will, reportedly, produce enough power to keep the floodlights on at the Vetch Liberty.   Mind you, finishing 17th in the League probably earns you £1.3 billion these days.

Talking of which, the Swans may let City beat them with late goals these days, but they should make it a seventh year in the Prem, and it was good to see so many youngsters in their £45 replica kit in town.

I mentioned the street art last year, and found a fair bit more on Saturday.  If it keeps this up it might become the next Hull.


Despite slow and inconsistent post-war reconstruction, there’s still a fair bit of history tucked away. This was my fourth trip in four years, with each one revealing new minor gems, like Ye Olde Wine Shop (now Holland & Barretts, top) and the improbably named Salubrious Passage, which I imagine Simon Everitt would have got mileage out of on his blog.

That passage leads to half of only four central GBG pubs, two of which are Spoons.  The excellent No Sign and Bank Statement were packed with Munstermen (hope that’s the right term).  I gave those a miss and walked up the hill to the new Guide entry, the Cockett Inn.

Google said an hour’s walk, it took me 45 minutes via trendy Uplands (there’s a bar that sells Brew Dog). Next to the eponymous GBG-listed Tavern I spotted what looked like a micro, but turned out to be the shoe repair cabin (below). The adjacent wine bar appears to be called “Happy 30th Ria” and have an outdoor bath that may come in useful if Simon’s plumbing isn’t complete when he visits.


It’s all uphill to Uplands, and without great views of the Bay.  But there were daffodils, my picture of which Google Photos has kindly enhanced.  I’m quite proud of it, anyway.

Those were the highlight of Cwmdonkin Park on the final stretch to Cockett.  On reflection, both of those seem like made up words.


The Cockett is your typical open plan suburban Brains pub, one of a diminishing cohort of Brains houses in Glamorgan GBG these days. Three different versions of Rev James here, but my preferred Dark only on Smooth.

The Bitter here was cool and GBG standard (GBG 3), but the pub could have done with more customers, if only to justify the screening of the 2015 “El Classico” (why ?).  I ignored Suarez and co., and admired some attractive prints of real sportsman, none of whom I knew of course.


The special St David’s Day offer (below) looked very tempting but a) I’m not changing my name by deedpoll and b) I’m in Worcester that night.


Despite Swansea’s reputation for curry, we had tea in Awa Grill House on College Street; the best mixed kebabs I’ve had in years, and much cheaper than Cardiff.

Coupled with the emergence of those Desertz and Treatz type ice cream parlours (see also Reading), this is a great place to consume calories quickly.  A Brew Dog or Tiny Rebel would be welcome before my next visit though.

18 thoughts on “SWANSEA ON THE RISE

  1. Martin, you state that some words seem made up. Logically, all words must have been made up at some stage and in many ways I am grateful to all inventors of words.

    I’m half tempted to make some fake ID and go to Swansea just to see if I would be able to get a free pint under the alias of David Trumpton. As a teetotal person it would seem a little moot, but I’m intrigued all the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Did Ye Olde sell prosecco from the wood? BTW, the sport photograph is honorary President W.S. Churchill presenting the man of the match award to Welsh captain I.M. Davies on the occasion of the country celebrating victory over Ceylon in their first international Elephant Polo match.


  3. Having done a bit of research on the photo – Winston Churchill and Joe Mercer I recognised – but the third player I had no idea about.
    The photo is from the 1952 FA Cup Final when Arsenal lost to Newcastle United 1-0. The Arsenal team had two Welsh players – it definitely isn’t Walley Barnes, but almost certainly it is Ray Daniel who was born in and played for Swansea.
    Aaah…the wonders of Wikipedia!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never use Wikepidia,i usually comment off the top of my head about things from the past and about pubs and the like,i do use my pub books or spread sheet for the exact date to pub visits.
      Never been to Swansea,seems to be a long way from Nottingham on train for a days pub crawling.


  4. Not brilliant on the sports questions but I’ve got the natural history ones sussed! Second post in a row I’ve correctly identified the flora and fauna – Narcissi. Little Daffs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good to see you enjoying our neck of the woods again.

    With regard to the tiny rebel/BD comment over the last say 2 years: Tiny Rebel did consider some central locations from Swansea some time ago but did not bite. Now that the brewery expansion is in full swing, I do not expect then to expand their pubs for a bit. BD, nothing substantive.

    In terms of what has happened, Boss brewery opened a pub on high street. Hogarth’s have moved into town and the Pilot of Mumbles is set to expand into another premise on the marina with a brewery and pub. Also there is supposed to be a distillery opening up in the center. Quite a few pubs on wind street have changed hands and been revamped.


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