Wednesday 25 April 2012

Cox's Farm

I was passing Swansea Jail last week, and I noticed that the pub alongside it – the one that stands ‘just off the Mumbles Road, at the end of Argyle Street’, as Harri Webb described it, was due to re-open last Friday evening.  It’s no longer to be called the Glamorgan Arms; it’s been re-named as ‘The Lock-Up’, presumably due to its proximity to Cox’s Farm.
I don’t actually know whether Harri’s Uncle Will really did keep the pub; I never got round to asking him.  It may just be a bit of poetic licence to fit the rhythm of the poem.  But Harri’s roots in Swansea were strong, and he often drew on his roots in his work, so it’s perfectly possible that it was indeed his Uncle Will.
The poem was set to music and sung by the Hennesseys on the Green Desert LP – essential listening for all young nationalists in the late 1960s / early 1970s.
I also noted that the building has been repainted – it’s now a bright shocking pink colour.  Somehow, I don’t think Harri would have entirely approved.  


Boncath said...

Not the usual blog for you but an interesting one all the same.
As a Jack I used the "links" which are invariably of interest in your articles It appears that Swansea Jail or more strictly Oystermouth road outside the prison was the scene of the last public hanging in Wales in 1889.

Pete said...

Once again your blog brings memories flooding back. The last time I heard Cox's Farm being sung was at a Plaid conference in Llandudno. I never had any desire to attend the Bourgois Banquet that Plaid puts on. The real party is taking place in one of the hotels where the Hwyl is in the singing and the laughter. I still recite Harri's poems here in California. The last time I did so was at the West Coast Eisteddfod in Los Angeles last year.
I never had residence in the Farm myself, I ran too bloody fast, I was at a number of domonstrations outside. Ffred Ffransis was there often enough and my son did 10 days for refusing to pay Maggie's Poll Tax.
t seems concept pubs are thing in Wales these days so I suppose "The Lock-Up" is just following a trend. But PINK? in the name of all the Gods, a pink pub in the Sandfields must make more than Harri turn in his grave.