Prince Of Wales Inn
Prince Of Wales Inn
Gareth Maund, Landlord of the Prince of Wales Inn, Kenfig contacted reach Rural Development Team for support to take his project idea forward, to capture and preserve the extraordinary story the inn.
Dating back to the 16th century, the pub has been used over time, as a school, town hall, morgue and magistrates’ court. The project aimed to explore how the pub was, and continues to be, a major part of the community and the surrounding areas.
reach supported the project through the ‘Let’s Innovate Fund’ because of its innovative approach to exploring the heritage of a pub through community engagement, using digital media to tell the shared story. “We got as many local people together as we could”, explains Gareth “and what emerged was the desire to preserve and record the history of Kenfig, and in particular, the part that the pub played in this”.
To our knowledge, this is the first pub in Bridgend County Borough to use digital media interpretation through an app. It will also be the first pub in the County to participate in the nationwide “Pub is the Hub” scheme championed by HRH The Prince of Wales, which recognises the potential for local pubs to regenerate and revitalise local communities through retaining and developing local services. The project cost £10,000 with reach financing £9,000 and Gareth contributing the remainder.
Outcome and Impact
The development of this pub heritage app evolved into six short stories shown as film clips. These were narrated by Owain Teale, the nationally known actor who comes from Kenfig and some of the pub’s regulars also starred. The stories “Talking Walls”, “Propellor”, “Courtroom”, “School”, “Shipwreck” and “My Friend” each portray a different segment of the pub and the area’s rich history and cultural heritage.
Available to download via the app or to view on YouTube, they can be viewed in the pub itself on the digital information point, which also has a time line showing specific events through the centuries. Information on local services and amenities is also available on the app, which is a huge benefit to visitors and local residents.
Visitors with smart phones are able to use the QR codes dotted throughout the pub and listen to audio files of Gareth telling background stories about the pub’s many photographs and artefacts.
After completion of the project, HRH Prince Charles visited the inn. “What should have been a 90 minute visit lasted two and a half hours” Gareth explained. “We had over 650 school children present to welcome the royal visitors and Prince Charles spent 90 minutes with a group of ladies who started to meet here to plan a party for his Investiture and have continued to meet here weekly, ever since”
“The visit had a tremendous impact. Local people came and cleared the streets and cut back the grass and local businesses funded the lunch for the school children. It really helped to bring the community together. The development of the app has preserved the history of the area and the pub. It’s made what we wanted a reality.”