Rugby hero’s pub memorial

A brewer has named a west Wales pub after a rugby player from the turn of the last century.

Tomos Watkin is re-naming the former Bear Inn in Felinfoel, Carmarthenshire, the Harry Watkin, after the second-row forward who captained Llanelli in 1904.

He was also the son of the Swansea-based company’s founder, Tomos.

It is the lates public house to be named after a prominent Welsh figure.

Tomos Watkin recently opened the Cayo Arms in Cardiff, which is named after Julian Cayo Evans, leader of the controversial Free Wales Army during the 1960s.

Harry Vaughan Watkin played for Wales six times, and was in the side which won the Triple Crown in 1905.

His image was featured on the pump for Watkins’ Woosh, a beer promoted for Rugby World Cup ’99 in Wales.

The pub, which re-opens on 25th August, is the first to be acquired in Llanelli by the company, which started in a Llandeilo hotel four years ago.

Strong Welsh themes

Watkins’ products all have strong Welsh national and local themes. Other beers include Cwrw Haf (Summer Ale), Canon’s Choice (named after a vicar of Llandeilo), Cwrw Santa (Christmas Ale), and Merlin’s Double Stout.

Managing Director Simon Buckley, whose family began brewing in the district in 1767, said: “It is entirely fitting that our first pub in Llanelli should be renamed after one of the great ‘boy’s own’ heroes of Welsh rugby.

“Harry Watkin lived for some time in Canada where he became a leading light in rugby circles in British Columbia.

“He led a distinguished life as both a brewer and an international ambassador for the game of rugby football.”