The Farmers Arms
The Farmers Arms; Nestled now where there are no farms.
The rural landscape changed long ago!
Open fields lost to mine shafts and coal tips,
Egyptian iron furnaces and slag heaps.
Nearby the brewery built by Andrew Buchan
As important as any other employer or social edifice.
Industry and the mechanical age took command.
Beer and the Public House restored the sweat of the
To the lowly man there was an abundance of drink;
Set at a price that coaxed the pennies from his pocket.
Here nearly all found refreshment and solace;
On tap the pulled pint ran until the pockets were dry.
Old pictures, photographs and prints bring recollection.
Sombre not sober men posed to capture some event.
The pub became a focal point for many,
Unchanging as the seasons between those hours of life and
Where fields had yielded their riches the hard earned
wages of the poor filled other storehouses!
Hunger was not fed, mouths were not sustained by the
Farmers may have been moderate in their expectations;
The wiles of the seasons determined their growth.
Land yielded the appropriate return of their investment.
Few farmers starved if they could manage providence.
The bars in the pub offered a place of respite;
Hops and the products thereof linked that earthiness.
Rhymney Brewery had local fame and its products were
Traditions were formed and consolidated.
Buildings broadcast their allegiance often like their
Landlords encouraged the punctual and persistent
Bowls, skittles and darts found a place amongst cards and
Conversation and gossip told of local and foreign events.
Men no longer have need of the pub!
The price of their labour is no longer sustained by the
Now the social drink is the most frequent.
Women take their place in this new found cause.
The public house is a meeting place with a different view.
Equalities are present that were unfound before.
Traditional voices of choristers, untrained, once joined
These too no longer have a place.
The richness of diverse melodies, as diverse as the
Blended in four part harmony to give a whole.
In song pathos and joy might resound in alternating
Now they too have faded from the local culture.
The weak consumed by the elements of alcohol are still
Many have drowned themselves in irresponsibility, many do
The pub has its place as it has always had.
It is up to the patrons to determine what part is taken.
Eventually the Farmers Arms may be absorbed into the
Timeless as the land is, the rural landscape will change.
Will George © June 11, 2004