Will George Poet

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 labourer.

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 death.

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 intemperance.


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 consummate.

Traditions were formed and consolidated.

Buildings broadcast their allegiance often like their patrons.

Landlords encouraged the punctual and persistent attendance.

Bowls, skittles and darts found a place amongst cards and dominoes;

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 same sweat.

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 here;

These too no longer have a place.

The richness of diverse melodies, as diverse as the participants,

Blended in four part harmony to give a whole.

In song pathos and joy might resound in alternating sequence.

Now they too have faded from the local culture.


The weak consumed by the elements of alcohol are still weak.

Many have drowned themselves in irresponsibility, many do still.

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 landscape;

Timeless as the land is, the rural landscape will change.


Will George © June 11, 2004