'Eyesore' anger as town centre pub is boarded up with metal sheets

'Eyesore': The Abergwaun Hotel

'Eyesore': The Abergwaun Hotel

First published in News
Last updated

PEOPLE travelling through Fishguard Square have been met with an unwelcome sight after a prominent town pub was boarded up with ugly metal sheets.

The Abergwaun Hotel, which has been empty for some time, was boarded up with metal sheets on Tuesday morning, sparking outrage from local residents and members of the town council.

The town clerk Sarah McColl-Dorion said: “I saw the cladding go up on the Abergwaun and immediately phoned the regional manager for Brains and asked him to explain why.”

She also contacted Matthew Pyart, the Building Conservation Officer at Pembrokeshire County Council, who, she said, was surprised to hear what had happened and is taking the matter "very seriously."

The clerk added: “Needless to say, there has been a large backlash about the Abergwaun on Facebook and I know several local residents have phoned Brains to complain.”

The hotel is not a listed building, but it is in a conservation area.

The issue was discussed at Tuesday night’s Fishguard and Goodwick Town Council meeting.

The deputy mayor, Councillor Richard Grosvenor said: “To slap pieces of tin on the windows is an absolute eyesore. As far as economic regeneration is concerned it’s the exact opposite.

“The hotel hasn’t been in a good state and there’s no question Brains would like to offload it to someone.”

Cllr Alex Allison said: “This couldn’t have happened at a worse time of year. You look at it and you could be in the middle of Belfast. It looks awful.”

The mayor, Cllr Mike Lloyd said: “The hotel is in a prime tourist location. We’re going to try our hardest to get something done.”

A spokesman from Brains said: "Our insurers have insisted that we board the pub to protect the building.

"The last thing we want is a closed pub however the Abergwaun previously proved unviable. We are more than prepared to enter into discussions on the future of the pub with any interested parties."

A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council, told the Western Telegraph: "The County Council has been informed of the situation at the Abergwaun Hotel, which is located within the Fishguard conservation Area.

"The planning enforcement section will be visiting the property to assess whether there are any planning implications."

Comments (19)

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7:29am Fri 6 Jun 14

danthomas says...

Drove through Fishguard town centre yesterday - what an eyesore. It's an absolute disgrace that this sort of thing is allowed to happen in the centre of one of the gateways to Pembrokeshire. The whole Square used to be so attractive and vibrant years ago before it was 'enhanced' by the Welsh Office. Is it not possible for the County Council or Welsh Assembly to buy the Abergwaun Hotel, remove the 'graffiti/toilet' tunnel and create a new pedestrian thoroughfare into the proposed new supermarket site. I'm sure I read that they've already bought another pub further up the main street for this purpose although nothing seems to be happening as a result. Some businesses are clearly making a real effort in the town but I'm sure that the appearance of the hotel and the square in general will discourage visitors from stopping to look around.
Drove through Fishguard town centre yesterday - what an eyesore. It's an absolute disgrace that this sort of thing is allowed to happen in the centre of one of the gateways to Pembrokeshire. The whole Square used to be so attractive and vibrant years ago before it was 'enhanced' by the Welsh Office. Is it not possible for the County Council or Welsh Assembly to buy the Abergwaun Hotel, remove the 'graffiti/toilet' tunnel and create a new pedestrian thoroughfare into the proposed new supermarket site. I'm sure I read that they've already bought another pub further up the main street for this purpose although nothing seems to be happening as a result. Some businesses are clearly making a real effort in the town but I'm sure that the appearance of the hotel and the square in general will discourage visitors from stopping to look around. danthomas
  • Score: 8

11:34am Fri 6 Jun 14

Gogledd says...

Closing half day on a Saturday is hardly an advert to "we want business" is it. People arriving on a Friday, late Saturday morning are faced with closing Fishguard. This gives the message..we are closed for business...and this has a knock on effect. In the winter it is excusable but in the summer in the high season it gives out a very bad message. As for the proposed Supermarket. That would undoubtedly bring more people into town and increase footfall and benefit both the business and local community. It would provide parking and a base from which to go and explore. However, this new supermarket seems to have been thrwarted over the last decade at every opportunity by people who see it as a threat.
Closing half day on a Saturday is hardly an advert to "we want business" is it. People arriving on a Friday, late Saturday morning are faced with closing Fishguard. This gives the message..we are closed for business...and this has a knock on effect. In the winter it is excusable but in the summer in the high season it gives out a very bad message. As for the proposed Supermarket. That would undoubtedly bring more people into town and increase footfall and benefit both the business and local community. It would provide parking and a base from which to go and explore. However, this new supermarket seems to have been thrwarted over the last decade at every opportunity by people who see it as a threat. Gogledd
  • Score: 6

12:49pm Fri 6 Jun 14

JonnyBlueJeans says...

Gogledd wrote:
Closing half day on a Saturday is hardly an advert to "we want business" is it. People arriving on a Friday, late Saturday morning are faced with closing Fishguard. This gives the message..we are closed for business...and this has a knock on effect. In the winter it is excusable but in the summer in the high season it gives out a very bad message. As for the proposed Supermarket. That would undoubtedly bring more people into town and increase footfall and benefit both the business and local community. It would provide parking and a base from which to go and explore. However, this new supermarket seems to have been thrwarted over the last decade at every opportunity by people who see it as a threat.
Rubbish!
[quote][p][bold]Gogledd[/bold] wrote: Closing half day on a Saturday is hardly an advert to "we want business" is it. People arriving on a Friday, late Saturday morning are faced with closing Fishguard. This gives the message..we are closed for business...and this has a knock on effect. In the winter it is excusable but in the summer in the high season it gives out a very bad message. As for the proposed Supermarket. That would undoubtedly bring more people into town and increase footfall and benefit both the business and local community. It would provide parking and a base from which to go and explore. However, this new supermarket seems to have been thrwarted over the last decade at every opportunity by people who see it as a threat.[/p][/quote]Rubbish! JonnyBlueJeans
  • Score: -8

2:56pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Gogledd says...

why is it rubbish...its what people have told me...visitors who come here and find it closed and dont know why?. Also a supermarket would bring people into town and would increase footfall, they have to have a coffee somewhere and supermarkets dont sell everything, like the Gormet Pig, wonderful deli wouldnt they and the other businesses benefit...they dont close on a Saturday afternoon. So, everyone is entitled to their opinion but before u say rubbish, perhaps you would like to say why. It stimulates conversation from which may come positive solutions to Fishguards rapid decline.
why is it rubbish...its what people have told me...visitors who come here and find it closed and dont know why?. Also a supermarket would bring people into town and would increase footfall, they have to have a coffee somewhere and supermarkets dont sell everything, like the Gormet Pig, wonderful deli wouldnt they and the other businesses benefit...they dont close on a Saturday afternoon. So, everyone is entitled to their opinion but before u say rubbish, perhaps you would like to say why. It stimulates conversation from which may come positive solutions to Fishguards rapid decline. Gogledd
  • Score: 9

4:10pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Bilbo101 says...

As a compromise solution to satisfy both the insurers and general appearance of the square I believe that if Brains took the horrible metal sheets off the out side of the windows and put put them on the inside where they could be secured to the frame but with the curtains, net curtains, underneath so from the outside it would appear as if it was still an operational pub but would be secure and the worst that could happen in terms of crime would be that the windows get broken which would cost relatively little to replace. Surly this solution would satisfy the insurers ?

Personally however, I feel that Brains have a responsibility to the local community here and not just because it is in a conservation area. The spend years profiting from the running of such pubs and when trade drops off they are happy to close it and leave it boarded up until somebody buys it off them. The exterior looks very run down and I feel that Brains should at least tidy up the exterior and give it a lick of paint. This would also benefit them as it would make the property look more attractive to potential buyers.

A couple of hanging flower baskets would also help a lot. How much would it cost Brains to decorate the font of the building ? £1000 or maybe a bit more with the hire of some scaffolding. But I would imagine that they would easily recoup this investment in the sale price.

The county council should put a clause in public house licenses that state that they are granted a license on the condition that when they decide to move on they must maintain the exterior decoration of the property until the time when it is purchased from them. There are far too many abandoned public houses in this county that are left to rot because they are no longer seen as viable.
As a compromise solution to satisfy both the insurers and general appearance of the square I believe that if Brains took the horrible metal sheets off the out side of the windows and put put them on the inside where they could be secured to the frame but with the curtains, net curtains, underneath so from the outside it would appear as if it was still an operational pub but would be secure and the worst that could happen in terms of crime would be that the windows get broken which would cost relatively little to replace. Surly this solution would satisfy the insurers ? Personally however, I feel that Brains have a responsibility to the local community here and not just because it is in a conservation area. The spend years profiting from the running of such pubs and when trade drops off they are happy to close it and leave it boarded up until somebody buys it off them. The exterior looks very run down and I feel that Brains should at least tidy up the exterior and give it a lick of paint. This would also benefit them as it would make the property look more attractive to potential buyers. A couple of hanging flower baskets would also help a lot. How much would it cost Brains to decorate the font of the building ? £1000 or maybe a bit more with the hire of some scaffolding. But I would imagine that they would easily recoup this investment in the sale price. The county council should put a clause in public house licenses that state that they are granted a license on the condition that when they decide to move on they must maintain the exterior decoration of the property until the time when it is purchased from them. There are far too many abandoned public houses in this county that are left to rot because they are no longer seen as viable. Bilbo101
  • Score: 5

9:50pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Gogledd says...

very true, but this is the way of big out of county businesses...I agree that Brains could have thought a bit more about this but then thats sadly how it is. There is little respect any more for people and their communities only what they can get out of it. What happened to the roundabout in the middle of the town when it used to be full of flowers etc why was it all concreted over..it was so pretty...as u said a few flowers would help, just a little bit of thought, wouldnt cost a lot.
very true, but this is the way of big out of county businesses...I agree that Brains could have thought a bit more about this but then thats sadly how it is. There is little respect any more for people and their communities only what they can get out of it. What happened to the roundabout in the middle of the town when it used to be full of flowers etc why was it all concreted over..it was so pretty...as u said a few flowers would help, just a little bit of thought, wouldnt cost a lot. Gogledd
  • Score: 2

12:44am Sat 7 Jun 14

teapot head says...

Gogledd wrote:
Closing half day on a Saturday is hardly an advert to "we want business" is it. People arriving on a Friday, late Saturday morning are faced with closing Fishguard. This gives the message..we are closed for business...and this has a knock on effect. In the winter it is excusable but in the summer in the high season it gives out a very bad message. As for the proposed Supermarket. That would undoubtedly bring more people into town and increase footfall and benefit both the business and local community. It would provide parking and a base from which to go and explore. However, this new supermarket seems to have been thrwarted over the last decade at every opportunity by people who see it as a threat.
what closes on a half day on saturday?
[quote][p][bold]Gogledd[/bold] wrote: Closing half day on a Saturday is hardly an advert to "we want business" is it. People arriving on a Friday, late Saturday morning are faced with closing Fishguard. This gives the message..we are closed for business...and this has a knock on effect. In the winter it is excusable but in the summer in the high season it gives out a very bad message. As for the proposed Supermarket. That would undoubtedly bring more people into town and increase footfall and benefit both the business and local community. It would provide parking and a base from which to go and explore. However, this new supermarket seems to have been thrwarted over the last decade at every opportunity by people who see it as a threat.[/p][/quote]what closes on a half day on saturday? teapot head
  • Score: -1

11:27am Sat 7 Jun 14

Gogledd says...

teapot head wrote:
Gogledd wrote:
Closing half day on a Saturday is hardly an advert to "we want business" is it. People arriving on a Friday, late Saturday morning are faced with closing Fishguard. This gives the message..we are closed for business...and this has a knock on effect. In the winter it is excusable but in the summer in the high season it gives out a very bad message. As for the proposed Supermarket. That would undoubtedly bring more people into town and increase footfall and benefit both the business and local community. It would provide parking and a base from which to go and explore. However, this new supermarket seems to have been thrwarted over the last decade at every opportunity by people who see it as a threat.
what closes on a half day on saturday?
The tourist information, the tapestry, the farmers market finishes at 12. the opticians...and everyone else gives up by 2.30-3pm.
[quote][p][bold]teapot head[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gogledd[/bold] wrote: Closing half day on a Saturday is hardly an advert to "we want business" is it. People arriving on a Friday, late Saturday morning are faced with closing Fishguard. This gives the message..we are closed for business...and this has a knock on effect. In the winter it is excusable but in the summer in the high season it gives out a very bad message. As for the proposed Supermarket. That would undoubtedly bring more people into town and increase footfall and benefit both the business and local community. It would provide parking and a base from which to go and explore. However, this new supermarket seems to have been thrwarted over the last decade at every opportunity by people who see it as a threat.[/p][/quote]what closes on a half day on saturday?[/p][/quote]The tourist information, the tapestry, the farmers market finishes at 12. the opticians...and everyone else gives up by 2.30-3pm. Gogledd
  • Score: 5

10:51am Sun 8 Jun 14

Electra1 says...

We are a ferry port (Pembroke Dock) and we don't have half day.
We are a ferry port (Pembroke Dock) and we don't have half day. Electra1
  • Score: 4

11:10am Sun 8 Jun 14

Gogledd says...

Electra1 wrote:
We are a ferry port (Pembroke Dock) and we don't have half day.
Good for u. Fishguard has 2.!
Its about seizing the opportunity...when the tourists are here for the short summer high season. Everything has a cause and effect.
[quote][p][bold]Electra1[/bold] wrote: We are a ferry port (Pembroke Dock) and we don't have half day.[/p][/quote]Good for u. Fishguard has 2.! Its about seizing the opportunity...when the tourists are here for the short summer high season. Everything has a cause and effect. Gogledd
  • Score: 4

1:49pm Sun 8 Jun 14

danthomas says...

I have heard from others that Fishguard virtually closes down on Saturday afternoons - compared with other vibrant towns such as Cardigan. Perhaps it's because everyone goes to Cardigan to shop etc. Visited Fishguard for the recent folk festival over the bank holiday weekend. The festival events were good but when we took a stroll down to the old stone circle we were quite shocked at the lack of maintenance - the view of Lower Fishguard from the path leading to the stones from the town was totally blocked by a wilderness of vegetation and trees. Where have all the nice views gone!
I have heard from others that Fishguard virtually closes down on Saturday afternoons - compared with other vibrant towns such as Cardigan. Perhaps it's because everyone goes to Cardigan to shop etc. Visited Fishguard for the recent folk festival over the bank holiday weekend. The festival events were good but when we took a stroll down to the old stone circle we were quite shocked at the lack of maintenance - the view of Lower Fishguard from the path leading to the stones from the town was totally blocked by a wilderness of vegetation and trees. Where have all the nice views gone! danthomas
  • Score: 3

4:19pm Sun 8 Jun 14

Andrew Lye says...

I saw the metal boardings yesterday. I presume Brains are protecting their asset from possible acts of vandalism as the Abergwaun has been shut for a while now.
I can understand why they wish to do that. The site of smashed windows which could then see the building torched, is good reason to protect the building until a buyer is found.
I suppose they could use wooden boards to protect the window and then they get plastered in posters for pop festival, jumble sales etc.....
The ideal situation would be for someone to buy the building and find a new use for it. But that would have to meet the approval of planners as well.
I saw the metal boardings yesterday. I presume Brains are protecting their asset from possible acts of vandalism as the Abergwaun has been shut for a while now. I can understand why they wish to do that. The site of smashed windows which could then see the building torched, is good reason to protect the building until a buyer is found. I suppose they could use wooden boards to protect the window and then they get plastered in posters for pop festival, jumble sales etc..... The ideal situation would be for someone to buy the building and find a new use for it. But that would have to meet the approval of planners as well. Andrew Lye
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Sun 8 Jun 14

Gogledd says...

danthomas wrote:
I have heard from others that Fishguard virtually closes down on Saturday afternoons - compared with other vibrant towns such as Cardigan. Perhaps it's because everyone goes to Cardigan to shop etc. Visited Fishguard for the recent folk festival over the bank holiday weekend. The festival events were good but when we took a stroll down to the old stone circle we were quite shocked at the lack of maintenance - the view of Lower Fishguard from the path leading to the stones from the town was totally blocked by a wilderness of vegetation and trees. Where have all the nice views gone!
Thank you. Quite!. It has a knock on effect and people soon learn that its no go Fishguard anymore. Its very sad. Once something starts to go wrong it escalates. They talk about getting more cruise ships in. But why would they want to come. Last year in the middle of the season when the rowing was on the town was closed that Saturday afternoon. It was a fabulous warm day and people milling around looking for things to do and asked me, where could they eat and why was it all closed up!!...Enough said thanks for supporting me...and who could blame them for going to Cardigan.
[quote][p][bold]danthomas[/bold] wrote: I have heard from others that Fishguard virtually closes down on Saturday afternoons - compared with other vibrant towns such as Cardigan. Perhaps it's because everyone goes to Cardigan to shop etc. Visited Fishguard for the recent folk festival over the bank holiday weekend. The festival events were good but when we took a stroll down to the old stone circle we were quite shocked at the lack of maintenance - the view of Lower Fishguard from the path leading to the stones from the town was totally blocked by a wilderness of vegetation and trees. Where have all the nice views gone![/p][/quote]Thank you. Quite!. It has a knock on effect and people soon learn that its no go Fishguard anymore. Its very sad. Once something starts to go wrong it escalates. They talk about getting more cruise ships in. But why would they want to come. Last year in the middle of the season when the rowing was on the town was closed that Saturday afternoon. It was a fabulous warm day and people milling around looking for things to do and asked me, where could they eat and why was it all closed up!!...Enough said thanks for supporting me...and who could blame them for going to Cardigan. Gogledd
  • Score: 4

1:15pm Mon 9 Jun 14

malcolm calver says...

What happened to all the visitors that we were told the subsidised extra trains would bring into Fishguard, I remember Plaid Cymru the Socialist Party for Wales and other local county councillors suggesting it would bring extra visitors to Fishguard,, perhaps the locals have taken the train out to Haverfordwest and Carmarthen instead.
What happened to all the visitors that we were told the subsidised extra trains would bring into Fishguard, I remember Plaid Cymru the Socialist Party for Wales and other local county councillors suggesting it would bring extra visitors to Fishguard,, perhaps the locals have taken the train out to Haverfordwest and Carmarthen instead. malcolm calver
  • Score: -2

2:12pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Bilbo101 says...

Andrew Lye wrote:
I saw the metal boardings yesterday. I presume Brains are protecting their asset from possible acts of vandalism as the Abergwaun has been shut for a while now.
I can understand why they wish to do that. The site of smashed windows which could then see the building torched, is good reason to protect the building until a buyer is found.
I suppose they could use wooden boards to protect the window and then they get plastered in posters for pop festival, jumble sales etc.....
The ideal situation would be for someone to buy the building and find a new use for it. But that would have to meet the approval of planners as well.
The solution would to board the windows up on the inside where the metal sheets or wooden boards cover the curtains and nets etc and that way from the outside it still looks like an operating business yet it would be secure, simplz!
[quote][p][bold]Andrew Lye[/bold] wrote: I saw the metal boardings yesterday. I presume Brains are protecting their asset from possible acts of vandalism as the Abergwaun has been shut for a while now. I can understand why they wish to do that. The site of smashed windows which could then see the building torched, is good reason to protect the building until a buyer is found. I suppose they could use wooden boards to protect the window and then they get plastered in posters for pop festival, jumble sales etc..... The ideal situation would be for someone to buy the building and find a new use for it. But that would have to meet the approval of planners as well.[/p][/quote]The solution would to board the windows up on the inside where the metal sheets or wooden boards cover the curtains and nets etc and that way from the outside it still looks like an operating business yet it would be secure, simplz! Bilbo101
  • Score: 0

8:40am Tue 10 Jun 14

teifion says...

Completely off topic ;-) so apologiers to that "B"

Jamie's press release - REJOICE,REJOICE,REJO
ICE

We pay Bryn Jones the most of any Chief Exec in Wales as he's doing such a good job for Pembrokeshire

Irony ? That's something made of iron isn't it?
Completely off topic ;-) so apologiers to that "B" Jamie's press release - REJOICE,REJOICE,REJO ICE We pay Bryn Jones the most of any Chief Exec in Wales as he's doing such a good job for Pembrokeshire Irony ? That's something made of iron isn't it? teifion
  • Score: -6

10:58pm Tue 10 Jun 14

teapot head says...

danthomas wrote:
I have heard from others that Fishguard virtually closes down on Saturday afternoons - compared with other vibrant towns such as Cardigan. Perhaps it's because everyone goes to Cardigan to shop etc. Visited Fishguard for the recent folk festival over the bank holiday weekend. The festival events were good but when we took a stroll down to the old stone circle we were quite shocked at the lack of maintenance - the view of Lower Fishguard from the path leading to the stones from the town was totally blocked by a wilderness of vegetation and trees. Where have all the nice views gone!
i had a great view of lower town from the corsedd this morning.
[quote][p][bold]danthomas[/bold] wrote: I have heard from others that Fishguard virtually closes down on Saturday afternoons - compared with other vibrant towns such as Cardigan. Perhaps it's because everyone goes to Cardigan to shop etc. Visited Fishguard for the recent folk festival over the bank holiday weekend. The festival events were good but when we took a stroll down to the old stone circle we were quite shocked at the lack of maintenance - the view of Lower Fishguard from the path leading to the stones from the town was totally blocked by a wilderness of vegetation and trees. Where have all the nice views gone![/p][/quote]i had a great view of lower town from the corsedd this morning. teapot head
  • Score: -1

8:57am Wed 11 Jun 14

Steven Jardine says...

A ‘here and now’ solution would be to overlay the metal sheets with vinyl images of windows and the door. It’s done elsewhere for shop fronts and would lift the first impressions image of the town.

It’s not the responsibility of the County Council, but perhaps they could broker a deal with Brains.
A ‘here and now’ solution would be to overlay the metal sheets with vinyl images of windows and the door. It’s done elsewhere for shop fronts and would lift the first impressions image of the town. It’s not the responsibility of the County Council, but perhaps they could broker a deal with Brains. Steven Jardine
  • Score: 3

12:17am Thu 12 Jun 14

Bilbo101 says...

teifion wrote:
Completely off topic ;-) so apologiers to that "B"

Jamie's press release - REJOICE,REJOICE,REJO

ICE

We pay Bryn Jones the most of any Chief Exec in Wales as he's doing such a good job for Pembrokeshire

Irony ? That's something made of iron isn't it?
Yes your right, completely off topic once again!!! Do you not get it ? Do you not understand ? You are abusing this facility and wasting readers time by venting your frustrations by commenting on articles that are completely unrelated to your views.

You are a moron and yes you do waste our time and yes I do wish you would go and boil your head because you are a complete and utter waste of space and your comments are nothing more than uneducated drivel. Dick Head with no value, that is how I refer to you, a doughnut with a bus pass, nothing more, nothing less.
[quote][p][bold]teifion[/bold] wrote: Completely off topic ;-) so apologiers to that "B" Jamie's press release - REJOICE,REJOICE,REJO ICE We pay Bryn Jones the most of any Chief Exec in Wales as he's doing such a good job for Pembrokeshire Irony ? That's something made of iron isn't it?[/p][/quote]Yes your right, completely off topic once again!!! Do you not get it ? Do you not understand ? You are abusing this facility and wasting readers time by venting your frustrations by commenting on articles that are completely unrelated to your views. You are a moron and yes you do waste our time and yes I do wish you would go and boil your head because you are a complete and utter waste of space and your comments are nothing more than uneducated drivel. Dick Head with no value, that is how I refer to you, a doughnut with a bus pass, nothing more, nothing less. Bilbo101
  • Score: 6

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