ONE of Wales’ longest serving landladies is raising a glass of her famous bass after her pub featured in the Good Beer Guide for a 40th successive year.

The Dyffryn Arms, affectionately known as ‘Bessie’s’, is located in the Gwaun Valley, about eight miles from Fishguard.

It has been run for the past 43 year by Bessie Davies and has become a mecca for countless visitors from many different countries, as testified by the fine array of bank notes that adorn the walls.

There have also been numerous celebrity visitors to Bessie’s, including TV journalist and broadcaster Jamie Owen, classical singer Shan Cothi, and even Prince Charles, who dropped in to see the 1910 picture of his great uncle.

The pub itself dates back to 1845, when it opened under the name Holly Bush (Llwyn Celyn). At the beginning of the 20th century the name was changed to Dyffryn Arms, reflecting its location in the Gwaun Valley.

Starting in 1950, Bessie helped her mother-in-law, Mary Howells, to run the pub before becoming landlady herself in 1972. She is now ably assisted by her son Gwyn and granddaughter Nerys.

To mark Bessie’s outstanding achievement, members of the Pembrokeshire branch of The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) visited Bessie on November 3 to present her with a certificate and a classic brewery sign from Bass, whose beer she has served straight from the barrel for many years.

A CAMRA spokesman said: “One of the main attractions of this much loved and cherished Welsh pub is that little has changed over the years.

“When you enter the bar, you still feel as if you’re being welcomed into Bessie’s front room, complete with stone fireplace and quarry-tiled floor. Long may the Dyffryn Arms continue to be as it has always been.”