Green Dragon

In 1805 Mr E. Donovan wrote that Laugharne is, '...seldom visited by strangers - it lies in no direct road to anywhere of any consequence and is crowded with pretty ale houses.' One of the best loved was the Green Dragon, which closed in the late 1970s; a small friendly pub which served Buckleys Ale.

It was known for its 'liberal attitudes', 'a very particular clientele, some of whom were posh', and in certain circles was called 'The Adulterer's Pub'.

Landlady Glenys Pearce was once challenged by a policeman for serving after hours. She retorted, 'I used to change your nappy when you were young!' And so the drinks carried on flowing.

This 1960s pic of King St shows
The Green Dragon on the right, by the van

And the same vista today

This pic is from the 1970s -
sunshine and beers

This project was updated during lockdown - what we would give for sunshine and beers!

On hot sunny days the trees outside would be full of garrulous bare-chested young men quaffing in the branches and giving a less than friendly welcome to strangers entering by car, as featured in the following poem.

What Constitutes A Larnie/Laugharnie?

What constitutes a Larnie?
And what is the correct spelling?
You see 'Larnies' and 'Outsiders'
Have had a bout of keyboard 'yelling'
Are you a Larnie if you're born
To a householder in Laugharne?
If so, my partner and my daughter
Are surely safe from harm

But me, I'm from Llanelli
And have been here just ten years
One night I was put in my place
In The New Three Mariners
This man, he dug me in the ribs
And confirmed all my worst fears
'You'll never be a Larnie!'
Said this Larnie from St Clears

Now Dylan said that Larnies
Hardly stoned him, on the grounds
That he'd been here for six years
And played darts in The Brown's
So newcomers, just take your time
Learn the stories; the folklore
And remember the Corporation
Has the right to go to war

But what constitutes a Laugharnie?
Well, John Brown from Somerset
In the late nineteenth century
Bought a pub that was to let
Another 'outsider' it would seem
But his name will live forever
He renamed 'The Commercial', Brown's Hotel
But is he a Larnie? Never!

So do your grandparents have to live here?
Or does it go much further back?
To when Cromwell besieged the castle?
Or Owain Glyndwr's attack?
Or can you only be a Larnie
If you have Beaker blood?
Or do your descendants have to include
The first fish who braved the mud?

Now, I met a man in Brown's Hotel
It was many years ago
He said he was from far away
A land called, 'Llanmiloe'
He murmured that back in the day
When the bus in down-street stopped
He'd be disappointed if a Larnie
Didn't punch him in the chops

And young men of old who dwelt in trees
Outside the old Green Dragon
On sunny days, stripped topless
Climbed up with beer flagons
And cars full of happy tourists
Set to watch the estuary flowing
Were greeted with banter, abuse and 'Vs'
And told to f... keep going

But Laugharne is facing challenges
The lineage of daytime drinkers, gone
The tall tale telling characters
Who will now sing their song?
And the silent blight of holiday homes
Most empty half the year
If there's no housing for the Larnies
What we love, will disappear

So... what constitutes a Larnie?
Maybe, by definition
It's those who live within the boundary
And abide by its traditions
Those who keep our township safe from harm
Those enchanted by the spell
Of this timeless ancient haven
In which we choose to dwell

So... from now on, I'm a 'Larnie'
And you outsiders, go to hell!

Jon Tregenna

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