The Pilot Inn, Mumbles
This building has been licensed to sell alcohol since the mid-19th century, when mariner Samuel Ace opened an inn here. He was one of the pilots who helped ships to navigate across Swansea Bay. The inn was popular with fishermen, oyster dredgers and sailors.
Local historian Brian E Davies also notes, in his book Mumbles and Gower Pubs, that the licensee in 1914 was a former policeman called John Paine, who enlisted to fight in the First World War – despite being 64 years old.
Mumbles Yacht Club was formed at The Pilot Inn in 1938, but its activities were soon suspended because of the outbreak of war. The club reformed in 1946, holding monthly meetings in The Pilot Inn’s backroom until the number of attendees outgrew the venue. The club then met at the Mermaid Hotel.
A feature of The Pilot Inn since the 1970s has been the stained-glass frieze above the bar. It depicts local scenes including the Mumbles Railway, the first passenger railway in the world. There are photos of the railway, taken in the years before its closure in 1960, on the walls of the pub.
The inn is now known as The Pilot and is home to a micro-brewery called the Mumbles Brewery, which started producing real ales in March 2013. Oysters are one of the ingredients of the brewery’s Oystermouth Stout, recalling an old tradition of snacking on oysters and stout. In its heyday in the mid-19th century, the local oyster industry employed hundreds of men. Pollution, over-fishing and a virus had killed off the industry by the 1920s.
Postcode: SA3 4EL