The Sea Horse Inn, New Quay

Link to French translationThe Sea Horse Inn, Margaret Street

This pub was known as the Sailor’s Home Arms when New Quay was a bustling port. “Good stabling” was written above one of the entrances (at the chamfered corner) in the early 20th century, suggesting that the inn catered for horse-drawn coaches as well as sailors who were between voyages. It was later called the Commercial Hotel.

The pub inspired one of the most delightful paragraphs in Dylan Thomas’ 1954 radio play Under Milk Wood. He had lived in New Quay in 1944 and 1945, frequenting its bars. In the play, a narrator describes Sinbad Sailors, grandson of Mary Ann Sailors, drawing a pint in the bar of the Sailors Arms. “The ship’s clock in the bar says half past eleven. Half past eleven is opening time. The hands of the clock have stayed still at half past eleven for fifty years. It is always opening time in the Sailors Arms.”

In October 1967 one of the pub’s regulars, Peter Bryan, rode a bull from his home in Llanarth, 3km away, to the pub and back in protest at the recent introduction of breathalysers to catch drink-drivers. The UK government had introduced a drink-drive limit the previous year. The Western Mail reported that the bull, called King John, made his way into the bar, to the surprise of landlord Cliff Harries, and downed a pint of bitter and some crisps.

Mr Bryan bred pedigree Jerseys and rode some of his bulls at shows. He told the Western Mail’s reporter: “If you are found drunk in charge of a bull, you don’t lose your [driving] licence. It was a good idea to go on the bull. The breathalyser is hitting pubs around here. It’s not at all fair to the publicans, and eventually it will kill the tourist trade.”

Photos of the event still hang on the wall at the Sea Horse.

Postcode: SA45 9QJ    View Location Map