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The Black Lion Hotel.

Does anybody know exactly what is happening with the Black Lion Hotel? This is a magnificent building that seems to be slowly falling apart through long term neglect. It was a big part of my youth in the 1960's, as we all gathered there on Saturday and Sunday nights before going off to Go-Go's or the Memorial Hall, both alcohol free zones at the time.

There we met up with girl friends, or tried our luck with the girls in the disco, having imbibed Dutch courage at the Black. Every time I pass there now I seem to hear old familiar voices echoing from the empty lounge bar overlooking Victoria Square, where we'd sit and talk about the latest hits in the charts like the Beatles, Stones, Animals, and the Kinks, or argue about politics, religion and a host of other subjects.

It would be a shame to see this building demolished, but of course, I'm fully aware of the costs involved in restoring it, and I'm afraid that in these hard times, there's not much room for sentiment. Still, somebody might find the right formula and make it a paying concern in some way or other.

I well remember the Black in the 60s, as you say a good watering hole before going to the Mems or Go-Gos. Do you remember the crazy parrot that was always on the bar in the first room on the right, taught by the boys to swear at the police when they came in looking for under-aged drinkers.

I know the guy that bought it and tried to run it as a Fagin's Bar and Restaurant, although he was highly successful with his other ventures the idiots of Aberdare soon brought him back to earth with a bump.

Trouble is there is no great business for such a building in Aberdare. Too big to run as a pub and too delapidated to run as a hotel. It's a listed building so unlikely it will be sold for conversion into flats. Perhaps our Coco could run it as a private workhouse.

I can remember meeting Dafydd Wigley of Plaid Cymru in the foyer there back during the by-election of 1984. He was down in Aberdare canvassing for the forthcoming election due to the death of Ioan Evans. These were obviously the days when the accommodation side still done a decent enough trade. Sound bloke.

The Black Lion was always full of £10 a week millionaires, who were usually on the dole. Go go's and the memorial hall were just drug dens. The police were always at these two shit holes.

Absolute bovine manure, cocoman. Contrary to what is said about the 1960's being just drug and sex orientated, it was a complete myth. I lived through it and I know that the drugs and sex were not obtainable...well, not that easily anyway.

Where you got that idiotic idea from I don't know, but GoGo's and the Mem didn't even sell alcohol. And if you turned up to the Mem obviously seven sheets to the wind you weren't allowed in. It was run by the Church, so no booze, no drugs, and any sex went on afterwards in the back alleys. We couldn't afford cars then.

What was a lot better compared to now was the employment situation. If you were out of work then it was because you wanted to be because you were too bone idle to find one of the many jobs that were around at the time.

There were no empty shops or market stalls back then either. The town was relatively prosperous and thriving, with no unemployable druggies and drunks making prats of themselves on the streets by intimidating passers-by.

Under age drinking wasn't allowed either, so those of us who went to the Black (or the backstreet pubs) underage kept an eye out for the coppers on patrol from pub to pub looking for the underage drinkers. Then it was out as fast as we could go rather than end up with our names in the Aberdare Leader court section the following week.

My, but you've got a wholly negative view about an era that you seem to know very little about, or if you do know anything, it's a very jaundiced view based on your own prejudices and ignorance.

Anyway, I don't know what age group you fall into, but it certainly ain't the age I'm in who lived as a teenager back in the 1960's. Drug dens? You must be joking. For dope we had to go down to Cardiff even for a small deal. There were purple hearts around and a few other uppers, but no smack or coke anywhere to be seen. No druggies outside the chemists waiting for methadone like now. I didn't even know anybody on smack back then.

No, I'm afraid your view on this issue is pretty naive, coco my old son, you need to read up on it a bit more, only this time not the Sun or some other navvy's comic that paints a false picture of the 1960's.

Compared to all the nasties around now it was an age of innocence. But it was a great time to be a teenager with all the social changes taking place that we did actually feel a part of, and the Black Lion was part of that scene too at the time, which is why I still have a fondness for it, and it saddens me to see it falling apart right now.

Anybody else out there feel the same way?

Say what you like, but I also remember Aberdare the 60s, it was not safe to walk the streets on Friday and Saturday nights. those two discos were terrible places for crime and fighting. A Police Officer who I knew well back then, had his work cut out on the weekends in Aberdare, he worked harder than any miner at that time.

Mr Cocoman has a point though, remember the way the Iron Bridge and the Commercial were run? The Cowbridge was known as (The Golden Slipper) in later years the Boot the Black Lion and the Carpenters were not very nice places to go for a drink. Aberdare town has never been and will never be a place to spend a social evening.

Sorry, guys, but I have to disagree with you both. I went to all those pubs back in the 1960's, and yes there was aggro around, but I always managed to steer away from it. Unlike today I never ever heard of stabbings or shootings in the valley towns. That level of violence happens all too often now for what I see of it.

I saw trouble alright in the 1960's , but for some reason it passed me by, and I had many a good night in the Carpenters, Iron Bridge, Commercial, and the Black Lion without being hassled by yobs out to start a fight. I was never much good at fighting anyway, so I saved my energy for the ladies. And another name for the Cowbridge (now the Market Tavern) was the Bucket of Blood, and for some unknown reason, the Tamping Frog!

As for the Boot, I have to admit that I and my mates were never allowed in there, because it was the watering hole of the local business community, and they didn't want what they saw as long haired, unwashed, drug crazed hippies in their "respectable" establishment.

Likewise the Prince of Wales bar of the Black Lion. We weren't allowed in there either for the same reason. They tolerated us in the bar and the lounge, but the very back bar was out of bounds to jeans and long hair.

As I've already pointed out, there were no druggies around to cause mayhem, and what drunks there were soon got themselves run in by the coppers. And that's another thing, we saw coppers on the streets back then, a rare sight these days that's for sure.

I remember Blacker too, and a few others like Reggie Briggs, but you knew them because they were visible. Where are the coppers these days? I'll take a photo the next time I see one, because they're as rare as rocking horse s**t in our towns.

I think that conditions are much worse now than they were then, and I'll argue to the last about that because I'm certain of it from my own experience.

I also went to the Mem and Gogo's and true it was a great time to live in. I met my husband there, he was from Cwmbach I from Hirwaun. And the copper Blacker you was talking about Coconut wasn't he from Cwmbach biggest crook I ever knew, tried to get my husband to fix his car or get a ticket yep he was classic cop lol

Now we know the kind of crooked company coconut kept and now he has the cheek to criticize the same type.

It all comes out in the end doesn't it.?

Thankyou Welshgirl for that little bit of historical info.

You people should not say things like that. The Officer you are talking about had given many years unblemished service to the public through his police work. Keep your lies to yourselves.

Sorry to bring us back to my original query, but apart from discussing these former incorruptible paragons of virtue in the police force that cocoman so admires, does anyone here have a clue as to what is happening to the Black Lion?

It will become a workhouse after the 2015 General Election, David Cameron will make sure of it. He is going to put an end to the something for nothing attitude that the sick, lame and lazy seem to have.

It is currently owned by the owners of Judges. It was bought by them mainly to stop any competition for Judges x

Thanks, bunny. I had actually heard that myself a couple of years back, but it all seems to be on stop right now, and the building is just rotting away. It makes me think that it's deliberate, and it may end up being demolished altogether, even though it is a listed building. I'm just wondering if there are any plans to rejuvenate the old place. Come to think of it, I could do with a bit of that myself!

Yeah I know hun, its such a shame to let it go to waste. A family member works for them and they were telling me why they bought it. We have so many disused buildings in the town, its about time they were used for the good of the community x

i totaly agree with you IsEE MY OLD school was pulled down such a shame .Trish.

I remember Aberdare of the 60s with great memories. Thank God for places like the mem and Go Gos, as without them there would have been nothing to do for teenagers apart from trying their luck at underage drinking. Shame to see buildings like the Black and the Boot have gone, the same happened to the New Inn at Ponty where Sunday nights in the lounge were great. More than anything the biggest loss was Carpaninis Fish and Chips shop-have never ever tasted better anywhere. Still, it's nice to have the good memories.

Hi. The crazy parrot was called "Polly". It was my Gran's Parrot. I was raised in the Black Lion Hotel along with the Brother, David, when my parents David and Gayna Perryman and my Grandparents, Ivor and Meg Perryman owned it. Many a found memory.