The Station Hotel.
The Station Hotel was built sometime in the 1870’s on ground leased by Mrs Ann James of Abertillery. On a land sales document of 1879 published by Messrs William Graham & Sons there were several lots of freehold ground rents for sale in the Abertillery Town area. The Station Hotel featured on the sheet and it stated the lease was granted to Mrs Ann James for a term of 999 years from 1st January 1874 containing 1,080 square yards. Another lot situate in the same place leased to Mrs Ann James for a term of 99 years from 2nd August 1872 containing 650 square yards.
At this time Mrs Ann James was resident at the Bush Inn, on the 3rd September 1875 she applied to the Licensing Meeting, Division of Bedwellty, held at the Blaina Inn for a licence to sell retail wines, spirits, beer, porter, cider, perry and other intoxicating liquors to be drunk or consumed in a certain house situate on the Blaenau Gwent Road, close to the Railway Station, Abertillery. Signed by Mrs Ann James 10th August 1875. I believe this may have been an application for the licence for the Station Hotel that she had built on the land she was leasing.
The Station Hotel first appeared as an hotel in any documentation in October 1877. It was used by auctioneers for auctions in Abertillery from this date. Prior to this they held their auctions at the Bush Inn, Abertillery.
In the late 1880’s to the early 1890’s Mr Lewis was the landlord.
Mr J. B. Jones.
In 1894 Mr J. B. Jones was the landlord.
Mr M. J. Jones.
In the late 1890’s the landlord was Mrs M. J. Jones.
In the early 1900’s the Station Hotel was getting too small for purpose and it was decided to demolish the hotel and to erect a much larger building in the same place. This project was planned and completed in conjunction with the re-building of the Railway Inn in the same year.
The New Station Hotel.
In May 1902 planning for the new Station Hotel was applied for and tenders were invited. The tender of Mr Noel Bagley of Rutland House, Oak Street, Abertillery was accepted and the rebuilding was started. There wasn’t much publicity made about the reconstruction and no evident reporting on its completion.
The Death of Mr J. B. Jones.
On Sunday 4th December 1904 Mr J. B. Jones sadly passed away at fifty-one years of age.
The Cricket League.
On Saturday 28th January 1905 a meeting of officers of various cricket clubs in the district was held at the new Station Hotel, Abertillery with the intention to form a cricket league for the western part of Monmouthshire. Mr S. Winmill presided. Present were representatives of Garn Vach, Blaina, Ebbw Vale, Abertillery, Abercarn and Blackwood Cricket teams. The league would run alongside the then current league and they would compete with similar teams for the Monmouthshire County Cup. Mr S. Winmill was elected Secretary of the league and he was given instructions to communicate with Cwmcarn, Ynysddu, Bedwas and Brynmawr to gauge their interest in joining, Crumlin stated they would consider the invitation and a meeting was planned at a later date to take things further and to elect other officers.
The Abertillery Rugby Football Club Headquarters.
The Station Hotel became the headquarters for the Abertillery R.F.C., (prior to this the team used the Bush Inn for a short while) Also the Abertillery Boccolonians R.F.C.; the Abertillery Wednesday’s RFC. (more than probably many other clubs but more information needed).
Mr J. Jones.
In August 1906 the licence for the Station Hotel was transferred from Mrs M. J. Jones to Mr David Bowen Evans. Mr Evans was one time an assistant master under Mr Thomas Bevan at the British Schools. He Later worked at the Penybont Colliery Offices and in 1902 he married Miss Eliza Edwards and together ran the Globe Hotel for 4 years.
On Tuesday 15th September 1908 Mr Evans sadly passed away. I am not sure if Mrs Eliza Evans took over the licence but the next landlord who was registered was Mr Rhys Richards in 1912.
Mr Rhys Richards.
Mr Rhys Richards, Hotel Keeper of Neath born 1878 with his wife Mrs Katie Richards nee Jones also of Neath with family Misses Victoria Richards and Master Howell Richards. Also residing at the premises were Mrs Elizabeth Jones (mother-in-law) and Servants Mr William Jones, Mr Albert Jones and Miss Evelyn Richards.
Mr A. Simmons.
Before the Great War Mr A. Simmonds was the licensee.
Abertillery Camera Club.
On the 30th September 1920 a Camera and Photographic Club was set up at the Station Hotel, Abertillery. The club stated they would use the hotel as their headquarters and it was proposed to acquire a room at the premises for the purpose of a dark room laboratory.
In the early 1920’s at a meeting of the Roads Bridges & General Purposes Committee at the Council Offices, plans were produced to erect a ladies public convenience close to the Station Hotel, if the plans were passed and the toilets were actually constructed I don’t know yet, though the council at the meeting stated that it would be the first of its kind.
Mr and Mrs James Jones.
In 1925 Mr and Mrs James Jones were licensees.
In February 1925 the Station Hotel, Abertillery were listed as being in the indoor Quoits League. Some of the team members were as follows – Mr G. Simmonds; Mr W. Watkins; Mr G. Harris; Mr G. Powell; Mr T. Davies; Mr T. Bennett; Mr D. Evans and Mr J. Snell:
In May 1930 Mr and Mrs James Jones left the Station Hotel. It was reported they had moved to Pembrokeshire though I was reliably informed that they stayed in Abertillery and become licensees of the Globe Hotel.
Abertillery Dog Shows.
On Wednesday May 1930 a series of Dog Matches or Shows were held at the Station Hotel, Abertillery, it was held in the showrooms by the Western Valley’s Canine Society and was reported to be the first of its kind in the area. Prizes were given to the best dog and bitch at the show. The officials were from various parts of the district, mostly from the Pontypool area. The Judge was Mr A. White of Brynmawr. Some of the Abertillery prize winners were as follows – Mr F. C. Payne of Aberbeeg with a Cocker Spaniel called “Woodland Critic”; Mr G. Walters of Abertillery with a Smooth Fox Terrier called “Collectors Gem”; Mr R. C. Morgan of Abertillery with a Pekingese Dog called “Red Bride”; Mr Jenkin Jones of Six Bells with a Cocker Spaniel called “Wood Don”; Miss Maud Rees of Llanhilleth with an Alsatian Bitch called “Welsh Lad”: Diplomas for the best Dog was won by Mrs Jenkin Jones of Six Bells with “Woodlyn Dan”:
Mr David J. Jenkins.
In October 1930 Mr David J. Jenkins became the landlord of the Station Hotel.
Over the years the Station Hotel was also the headquarters of the Masonic Lodge at Abertillery.
In 1932 the Abertillery Wednesday Club R.F.C. reformed. A meeting held on Tuesday 23rd August 1932 presided by Mr W. Elton decided to reform the Rugby Club. The officers who were elected were as follows – Mr Walter Elton (Chairman); Mr S. Lane of Aberbeeg (Secretary; Mr C. J. Abraham of Aberbeeg (Treasurer); Committee – Mr Griff Longhurst; Mr T. Phillips; Mr Trevor Williams; Mr William Saunders; Mr Harry Powell; Mr W. Davies; Mr T. Broomfield; Mr Thomas Simmonds of Six Bells; Mr B. Williams and Mr D. Jenkins: The club became affiliated to the Monmouthshire Junior League, their colours were white. They were awaiting permission of a permanent playing ground though were practising on the Abertillery Park Extension every Wednesday.
Mr Arthur Jones.
In August 1933 Mr Jenkins transferred the licence of the Station Hotel to Mr Arthur Jones who previously ran the Prince Of Wales, High Street, Abertillery.
Abertillery Bird Show.
In October 1935 the twenty-first annual show of the British and Foreign Birds, organised by the Abertillery Caged Birds Society was held at the Station Hotel, Abertillery. The show was held in the showrooms and was a great success with entries numbering 320, an increase of more than 100 from the previous year. The officers and the winners of the various categories were from all over the country though some of the local winners were as follows – Mr R. Dean of Abertillery; Mr W. J. Lewis of Llanhilleth; Mr W. Lewis of Abertillery and Mr Joshua Parfitt of Abertillery:
During the 1940’s the Station Hotel was locally referred to as “The Stand Up”, it was rumoured that it was so called as during this time it was so crowded because of its location close to the Abertillery Railway Station that the landlord had to remove all the seating to accommodate more people, the customers therefore had the “stand up” while visiting the hotel.
The Later Years.
For many years the Station Hotel was the home of the Abertillery Rugby Football Club and known as the Rugby Club. It ceased being the Rugby Club in the 1990’s and severed ties with the Abertillery Rugby Club. It was later refurbished and re-opened as the Penndragon. It finally closed as a bub in about 2014 and it was planned to have it converted into a Hostel.