Posted inUncategorized

41-years behind the bar. Couple call time on the Farmers Arms in Llandegfedd

Do you know any pub that has had the same couple behind the bar for longer than 41 years? Rob and Carolyn Baribeault, from the Farmers Arms in Llandegfedd, deserve an entry in some sort of record book, maybe for Gwent, south Wales, Wales or even the UK?

If you fancy trying out their hospitality I’m sorry, you’re too late. Last Saturday (26 March 22) they pulled their last pints, cooked their last steaks and called ‘last orders’ for the final time.

It is a fantastic achievement. From 2000 to 2019 pub numbers in the UK have declined by 13,600 (22%). The pair started working in the pub in 1981, when it was owned by Carolyn’s parents.  Seven years later they officially took over making their time behind the bar a 41-year-long shift.

The couple’s children Daniel and Melanie were born and brought up in the pub.

Woman pulling a pint
An old photo (date unknown) of Carolyn behind the bar of the Farmers Arms
Man pulling a pint
An old photo (date unknown) of Rob behind the bar of the Farmers Arms

The Farmers Arms is just over the Torfaen border in Monmouthshire, a couple of miles down the lane past Greenmeadow Golf Club. This made it a popular local for Cwmbran residents.

Friends, family and locals held a retirement party in the evening. I popped in at the worst possible time for a busy pub. They had started cooking meals for the evening and were just getting ready for a table of eight to arrive- the final meal before they could take off their aprons and head to the bar to join the party.

Couple stood in pub kitchen with arms around each other

I caught up with Rob in the kitchen while he was taking a quick break. He said: “It’s the end of an era, put it that way. But we’ve got to move on now like, you know. Yes it feels good. No more commitments you know what I mean. My mind says ‘keep going’ but my body says ‘slow it down’.

“My mother-in-law and father-in-law owned the business and they retired and we bought the place and the rest is history, you know.

Rob, 66, said the best thing about running a village pub was: “Peace and tranquility living in the countryside. I wouldn’t change this for a pub that would take three times the money.

“I mean 41 years, we went through a lot of ups and downs but at the end, we got to the finishing line.”

I asked him about the pub regulars. He joked: “Oh well, they’ll have a few tears but I hope they’re tears of joy. You know, it’s not like there is no other pub.

“At the moment it’s one day at a time, I’ll worry about tomorrow with my hangover. And that’s all there is to it like, you know. No plans at the moment. There is a lot of work to be done down here, tidy things up. She (Carolyn) wants the bathroom done so we will be doing that, plenty of jobs going on.

“But at the moment, sit back and relax and watch the world go by.”




Posted inNews

41-years behind the bar. Couple call time on the Farmers Arms in Llandegfedd

Smiling couple in pub kitchen with arms around each other
Carolyn and Rob Baribeault have retired after 41 years in the Farmers Arms