Friday 22 November 2013

Legless down at the Quercus Petraea

The sessile oak, or quercus petraea, is a species of oak which grows over much of Europe and parts of western Asia. Someone or other designated the tree as the national tree of Wales, and Bruce suggests derwen ddigoes as the Welsh name. Derwen ddigoes translates literally as 'legless oak'.

Perhaps the marketing executives at Marstons who came up with the name "The Sessile Oak" for their new pub next to Parc y Scarlets were cracking a little joke.

The Sessile Oak
The pub stands on a site leased to the Scarlets by Carmarthenshire County Council for 150 years. Despite never having paid anything for the lease, the club nevertheless received a hefty chunk of the £850,000 paid by Marstons for the plot. Quite how much the club received, the council refuses to say, although the club will presumably have to disclose the figure when it publishes its next set of accounts.

It is also rumoured that legal fees consumed an unusually large share of the proceeds, something which perhaps reflects the rather unusual nature of the transaction.

While the terms and conditions of the deal remain secret, what does seem clear is that the council did not consider it necessary to insert a clause ensuring that the brewery group respected the Welsh language, which is entirely absent from the bungalow-like exterior of the pub.

Of all the regional clubs, the Scarlets have the strongest connections with the language. A recognition of those traditions, perhaps choosing something like Y Sosban, would have cost nothing in a deal which was otherwise all about money.

The sessile oak is not just the designated national tree of Wales, but also the symbol of a rather more endangered species, the Welsh Conservatives. Perhaps that was part of the little joke as well.


Anonymous said...

The conversations around this pub must have been surreal, "I know, let's build a pub in the middle of a roundabout in the middle of a shopping complex that people can only get to if the drive" "Will we need to worry about safety audits or maybe problems with encouraging people to drink and drive?" "No, it's in Carmarthenshire!"

Jac o' the North, said...

Marston's have recently opened a pub in Aberystwyth, called The Starling Cloud.

Here we are, 14 years into devolution and we're worse off than before, with English companies opening pubs in Wales that show no sympathy for local identity or culture, using names off a list and installing English staff.

Yet Carwyn Jones has the gall to go to Scotland and tell the Scots how wonderful it is to be chained to England.

Anonymous said...

Marstons seem to specialise in twee English names of no local significance for their pubs, the one they built next to the Cardiff City Stadium is called The Sand Martin.
Pretty ridiculous for a pub on a retail park facing on to one of Cardiff's busiest roads.

Anonymous said...

Dummies. How can you tell your mates where to meet if you can't pronounce the name of a place.

Only in Wales huh .............................

Jac o' the North, said...

Anon 21:00 If you can't pronounce a Welsh name whose fault is that?

Anonymous said...

Jac, if you want me to visit the pub it's your problem. But if you don't want my custom then it isn't anyone's problem.

This is what business is all about. By all means make yourself 'exotic', but don't then start complaining if you find that you haven't got enough business.

Maybe this is why Wales contributes so few jobs in to private sector.

gaynor said...

what a stupid comment so nobody visits Llanfair PG do they because the exotic name puts them off ( despite the fact that it was made up by somebody local to pull in ....English tourists)