93-year-old landlady whose Welsh pub served ‘only Bass’ has died

Bessie Davies, the “iconic” publican of the Dyffryn Arms pub in the Gwaun Valley in Pembrokeshire, has died at the age of 93.

The Dyffryn Arms, fondly known by locals simply as Bessie’s, has featured in The Good Beer Guide for 40 successive years, despite having no wifi, no television, no bar, and serves “only Bass” through a hatch in the wall.

Davies, who worked in the pub before becoming the owner for 73 years, died peacefully on Saturday 16 December and was one of the UK’s longest serving publicans.

According to local reports, Davies was extremely proud that her pub in her rural corner of Wales where the locals are among the only people left in the country to celebrate the New Year according to the old Julian calendar which means it falls on 13 January.

The pub features mismatching sets of chairs around worn tables, a woodburner and notes of currency from all over the world as well as a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the wall.

Speaking to reporters, councillor John Davies told of how Bessie was “an iconic person” who will be “missed by all”. “She was a straight-talker, what you saw was exactly what you got. She extended a very warm and honest welcome to all of her patrons. She was traditional in many senses”

Cllr Davies told stories of a time someone once asked her for a lager and lime, to which she responded: “We don’t do cocktails here.”

Photographer Gareth Davies referred to her as “a very special lady indeed” and added that Bessie “was a very nice person, very happy in her own place and environment, and she’d talk to anyone. She was a proper landlady”.

This article originally appeared on the drinks business.

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