Machen pub, the Fwrrwm Ishta could be turned into house
12:18pm Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
A CENTURIES-old pub dubbed “the heart” of Machen and a one-time haunt of Welsh rugby stars could have served its last pint.
Caerphilly council has received a planning application to turn the Fwrrwm Ishta on Commercial Road into a five-bedroom family home.
The news will be a bitter blow to locals who had hoped it would remain as a pub/restaurant after it was sold at auction to a mystery bidder back in March.
It was the base of Machen RFC when it was founded in 1871 and iconic former chairman Jack ‘Shon’ Davies regularly brought rugby stars of the 1970s such as JPR Williams and Gareth Edwards to drink there.
But, it has had numerous landlords over the last couple of decades, spent various periods closed and was even subject to a planning application to be turned into a school.
The last landlord Niall Walshe seemed to have turned its fortunes around and after taking it on two years ago was successfully hosting rural market, had opened a tea room and was planning to attract coach trips and open up the adjoining river for coach trips.
But, he quit out of the blue last year, citing the poor state of the building and equipment.
Owner Enterprise Inns vowed to find a new landlord, with a community group called Calon saying it would also explore the possibility of a community buyout.
Member Jan Walsh said the group wanted it to become “the heart of the village once more”, with a meeting taking place to discuss the possibilities.
The Fwrrwm was set to go up for auction in March this year at the Celtic Manor, with a guide price of £265,000.
But, a mystery buyer bought it before the auction, with rumours rife in the village ever since, some speculating it had been bought by a restaurant chain.
However, the application to Caerphilly council was made by Mr J Pannu of Commercial Road, Newport.
He has proposed changing the Fwrrwm’s use from a pub/restaurant to a residential property, altering and refurbishing it to create a new five-bedroom family home with external works, parking and a new garden area.
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