Site Name: No. 49 PENDRE; COMMERCE HOUSE.
In 1834 No. 49 was marked on John Wood’s Map of Cardigan as belonging to William Jones. In 1850-59 this was the “Commercial Hotel”. In 1861 Mary Davies, 30, sailor’s wife, probably lived here with David Davies, 6, her son; Elinor Davies, 3, daughter; and Benjamin Davies, 7 months, son. In 1871 Lettuce Jones, 78, dress-maker, lived here with her daughter, Jane Jones, 33. On 7th July 1876 it was about to be converted into a shop.
In 1881 Thomas Richard Nicholas may have moved here from Aberdare Hall, though this may have been a clerical error for ‘No. 45 Pendre’. In 1881-1902 Robert Cunningham, china dealer, lived and traded here. In 1881 the following persons lived here: Robert Cunningham, 54, china dealer, Elizabeth Cunningham, 46, his wife; Janie Evans, 7, niece; and Anne Jeremiah, 19, general servant. In 1883 John William Nicholas, Sarah E. Nicholas and Mary C. Nicholas lived here. In 1891 Robert Cunningham, 64, china/glass dealer, lived here with his wife Elizabeth Cunningham, 56, Janie Evans, 17, their niece and Catherine G., 22, servant. In 1898 the Commercial Hotel opened here – eight bedrooms having been connected to the Commercial Hotel next door. In 1901 the following persons lived at No. 48/49: Robert Cunningham, 74, china shopkeeper (b. Burnley, English-speaking); Elizabeth Cunningham, 66, his wife; Emily Davies, 24, domestic servant; and Catherine Davies, 27, nurse. Except where noted otherwise, all were bilingual and born in Cardigan. On 14th April 1901 Mrs. Elizabeth Cunningham died aged 66. In 1904 Mrs. E. M. Owen ran the ‘Commercial Hotel’. In September 1906 George Phillips opened a shop here. In 1906-09 George Phillips, clothier, traded here. On 1st May 1908 George Phillips’ tailor’s shop here was advertised to let. Prior to February 1909 George Phillips kept a shop here.
On 6th March 1909 J. G. Morgan opened a clothing shop here and advertised the house above it to let. In 1909-16 J. G. Morgan kept a shop here and probably lived here in 1910-16. On 2nd August 1910 John Griffith Morgan, 33, of No. 49 Pendre married Catherine Bowen, 27, of Swansea. In 1911 the following persons lived here: John Griffith Morgan, 33, clothier; Kate Morgan, 28, his wife; and Thomas Milligan Morgan, 23, his brother, ironmonger’s assistant. In March 1916 J. G. Morgan moved to No. 52 Pendre and Mrs. M. Luke, dress-maker, moved here from No. 16 North Road. In 1916-18 M. A. Luke lived here. In March 1921 George Picton Williams was preparing to open a shop here, in the former Commercial Hotel. In 1921-29 George Picton Williams, tailor, kept a shop here.
No. 49 was later sold to D. W. Griffiths, who had a large grocer’s shop here in 1931-64. On Thursday 19th March 1931 D. W. Griffiths’s new store here opened. On 20th March 1931 the following appeared in the ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser‘:
“…NEW SHOPPING CENTRE. MR. D. W. GRIFFITHS’S PALATIAL PREMISES IN PENDRE. With the opening on Thursday (yesterday) of Mr. D. W. Griffiths’s fine new grocery store at Pendre, Cardigan, the gradual extension northwards of the business centre of the town is brought to greater notice. The new premises is an imposing structure and it has added in an immeasurable extent to the beautifying of this section of the town. The magnificent double frontage of teak and bronze metal, with granite plinths, is bordered on each side with curved windows – an innovation in shop fronts. The interior of the retail department, with its spacious floor space, splendid headroom, and oak block floor and fittings, is no less striking. The provision side has cronium-plated fittings, marble slabs and white-glazed tiles at the back and surrounding. A notable feature is an artistic floral-designed lead-lighted window in the back wall, and it forms part of the lighting effect to the office and the premises beyond. The brilliant electric lighting in the shop and windows is also a feature. The remainder of the spacious premises, a basement and three floors, where wholesale business will be conducted, is also modernly equipped. An electric lift is used for the conveyance of goods to and from each floor. The builders were Messrs. Davies & Morgan, Cardigan…”
Mr. J. Teifion J. Williams had been the architect of the 1931 work. On 8th November 1940 Mrs. D. W. Griffiths died aged 61. In 1949 Norman Griffiths was the grocer. In September 1951 D. W. Griffiths, grocer, died. On 20th November 1964 D. W. Griffiths’ business premises was advertised for sale. In 1965-70 this was the grocer’s shop of W. P. Thomas Ltd with Penri’s Café located on the first floor. On 12th June 1970, the “Swan Hotel” opened here. The ‘Swan’ restaurant traded here in 1974-77. By 1980 the property was ‘Dragon City’ Chinese Restaurant’. In 1997 it changed its’ name to ‘Happy City’.
In 2001 the building appeared as follows:
Probable late C19 house and shop in painted roughcast with plain, raised painted stucco quoins to angles and matching surrounds and voussoirs to first and second floor windows. Pitched slate roof with truncated red brick right end stack. 4-pane sashes, replaced in plastic to upper storey, slate sills throughout. Large C20 laminated plastic sign beneath first floor sills. Early to mid C20 shop front, altered, with large plate glass windows.
Old photographs show timber 4-pane sashes to fist floor and ground floor with three small plate glass sashes with squared pilasters between to left side with doorway, slightly offset to right within long projecting head carrying ‘Commercial’ to sides and ‘hotel’ to front with decorative outsize wrought iron brackets.
Census Returns 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901; 1911
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1876; 1893; 1898; 1901-02; 1907-12; 1914-16; 1918; 1921-23
1925-30; 1939-41; 1944; 1949-50; 1954; 1964-67; 1970; 1974; 1980
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1884; 1895; 1914; 1926
O. S. map 1887 etc.
A Guide to Cardigan & District, William Edward Yerward James 1899
Programme – Tivy-Side Fanciers Association 15/01/1908
List of Voters – Cardigan 25/07/1910
Register of Electors – Cardigan 1912
Post Office Telephone Directory 1955
© Glen K Johnson 05/09/2013