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Hay and the Wye valley
Earning a living
  Victorian Inns and taverns in the area  

extract from Pigot's directoryIn the days before the great Victorian railway network was built people had to travel around by coach or on horseback.
As journeys took a lot longer this meant that travellers needed somewhere to stay overnight. All across Britain there were a great number of inns which gave people food and accommodation.

Pigot's Directory of South Wales lists the inns and their landlords in the Hay area in the early years of Queen Victoria's reign. The inns which put up travellers by stage coach (like the White Swan listed here) needed to employ a lot of local people to run them.
Servants were needed to clean the rooms and look after the guests. There would be boot boys to clean the travellers' boots and shoes, and grooms to look after the horses. A cook and her assistants would be busy in the kitchen cooking for the guests. From this you can see that the inns of the area would be an important source of employment
for local people in Victorian times.

Old photograph of the Rose and Crown by
kind permission of
Mr Eric Pugh
For working men the public house or tavern provided some welcome entertainment at the end of a hard working day. Rose and CrownSome found drink a way to forget their harsh lives, and in Victorian times many were worried about drunkenness. This could lead to men mistreating their wives or poor families having much of what little income they had spent on drink, instead of food and clothing for the children. Temperance Societies were set up to encourage men to avoid drink, and the members of the Methodist Church were not allowed alcohol at all.  

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