The Price Family of the Velindre and Glasbury Area
An article by Liz Summerson looking at their long association with the Thee Horse Shoes pub in Velindre


My great-grandfather George PRICE was born on 24 October 1861 to Mary, née PROBERT, and formerly PRICE, and her soon-to-be second husband George PRICE, 1936 - 1911, a master tailor like his own father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him. Mary and George married a little tardily at Glasbury St Peter’s on 24 January 1863, Mary making her mark (X) and George signing the register. Mary had been left a widow with 6 children when her first husband, John PRICE, died in 1858. He, too, was a master tailor. George, a bachelor aged 25 at the birth of his son, was twelve years younger than Mary when he took on her family. George junior was their only child together.
Villages like Velindre being close communities, it was not surprising to find that George was related to Mary’s first husband, John PRICE, with common ancestors in a master tailor named Rees PRICE, 1759 – 1852 and his wife Anne JONES (1752 – 1825. That couple were my 5 x great-grandparents; John was their grandson and the George b 1836 was their great-grandson.


But back to our younger George, born in 1861: his childhood did not last long. In the census of 1871, aged 9, he was already a ‘taylor’s (sic) apprentice’ to his father, as was his half-brother Rees, aged 15. George’s mother Mary and his half-sisters were shirt makers, so it sounds like a busy enterprise.
Whether young George also went to school, I don’t know. There was, however, a little ‘scholar’ living next door but one in Velindre village: this was Elizabeth JONES, aged 5, living with her grandparents James and Ann JONES, as she was the illegitimate child of their daughter Eliza.
In the 1881 census of Velindre, on a single page which has no less than three different PRICE families, George was listed in his parents’ household as a tailor, aged 19. His half-brother Rees had sadly died two years previously and was buried in Glasbury churchyard along with a sister Hannah who predeceased him. The shirt making girls had left home, one emigrating to the USA. George was to use the names of these half-siblings in his own family. Meanwhile, James JONES was still living nearby with his 15 year old granddaughter Elizabeth acting as his housekeeper; Mrs Ann JONES was elsewhere on census night.

Marriage and Children

Three and a half years later, in November 1884, George PRICE and Elizabeth JONES eloped to Cheltenham to get married at the Register Office, with the connivance of George’s half-brother John, also a tailor, who lived there. It took me many years to find the marriage of George and Elizabeth, as I had been searching in the Hay area. But the reason for their elopement became clear, though it was not an unusual one: Elizabeth, aged 18 and thus needing parental consent to marry, was heavily pregnant with her first child, a daughter Marianne Jane, who was born in Velindre early on 20 January 1885. On the birth certificate, her father’s occupation is given as journeyman tailor. Less than a year later, on 22 December 1885, their second daughter, Georgina, was born. Then followed a third daughter, Elizabeth Emily, on 25 August 1887.
I am not sure exactly when George took on the licence of The Three Horseshoes pub in Velindre, but probably in 1887. Certainly by the birth of my grandfather Rhys on 3 April 1889, he and Elizabeth were installed there. There next followed four more boys – Thomas Jones, George Cecil, Ivor and John Reginald Redvers, before the ninth and final child, Blanche Vera, born on 9 April 1904. So it was a well-stocked Victorian/Edwardian family of nine children, all of whom survived and thrived.
If George and Elizabeth had followed the usual convention of getting their babies baptised very young, I would have known precisely when he took over the pub as baptism records give the address and father’s occupation. However, though brought up in the Church of England, the Price children were not baptised as babies, but when they were old enough to decide for themselves. For instance, my grandfather Rhys was 11 when baptised. Ivor was 15, and was in fact baptised the same day as his mother, for whom this ceremony seemed to have been overlooked in her infancy. For their baptisms, as for all religious events, the family used St Peter’s, Glasbury.

Publican and Tailor

George was not only the publican of The Three Horseshoes but also continued working as a tailor. One of his granddaughters told me that he would sit cross-legged on the bar sewing uniforms for the Breconshire Regiment. But apparently he also liked to read and would have loved to have been a teacher. This was an ambition fulfilled by one of his daughters, Georgina, who taught at Velindre School and is mentioned in this capacity in ‘Under the Black Mountains’, Logaston Press and in the 1911 census, where she was living in the home of her grandfather George PRICE senior.
George and Elizabeth seem to have been a jolly couple, popular in the village and as publicans. They also sold some basic provisions, which must have been useful to the villagers. George also sold ‘good cider in buyers’ casks’, as shown by an advert from the Brecon County Times of August 1926.

Commemorated in verse

I have found two sets of verses that were written during their time at the pub. Below is a section from ‘Lines on Velindre’ by W Wallis of Hay, published in the Brecon County Times in 1923. The merit of the poetry is questionable, but the verses do give a graphic picture of the pub.

‘The village inn, Three Horseshoes sign,
Supplies refreshment from the mine
Or cellar full of stout and beer
And food the heart of man to cheer.

The shepherd here takes midday meal
With faithful dog quite close to heel.
And woodman after swinging heavy axe
With eggs and bacon waistcoat packs.

The labouring man at close of day
Makes this his club, no fees to pay,
Orders his pint, enjoys his smoke,
Draws close to fire, and cracks his joke.’

The book ‘Under the Black Mountains,’ edited by Colin A Lewis, Logaston Press, 2017, contains as its Appendix 2, ‘Velindre Jubilee – 6 May 1935’ by Mrs Z A H Price (no relation) which describes all the villagers and includes the following:

‘The pub will be full, the beer will flow,
And Price to the cellar oft will go.
We’ll have a real good royal show All for the Jubilee.’

As George was 73 in 1935, I hope his legs were not aching from going too oft to the cellar.

The family and the pub

George’s mother Mary died in 1899 at the age of 75. One of her great-granddaughters (Nancy Louvain PRICE, 1914 – 2012) told me she left money to the Maesyronnen Chapel but she was buried at St Peter’s, Glasbury. Elizabeth’s mother, Eliza KEELTY née JONES, died in February 1911 in Eardisley. George’s father, George PRICE senior, died in October 1911 at Velindre.
With the outbreak of war in 1914, a family with five sons and, by then, three sons-in-law would have cause to worry. However, only two of the PRICE boys were affected, the others being in exempt occupations, including engineering and agriculture.
Cecil, the third son, who had been working as a clerk in the Railway Clearing House at Penistone, near Sheffield, joined the Royal Engineers in November 1914. Having been a Territorial, he was sent to France within a week of enlisting – I have a postcard sent by him from Dieppe congratulating his brother Rhys on the birth of my mother on 26 November 1914. He served in Aden and India but came home safe and sound.
However, his life was nevertheless a short one. Having married in 1924, at the age of 31, he developed a cancer and died in October 1927 at 34. His only child, Raymond, was born in 1925. Cecil’s funeral was held at St Peter’s Glasbury, where he had been a member of the Choir and the Church Lads’ Brigade. His death must have been devastating for his parents and siblings.
However, they had already lost one son and brother: this was the youngest PRICE boy, John Reginald Redvers PRICE, known as Reggie. Reggie had been working as a railway mechanic but joined the Merchant Navy.
Having made a return voyage from Cuba on the SS Glendine, he was looking forward to home leave. But only an hour after the ship had berthed at Gravesend on 4 August 1918, Reggie died a mere hour later, from typhoid at the age of 17. His father and a brother attended an inquest which gave this verdict.

This photo taken around the summer of 1906 shows the whole family of George and Elizabeth PRICE with the exception of Rhys, the eldest boy, who had begun his engineering apprenticeship. It could be the occasion of Annie’s 21st birthday. Attributing names to the girls is difficult as they are so similar but at a guess:
Left to right: George Cecil, Marianne Jane (Annie), Thomas, Georgina, Elizabeth Emily, George senior, Elizabeth, Ivor Blanche, Reggie

The five eldest children of George PRICE and Elizabeth JONES The older girl is Annie KEELTY, half-sister to Elizabeth PRICE (née JONES) and therefore an aunt to the children. Back left, Georgina. On Annie’s lap, Thomas
Back right, Marianne Jane (Annie)
Front left, Rhys Front right, Elizabeth Emily

Here, mourning clothes are mostly worn. The most obvious reasons for mourning would be the death of Elizabeth’s mother in February 1911 and George’s father in July 1911. The photo was probably taken that summer (the trees are in full leaf). Emily, the youngest of the three oldest girls, was the first to marry, in April 1911, and so is the least likely to be in this photo. Georgina married in February 1912. Annie, the eldest, married in May 1912, shortly after the birth of her first son. I cannot detect rings on the girls’ hands. The boys are, I think, George Cecil on the left and Ivor on the right. Both George and Elizabeth seem to have aged quite a lot since the previous photo.

This photo taken in 2006 shows two of George and Elizabeth’s grandchildren: Ray Price Hinton (son of George Cecil) aged 81 and Nancy Louvain (daughter of Marianne Jane (Annie), aged 92. Nancy was herself a former landlady of The Three Horseshoes and Ray spent a lot of time there as a small boy.

Elizabeth PRICE, the matriarch and convivial landlady of The Three Horseshoes was known as Granny Velindre to my mother, who described her as ‘very jolly’. The sadness of losing two sons took its toll, however, and although her death in May 1933 was unexpected, she had not been well for a considerable time, according to the obituary printed in the Brecon County Times. She had, however, been thought to be improving so it was a shock when, on the evening of Sunday 20 May, she had gone upstairs and suddenly collapsed and died. The obituary said her death cast a gloom over the village and that her funeral was one of the largest every known in Velindre. There was a very large family presence, with all her children and grandchildren, as well as many villagers.
George was to live a further fifteen years as a widower. I don’t know when he relinquished the licence of the pub, but he was still landlord in September 1939 when the National Registration was taken, At that point, his 23-year-old granddaughter Josie MAPP (daughter of Georgina) was living with him, acting as housekeeper. I think he probably carried on until 1941 when he was 80, as his newspaper obituary says he was licensee for 54 years.
He was followed in the role of publican by his eldest daughter Annie (Marianne Jane) and then by her daughter, Nancy Louvain. Nancy L was well over 90 when we went to The Three Horseshoes for a nostalgic drink, with her cousin Ray, too (paying a visit home from the USA). She was a tiny lady, under five feet tall, but nimbly hopped on to a bar stool and announced herself to the then landlord as one of his predecessors!
Tom was the only one of George’s sons to follow him into the pub trade, keeping the Red Lion Inn at Llangydir near Crickhowell for some years. My grandfather Rhys had no liking for alcohol and almost never visited a pub, which was probably also a legacy of growing up at the inn.
George died in his 86th year on 18 July 1948, by which time he had 19 great-grandchildren amongst his descendants and, like his wife Elizabeth, having lived all his life in Velindre, apart from their brief elopement to Cheltenham.
One of my PRICE cousins proudly has the three copper horseshoes that used to hang inside the pub, which is very fondly remembered as an ancestral home.

© Liz Summerson

The PRICE family of the Glasbury / Velindre area

b 1759, Bronllys; d 1852, Velindre m Anne JONES b 1752, d 1825,
    Glasbury (married 10 May 1780, Glasbury)
Their six known children included:

John PRICE b 1786, Glasbury; d ? m Ann POWELL, b 1788, d 1814, Longtown Hfds
    (married 7 July 1810, Longtown Hfds)
Their two known children included :

George PRICE, b 1812, Longtown Hfds; d 1880, Ross Hfds m Sarah EVANS, b 1808, Glasbury, d c 1859, Bedwellty, Mon)
Their six known children included:

George PRICE, b 1836, Llanelly, Brec; d 1911, Velindre m Mary PROBERT, b 1824, Aberllynfi, Brec; d 1899, Velindre
Their one child was:

George PRICE, b 1861, Velindre; d 1948, Velindre m Elizabeth JONES, b 1866, Velindre; d 1833, Velindre
Their nine children were:

Marianne Jane 'Annie' PRICE, 1885 - 1966; m Roger George PRICE of Llanelieu, 1888 - 1979
    Children: Vincent William George PRICE, 1912 - 2001; Leslie Roger PRICE, 1913 - 2000; Nancy Louvain PRICE, 1914 - 2012; John Cecil PRICE, 1917 - 2001

Georgina 'Ena' PRICE, 1885 - 1952; m Thomas Joseph MAPP, 1888 - 1940
     Children: Ivor Bartlett MAPP, 1912 - 1979; Mary Josephine 'Josie' MAPP, 1916 - 1998

Elizabeth 'Emily' PRICE, 1887 - 1968; m Luke LOCK, 1885 - 1963
     Child: Winifred Mary LOCK, 1912 - 2000

Rhys PRICE, 1889 - 1972; m Cornelia GRIFFITHS, 1886 - 1959
     Children: Nancy PRICE, 1914 - 1998; Rhys 'Neville' Griffiths PRICE, 1917 - 1992

Thomas Jones PRICE, 1991 - 1972; m Rosina May 'Rose' ANNETTS

    Children: two boys died as infants, plus Irene Maud PRICE, b 1923; Joyce Annette NASH / PRICE, b 1926 (adopted into the family)

George 'Cecil' PRICE, 1893 - 1927; m Olive Margaret HARRISON
     Child: Raymond Cecil PRICE (took his stepfather's name, HINTON), 1925 - 2014

Ivor PRICE, 1894 - 1961; m Doris Mary JOHNSTON
     Children: Derrick R J PRICE, b 1924; Ivor John PRICE, b 1926; Denis W G PRICE, b 1936

John Reginald Redvers 'Reggie' PRICE, 1901 - 1918

Blanche Vera PRICE, 1904 - 1993; m Walter Allen 'Wally' TUDOR, 1898 - 1941
    Child: June TUDOR, 1930 -

© Liz Summerson 07 05 2021

Sources : --
Censuses of England and Wales
Parish records of St Peter’s, Glasbury
Brecon County Times
‘Under the Black Mountains’, Logaston Press
Personal family tree and photograph collection