A decade to celebrate at the Pig

REAL PUB EXPERIENCE: The pub at the Pig and Whistle is snug and cosy and frequented by many in the village where they can socialise and share the news. From left are Bukie Zweni, Lucille Came, Gavin Came and Kriston Montgomery Picture: ROB KNOWLES

At just over 189 years old, The Historic Pig and Whistle Inn ranks as one of the oldest pubs in Africa, and this year the current owners, Gavin and Lucille Came, are celebrating 10 years as owners of this historic landmark.

Designated a heritage site, the inn stands on the main corner in Bathurst; an icon in the village of Bathurst. Set in a rural environment the inn is a place where both regulars and out-of-towners meet and socialise. The 10-bedroom inn carries reminders of its long history against every wall of the establishment; from narrow corridors to oak beams, entering the Pig and Whistle is like stepping into a less pressured era, but with all the mod cons.

The original licensee and owner was Thomas Harley Senior who held the licence from the inn’s opening in 1832 until 1835. The longest anyone has owned the inn was John Leslie Arnold from 1882 to 1919, a total of 32 years.

The Cames are now one of the longest owners of the Pig and Whistle at 10-years, and they wish to welcome everyone to the inn where they will receive good food, a very welcoming pub and excellently appointed bedrooms for travellers who wish to spend a night of more in the village.

“It has been a very enriching journey,” commented Lucille. “We meet so many people from all walks of life.”

AT THE ENTRANCE: Lucille and Gavin Came who, having held ownership of the inn for 10-years, are among the longest owners of the Historic Pig and Whistle Picture: ROB KNOWLES

“It’s been wonderful,” added Gavin. “I have never laughed so much. Some of the stories from the neighbouring farmers are absolutely hilarious.”

On even your approach to the inn, there is a feeling of nostalgia for a bygone age. The veranda across the front of the building is where customers congregate in the summer months to eat and drink and generally entertain themselves. Inside the olde-worlde atmosphere is so similar to a typical British country pub that you could be instantaneously swapped out and not notice the difference. The large open fire in the lounge and the large hearth all speak of days gone by and are hugely appealing after a day in the village.

But the Pig and Whistle is more than just a community meeting place, it is the centre of the village proper and an instantly recognisable landmark.

Entertainment is high on the Cames’ list of priorities and they always ensure top-quality entertainers when they put on a show at the inn. For example, Jesse Clegg is a regular performer there appeared on April 2. Local entertainer Anthony Caplan performed on April 4 and will again on April 25, Another local, Shugg Dry will be there on April 11. National Icon, another regular at the Pig and Whistle, will be performing there on April 17 and will be followed by a string quartet the next day, April 18. Then, on April 30, Piet Pompies will be gracing the stage. Yet the Pig and Whistle features performers every Sunday from noon onward.

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