The Velindra

The small public house on Commercial Road once called “The Velindra” is now called “The Cock and Tail”. Gordon Faulkner’s essay follows:

The property was called the “Velindra Hotel” as far back as 1870. Old maps of the area show a building on that site from at least 1828 when it was the only one on the north side of the Cut apart from some almshouses. Commercial Road had not then been named as such. The excavation of the New Cut in 1809 allowed paddle steamers to continue regular services from Bristol to South Wales and beyond without the need to pass through the new dock entrance locks at Cumberland Basin. The vessels used a quay constructed on the north bank of the Cut almost opposite the site of the present Velindra.

Various companies competed for the trade One of them was J W Pockett & Co of Swansea which later became the Channel Steam Packet Co of Bristol. In 1868 they acquired a steamer called the Velindra from the Cardiff Steam Navigation Co when that company sold up. The vessel had actually been involved in a collision in the Avon in 1863. It seems to have been a favourite steamer for in addition to its cross channel duties it provided summer excursions to Clovelly, Lundy, Padstow and Tenby.

The pub was opened by 1870 and designated a hotel. Possibly the property was a hotel before 1870 but the name Velindra appears when the vessel was acquired by Pockett’s Steam Packet Company.

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