A Traveller’s View of St. Clears by J Rees This is my review of the shops and services in St. Clears. I am from a small small village called Drefach, situated 17 miles away from St. Clears. I set off on a Friday afternoon and caught the 129 bus from Drefach to Carmarthen. The journey coast cost me 4 pounds for an all day ticket. I then caught the 224 bus from Carmarthen to St. ClearsWhen the bus finally arrived in St. Clears it was dark and all I could seewere the light’s coming from Spar. I could only see two or three people inthe distance other than that, it was quiet. I could see that the pubs had somepeople in as I walked passed. There were a few shoppers in Spar and I calledin there first.The next morning I went for a walk down to Pentre Road, which is the mainstreet for shops in the town. As it was a Saturday I was informed that mostof the shops were closed. There were a few open including the Spar and theOriginal Factory Shop. I went to the Spar to buy some food and a warmdrink as it was a brisk November morning.My next stop was ‘The Original Factory Shop’, which is further on down the
road. This shop had much more variety on sale than I imagined. It sellseverything from cosmetics to homeware and clothing. The products that theysell are quite reasonably priced and it’s open seven days a week.The walk went on, passed the art and craft centre which is on the oppositeside to the Original Factory Shop. It only appears to be open on week days,which to me seems a bit pointless as the community of this town must workin the week. When they have the time to look around the shops on aSaturday they are closed. I would like to see all the shops open on theweekends, but I’m not a shop owner.The Tollhouse Snack Bar was open and I had read that they had a Gavin andStacey star to open it. I like this shop, as it is bright, young and trendy. Theyalso serve good food and coffee. There’s a Vaughan’s technology shop andEynon’s butchers also on the main street. These are open on a Saturdaymorning. I didn’t stop in these shops, as I didn’t want a new TV or meat.There are three pubs in the town, but I did not get a chance to visit any ofthem. There is also a Co-op in the town, but it is quite far from the mainhigh street.There are a few fast food takeaways on Pentre Road and a Chinese takeaway opposite the Spar, which I would recommend. I had some crispy beef,soya gravy and noodles on Friday evening and it was really nice. They gavea fast friendly service and it was also reasonably priced. There’s an Indianrestaurant further down the street called Eliachi. I went there for food on theSaturday evening and there was a good selection of the menu. The food andthe service couldn’t be any better and I would highly recommend it.
The next morning I went for another walk down to the boating club, which issituated on the other side of the town. The view of the river and the bridge isquite pleasant, and the walk was lovely. I was a bit disappointed to see somany signs everywhere telling you what you couldn’t do.St Clears is a lovely town but could do with a wider range of businesses,which cater for younger people. There wasn’t a place young people couldhang out and get together and I saw a lot of teenagers on the streets. Therewere not the same choices and variety of shops as somewhere like Narberthand apart from Curios, which was a very pretty shop with interesting itemsoutside on the pavement the streets were boring to look at. There wasn’treally much information available and nothing I could interact with on mymobile phone. I would visit again but would like to see the shops open andmore available for young people.Editor’s Comment: Jamie is a young student at Coleg Sir Gar on a mediastudies course. He volunteered to write an article on St. Clears as part of hisstudies. We are grateful to Jamie for his observations based on theperspective of a young man. Tourism is still a huge part of the economy inWest Wales and towns have to think differently about the way in which theyattract people of all ages. Many young people have the means to travel andspend money but they must be able to find places which cater for andwelcome them. Mobile phones are also the source of most information foryoung people and the new augmented reality technology is exploding ontostreets across Wales. St. Clears has to move into the 21st century in order tosurvive. We are grateful to Jamie for taking time out to write the article.