Dr William Price. The name may mean nothing to you, but Dr Price was one of the original influencers. A true Welsh eccentric and yet someone who made a difference in Wales. Without Dr William Price, the world – not just Wales – would not be the place it is today.
What did Dr William Price ever do for us?
With hindsight, Dr Price probably lived too long. As he got older, his behaviour became increasingly more erratic, and he was eventually written off by the UK-wide press no longer an eccentric, but a buffoon. Even though this was all happening nearly 150 years ago, the harsh treatment of this Welsh eccentric by the media echoes down the years. He probably wasn’t the first person to have his achievements discounted in favour of stories of outlandish behaviour but he certainly won’t be the last.
We’re less troubled by his vilification in later life, and more attracted to how he lived by his principles in an era where convention was everything. It wasn’t easy to go out on a limb, and yet Dr Price regularly flew in the face of the wisdom of the establishment to fight for causes he believed in. He felt that the institution of marriage enslaved women. He was particularly interested in the rights of the working classes, and was a leader in the Chartist movement (eventually having to flee to France to escape prosecution). He also opened the first co-operative society in Wales.
The Inspiration for our own Welsh Eccentric Gin and spirits
Many years down the line, the antics of Dr Price inspired a group of distillers and mixologists to develop a range of Welsh gin that would speak for itself and for Wales. The Eccentric Gin Co was set up in Llantrisant, and later moved to Caerphilly. In 2020, Eccentric joined our maverick team at In the Welsh Wind, here in West Wales, and has become the Eccentric Spirit Co. We’ve worked hard to rebrand the range, and to broaden it with the introduction of Black Batch Rum, and the spirits are now proudly available for sale.
Eccentrics and mavericks together, let’s celebrate the quirks of Wales’ cities, the wildness of her coastline, the idiosyncrasies of botanicals and the flavours they deliver. From cask-aged Limbeck, fresh-faced Pembrokeshire Pinky and Young Tom with its distinctive IPA wash to Black Batch Rum, lightly spiced with orange cinammon and cloves – not forgetting Dewi Sant, Cardiff Dry and Madam Geneva – find your favourite!