Since we took the keys of the Gogerddan Arms back in early 2019, it’s been the focus of our future, yet there are continual glimpses of the past that remind us of the building’s history. Every day we look at our pub roof, take it for granted as an integral part of this building that is now very much the distillery’s home. But for a few moments, one day in 2009, our sloping pub roof became the unlikely venue for an impromptu stunt show, captured in this iconic photo.
The photographer, Ricky Adam, and BMX legend Jason Phelan were heading for a ferry. Fishguard to Rosslare and from then to Waterford, Jason’s hometown. The year was 2009 and DIG BMX magazine had commissioned an interview with “the Irish Trick Machine” (the article appeared in issue 73 November December 2009).
They drove by the pub – looking just a little forlorn, and apparently deserted. While many wouldn’t have given it a second glance: just another roadside pub on its uppers – the pub roof had a magnet draw for the photographer and his subject. An irresistible gradient, made all the more attractive by its potential inaccessibility, and consciously or subconsciously, the thrill of the illicit.
The pair couldn’t establish whether there was anyone around and ‘in charge’, but with time ticking down to the ferry’s departure, the decision was made. As Ricky related the story a few years later to Howies, the photograph won out. Jason was up on the roof checking it would take his weight (and that of the bike) and kicking off debris. Ricky passed up the bike and they got the shot before racing off to Fishguard and the ferry – no time to stop and check out if Ricky had actually seen someone in what is now our lounge or not, or whether it was just a trick of the light…
We’re made up to have a framed copy of this print now in the distillery – a daily reminder to seize the moment and look out for those opportunities that comes along, in even the most unlikely guises!