TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Conservative councillor who taught a future World Cup-winning captain and went on to run a number of popular nightspots in Swansea, including Barons.
Welsh speaker Bill Hughes, who has died aged 89, was from Tregaron in Ceredigion – formerly Cardiganshire – but moved to London in his early working life to teach PE.
One of his young charges was Bobby Moore, who lifted the Jules Rimet trophy with England in 1966.
Mr Hughes moved from London to Swansea, where he taught at schools in Morriston and Penlan.
His business ventures took off when he bought what is now Castellamare, Bracelet Bay.
Mr Hughes, his wife Barbara and their young sons Stewert and Alistair, lived in a four-bedroom flat above the seaside venue, which was called The Surf House.
“It was fabulous,” said Alistair. “We had a balcony looking straight down to the lighthouse.”
Mr Hughes started putting on discos at The Surf House, which proved very popular, and he then bought The Coach and Horses on Wind Street, which he renamed The Coach House.
Another acquisition was The Penthouse – later The Cavalier – on Princess Way, and also The Townsman. It was this venue that became Barons, which Alistair would run for more than two decades.
“Dad would come down and socialise, and make lots of people welcome,” said Alistair.
One young glass collector at Barons was the future football star, John Hartson.
“He was a damn good worker, and a lovely guy,” recalled Alistair of the Trallwn-born striker.
Meanwhile, Mr Hughes bought a mansion near Morriston Hospital called Gwernfadog, which would host weddings and later a nursing home.
In civic life, he represented Mumbles as a city and county councillor for about 17 years – and also appeared frequently on political progammes on S4C.
Mr Hughes still found time for a few trips to Welsh-speaking Patagonia, where he helped build a church.
“He was a great hard-worker, and very sociable,” said 60-year-old Alistair, of Morriston.
Mr Hughes, whose wife predeceased him, was a grandfather to William and Paige, and brother to Rosalind.
His funeral takes place at Swansea Crematorium on Thursday, November 7 at 10.30 am.
Conservative Gower councillor Richard Lewis recalled happy moments with Mr Hughes.
“We had some brilliant times together,” said Cllr Lewis. “I got on very well with Bill Hughes.
“I also did business with him with Barons – he was a really nice guy.”