Oysters have grown and been enjoyed in Mumbles for some 2000 years. A recent archaeological dig on Mumbles Head that was organised by Mumbles Development Trust and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund found the remains of ancient oyster shells and Third Century AD cooking equipment, which strongly suggests there could have been a Roman presence here.
A brief history of the oyster industry in Mumbles can be found on the Mumbles Oyster Company website: http://www.mumblesoystercompany.co.uk/history.php More information can be found on the Oystermouth Historical Society website: https://sites.google.com/site/ahistoryofmumbles/oysters written by Carol Powell MA.
In the early 1920s, a virus practically wiped out oyster stocks and the Mumbles industry that had earlier supported hundreds of local people ceased. In recent years Mumbles Oyster Company had plans to develop new oyster beds in the area, and their website highlights the successful Oyster Festivals that were staged at Southend Gardens in 2013 and 2014 using grants obtained by Mumbles Development Trust. There is hope that oysters could be grown again in Mumbles, as the water quality is now excellent and oysters have successfully been reintroduced by the not-for-profit company, Porlock Bay Oysters, who are supplying the 2018 Mumbles Oyster Fair with Pacific oysters bred and grown in the open waters of Porlock Bay: http://www.porlockbayoysters.co.uk/
Mumbles Community Council is the primary sponsor of the 2018 Mumbles Oyster Fair and is partnering with Mumbles Development Trust and Swansea Round Table to put on a smaller scale event than the festivals held in 2013 and 2014. The Fair will take place on the 19th and 20th October in the Ostreme Centre in the heart of Mumbles. Pacific oysters grown in the clean and open waters of Porlock Bay will be available from early evening until 10:00pm on Friday 19th and from mid-day until 10:00pm on 20th October.
There will be free entry to the venue from mid-day until 5:00pm on Saturday 20th, with the judging of a children’s competition and a performance by U.3.A Ukulele Big Band in the afternoon. There will be a display showing some of the history of oysters in Mumbles, including the Roman remains found at the recent archaeological dig.
There will be a full programme of varied entertainment on both evenings. Tickets for the evening events will be on sale for tables of eight, half tables of four and individuals. All tickets will include entry to the event and some oysters. Table and half table packages will include a choice of wines, beers and soft drinks with dishes of olives, bread and accompaniments. Additional oysters and drinks will be available for purchase. Details of how to order tickets can be found on the Mumbles Development Trust website: http://www.mumblesdevelopmenttrust.org
Entertainment already ready booked for the event is as follows: