The Groggs live in Pontypridd. This weird breed of miniature beings were born in Wales in 1965, and have been breeding merrily ever since. To find out what they are, and whether you want one too – visit the Valleys’ answer to a Spitting Image shop. Pontypridd is a 50 minute drive from your self catering cottage.
The World of Groggs is all about handmade Welsh crafts – the slightly devilish miniature caricatures are of famous faces from rugby, soccer and cinema and more. They are handmade huge-headed ceramic likenesses of the celebrities rich and ridiculous, as well as of dragons and other mythical creatures.
It all started in 1965 when John Hughes, trying to escape the rat race, made his first Grogg in the garden shed. From his studio came the ”˜Uglies’, clay rugby figures which would become the template for the future. As Welsh rugby became more successful the derelict Dan-y-Graig pub in Pontypridd’s Broadway became the new home for the Groggs in 1971 to become the Groggshop gallery and studio.
The figures are still hand crafted, designed, created and made in Wales by Hughes’ family. Collectible Groggs are made, limited to a run of a specific number.
There are Groggs for memorable occasions, such as the wedding series, with married dragons in full bridal costume, or graduation Groggs, through to sporting heroes, like
Made famous by the success of the Welsh rugby team and their accompanying Groggs, the little clay characters have become collectors items, for example the Land of My Fathers Collection, with the coal miner figures modelled on ancestors of the Hughes family.
It is said that you’re not really famous until you’ve been made into a Grogg. Visitors to the Groggshop can view the full collection of figures in the museum, and see the famous autograph wall, and memorabilia including shirts, socks and boots of rugby and football stars as well as photos of personalities with their prized figures.
World of Groggs in Pontypridd is just over 40 miles from our self catering holiday cottages in Pontardawe. The best route is to head for Neath and pick up the famous ‘Heads of the Valleys’ road which will take you east towards Pontypridd. The route is interesting and picturesque and should take about an hour. World of Groggs postcode is CF37 1BH.
Further information may be obtained from the World of Groggs website.