SPONSORING a concert has led a long-established Pembrokeshire estate agent to learn an unexpected history lesson.

Evans Roach decided to sponsor Llangwm’s latest lunchtime concert on Sunday, February 11 which led to the discovery of long-hidden information about the firm’s founders.

The Haverfordwest-based business was understood to have been founded in 1890 but the current owners were unclear about how the name came about.

Their appetite was whetted after the discovery on their premises of an auctioneer’s gavel, thought to date back to the 1890’s, which may have been used by the original owners.

Business development manager Martin Jones said: “When we found the gavel in a back room, we wanted to know who it belonged to and how they came to set up the company.”

Separately, the Heritage Llangwm project was researching descendants of the de la Roche family, descendants of Godebert the Fleming, who helped found the village in the 1100s.

It had already been established through DNA testing that a local man, with the surname Roach, was a direct descendant.

When Evans Roach agreed to sponsor a concert by the musician John Roach for Music at Lunchtime series at St Jerome’s church, the search was on to find out if the company or the performer were part of the original family.

Long-forgotten information was uncovered about both of the company’s founders, Mr Evans and Mr Roach.

David Dundas Roach and William Edward Evans were the sons of farming families based near St Davids.

Records of their company appear to go back to 1890, but papers left by Dundas Roach show that by 1903 the company was auctioning livestock, farm buildings, whole farms, even at one stage a collection of beehives.

Less is known about William Edward Evans, who died in 1922 aged just 52, but after his partner’s death Dundas Roach decided to devote himself to community work.

He became a member of the county council and a magistrate, and was active in Liberal party politics and the Congregational church.

John Roach, who, it turns out is no relation to either the Flemish invaders or to the founder of Evans Roach, will be playing folk, blues and jazz on a variety of instruments at 1pm on Sunday, February 11.

Tickets for the Music at Lunchtime series at St Jerome’s are £5 each (£3 for children) and are available via: heritagellangwm.org.uk/concerts, from Llangwm village shop, or from Pamela Hunt at 01437 899966.