Index of this blog

December 5, 2011

As the number of posts on my blog is now considerable, I am publishing a page index below so that visitors may go to a post that interests them by selecting the page it is on. The order is as they appear from the beginning of the blog. Alternatively the search facility, top right, may be used.

Hello Pontypool!

The Folly Tower

Arriving in Pontypool

Town School junior section

Tragedy at West Mon (Revised account)

Pontypool Boys’ Brigade – 9th Eastern Valley Company

Comics, magazines and other literature

The “Scholarship Class” at Town School

Pontypool in wartime: the start of rationing

When the sirens sounded in Pontypool

West Mon’s “Spitfire”

Osborne Cottage at Pontnewynydd

The good people of Pontypool help the war effort

Pontypool’s big freeze of 1941

Murder most foul in Pontypool

West Mon forms six and seven

The war ends, and Pontypool celebrates

Going to the pictures in Pontypool

Pontypool’s “Dad’s Army”

Fire at Wainfelin, and the slaughter of animals.

The Gregories of Cwmffrwdoer

Pontypool park for fun frolicks and fairs

The Grotto in Pontypool Park

Park Terrace Methodist Sunday School Pontypool

Climbing the mountain with the help of Watkins the tinsmith

Franketti’s Fish and Chip Shop

Christmas time in old Pontypool

World War II shipbuilders in Pontypool

The games we used to play in Pontypool

Pontypool’s great snow of 1947

Pontypool’s Secret Society

Drama in Pontypool

Tragedy at West Mon 2. Words from a key witness.

High Days and Holidays at Pontypool Town School

Pontypool Personalities

Two Broadways: Pontypool and New York

Decline in West Mon boarders

A great revelation on Haden Street

Accidents, Fatalities and Diseases

The book of the blog

Town School Centenary booklet 1938

Parts of old Pontypool that have vanished

News of Gibson Square

More nws about Gibson Square

Old photographs of Pontypool

Surprises in disguises

Old photographs of Pontypool carnival in the park

Information and a request

Old photographs of the Clarence area

More about the Robin Hood pub

Old photographs of Pontypool’s shopping centre

The Fowler family of Pontypool

Two interesting comments

The Queen’s Ballroom Pontypool

Fairfields of Pontypool crops up again

Is this how you remember the Donkey Steps and Gibson Square?

Donkey Steps & Gibson’s Square – a revised sketch and more information

A request from Pontypool Museum

The Parrot Public House Pontypool

Emerging information about about The Parrot and Gibson Square

Murder at The Parrot Inn and some old photographs of Pontypool

Photographs and more information about the Parrot Pub

A word map of Pontypool 1881

Further information on the Robin Hood, the Gregories and playing marbles

Further information on the Robin Hood and its proprietors

Ragtime comes to Pontypool

Tragic Peakes’ Coach Accident – two men killed

Photographs of Peake’s coach crash scene

Introduction to my Pontypool blog

Pontypool Home Guard on Parade in the Park

Do you remember Aubrey Hames?

Ponypool’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Three photographs of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Pontypool people really seem to be world travellers

See the video: “Who killed Dripping Lewis?”

Ponypool Town School’s great raffle

West Mon School Song

Severe Pontypool weather in 1940s

Pontypool Rugby Reminiscences

Some Pontypool Baptists in hot water

Free new e-book for visitors to this blog

Titch’s Secret Society  Chapter 1

Titch’s Secret Society  Chapter 2

Panteg Hospital, Pontypool and “Retlas” revealed

Interesting comments on Panteg Hospital

Titch’s Secret Society  Chapter 3

Another blog about some Pontypool cgaracters

Titch’s Secret Society  Chapter 4

Sports Day at West Mon School

Photographs taken inside West Mon School 2010

Titch’s Secret Society   Chapter 5

Catching taddies in Pontypool

Tragic drowning of nine people

Titch’s Secret Society   Chapter 6

The Swan Inn Freehold Land

Titch’s Secret Society   Chapter 7

Titch’s Secret Society   Chapter 8

Titch’s Secret Society   Chapter 9

Titch’s Secret Society   Chapter 10

Some close shaves in Pontypool

Titch’s Secret Society   Chapter 11

Titch’s Secret Society   Chapter 13

Heartless hoaxer in Pontypool

This index is by no means complete as I only index this blog from time to time.
There are a number of posts after the last item indexed above.
The latest post will be at the beginning of the blog. You can scroll down from there to find the latest posts.

Introduction to my Pontypool Blog

November 26, 2011


Since starting this blog I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the number of visitors I’ve received which at the time of writing stood at well over 26,000; since then it has more than doubled.  I wasn’t expecting anywhere near this number. Another surprise has been the number of comments received, many of which have been helpful to visitors in tracing family members etc.

But the most pleasing result has been the number of emails I’ve received, some from friends I knew long ago when living in Pontypool. Many of those emails are private of course so don’t get put on the blog. A few days ago I even received a phone call from a lady living in Canada who’d bought my book when visiting relatives over here and wanted to say how much she enjoyed it. Just a reminder that my email address is:  @ icon large

If you would like to be emailed whenever a new post is added you can do this by clicking on the “+ Follow” sign at top right of the heading of the blog. This is relatively new but quite a number of visitors have already done this.

Finally, if the memory of any old friends need jogging (as mine does from time to time) I append below a 1947 photograph. I won’t scare you with the latest version !

Best wishes as you walk down memory lane.           David (Dewi) Hughes


Since starting this feature I have amended so many of
my postings that the list would be very large and, the
more amended posts in the list, the more pointless
the list would become. Visitors can now assume
that the majority of the posts have been amended
in one way or another.


Is the Hanbury Arms haunted?

March 25, 2014

Hanbury Arms

There has been quite an interest in the ghostly goings-on mentioned in my last posting. You might have seen the comment by Kirsty Mcinally about the Hanbury Arms. She asks whether I know anything about it being haunted.

There was an interesting short piece by Natalie Crickett in September 2012 about the Hanbury Arms. I quote it below.

“VODKA, brandy and whisky aren’t the only spirits at one Pontypool pub where so called ghosts have sent everyone from barmaids to builders running scared.
The souls of a little girl named Emily and a small boy in Victorian dress are said to be regular visitors to The Hanbury Arms, according to staff who don’t like being in the building alone.
A man believed to a former executioner at the 1830s building where criminals were once hanged, is also said to be a frequent punter and staff believe they have captured evidence of their existence on videos, which show so called “orbs” of light darting about the bar.
Glasses have spontaneously smashed, lights have been switched on when no-one is in the room and even a barrel of cider was split open in the locked and empty cellar.
Even workmen refurbishing the building upstairs have downed tools claiming they have felt a bitterly cold presence whilst working, accompanied by an unexplained feeling of dread.
Manager Rhian Phillips claims to have heard whispers coming from the empty cellar and refuses to enter certain parts of the pub alone, while other staff have reported a strong smell of garlic in specific spots.
Since owner Sean O’Connor took over the pub last December three paranormal experts have visited and all have been convinced of the spirits presence.
But Mr O’Connor and his business partner Mark Baker, both 47, are not fazed and have instead taken a keen interest in finding out more.
Mr Baker has even ordered electrical magnetic field detectors, motion sensors and voice recorders from America in a bid to gather evidence.
He said: “It does not worry me, I just laugh at it, but it’s not funny when it costs us money like when we lost 88 pints of Strongbow when the barrel was split.”
Mr O’Connor added: “The experiences we have had have been so profound and tangible that you’ve got no option but to believe it.”


If you are interested in hearing more about this you can see two YouTube videos made by some ghost-hunting experts who took their gear to the Hanbury Arms and made some recordings. The URLs are printed below. If you click on them you should go straight to the videos. If this doesn’t work copy and paste the URL into your address bar.
▶ The Hanbury Arms in Pontypool – return paranormal investigation in cellar – YouTube
▶ The Hanbury Arms in Pontypool – return paranormal investigation in cellar – YouTube


March 23, 2014

Recently I was speaking to a lady who lives in Penygarn who told me that she lives in a house that is about 400 years old. She also told me that she has seen a ghost in the house, or at least part of a ghost, namely just one leg.

This led me to do some research and I came across the following anonymous statements:

” James Street, Penygarn.

In the mid 1980′s, the occupier of a council house in James Street reported unexplained noises, doors and windows rattling, icey-cold sensations, crockery smashing and a shadowy figure was allegedly seen.  The owners’ dogs would not settle in the house.

St Albans School

The school is said to be haunted by the ghost of a nun, who walks the main stairs and has been witnessed by a teacher.  The building was aquired by nuns in its early history, and it appears one of them wants to stay around!

 Cottage in Penygarn

The cottage Mum and Dad had bought in Penygarn had been owned by the Hanbury family. It was one of three cottages in old Penygarn and the address was 1, American Gardens (sometimes referred to as Quarry Cottages). The cottages had been built on the edge of an old stone quarry and a large part of the old quarry was our garden which made a very useful area for keeping livestock and was an interesting place to play. The approach to the cottages was from the back as they had been constructed to face towards the fields. Before they built the houses in Penygarn the fields went right down to the Hanbury’s residence in Pontypool.

 Over the years the cottage needed modifying to raise the roof to provide better bedroom accommodation and it was extended at ground floor level to install a bathroom and other improvements. When a new toilet was installed to replace the old one near our back door an archway was discovered which my father told me was part of a tunnel which went down to the Hanbury’s residence. This is difficult to verify as there has been so much building in the area but it is interesting that in James Street just down Penygarn Road there was a very high thick wall and on the opposite side there were three arches. My brother Eric used to play in them until they were bricked up for safety purposes. Maybe that is where the story of the tunnel came from.”

If any visitor can shed any more light on the above please either email me or make a comment.

I am wondering whether the address of 1 American Gardens refers to a house which, I understand, is very old and is known as “The Gingerbread House”, shown below.

Gingerbread House

Photographs of West Mon boys 1964

February 28, 2014

I’ve just discovered a very useful website. This is it:    Just copy the address into you address bar and you will be taken to the site. It has a search box so there are masses of items for you to look at.

I managed to find in my “Pontypool” search all sorts of photographs of Pontypool and a further search revealed photos of West Mon boys in 1964. I publish them below. I thought you might recognise either yourself or older members of your family who are over 60 years of age; the staff much older of course.

I was particularly interested in one of the photographs because it has Michael Gregory, my cousin, amongst the staff members. You might have seen mention of him in my earlier posts about the Gregory family.

Visitors who are researching their family histories might like to download and keep a copy of some of the photographs, and of course you might find all manner of useful items by searching the site.

Here are the photographs for you to enjoy. I’m sorry they are rather small but you might be able to enlarge them.

West Mon 1964

West Mon 3

West Mon 2

West Mon 4West Mon 1

Cae Breast, Pontypool

February 18, 2014

Harold Clark sent in an email in answer to C.J.Welsh’s questions. I publish a copy of it below. He provided a map to explain where Cae Breast is. Other names on the map might also be helpful in answering some of the questions asked. I’ve added an aerial view map as this also might be helpful. The name “Coed Cae Breast” can be seen at the bottom of the first map.

“Cae Breast is located from the Folly down to Pontymoile. I am attaching a map. Not very good at blowing it up and emailing it so perhaps you can do it. The ruins of the HOUSE NOT FARM I believe C J is talking about is still there but overgrown. If you blow the map up follow the wall between the park and Cae Breast up you will see two green lines coming together near where they join park side of the wall. You will see an area marked as an oblong. When I was a child I remember seeing a very old grey haired lady living there, if not that cottage come back into the park at ninety degrees from the above and the ruins of another much larger house can be seen again. I think I recollect an elderly lady living here also but whether this would be classed as Cae Breast or Pontypool Park, I would look at records for the first one. Hope this is of some help to C J



Pontypool map

Map of part of Pontypool

Cae Brest?

Aerial view of the Cae Breast area




More questions about Pontypool

February 16, 2014

A recent post gave a long list of questions about Pontypool which I received in an email from C.J.Welsh. To avoid publishing an overlong  post I divided the email into two parts. I was able to answer a number of the queries myself and several visitors very kindly posted answers to some of the other questions.

Below I now post the rest of the email containing a good many questions. I’m sure some visitors will be able to supply answers.


” Merchant’s Hill, Pontnewynydd

What existed at the bottom of Merchant’s Hill (where the “new” houses are now)? I remember the houses being built, but can’t remember what was there before them. I also believe there was a pub there at one time – was the pub situated in the house perched on the edge of the bridge? I remember the old bridge (where the cycle path is now); did the two lines run parallel? 

 Italian Gardens

I always remember these being lush and beautiful; on a recent visit to Pontypool, I was dismayed to see them looking like an absolute mess. Does anyone have any old photos of it in its glory days? 

 On a side note, does anyone remember the Argus hut just above it opposite St. James’s Church? 

 American Gardens

All I remember of these from my youth was a mass of overgrown trees – a shame, since I always expected it to be something exotic/glamorous. I noted on a recent visit that it hasn’t changed much. What did it look like? 

 Clarence Bus Station

As well as the Town Hall, there was a large purpose-built bus station on the site of the current Tesco garage. The bus station was in operation until the mid-1980s. If I remember correctly, buses from there would operate to Usk, Abergavenny, Hereford and the next valley (Crumlin, Blackwood, Ebbw Vale, Tredegar, etc.). Does anyone have any memories/photos of this? There doesn’t appear to be anything online, apart from ANCIENT photos of charabancs parked outside the old Free Press offices! 

Crane Street Baptist Church

A few questions! 

1) Why was it built of Bath stone? It looks very out-of-place for Pontypool! 

2) What is the church’s connection with Dame Gwyneth Jones? I know she is from Pontnewynydd, but that’s pretty much it.

3) What is Laura Ashley’s connection with the church? I know that her company/foundation used to provide the church with financial donations, as well as fabrics for various projects. 


What existed here before the flats (now replaced by houses) were built? I remember them (and the road) being built, and a relative of mine was apparently one of the first people to purchase a maisonette there! 

 I’m guessing it was old forges at one point, but they closed LONG before the flats were built.  

 The Pavvy Hill, Pontnewynydd – and the industrial estate

I recently found out that the Pavvy Hill isn’t the original! It used to run immediately to the left of the Horseshoe pub, with another pub at the top on the right – the name of which escapes me). Does anyone have any photos of this? My grandfather used to sell newspapers outside The Pavvy cinema when he was a boy, and would get extra money from waiting crowds by walking up The Pavvy Hill and back on his hands! 

Regarding Pontnewynydd industrial estate, what used to exist there? Something to do with mining I guess, since there are evidence of mine workings behind St. John’s Crescent, and I know the “top line” used to run there. What was there before the industrial estate leading up to Waunddu? 


I have ancestors that worked in Blaenserchan, Tirpentwys and Llanerch pits; does anyone have any maps/pictures, since I know nothing of these, other than the general areas (NO idea about Tirpentwys!). I have one ancestor who was involved in Tirpentwys’s famous pit collapse, and several others who were killed in the famous Llanerch pit explosion. 


Other than Dame Gwyneth Jones, there doesn’t seem to be anyone of particular note from the area! I know that Edwin Stevens (inventor of the hearing aid), Anthony Hopkins and Richard Burton attended West Mon for a time, but they weren’t born-and-bred. Do we have anyone else, of whom we can be justly proud? Yes, I’ve checked wikipedia, but there’s no one particularly interesting featured! 

 Lower George Street Sweet Shop

I remember my grandmother telling me that the last building on what currently remains of Lower George Street (just after the vet, where the little path goes down to Osbourne Road) was a sweet shop. I’m guessing it was something to do with Truman’s sweets in the town market (any association with the Pontnewynydd minibus firm?), but I have a memory of her telling me it was something to do with Welch’s Toffees – of which Geordie actress Denise Welch is the heiress. Can anyone shed any light on this? 

 Lower George Street

I remember there being several shops here between the existing jewellers and physio clinic; there was a Chinese, a hairdressers, and possibly a clothes shop and a record shop. I think Davis Wallpapers was further down? There were apparently flats above these shops; on the opposite side of these buildings was the northbound Osbourne Road bus stop, where I spent many freezing hours in my youth waiting for a “top road” bus to Abersychan! 

 Osbourne Road – large old building?

The fairly grand stone building next door to the White Hart – what was it? It’s been closed for as long as I remember. My grandmother seems to think it was the old Conservative Club (before its present site more or less opposite).  

 Trevor Powell

Who remembers this fruit and veg wholesaler opposite Johnny Gould’s? It always smelled of fresh cabbage leaves outside! 

 Clarence Hotel

Does anyone have any photos of the interior in its hayday? My mother was married there, but all her photos were taken outside! 

 Griffithstown and St. Luke’s Road – other hospitals? 

I distinctly remember as a child driving along the “top road” of Griffithstown and seeing a gate and a sign on the right (southbound) to a hospital of somekind; can anyone shed any light on this? New-ish houses currently stand there. 

 I also remember a similar sign on the left of St. Luke’s Road (northbound) just before that enchanting gateway to the private house. 

 I have the name “Glengariff” in a picture in my brain – what has this got to do with it? 

 Tesco/Boots/Kwik Save

What existed on this site previous to these opening? Any photos? 

 Italian Influence – let’s have a quick coffee before I close!

As we all know, South Wales at one time had the best Italian restaurants, cafes and gelateries outside of Italy! In Pontypool I remember: - 

  1. Cafe Commerciale, Commercial Street (always smelled of strong coffee)
  2. Mario’s, George Street (always smelled of old chip fat, had sweet jars in the window, and billowing clouds of cigarette smoke every time the door opened)
  3. ???, Osbourne Road (always smelled of fresh tobacco)
  4. Sidoli’s, Crane Street (the ONLY place to go for F&CH! They used to give my dog a sausage every Friday!)
  5. Ferrari’s Bakers, Crane Street (sadly gone)

 Are there any I’ve forgotten about? 

 Maps – a final suggestion? 

I would LOVE to be able to draw! Unfortunately, the best I can manage is a woman with a perm, and I have to be on the phone to draw it properly… 

 It would be lovely if someone was able to create/draw/superimpose/photoshop a map for each decade in Pontypool, with clickable icons on notable landmarks (pits, forges, old roads, pubs, shops) to see how things have changed in Pontypool over the past century or two. Maybe even create a 3D Pontypool tour for each decade? I should copyright this idea and sell it to the museum!  

 Any questions? I’m happy to help if I can! If you need any information on Talywain, my grandmother is an AUTHORITY on the area, and probably personally knows every person that’s lived there since the dawn of Time! 

 Many thanks, 


Photographs of Pontypool pubs wanted. Do you have any?

February 7, 2014

I recently received an email from Rebecca Roseff who is the Archivist of the Archive of Cider Pomology at the Hereford Cider Museum. She is interested in using some good quality photographs of Pontypool pubs for reproduction to use in an exhibition. If any visitors have any such photographs please email me a copy and I’ll see whether I can enhance them by computer.

One particular photograph Rebecca was interested in is the one of the people sitting in the Noah’s Ark pub.  This was sent to me by Clive Barnby. So, if you have a copy, Clive,  which is of good quality and could send me a high quality file I’ll forward it to Rebecca. The actual photographs on the blog are usually reduced to 72 dots per inch (dpi) but for an exhibition I should think she would need at least 200 dpi.

Information requested about old Pontypool. Can you help?

February 3, 2014

Last week I received a long email from C.J.Welsh who describes himself as a “thirty-something whippersnapper”. He was born in Pontypool and thinks that four or five generations of his family lived there.

He asked all manner of questions about Pontypool and, with the assistance of my friend, Eric Smith, I was able to answer a number of them when I replied to his email. However there are quite a number of enquiries which I couldn’t answer or perhaps only in part. As C.J. said I am welcome to quote his email in my blog I now do so below. If you can supply any of the requested information please make a comment on the blog.


 “Cae Brest or Caer Brest

Looking at several census records, it appears that one branch of my family lived on/worked on/owned a farm of the aforementioned name (the writing on the records isn’t the best!). Does anyone know where this is/was? I’m guessing from the running order on the records that it might be on the western side of the valley between Lasgarn and Trevethin – but this is only a guess! What was the farm like and what was its function? Does anyone have any info/pictures? 

 Machine Meadow

My grandfather, who “upgraded” from Trosnant to Machine Meadow (out of the frying pan…) often joked that the area was referred to as the “Packman’s Puzzle” – i.e. because all the houses in that area looked so similar, no one apart from the locals was sure where anyone lived… Which was great, since many of them were avoiding debt collectors, bailiffs, etc. My grandfather is still exceptionally proud of this fact, much to my grandmother’s chagrin! 

 Pontnewynydd Swimming Baths

I remember the pool being there (albeit drained), but never saw it in its glory days. My grandfather always speaks fondly of it, and my mother and her brother remember playing there as children. Does anyone have any pictures/stories? 

 Park Terrace Nursery

My late grandmother ran her own successful private nursery from her home in Park Terrace for many years, until she had a heart attack and had to close it. Does anyone remember attending? 

 Abersychan/Old Penygarn

Bear with me – it IS relevant! A piano teacher, Ruth E. Williams, lived in Brynderi, Old Penygarn (what was regarded as probably the poshest house there), for many many years until her death in late 1999. She trained at the Royal Academy of Music and bought her first car before driving tests existed! 

 She had two daughters, both of whom were famous actresses. One is Jennifer Daniel, who married the late actor, Dinsdale Landen. Jennifer starred in many of those dodgy 1960s B movies! I believe Jennifer is still living somewhere in London…

 Her other daughter’s name escapes me, though I know she was much more high profile than Jennifer, and moved to Mexico, where I believe she still resides. 

 I never knew Ruth’s husband, but I’m guessing he was quite well-to-do, judging by Brynderi! 

 Anyway! Ruth’s maiden name was DANIEL; she was the daughter of (what she modestly described to me many several times as) a shopkeeper in Abersychan. When I discussed this with my grandmother, she shrieked! Apparently the Daniel family had a massive reputation, and were considered VERY well to do. Ruth was always exceptionally well-spoken, and I’m guessing the family must have been well-off to send her to RAM! 

 Does anyone know anything further about the Daniel family, or have any contact with Ruth’s daughters? 

 Church Wood – The Clampetts

As a small child, I often used to walk and play in Church Wood, and remember a large old house next to the big waterfall near Ty Nant Ddu (NOT the cottage next to Pontnewynydd Legion), that had loads of abandoned rusty cars outside and hundreds of barking mongerels! I was always told to stay away from the house because “the Clampetts live there, and like to eat little children!” How old was this house? What were its origins? Little remains of it now, save a few bits of rubble and a slight clearing in the growth. 

 Church Wood – villa

On entering Church Wood from Park Road, one can see a large white mansion house directly in front, which has rear access from the Riverside road. I remember a lovely, very tall old lady called Mrs. Murray used to own it, but she eventually moved to Griffithstown. What are the origins of this house? 

 Church Wood – name

Why is it so named? No church exists there, and my grandparents certainly don’t remember one. I have a vague memory of my great-grandmother telling me a story about it being something to do with Trevethin/St. Cadoc’s Church. Was that area of land owned by them? I know that Trevethin was the registration centre for Pontypool at one time.  

 Lower Park Gardens

At the entrance, there is evidence of some kind of gateway. What did this gateway look like? Was it an entrance to the Hanbury estate (the park)? 


Again, seemingly unrelevant, but bear with me! 

 One branch of my family apparently lived in Usk, before relocating to Pontypool. Apparently one of my ancestors (Harris) ran the town’s fist newsagency, and one of his ancestors (Moss?) opened the town’s first fish and chip shop – which still exists to this day! The family relocated to Pontypool in the early 20th century, though I’m not sure why. “


There are other queries which C.J. makes but I’ll leave the rest to another blog which I’ll post quite soon.

A plan of Town School in the 1930s

January 13, 2014

As I said in my last post, I would be publishing a plan I have made of the main building of Town School. As the Scholarship Class was housed in The Bungalow and separated from the main building, I have left it out. This is based entirely on my memory of the school about 75 years ago so I don’t make any claims about its accuracy. The whole of the Infants’ section I have hatched in blue.

I was taught by every teacher with the exception of Mr Hughes. I went straight from Miss Gameson’s class to Miss Brookes’, hence I am assuming that there were two standard threes. Then I went into Mr Rees’s class and then to Mr Petty’s for two years. If any visitors have different memories please make a comment or email me. It’s quite possible that there were not two standard threes; I can see no reason for it.

I did the plan by hand so it’s not a classic and it is certainly not to scale. If anyone has an architect’s plan of the school, which was built in 1838 that would be wonderful.

Town School planTown School plan as I recall it in the 1930s

Town School class photograph. Do you recognise anyone?

January 11, 2014

I recently received an email and a photograph from Clive Barnby. The email and photograph are self-explanatory so I publish both below. If you have any comments please feel free to make them.

I will publish another post soon after this one which will include a plan of the main Town School building as I remember it.


“I wondered, David, if you are able to put this photo on your blogsite. It’s from Graham Newman, who lived in Gwent street, was in school with me, saw my name on your blog & remembered me. I think the picture was taken in 1955/56 – we would all have been born 1945-47.It is of Standard 3 even tho’ the picture was taken in the infants playground. If I’m right, the teacher was Mrs Hughes, formerly Miss Brookes, but for some reason she is not in the picture.

 Graham (Newman) is in the back row, first left (as you look at the photo), I’m next but one to him (can’t name the lad between us); continuing from left to right is Andrew Neat from Haden street, who was tragically killed in a road accident many years ago, then Nigel Gordon, John Pope, son of Les, the butcher, then I think Michael Browne. I can’t name the next three but on the right is Brian Hale.

In the middle row on the left is Graham Baldwin, then John Jones, ? , fourth left is (I think) Bernard Rootes, then Diane Pask, something Goodchild (the tall girl) can’t name the next girl, then ? Michael Pearce, can’t name the last three.

 In the front row, on the left is Carol Rowlands, then Jackie Gibbon (now Fitzgerald) & the only other one I can name is Jackie Miles (now Law) who is second from the right.

 I think there was also a June Kennedy, Richard King and David Parfitt but can’t put faces to the names. David Williams was also in my class & lived in North road, a few yards from me but can’t recognise him. I was hoping if you are able to put it on your site that viewers might recognise themselvies or someone they know, & we can fill in some of the names.”




town school photo0001

Town School Standard 3 in 1955-56

WordPress report for 2013 on my Pontypool blog

December 31, 2013


“The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 47,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2013 there were 25 new posts growing the total archive of this blog to 160 posts. There were 38 pictures uploaded, that’s about 3 pictures a month.

The busiest day of the year was March 16th with 1,831 views.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2013:
1. Pontypool’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.   1 comment
2. Tragedy at West Mon (Revised account).   87 comments
3. Murder most foul in Pontypool.   6 comments
4. Parts of old Pontypool that have vanished.   22 comments
5. Old photographs of Pontypool.   4 comments

Visitors came from 127 different countries. Most visitors came from the United Kingdom but the United States and Australia were not far behind.

The most commented on post in 2013 was “The Crown Garage in George Street and the Fynn family.”

These were the 5 most active  commenters:
1. Clive Barnby with 19 comments.
2. Audrey Ross with 13 comments.
3. Dennis Williams with 6 comments.
4. Laurie Oliver with 6 comments.
5. David Powell with 6 comments.”

It only remains for me to wish all my visitors a very happy New Year. Please visit again in 2014.


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