Information and a request

One enjoyable aspect of writing this blog is the number of emails I receive from people who either give me information or ask for it. In this post there’s a bit of each.

A short while ago I received an email from Jeff Oates asking for information about the Robin Hood pub at Cwmffrwdoer. He says:

“I recently discovered from the 1911 Census that my Great Grandfather Oliver Richards born 1869, lived in the Robin Hood Public House, Cwmffrwdoer, with his wife and 10 children. A few weeks ago I managed to find and photograph the ruins of this pub. I have learned from several sources, that the pub was still open in the 1950s, but I have been unable to find any photographs of it. I would love to hear from anyone who may have such a photo or indeed any memories of this pub.”

If anyone can remember anything about this pub please email me ( and I will pass on the information to Jeff.


Another email came from Harold Clarke who had some interesting information about the Donkey Steps which from time to time have had several mentions in this blog. He says:

“With reference to the park gates I did first get told of the blacksmith committing suicide over missing one bunch of grapes when attending George Street School and have heard the same story many times. I would think it correct.

The Donkey Steps that have always gone by that name as long as I can remember are not the true Donkey Steps. These are buried under the Road surface and were a series of long shallow steps so that the horses pulling the drays up the Bell Pitch well all the way from the Globe Hotel could be hitched one behind the other with extra horses being brought in at the bottom. This put them on relatively flat ground which enabled them to be pulled up the very step gradient. I am trying to find a write up on this in one of my books. I am sure I still have it.

The picture of the Masons pub brought back a conversation, many years ago with my father who said there were two pubs long gone from the end of Broadway. I am sure one was the Masons, I might remember the other some time. My father would have been familiar with this part as he was born in Nicholas Street.

I am sure in the back of my mind there was an air raid shelter on the end of Broadway also a Static Tank same side as the houses but if I am right it would have been one of the first removed after the war as I do not remember playing in or on this one as we did at the bottom of Broadway and the Circle Brynwern”

If any visitor has a picture of the Donkey Steps I would very much appreciate a copy to add to my ever-growing file of photographs of Pontypool.


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One Response to “Information and a request”

  1. adrian harris Says:

    I remember the Robin Hood. It was still open around 1968 because I remember being there aged 14 when the police raided looking for under-age drinkers. This was a common occurrence as teenagers travelled for miles to go there due to their ability to get served ‘with no questions asked …’. Most of us would be in the garden area so when the police arrived there would be a mass exodus into the field next door, but I was unlucky because I was actually in the bar when they burst in. Fortunately I didn’t have a drink in my hand at the time so they just took my name and I heard no more about it. Great beer though … served straight from the barrel!

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