Two interesting comments

Regular visitors to this blog will probably, by now, be conversant with the right hand column where the latest comments are highlighted with a symbol. If you click on one of those comments you will be taken to the relevant comment which you can then read. Just recently I’ve received, and put in the right hand column, two comments which you might find of interest.

One of these is from Peter Jeffereys of Ilfracombe who is an old Westmonian. He is mentioned in the account of the West Mon tragedy which you can read by going to:

Peter wrote to say he had come across a book called “Action Replay” by Jeffrey Hamm of Pontypool.  The book is his autobiography and Peter says he was quite surprised to find so many of the early pages of the book referring to Jeffrey Hamm’s days in Pontypool. If you click on the link in Peter’s comment you will be taken to a site where you can read the book for yourself and even download it if you wish.  (Or just click here if you wish: book)  

You might not have heard of Jeffrey Hamm but you probably will have heard of Oswald Mosely whose “Blackshirt” organisation was well known in the 1930s and 1940s. Jeffrey Hamm became Oswald Mosely’s personal secretary and his right hand man.

Jeffrey Hamm was about 12 years older than I and lived diagonally across the road from my house at 7 Wern Terrace. He lived in Brynwern, less than 100 yards away. I didn’t know him personally but I saw him from time to time when he lived there with his parents. His father at that time was an insurance agent as my own father was. Eric Smith’s father was also. Must have been a good place to find insurance agents! Jeffrey went to the Twmpath School and also West Mon.

When I was in Mr Rees’s class in Town School I remember him visiting the class on one occasion as a pupil teacher when he taught us a science lesson on how to make a telephone out of two empty tin cans and a long length of string. I enjoyed the lesson but he never returned to do any further teaching.

I always remember that, when we went up the mountain or travelled along the Crumlin Road we saw a large concrete wall which, I presume, was built to hold up the steep bank which sometimes collapsed on that road in very wet weather. Scrawled across the length of the grey wall in huge white painted letters were the words: “Help O. Mosely”. As a young lad I didn’t know what the words meant but I now wonder whether it might have been Jeffrey Hamm who painted the sign.

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The other comment in the right hand column is from Phil Jenkins and contains a link to three photographs of the ruins of The Robin Hood Inn which he took last year. There are a number of other interesting photographs on the linked site also. So far no one has sent any photographs of the Robin Hood when it was in good condition but, until I receive such a photograph, perhaps some visitors might be interested to look at the three photos available through the link. (Click here if you prefer.)

Just in case some visitors are unable to use the link I’ll copy the three photographs below. Many thanks to both Peter and Phil.

Three photographs showing the remains of the Robin Hood Inn

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2 Responses to “Two interesting comments”

  1. Clive Barnby Says:

    I remember my mother mentioning Jeffrey Hamm tho didnt realise he was from Brynwern. Perhaps that was mentioned but I dont remember.

    He had a son called Michael Hamm whom I knew slightly in the days when I lived in the Upper Cwmbran area. I think Michael lived in West Pontnewydd but I dont know where, if he did. I knew him through his cousin, Roger Ham. (This is not a typing error. Roger’s surname had one “m”, Michael’s two. I’m not sure whether Jeffrey Hamm decided to add an extra “m” for some reason !!)

    Roger & I went thro West Mon together, tho Roger did an extra year. Lost touch with him at the end of the 60s & dont know what happened to him. I can’t remember which school Michael went to, & havent seen him since the mid-50s tho’ I think I remember reading something about him – at least, it was someone with the same day, about the right age, &c.

  2. Clive Barnby Says:

    Tho’ “Roger Ham” wasnt a typing error, notice I’ve made a couple later on. It was the mid-60s (not 50s) that I last saw Michael Hamm, & the other deliberate mistake might have been spotted. It should, of course, have read “same age” not “same day” !!

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