Archive for December, 2011

Three photographs of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

December 30, 2011

Following on my earlier post about the Pontypool Snow White, I would like to thank Michael Taylor for sending me three photographs of this event which are shown below.

I was discussing this with my friend, Eric Smith, who has lived in New Inn for many years and he informed me that he knows Molly Lovejoy who was Snow White and that she is still living in New Inn a few hundred yards from his house.

No news about any of the dwarfs yet but there is still time.

 Molly Lovejoy as Snow White walking in the park with the
Carnival Queen, Marianne Gill of Abertillery and 
Ivor Jones the jeweller. 

 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I presume the adults
in the background are carnival officials or possibly
the judges of the Snow White competition.

 This photograph shows part of the float which was
entered in the carnival. 

If any visitor has any more photographs or information about this event please send them in for future publication.

Pontypool’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

December 20, 2011


 As Christmas is less than a week away I thought a “Christmassy” sort of posting might be appropriate. At this time of the year we all tend to think of the children and their presents, Christmas parties and so on. Personally, every year I have to be transformed into “Father Christmas” at four different functions where there are a lot of children present, so I have to get into the spirit quite early.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, I have many happy memories of family Christmases in Pontypool, many of them centred at Osborn Cottage. All this might be partly responsible for the fact that my favourite book is Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” which I have read eight times. I have three copies of the book, all with differing illustrations.

One favourite children’s character which tends to surface at this time of year is Snow White, so I thought I’d write about Pontypool’s Snow White in the hope that she and the dwarfs might read this, or that some visitors might know her or any of the dwarfs.

Although Walt Disney made his famous Snow White film in 1937 it did not come to the cinema in Pontypool until the following year 1938. I remember going to see it with my mother. You might remember this poster which was to be seen around the town advertising it:

The original story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was well known all over Europe after being featured in the collection of the German Brothers Grimm. Jacob and Wilhelm were two German academics who collected folkore and published a number of collections of it with the title “Grimm’s Fairy Tales”. As the first edition was published exactly 199 years ago this very day (20th December 1812), this is another good reason for my choice of subject. I think we might see some big celebrations at the 200th anniversary at this time next year. The volume contained 86 stories. More were added, and some subtracted until, for the seventh edition there was a huge collection of 211 stories. You will remember the popular ones such as: Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Rumplestiltskin, and Sleeping Beauty. So famous did the brothers become that they were featured on the German 1,000 Deutsche Mark bank note.


Although many people think of “Grimm’s Fairy Stories” as a collection of stories for children, some of them were very dark and drear and were not really suitable for children at all. Consequently they were often edited when used in other ways such as Walt Disney’s film. In it the dwarfs were given different names and the story was altogether more cheerful and bright as were the illustrations.

The original Fairy Tales were illustrated by
Philipp Grot Johann. Here he depicts
Snow White in her glass coffin.

By contrast this is Walt Disney’s much
more cheerful depiction.

Because of Snow White’s great popularity it was decided to have a competition in 1939 to choose a Pontypool Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to make an extra tableau for the usual Pontypool Hospital Carnival which I mentioned in an earlier posting.

Out of all the children who entered the competition, 35 finalists were chosen, 15 girls and 20 boys, and the judging took place at St James’s Hall. The winners were:

Snow White – Molly Irene Lovejoy of 3 Clare Wain Estate, New Inn, aged 10.

The seven dwarfs –

Stanley Lucas, Glenside, Coedcae, Pontypool, aged 6.

Gilbert Gordon Robinson, Olive Cottage, Upper Cotcha, Blaenavon, aged 6.

Lawrence Llewellyn Watkins, 23 Chapel Lane, Pontypool, aged 7.

Ronald Clifford Davies, 101 Gordon Road, Talywain, aged 6.

John Sandbrook, 36a Railway Tterrace, Abersychan, aged 8.

Terence Atkins, Pineapple Inn, New Inn, aged 8.

Peter Davies, 2, Cenfedd Street, Newport, aged 7.

Molly Irene Lovejoy

Molly Irene Lovejoy, a blonde, was the only child of Mr Charles Lovejoy, a GWR fireman and Mrs Lovejoy. She competed for the first time the previous year in the Royal Gwent Hospital Carnival, but was unsuccessful. She was more fortunate the following year when she was chosen as a court lady to the S.W.M.F. May-day Queen.

Terence Atkins is the son of Mr Jack Atkins, the former Pontypool forward.

I would estimate that Molly would now be aged about 83 and the dwarfs in their late seventies or early eighties. If any of them read this blog and can give me any further details or memories of the occasion I’d be delighted to hear from them. And if they have any photographs of the event which they could let me have a copy of they would make a wonderful follow-up to this posting.

Does anyone remember Aubrey Hames?

December 18, 2011


Since the publication of my book “Pontypool Memories” a year ago, apart from receiving emails from blog contacts, I now also sometimes receive telephone calls from people who have bought a copy of my book. Some have been from other countries from people who lived in Pontypool many years ago. I received one such phone call a couple of days ago from Dominic Hames of Oxfordshire who is researching the history of his father Aubrey Hames. I remember him well as the Mayor of Newport and he frequently had a mention in the South Wales Argus. As I know that some of the visitors to this blog lived in the Sebastopol/Cwmbran area, I am wondering whether they can remember Aubrey Hames as a child. I will quote part of Dominic’s letter below. It contains some significant pointers to possible recognition:

 “I am currently trying to research the history of my father Aubrey Hames who was born at 115 Greenhill Road in Sebastopol in 1923, and who I believed lived at 81 Commercial Street in Griffithstown until 1934 when his mother, Eleanor Maud Hames (maiden name Eleanor Maud Craven-Griffiths) moved to London with my fathers younger brother Russel (born 1925), leaving their father Arthur behind.  Arthur and Eleanor had moved to Griffithstown probably in mid to late 1922 with Arthur’s job, who worked for Great Western Railways.  Arthur probably stayed in Griffithstown another year after Eleanor left, before moving to Newport in about 1936.  Apart from these facts, the only other details I know about my fathers and grandparents time in Griffithstown was that they were members of the Baptist Church, and Eleanor played the piano at the local cinema.  I do not know what school my father or his brother attended.”

I notice that Aubrey Hames was born the same year as my eldest brother, John, who attended West Mon. So if Aubrey entered the West Mon exam and was successful, there is a good chance he started there the same year (1934, give or take one year) as my brother. Unfortunately my brother is no longer alive so cannot be asked about this. It’s possible that a visitor with some West Mon connections might remember something.

 “If there is any help or advice you could give me, or even know anybody who knew him, or may have known him as a child, I would be extremely grateful.  I would also be looking for information about his parents (for example, why would Arthur have moved to Griffithstown).  In return, I am willing to share anything that I find out about him with you (I have a few photos of him as a young boy probably taken in Griffithstwon, and these are enclosed).  I would also be more than happy to come down to Griffithstown sometime. On a final point, I was looking through the Pictorial Memories of Old Pontypool Volume 2 yesterday, and on page 48 there is a picture of five houses that they say “are now numbered 86-90″.  Further along is number 81.  Does this mean that number 81 Commercial Street now, is not the same as number 81 in the 1920s?  If so, do you have any idea which house would have been number 81 in the 1920s?  I assume number 115 Greenhill Road is the same?  If so, that would be a shame as this house no longer exists.”

Here are the photographs referred to above:

With Russell

About 1925

Aubrey about 1925

About 1926

Aubrey about 1927

About 1928

Aubrey and Mervyn about 1928

If anyone has any helpful information please either send a comment or email me and I will pass on the information to Dominic.

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.

Pontypool Home Guard on Parade in the Park

December 2, 2011

I dealt with Pontypool’s Dad’s Army much earlier in this blog. Michael Taylor has kindly sent me some photographs of the Home Guard taken in 1943. It was a celebration of the third year of the forming of the Hone Guard. At the march past the salute was taken by Major-general J.G.Halstead.

Pontypool Home Guard marching into the park. In the background is the
Girls’ Convent School, now St Alban’s Comprehensive School.

The march past. To the right, standing on the dais is Major-general J.G.Halstead.

Another section of the parade.

It must have seemed like a never-ending line.

Major-general J.G.Halstead inspecting the troops.
The park bandstand is just visible in the background. 

Michael told me that he has recognised his own Dad in the photographs. Perhaps visitors will also see someone they know.