Further news about the snowfall of 1947

Regular visitors to this blog might remember an early posting:  https://oldpontypool.wordpress.com/2009/02/05/pontypools-great-snow-of-1947/

Recently I received another email from Geoff Lloyd who has memories of this occasion. He also sent me three photographs, all of  which I share with you below.

Many thanks Geoff.

I well remember the 1947 Snows, living on Varteg Lane, Varteg. The snow drifts in some places were up to the first floor windows and people had to dig a tunnel out. We schoolboys were quite happy as it meant no school for about 3 weeks.

The local coal miners were of course unable to get to the pits and together with all the other residents had to dig out the road to Garndiffaith so that supplies of bread and milk could be delivered.

Searching through my photographs I have found 2 of the road being dug out – the car belonged to my father, Herbert Lloyd, and he was waiting for it to be clear so that he could drive down to Garn & Varteg Co-op Chemist’s Shop at Garndiffaith, where he was the pharmacist in charge. There is also a photograph taken about 1936 of him outside the Chemists, some of your very old contacts may remember the shop.”


Herbert Lloyd’s car

Digging out the road at Varteg


Herbert Lloyd standing outside his chemist’s shop


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One Response to “Further news about the snowfall of 1947”

  1. Richard Morgan Says:

    I noticed a piece from Geoff Lloyd ex. Varteg Lane and I thought I should share a few anecdotes about Varteg and Garndiffaith — the Garn.

    I was a contemporary of Geoff’s in Varteg Lane in the late 40’s where we both attended Garndiffaith Primary school -a rough old school but an academic powerhouse under the headship of Sid (Blackjack) Griffiths. Blackjack was his cane wrapped in insulating tape. We all remember Sid for confronting an aggressive father who appeared in the playground at morning “lines” to avenge his son’s caning the previous day and knocked him down the steps.

    Varteg and Garn we’re run
    by the Coop (we called it the Kworp). They ran everything – groceries bakery butcher draper chemist cobbler and undertaker.
    When the butcher’s van was in need of a service – frequently in those days – the meat was delivered in the hearse!

    The Coop Committee was a tougher employer than any private enterprise – good Methodists no doubt and never spent a penny that could be saved. Now Garn school not only produced lots of clever and successful kids but also a few graduates of Cardiff Jail. – One such, was known to the police as the “Phantom Crapper” due to his propensity to lose control of his bowels when in the middle of a robbery. On one occasion he had broken into Abersychan Coop Outfitters and deposited in a Wellington boot. I am reliably informed that the manager instructed the sales assistants to wash it out and put it back on sale.

    Like Geoff Lloyd I live in Oz – NSW. I thought these reminiscences of the Valley should not go unrecorded.

    Richard Morgan

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