Archive for December, 2013

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.

Christmas greetings to all visitors

December 18, 2013

Christmas card for blog

More news about Panteg Hospital as workhouse and military hospital in WW 1

December 4, 2013

I recently received an email from Liz Randall who lives in Somerset. She had come across the blog post about Panteg Hospital at Panteg Hospital, Pontypool and “Retlas” revealed.

She also told me that she had some photographs of the hospital so I asked permission to use them as another blog post. I publish both email and photographs below.


” My grandparents were Percy and Agnes Randall, Master and Matron of the Pontypool Union Workhouse at Coedrig House, Griffithstown from 1910 to 1925, including the period during the first world war when it was turned over to an auxilliary military hospital for the war wounded. My grandfather committed suicide while in the job at New Year 1925/6, probably the reason my father never talked about the workhouse or his father. Actually, he was hardly there after he reached school-age, having been sent to Warwick to live with his grandfather.

All I know about my grandparents’ time running the workhouse has been gleaned at the county records office, from newspapers which published regular reports of the Board of Guardians’ meetings. 

I would very much like to know more about the time when the institution was an auxiliary military hospital in WW1. I was told the official records no longer exist, so am reliant on other sources.  Do you know of any, please?

 I have a few photos of Griffithstown workhouse which I found in my grandmother’s document box:



1. Pontypool Union Workhouse_Griffithstown_1

1. The kitchen; no date. I guess sometime between 1914-17 because
my father, the dark-suited boy, looks about 8 (he was born in 1907).
My grandmother, Matron, on the left.

2. Pontypool Union Workhouse_Griffithstown_2

2. My aunt Edith Randall aged 4 with ‘Nanny Chamberlain’ in 1923

3. Pontypool Union Workhouse_Griffithstown_3

3. General view of the workhouse with the river in the foreground;
no date, though sometime between 1910 and 1925.

4. Pontypool Union Workhouse_Griffithstown_4

4. Master and Matron, seated, with men dressed for, I guess,
a pierrot show; no date, though sometime between 1910 and 1925.

5. Pontypool Union Workhouse_Griffithstown_5

5. Either dining room or chapel, decorated for Christmas 1912.

 My own guess about picture 5 is that it might have served a dual purpose as both a dining room and a chapel as there is an organ, front left, and a piano, front right. Notice also the poster, bottom centre, “Glory to God in the highest”. The small white notice on the top point of the star says “Menu, Christmas 1912”.

As you will see above, Liz is keen to find out more information about the hospital. If you recognise anyone in the photographs or have any relevant information please make a comment and share it with all the visitors to this blog.

If, for some personal reason, you would prefer to share your information with Liz instead of making a comment then please email me and I will ask permission to give you her email.