Famous Pontypool people/ Robin Hood pub

I recently received an interesting email from Dot Jones who has a lot of memories of Pontypool, its places and its people. She has no objection to my using parts of her letter for a posting on this blog so here goes:

“I’ve only just stumbled across your web site and oh, what a find. My husband and I have only sampled a few of the items but look forward to reading them all in due course.  I don’t want to bore you with the following but just want to give you some background information regarding us and maybe you can use some of the comments.

I am 82 and my husband (Lyn Jones) is 85.  I (Dorothy Dobbs)  was born in Goytre and he was born in King Street, Pontypool.  At the age of 17 he joined the RAFfor 10 years,  after attending Abersychan Tech and working at Winsor’s Garage.  His father died in 1989 at the age of 92 and his mother the same year aged 89.  My mother (Sarah Webb) was born in Cwmffrwdoer and was a Maid to Jeremiah’s who kept the “Horseshoe” Pub in Pontnewynydd.  When they retired to Goytre they took my Mother with them and that is when she met my father.

Famous Persons from Pontypool – We can remember  Lyn’s parents talking about the film star, Ray Milland.  They used to go dancing at a place called “The Duck” and Reg Jones (as he was known then) would also be there. His nickname was “The Rajah”.  This place was situated at the top of Trosnant somewhere behind the Clarence Hotel. Although he was born in Neath he came to live in Pontypool and   worked in the Steel Works.  His house is no longer there but it was on the left hand side at Pontymoile.  He  joined the Household Cavalry and in later years when he was a film star he regularly visited his Aunt who lived in Prince Street. Apparently he took the surname Milland,  which referred to him working in the Mill.

Dame Gwyneth Jones (Opera Singer) who I believe now lives in Switzerland.

Robin Hood Pub – I have a photograph taken I think in the 60’s, outside the “Robin Hood” Pub which I will attach to this email. From left to right – my husband (Lyn Jones) myself (Dot Jones), ?  ?  (don’t know who these were) , Landlord (I believe), Jean Collins, Landlady (I believe), Val Cross and Betty Thomas.


Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs – My husband remembers his cousin was one of the Seven Dwarfs (Peter Davies from Newport) but can’t pick his cousin out from the photograph but remembers him saying at the time – “I’m going to be a drawf”.  He lost touch with his cousin some years ago.

The “Palais” – We used to go there occasionally in the 40’s when the big bands like Ted Heath, Ray Ellington, Cyril Stapleton etc. visited but we “Goytre girls” used to go to St. Alban’s every Saturday night and that is where 4 of us met our husbands, all from Pontypool.  Myself married Lyn Jones, my sister Joan Dobbs married Ben Wilding (ex West Mon), Thea Merrick married Bill Richards (ex West Mon.) and Brenda Merrick married Mac Harris (ex West Mon.).  At the time Joan worked in Chalmer’s Chemist on the Clarence and Brenda worked in the Millinery Department in Fowler’s.

Cafes – Two of the Cafe’s we used to frequent were Gus Pelopida’s on the Clarence and Fulgoni’s in the main street.”

I expect a number of regular visitors will remember some of the people and places mentioned by Dot. Please make any relevant comments you have or email me with extra details.

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7 Responses to “Famous Pontypool people/ Robin Hood pub”

  1. Alan Black Says:

    *Third lady from the right with glasses, Mrs Allen and the tall gent behind in the orange cardigan is Mr Allen. Land lord and land lady. **Rgds Alan Black.*

  2. Dot Jones Says:

    Many thanks Alan for providing the name of the Landlord/Landlady, Lyn thinks he maybe the Arthur Allen who used to play for Pontypool RFC as 2nd Row Forward?

  3. Robert James-Robbins Says:

    Famous people from Pontypool: Joan Ruddock DBE, MP. Alumna of the County Grammar School. Former Chair Person of CND.

  4. Kevin McIndo Says:

    Is the ‘Jean Collins’ in the photo the one who was married to Leonard Collins?

  5. Dot Jones Says:

    Yes, the Jean Collins in the photograph was married to Leonard Collins. Sadly, he passed away last year. As a matter of interest I had lunch with Jean last Tuesday in the “Horseshoe” pub in Mamhilad. A few of us who used to work in BNS/ICI meet up for a Lunch now and then..

  6. Lionel Barrell Says:

    Joan Ruddock née Anthony, daughter of Ken(?) who worked with my father at Tirpentwys or Hafodyrynys, Married Keith Ruddock,
    ex-West Mon, who was killed in a freak accident while walking in to work at Imperial College. Joan had a sister, Susan.

    • Dot Jones Says:

      Joan Ruddock’s Mother is Eileen Anthony who married Ken Anthony. Eileen has two sisters, Betty and Audrey who both live in Barry, next door to each other. When I was a child they all lived in Goytre with their Mother and Father, Mr and Mrs Messenger. Mr Messenger was well known for his horticultural prowess and was one of the first members of the Goytre Hall committee. I’m pleased to say I am in regular contact with Betty who is now in her 90’s. Betty’s husband is Ray Norman whose late sister was married to Frank Paine – his photograph is shown on this site riding his motorbike in WW2. Hope the above is of interest

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