Pontypool – then and now. And Christmas greetings to all visitors.

The very idea of this blog for over the past six years has been to think about old Pontypool. At this time of year, as we draw near to Christmas, I suppose many of us tend to think about past times and past Christmases more than at any other time.

Over the last year or two I’ve been talking to friends who used to live in Pontypool in the nineteen thirties, forties and fifties, and there seems to be unanimous agreement that, during those times, we lived in more family oriented times and that life was happier and more innocent. Few mothers went out to work but they worked very hard in the home, cleaning, cooking and acting as the sheet-anchor of the family. Families were often poor but they rarely split up with the children being shared between father and mother. Some people have even said “I’m glad I lived through my childhood then. I feel sorry for the children of today.”

It was during the sixties that things started to fall apart in this country with a massive lowering of moral values. It was the time of “The Profumo Affair” with Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice Davies, whose death was announced today. I suppose today it would hardly raise an eyebrow.

Pontypool town was more cohesive; several people who still live there have told me that Pontypool has lost its soul. I cannot comment on this as I have not lived there since 1947.

So, if you still live in Pontypool or have lived there fairly recently, what is your opinion on these matters? If you have any opinion on the foregoing, please add a comment. Up to today there have been 537 comments placed on this blog; more will be welcome. For your information there has been over 180,000 hits on this blog so far and there are 139 followers who have asked to be informed whenever a new post is published.

Finally I would like to send to all visitors my sincere Christmas greetings with the following Christmas card:

Christmas cardMy best wishes for Christmas and the New Year

David Hughes

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8 Responses to “Pontypool – then and now. And Christmas greetings to all visitors.”

  1. Lynda. Says:

    Happy Christmas to you. I read your blog avidly as my dad was born and bred in Pontypool/Abersychan. He spoke about it until the last days of his life. To that end I have visited several times in recent years and have fallen for the area that dad loved so much, albeit a changed Pontypool, travelling along with the times. Best wishes. Lyn.

  2. Kate Says:

    Merry Christmas to you also. I was born in 1952 and I remember a lot of the ‘old’ Pontypool. I do think the modern family has a lot to do with the downfall of the town. People now just scurry into the supermarket and rush back home. My mother seemed to spend ages in town shopping and chatting (with me by her side) and seemed to know everyone.

  3. Craig Smith Says:

    Season’s Greetings David

    I have to take issue with your point that “It was during the sixties that things started to fall apart in this country with a massive lowering of moral values.” though. Was there really a ‘massive” lowering? I don’t think so. Looking back from now some may perceive that, but the Sixties were vital in changing the perceptions of “morality”. Finally people were held up for their actions (e.g. Profumo) but thousands preceding them had been doing exactly the same but getting away with it (friends in high places and the “Establishment” protecting their own). The Sixties saw the press released from these shackles and these people could be shown for what they were. Morals remained high for the vast majority and have remained so.

    Were families closer and life better? Again, depends entirely on the individual but many women then remained in abusive households because of exactly the reason you mention – they had no job and no escape. I, for one, am glad that women can escape these horrendous situations now. Families split up for many reasons, and it’s far better to get out of a poor relationship than stay trapped in one. Again, times have changed for the better in my opinion.

    As for Pontypool, well time hasn’t been kind to it that’s for sure, but what defines ‘soul’? Community spirit, neighbourliness? I no longer live there (I’m in London) but on my visits to family it does appear to be a little worse for wear each time. (However, it was nice to see the Market renovated – hopefully a start). I can be honest and say there’s nothing there now to ever make me want to visit it.

    Just my $0.02.

    PS – interesting typo in your comment – “fiends” instead of “friends”…Freudian perhaps…

  4. Jeannette (Osborne) Randall Says:

    Thank you David for a very happy year reading your blog. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  5. Dot Jones Says:

    Have a lovely Christmas each and everyone of you. Sadly my husband Lyn passed away very peacefully earlier this month, the funeral was yesterday and it was good to see a number of Pontypool friends there. One of which was Benny Jones and family. I look forward to catching up on this blog in 2015.

  6. Julia Says:

    Merry Christmas to you David, and thank you for your blog.
    We visited Pontypool back in September/ October of this year, and were extremely lucky with the weather. Previous visits over the past years had been confined to Christmas, lovely to visit family and friends,but a big shock to the system with the weather. 2012 being notorious for the snow.Living in sunny South Africa is was great to see but made travelling about difficult.
    Now my husband has retired we are not so confined as to holiday dates and hope to visit again soon.
    Thanks again for your blog it is nice to keep up to date with the goings on. Best Wishes for the New Year.

  7. Emrys Lewis Says:

    Thanks David for another year detailing Pontypool history. For those of us living away perhaps it is better to remember Pontypool as it was, even if memory is sometimes influenced by age and nostalgia.
    Merry Christmas and happy New Year. Hope the blog continues.

  8. Lionel Barrell Says:

    Well done, David. May 2015 be kind to you.

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