Old photographs of New Inn, The Grotto and West Mon School

Once again I am indebted to Craig Smith for supplying  the three photographs below. If you have any information about them please either email me or make a comment.


This is a very early photograph of the Grotto
before it was vandalised and railings
were put around it.

highway new inn

Judging by the style of the cars parked in the road
this photograph must have been taken in the 1920s.

I’m puzzled by the title: “The Highway Pontypool Road”. 
I always thought “Pontypool Road” referred to the
railway station.
Was there a road in New Inn by that name?

west mon

For visitors unacquainted with West Mon, perhaps
I should explain that, when I went there in the early
1940s, the left hand building housed
the lower aged boys; the quad is behind it and on
the far side were the boarders’ quarters.
The central building with the storm roof, housed
the swimming baths in the lower storey and the
gym on the top storey. Behind it was a large shelter
where we often assembled during break time
if it was raining. Part of the roof is just visible.
The building on the right was known as “The New
Building” and housed the laboratories and the
older boys.

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3 Responses to “Old photographs of New Inn, The Grotto and West Mon School”

  1. Laurie Oliver Says:

    The photo shows that West Mon changed very little before I attended in 1964. The steps from the front of the school down onto the ‘hallowed’ lawn had low brick walls either side. These are a later addition.
    Anyone having the temerity to stray onto the lawn would hear the late Max Horton (Gym Master) shout “You boy! Get off the lawn!” A very smart man, who later became Chairman of the local Magistrates Bench.

    The former boarders dormitories had by this time changed into a Library, an art room, a music room and a few class rooms, but in the late 1960s, the rows of wash basins remained, although these were covered over in some rooms. In the very late 1960s, early 1970s, a new boiler room for the Swimming Pool and new changing rooms appeared on the central building.

  2. Geoff Sumner Says:

    I grew up in a house above Pontypool Road station and was always puzzled by the address which was ‘The Highway, Pontypool Road’.
    Pontypool Road seems to refer to the road from The Turnpike to New Inn but perhaps someone who used to work for Royal Mail could help.


    I was at West Mon, during the war years……Which of course makes me pretty ancient now. Two great school friends of mine were the late Wilf Arnold and WH Williams…red headed and nicknamed (of course!) Custard
    Can others remember the ‘School line’ we wrote out a hundred or so times for misbehaviour…’Insubordination will not be tolerated in this Scholastic Establishment’!! They really were great days which I shall NEVER forget. Anyone from those times still around?

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