Posts Tagged ‘Crane Street’

Murder at the Parrot Inn and some old photographs of Pontypool

July 20, 2011

I’ve recently received another email from Mary (ptcp officer at Pontypool Museum) in which she says that she was given the name of one of the wrestlers by a lady who remembers reading about the murder at the pub. His name was “Fancy Fan” (or possibly “Fran”) and came from Blaenavon. If anyone knows about this character please write in and say.

I don’t think he would have gone to West Mon ! Living in Blaenavon would have put him in Priestley House (named after the first headmaster). Certainly while I was at the school I can’t recall anyone who looked like a transvestite wrestler. No, I’m sure he would not have been an old Westmonian !!

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I’ve just received several photographs from Clive Barnby of Pontypridd. They were given to him by Allan Everson and I publish them below:

Moreton Street, Pontypool. This photograph was probably taken during
the construction of the houses in Moreton Street. This was given to
Allan Everson by a lady who lived in one of the houses on the left of the
picture. You can just see two people looking out of the bedroom windows
and a young boy standing under the scaffolding.

Brian Everson when in the RAF.
This is Allan Everson’s older brother. I’m including it because
Brian and I shared the same double desk when we were in
Mr Rees’s class in Town School. We were about nine at the
time. I liked Brian and we got on well sharing similar interests
such as Tommy Handley’s ITMA broadcasts during the war.

This is a photograph of some of the customers at the Noah’s Ark public house
in Pontypool, taken about 1930. I don’t know where this pub was so if anyone
can remember it please let me know.

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I was recently looking through an old scrapbook of mine when I came across two very old photographs of Crane Street which were taken about 1850. In the first one you can just see the entrance to the narrow lane (under a large sign) at the side of Sandbrooke and Daws. This is where I saw the sheep being slaughtered which I described in a much earlier posting.

Lower Crane Street

Upper Crane Street

Old photographs of Pontypool’s shopping centre

March 29, 2011

When I lived in Pontypool during the 1930s and 1940s the shopping centres of most towns, large and small, were roughly somewhere in the middle of the town. There were no “trading estates” on the outskirts of towns. Most people wouldn’t have had a car to reach them if there had been. Shopping was a more cohesive experience in that everything you wanted you could usually get in some shop or other in the town centre. On the other hand shopping was not an all encompassing experience so that you could get almost everything you required in one shop as in today’s supermarkets.

So my theme for today’s photographs is Pontypool town centre shops etc in Commercial Street and Crane Street.

J.Knapp’s grocery shop

This looks like a very old photograph of the grocery shop of Mr J.Knapp. This was in Commercial Street and can be seen in the third photograph. Presumably that is Mr Knapp and his two assistants standing in the doorway. Flanked on either side and slightly above them there appears to be two sides of pork.

Commercial Street

Judging by the clothes on the young man in the centre of the photograph and the sepia toning of the print, this too is a very old photograph.

Commercial Street

This photograph shows a longer stretch of Commercial Street. I should say it’s slightly later than the photograph above but is still quite old. Mr Knapp’s grocery shop is in evidence though, of course, we don’t know whether Mr Knapp himself was still running it or whether one of his young assistants might have taken over.

Looking down Crane Street

The attire of the boys and the lady in black seem to indicate a photograph more or less contemporary with the second photograph above. On the left we can clearly see the sign for Walker’s Restaurant and the sign above Morgan’s shop. The young boy on the right is standing outside the top entrance to the market.

The shop of E. Fowler and Son

This shop was always referred to as “Bottom” Fowler’s because around the corner and higher up in Crane Street there was a “Top” Fowler’s. I went into this shop with my mother on many occasions and the thing that really fascinated me was the overhead wire which carried all the money flying to a central cashier who put any necessary change in the container and sent it back for the customer. Farthings were in use in those days and Fowler’s were very fond of putting up prices which were just one farthing short of the shilling; such prices as “one-and-eleven-three-farthings” which was only one farthing less than two shillings. For the sake of any visitors under the age of 40, perhaps I should explain that there were 4 farthings in a penny, 12 pennies in a shilling and 20 shillings in a pound.