Posts Tagged ‘Griffithstown’

A Griffithstown enquiry

April 2, 2013



I’ve just received the following enquiry from Mary Lurvey who, like many other visitors to this blog, is researching her family tree.


Hi David, 

I’m Mary,  I think your pages on Pontypool and surrounding areas are brilliant, I however am interested in Griffithstown for the reason my grandparents Percy and Nell and father Peter Durman were living there. My grandparents may or or may not have stood out from the crowd because of their accents originaly from Taunton in Somerset.  

My grandfather worked on the railways somewhere around Griffithstown in the later part of the 1920s and early 60s and I know they lived at 39 Oxford Street (which still exists).  

My father was born in 1927 at a place named Ashley Cottage and I know my Grandfather was on the railways at that time. 

I know this is going to be a long shot but does any of this info sound familiar to you? I only have this information because I’m researching my family tree.  Would you have any memories or know of someone that would? “THANK YOU” for taking the time to read this email.

Kind Regards



I remember visiting a Great Aunt who had a shop near Oxford St, also from Taunton. Would this ring a bell?  Again Thank you.


I can’t remember anyone called Peter Durman. As he would be two years older than I it’s possible he might have gone to West Mon the same time as me; but, of course, he might have attended another school. If any other visitors to this blog know anything about Mary’s family, please email me with the details which I will pass on to Mary; or I can put you both in touch if you are both agreeable to this. I don’t publish the emails of visitors who contact me unless I get their permission to do so. I’m sure you appreciate the reason for this.

Aerial views of Pontypool, Griffithstown and West Mon

February 28, 2013


I enclose below a selection of aerial photographs of Pontypool, Griffithstown and West Mon. They come from the massive collection of photographs now available on the Internet taken between 1919 and 1955. If you wish to see more of them just visit the website at:

General view Pontypool

General view of Pontypool


Another view of Pontypool

Griffithstown general view

General view of Griffithstown

Griffithstown railway

Railway at Griffithstown

West Mon

West Mon School

Does anyone remember Aubrey Hames?

December 18, 2011


Since the publication of my book “Pontypool Memories” a year ago, apart from receiving emails from blog contacts, I now also sometimes receive telephone calls from people who have bought a copy of my book. Some have been from other countries from people who lived in Pontypool many years ago. I received one such phone call a couple of days ago from Dominic Hames of Oxfordshire who is researching the history of his father Aubrey Hames. I remember him well as the Mayor of Newport and he frequently had a mention in the South Wales Argus. As I know that some of the visitors to this blog lived in the Sebastopol/Cwmbran area, I am wondering whether they can remember Aubrey Hames as a child. I will quote part of Dominic’s letter below. It contains some significant pointers to possible recognition:

 “I am currently trying to research the history of my father Aubrey Hames who was born at 115 Greenhill Road in Sebastopol in 1923, and who I believed lived at 81 Commercial Street in Griffithstown until 1934 when his mother, Eleanor Maud Hames (maiden name Eleanor Maud Craven-Griffiths) moved to London with my fathers younger brother Russel (born 1925), leaving their father Arthur behind.  Arthur and Eleanor had moved to Griffithstown probably in mid to late 1922 with Arthur’s job, who worked for Great Western Railways.  Arthur probably stayed in Griffithstown another year after Eleanor left, before moving to Newport in about 1936.  Apart from these facts, the only other details I know about my fathers and grandparents time in Griffithstown was that they were members of the Baptist Church, and Eleanor played the piano at the local cinema.  I do not know what school my father or his brother attended.”

I notice that Aubrey Hames was born the same year as my eldest brother, John, who attended West Mon. So if Aubrey entered the West Mon exam and was successful, there is a good chance he started there the same year (1934, give or take one year) as my brother. Unfortunately my brother is no longer alive so cannot be asked about this. It’s possible that a visitor with some West Mon connections might remember something.

 “If there is any help or advice you could give me, or even know anybody who knew him, or may have known him as a child, I would be extremely grateful.  I would also be looking for information about his parents (for example, why would Arthur have moved to Griffithstown).  In return, I am willing to share anything that I find out about him with you (I have a few photos of him as a young boy probably taken in Griffithstwon, and these are enclosed).  I would also be more than happy to come down to Griffithstown sometime. On a final point, I was looking through the Pictorial Memories of Old Pontypool Volume 2 yesterday, and on page 48 there is a picture of five houses that they say “are now numbered 86-90″.  Further along is number 81.  Does this mean that number 81 Commercial Street now, is not the same as number 81 in the 1920s?  If so, do you have any idea which house would have been number 81 in the 1920s?  I assume number 115 Greenhill Road is the same?  If so, that would be a shame as this house no longer exists.”

Here are the photographs referred to above:

With Russell

About 1925

Aubrey about 1925

About 1926

Aubrey about 1927

About 1928

Aubrey and Mervyn about 1928

If anyone has any helpful information please either send a comment or email me and I will pass on the information to Dominic.