Posts Tagged ‘Robin Hood pub’

Famous Pontypool people/ Robin Hood pub

August 7, 2014

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.

More about the Robin Hood pub

March 27, 2011

In a recent post I dealt with three Pontypool topics,  namely The Robin Hood pub, the Pontymoile park gates and the Donkey steps.

Jeff Oates said that he had discovered from the 1911 Census that his grandfather had kept the pub. It now seems that another email correspondent, Harold Clarke, has discovered that some of his relatives also kept the same pub. He has also sent a photograph of some of them. Added to this is some surprising information I have received from Harold just today, namely that there was a Benjamin and Ann Gregory who had an adopted daughter with an address given as Robin Hood, Cwnnatddu, Cwmfrwdoer. I have no knowledge of this particular Gregory but visitors who have read my earlier posts will have read of my Uncle, Percy Gregory who ran the shoe shop in Hanbury Road not far from the Robin Hood.

Because Harold’s research might be of interest to other visitors I am publishing the contents of his three emails below:


1.  “My wife’s grandparents, Albert and Mary Powell, kept the Robin Hood pub in late 1920s into the thirties and brought up nine children at the pub. One of these children was Annie who married Stanly White. They had four children one, Wilfred, born at the pub. At about two years of age Wilfred had his own small glass and would go around for the men to put some beer in it. The beer was served straight from barrels set on stone shelves to the rear of the bar.

The pub consisted of four rooms, two up two down, with one room downstairs being used as the bar. The water for the pub came from a spring on the other side of the railway. This was a spur line which ran past the bottom of the alley. It meant the water had to be carried some two to three hundred yards, no mean task bearing in mind all the children and what would be needed for the pub.

The pub was owned by the Rumney Breweries. In the 1970s we tried to purchase it from them. It was then still standing but they would not sell it. Approx twenty years later they offered to sell but by this time it was not salvageable.

In early 1950s it was kept by the Allens, and my wife still visited with her parents on a summer evening. The path leading up to the pub was known as the alley.

The photo below is of Stanley White and Annie Powell at the top of the Alley. Stanley later married Annie and as stated above she lived at the pub for some time with her parents.”


2. “I was hoping to have come up with a photo of the actual pub.  At the moment I cannot do that but I believe I have located the brewery records at Glamorgan Record Office. I am afraid I will have to wait for a response from these as you can only contact them via email or snail mail.

A Little more information for Jeff and maybe, if you decide to put it on the blog, someone from the Allen family might pick up on it as when they were there most people would have had cameras, also the Curtis family, that is why I have given the names.

Using dates, we believe that the Richards kept the pub prior to my wife’s family the Powell’s who we know were there in the late twenties early thirties. Then  one of the Allen family took it over till it closed mid nineteen nighties. Albert Powell’s wife, Mary Powell, nee Curtis we think gave up the licence when at the age of ninety Mary was knocked down by a train walking the line to shop at Cwmffrwdoer. She survived this but passed away some time later in Snatchwood.”


3. “The wife got me working overtime on this and I just came across something which might be just coincidence but you refer to connections with the Gregory family.

In the 1891 census there is a Benjamin Gregory born 1835 in Somerset. His wife Ann, buried at St Cadocs, had an adopted daughter giving her address as Robin Hood Cwnnantddu Cwmfrewddoer.

I have also got Florence Mabel Gregory married to William Phillips and I thought it might be of interest to you.”


Well, that’s the story of the Robin Hood public house so far. If anyone has any further information or photographs to add I’m sure Jeff and Harold would be interested and so would I.




Information and a request

March 17, 2011

One enjoyable aspect of writing this blog is the number of emails I receive from people who either give me information or ask for it. In this post there’s a bit of each.

A short while ago I received an email from Jeff Oates asking for information about the Robin Hood pub at Cwmffrwdoer. He says:

“I recently discovered from the 1911 Census that my Great Grandfather Oliver Richards born 1869, lived in the Robin Hood Public House, Cwmffrwdoer, with his wife and 10 children. A few weeks ago I managed to find and photograph the ruins of this pub. I have learned from several sources, that the pub was still open in the 1950s, but I have been unable to find any photographs of it. I would love to hear from anyone who may have such a photo or indeed any memories of this pub.”

If anyone can remember anything about this pub please email me ( and I will pass on the information to Jeff.


Another email came from Harold Clarke who had some interesting information about the Donkey Steps which from time to time have had several mentions in this blog. He says:

“With reference to the park gates I did first get told of the blacksmith committing suicide over missing one bunch of grapes when attending George Street School and have heard the same story many times. I would think it correct.

The Donkey Steps that have always gone by that name as long as I can remember are not the true Donkey Steps. These are buried under the Road surface and were a series of long shallow steps so that the horses pulling the drays up the Bell Pitch well all the way from the Globe Hotel could be hitched one behind the other with extra horses being brought in at the bottom. This put them on relatively flat ground which enabled them to be pulled up the very step gradient. I am trying to find a write up on this in one of my books. I am sure I still have it.

The picture of the Masons pub brought back a conversation, many years ago with my father who said there were two pubs long gone from the end of Broadway. I am sure one was the Masons, I might remember the other some time. My father would have been familiar with this part as he was born in Nicholas Street.

I am sure in the back of my mind there was an air raid shelter on the end of Broadway also a Static Tank same side as the houses but if I am right it would have been one of the first removed after the war as I do not remember playing in or on this one as we did at the bottom of Broadway and the Circle Brynwern”

If any visitor has a picture of the Donkey Steps I would very much appreciate a copy to add to my ever-growing file of photographs of Pontypool.