Memories of Newport Market

I am writing about the old times of Newport market. I have been reading about all the refurbishments etc going on.

I am now 76 - my first visits to the market were from the age of seven. My grandfather W J Peterson farmed at Upper Cwmbran - my grandmother specialised in keeping poultry and growing flowers etc. In the early 1930s they started at the market on Saturdays to take their produce. They travelled to Newport by pony and trap, stabling them at the King's Head Hotel.

In 1935 my grandfather purchased his first car and continued to "stable" it at the King's Head. I spent Saturdays with them at the market. I recall being so pleased when I picked and sold bunches of watercress! I tried to sell my Dandy comics but the market inspector telling me I could not do this with the sale of poultry, eggs, etc., by my grandfather. He seemed very tall to me with a bristling moustache. Their stall was upstairs in the middle aisle.

When the war started, they gave up their visits to the market - farming being the first priority. Incidentally, they never did collect their wooden box containing their scales and other bits and pieces.

I still remember a lot of the stallholders so vividly. One lady who sold jewellery and antiques always held a lace trimmed hankerchief to her nose. I was told that her nose has been eaten away by disease.

I was allowed to wander downstairs on my own. My ritual was to buy the Dandy comic and also fig biscuits.

As a footnote, when I started work as a junior secretary at the solicitors Davis Lloyds and Wilson at 63 High Street and had my first car in 1954, thanks to my grandfathers connection still at the King's Head, I garaged it, paying a rental, at the King's Head - which I was able to do for some years.

Mrs Patricia A Lloyd

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