Llanthewy Road, Newport

South Wales Argus: THEN THEN

Last week we visited the Llanthewy Road, Newport and received the following replies:

Mr Derek Watt, Newport: " It is Llanthewy Road and I used lived in that area and went to Clytha school. I am one of four brothers, my eldest brother is 90. In my youth I was throwing stones near the church and my hand slipped and smashed the glass bowl on the side of the church. The Civic centre grounds was given to the council by Lydia Beynon."

Mr Fallon, Newport: "It is Llanthewy Road. I live on Risca Road and walk past the top of the road to the shops and look down there every day. When I was a young boy I used to go down Llanthewy Road to get to town."

Jim Dyer, Newport: "It is Llanthewy Road. I used to live in that area. When I worked at the Civic Centre I used to walk that way to work, which was difficult in the winter with the snow and ice. Years ago I used to do my courting around that area."

Malbina Reardon, Newport: "I think this week's picture is of the Oakfield Road area and the church is the vicarage which used to be St John the Baptist. I think you can carry on to Rogerstone also to Risca from that area."

Paul Mcloughlin, Newport: "The now and then picture is Spencer Road. I can't remember the name of the church but it has been revamped and is now called Burleigh Hall. This is situated on the corner of Llanthewy Road where my brother Brian lives."

Dr Gareth D John, Cwmbran: "I recognise last week's pictures as being of the former defunct baptist chapel in Llanthewy Road close to the Handpost. Abandoned by its faithful congregation and overly money-conscious church authority after more than 100 years, it lay neglected. So much for religious belief and commitment. That's widespread. Yet it has been revived by the entrepreneurial skills of the hugely successful former soul singer Sarah Lucas (former stage name Sarah Gordon of Soul Show, Little Free Rock and Sister Act 60s Show). With foresight she purchased it in 2001 to realise a long-standing dream. And with characteristic zest and a massive cash investment, she and her husband Graham renovated and revitalised the ageing building and transformed it into a vibrant centre to nurture youthful talent in the expectation of discovering potential 'stars' of the future and enhancing those in the performing arts - the Burleigh Academy.

The 'Fame Academy,' as it is now affectionately known, was opened by Newport-born TV presenter and actress Josie D'Arby in December 2002. And what a success it has proved. It is a vibrant centre bristling with talent and ambition. Today 'hymns and arias' of a different kind reverberate and 'raise the rafters.' Truly, a centre of excellence. And watch this space."

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