NOW & THEN: Your memories of Alexandra Road
Updated 7:58pm Monday 24th February 2014 in News
The photo shows the end of Alexandra Rd in Pill. In the late 70's when I was a driving instructor I used to take my pupils to the Driving Test Centre which was on the left-hand side of the photo but just out of shot. On the right-hand corner at the end of this road was Alec's Cafe where driving instructors would enjoy a full English breakfast while their pupils were on test. Alec was quite a character and used to sell items from under the counter (no questions asked) that he acquired from the crews of ships in the docks just further along this road.
There is a story that one of the Examiners at the test centre was knocked down by a motorcyclist outside the test centre. He had told a motorcycle test candidate that he was about to get him to carry out the emergency stop exercise. He then sent the candidate around the block on his bike with the intention of carrying out this exercise as he came back into Alexandra Rd. Unfortunately he stepped out in front of the wrong motorcyclist and was knocked down. Nothing serious just embarrassing.
I also remember just out of shot was Newport's first CB radio shop which opened at the start of the CB radio craze. CB radio was illegal at the time and the shop always looked busy with customers buying radio sets imported from the USA. I can't remember the name of the shop but I remember the outside was painted a bright green colour.
The last building on the left is a pub. I believe at one time it was called the Gatsby. They also did a mean cooked breakfast to the delight of driving instructors.
This shows the bottom end of Alexandra Road with the Docks entrance in background. To the left is the Waterloo PH. and to the right the cafe on the corner. Most houses were newer than most in old Pill - modern with front walls! Around the corner, bottom right, was the Old Dock Hotel, bomb damaged during WW2.
Jim Dyer. Newport
The Now and Then picture is of Alexandra Road, and back in those days you were able to walk straight down the road and onto Alexandra Dock. I worked at the dock for two years as a fire-man on the steam engines.
The pub on the left-hand side is the Waterloo, and it is reputed to have the longest bar in Wales. This used to be a very busy area with many shops, and my years working at the docks were very happy
Clive Andrews Newport
The location is the bottom of Alexandra RD, and in the centre of the Then picture is the entrance to the new Alexandra Dock. The last building on the left is the Waterloo Hotel, opposite the hotel was a road called Watch House Parade. The photo was taken from outside the old Pill police station. Before it was called Alexandra Rd, it was named Inkaman Stret.
Gordon Stewart Pill
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