LAST week’s Now and Then picture showed the Masonic Hall and Board of Trade Offices which were on Dock Street.

Today’s picture shows the Masonic Hall in Lower Dock Street taken decades ago, judging by how dirty it looks. Now clean, the building dominates the scene and is the meeting place of the numerous Newport lodges of the Masons. Inside it is an intriguing building with all sorts of rooms, chambers and kitchens. Many a grand ball and dinner is held there as the Order continues to carry out charitable projects.

Jim Dyer Newport

The Now and Then picture is of the Masonic Hall. On the opposite corner was the Masonic Hotel, now turned into flats which are on the corner of Dock Street and Ruperra Street.

Further down Dock Street were a few offices where merchant seamen used to go and one in Ruperra Street. Also, the River View pub has just been sold to make flats there.

Opposite is a new police station, offices and council offices which used to be all railway lines for railway trucks, etc, to travel along.

Also, there was a bridge called the Octopus Bridge where people use to travel over to go to work at Cashmore’s Ltd, also Black and Clawson’s Ltd.

You can go through Ruperra Street to go to Asda supermarket.

M. Reardon Newport

The Now and Then photo shows the Masonic Hall on the corner of Dock Street and Ruperra Street; the other corner was the Masonic Arms.

I used to go in for my lunch and a game of cards with Pa, real name Albert Porrata, and his son Joey.

A warm 48 years ago when I got married my Uncle Tom and my mother and all met on Newport station. Uncle Tom had to go to Pill to find Ruperra Street as he was in digs before World War I.

By the way, after going to sea in three-masted schooners he went home to Bath and then volunteered for the army. He was one of the old constables and he survived, but his brother did not.

R Smith Conway Road Newport