NOW & THEN: A scene from the Gwent Valleys

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Now and ThenIslwyn Street, West End, Abercarn (9067297)

First published in News by

Last week’s Now and Then picture showed Llantarnam Grange, Cwmbran

Around 1932 Llantarnam Grange was bought by William Thomas Jones, who was Managing Director of Avondale Tinplate Works. He and his wife, Margaret who had died in 1911, had four children - Thomas, Wilfred, Arthur and Jesse. William Jones died in 1951 and Llantarnam Grange passed to his four children. Arthur and Jesse,who were both unmarried, remained at the house until it was put up for sale in 1952.

I have many memories of Llantarnam Grange as it once belonged to my family. When I was a child the grounds were beautiful and I spent many hours playing in the extensive gardens. I particularly remember the large number of fruit trees. The house had been completely refurbished by William Jones, who was the owner of Avondale tinplate works, and before its sale to the local council it was a very grand mansion house. I believe it’s origins go back to Llantarnam Abbey.

Pat, Newport

More memories from St Woolos hospital

The Now and Then pictures are of the approach and front entrance of St Woolos Hospital, Stow Hill, Newport. The Then picture must have been taken early in the last century when the building was known as the Newport Workhouse. The figures '1902 'can still be clearly seen above the lintel of the entrance door by any passer -by.

I can claim to have some connection with the hospital as my father served as a Woolaston House stretcher bearer during the Second World War ; in 1949 at the age of 7 I was a patient there for 4 months with rheumatic fever ; and in 1962 I worked there (and dated many nurses ! )

As Professor Brian Peeling points out in his authoritative work 'The Royal Gwent and St Woolos Hospitals-A Century of Service in Newport ' ( Old Bakehouse Publications, 2004 ) older citizens of Newport still refer to the hospital as 'Woolaston House' but in fact this was the building on the periphery of the site ,presently used as the Chest Clinic. With the change of status of St Woolos to a General Hospital in 1948 as part of the new National Health Service it was felt necessary to dissociate the building from all previous names because of the stigma of its Workhouse / Poor House history. At that time there were 402 beds in the hospital but these have gradually declined and the building is now used by many medical -support departments. One wonders about the future of St Woolos when the new District General Hospital is eventually built outside Newport.

Clive Wood

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