NOW&THEN: Islwyn Street, West Wind, Abercarn

Islwyn Street, West Wind, Abercarn

Islwyn Street, West Wind, Abercarn

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The now & then pictures show Islwyn Street, West End, Abercarn.

My brother John and myself were both born in No. 4 and the lady talking to the van driver outside our then house is my mother Ruby. This must have been at least 60 years ago and sadly my mother, father and brother are no longer with us. West End was a thriving village with at least 12 shops, 2 pubs, a church, school, train station, and a fire station. It was a time when you could name everybody up and down the street, nobody seemed to move house. I have many fond memories of that time, but now you are just left with the church, one shop, and one pub.

Bryan Hollister, Rogerstone

The picture is of the lower end of Islwyn Street, West Wind, Abercarn.

In the topmost part of the photo is the house where I was born in Pan-yr-esk Road in 1924. In the big house lived Miss Gertrude Richards, who was Headmistress of Hengoed Grammer School for Girls, who incidentally was the first pupil enrolled at Pontywaun Grammar School.

At the top of Islwyn Street (not shown in the photo) is the house where Sir Clement Price Thomas was born. He was a Harley Street Specialist and was renowned for his pioneering wok in heart surgery and operated on King George V1.

Islwyn Street had a number of small shops - Pugh the grocer, Rex Pugh the postmaster, Lee the greengrocer and Arthur Rees the butcher. Every Wednesday was Newport Livestock Market, where the animals were bought, transported by rail and driven to the Slaughter House situated behind the shop. It would hardly pass the stringent Health and Safety Laws of today - but people survived.

For entertainment, boys would scrounge a pigs bladder from the Slaughter House, inflate it and play rugby with it. Far cheaper than the expensive electronic games of this cyber-age.

The picture evoked memories of a marvellous sharing, caring community that I knew as a boy.

Trefor M Bray

Comments (2)

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7:24pm Tue 19 Aug 14

keithbob says...

may be wrong but havent these pics been mixed up a bit and we are looking at newport bridge and castle??.hmmm.
may be wrong but havent these pics been mixed up a bit and we are looking at newport bridge and castle??.hmmm. keithbob
  • Score: 4

10:11pm Tue 19 Aug 14

corpardguy says...

Definitely Newport bridge and castle. The 'old green crossing'.
Jays shop on right which had a small verandah over the Usk. The Ivy Bush was on the far side of the bridge on the left, just up from the Odeon. I went to school (St Julians) with the owners Very pretty daughter (miss Lyn Carter)
Definitely Newport bridge and castle. The 'old green crossing'. Jays shop on right which had a small verandah over the Usk. The Ivy Bush was on the far side of the bridge on the left, just up from the Odeon. I went to school (St Julians) with the owners Very pretty daughter (miss Lyn Carter) corpardguy
  • Score: 1

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