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  • ""Early 20th-century Gwent" is the kind of historically-revisio
    nist oxymoron that only the Argus politburo could come up with. I despair."
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Aerial pictures show Gwent of yesteryear

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A REMARKABLE archive of aerial photographs has revealed a glimpse of early 20th century Gwent.

Pictures of Newport, Ebbw Vale, Brynmawr and Pontypool are among those included in a vast archive of pioneering aerial photography uploaded to the web this week.

Britain From Above is a four-year project aimed at conserving 95,000 photographs from the Aerofilms collection, taken between 1919 and 1953.

The scheme, backed by the English Heritage and the Royal Commissions on the Ancient and Historical Monuments for Scotland and Wales, has turned the conserved photos into digital form and uploaded them to a website so they can be seen by the public.

The website has launched this week with more than 16,000 images – but with little information about the details, the project is giving people the opportunity to share and record their memories of the places shown.

The collection contains a range of shots of Gwent, including a view over Newport Docks dating from 1926, a shot of Christ Church in Ebbw Vale from 1930, and a shot of Newport RFC’s Rodney Parade ground from 1929.

West Monmouth School makes an appearance, as does the Abergavenny’s Cattle Market and Bailey Park.

The Aerofilms collection was created by Aerofilms Ltd, an air survey company established in 1919 by Francis Lewis Wills and Claude Grahame-White, veterans of World War One.

For more information on the project and to see the pictures visit

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