NOW AND THEN: Llanellen Post Office, Abergavenny
3:40pm Tuesday 24th July 2012 in The archive
Last week we visited the former Llanellen Post Office, Abergavenny, and received the following replies:
Phil Jenkins: “This is Llanellen Post Office and we lived there and ran the shop and post office from 1986 to 1992. In that time we had an attempted break-in (scared off by the dog), a bus breakdown of mammoth proportions and a convoy of tanks that took the wrong turning resulting in an 84-point turn in the main road.
Periodic flooding, escaped cows, lorries see-sawing on the hump of the bridge and crashed aircraft were other very notable events in the five years we were there. Very, very long hours and hard work with very little reward but wonderful memories.”
Bonnie Russell, Llanellen: “The “Then” picture is of Llanellen Post Office many years ago, I think that this picture was possibly sold as a postcard, as I have one in my possession. The “Now” shows the village shop, which sadly is no longer a post office, it ceased trading as a post office some years ago, when many rural post offices were axed.”
Keith Richard, Pontnewydd: “It appears this week’s Now and Then photographs are of Llanellen Post Office on the main road between Pontypool and Abergavenny.
The post office is situated in a dip in the road just before the humpback bridge over the river Usk.
The bridge was built in 1821 by John Upton, of Gloucester, and some 190 years later still accommodates heavy daily traffic on this busy trunk road.
“This rural village has a number of features, one being the ancient church dedicated to St Helen, mother of Constantine the Great, thus Llan (parish) of Helen.
The church was greatly altered during the Victorian period. In the mid- 19th century the village was on land owned by Sir Benjamin Hall, he of Big Ben fame, who was commissioner for works during the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament.
Shortly after he became the first Baron Llanover, and his wife, Augusta Waddington, became the formidable Lady Llanover.
She was a fervent supporter of the Temperance Movement and she shut down two inns in the village of Llanellen, but made the third into a Temperance house called Y Seren Gobaith (in Welsh, The Star of Hope).
She disliked strong drink and closed all inns and public houses on her land between Abergavenny and the Goytre.
“All the houses and cottages in the village of Llanover bear Welsh names, and it is said that she created the national costume of red flannel and stovepipe hat and became a fluent Welsh-speaker within 12 months following her marriage in 1823.
She died in 1896, aged 94, having outlived her husband by some 30 years.”
● “A printed postcard showing the post office with Howell Moses, the sub-postmaster, his wife and three daughters. He was also a blacksmith.”
Last week’s image and paragraph above courtesy of Remember Abergavenny (Vol 1), by Louis Bannon.