THE photograph in last week’s Argus is the old chapel in Markham. Just below are the village shops.

There were Conti’s café, Jones the Butcher and Thomas’ the Greengrocers’. They have long gone but I believe the Post Office is still there and still being run by the Powell family.

Just behind the chapel to the left is Penywerlod road where I was born. My parents are Sam and Nell Moore both deceased and we lived in the end house next to St John’s Church, which has long gone. My mother worked in the school canteen and both parents were well known in the village.

The village is celebrating its centenary this year and I believe lots of events and displays have been organised.

Joy Best (Nee Moore), Blackwood

The picture is of the Methodist Church in Markham. It’s 100 this year. It was a very sad day when it closed down. At present there’s a memorial for the miners unveiled by David Craddock who served all his life in the pit.

First building looking down the road was the Co-Operative, then there were Jones and Porters, the cafe and the post office run by Mrs Carpenter who is the third generation to keep it in the Powell family.

The chapel was gorgeous inside and Mrs Davies from Argoed travelled everyday to the chapel until she passed away at a great age.

It was unique as the buses would drive down and turn around back to Cardiff, it never stopped in Tredegar back then. There was an accident with the buses, Mrs Jones, who had triplets, was hit by one and had her leg trapped. Mr Powell attended the scene who was a volunteer for St John’s Ambulance.

Councillor Leon Gardiner Argoed

The scenes show the centre of Markham. In the ‘Then’ scene it shows the Presbyterian Chapel at the top of Abernant Road which now no longer exists. The village is celebrating its centenary this year which you have reported on.

The village was built to accommodate the miners of Markham Colliery and my grandfather helped sink the pit while still living in Cwm (Ebbw Vale). In those early days, he used to walk over the mountain via Manmoel, to work.

I believe the houses themselves were thought to be something special because they all had bathrooms!

When the pit was in full swing it was a busy and vibrant place and, my family was involved in putting together pantomimes, ‘Go as you Please’ concerts and we had our own amateur dramatics and operatic Societies. You made your own fun in those early days! From subscriptions from the miners the Institute and Welfare Hall were built and both of these buildings are still in use today.

I have great memories as a youngster taking part on the stage in the Hall which also housed a cinema (these days it is still used as a Social Club), and attending school classes in the Institute from where in my days you sat your 11+ exams.

B Moore, Pontllanfraith