LAST week’s Now and Then picture was of the village of Rhiwderin.

Drive over the level crossing or walk under the old archway and come into the centre of the village. Tredegar Street is facing you, and close at hand are the Tabernacle chapel, the old school (now the community centre), the village hall and the post office and shop.

All these buildings play an important part in the present day life of the village. The village hall was originally given to Rhiwderin by Lord Tredegar and was known as the ‘library’ with its books and papers, and later a billiard table was added. Now modernised, it is home for the Women’s Institute, Pensioners’ Club, whist drives, Guides etc.

Years ago, people travelled by train from Newport, walked along Pentre Tai Road (the village of houses) and climbed fields to picnic in Foxwood, where there were several cottages: in one it was possible to get teas. In this area there used to be a row of nail makers’ cottages. Nails were made at Tydu on the other side of the river Ebbw.

In the middle of the 19th Century, the tinplate works arrived, the station was opened, the houses in Tredegar Street were built – and a bridge over the river Ebbw.

The tinworks went into liquidation in 1878 and the site was taken over by the Tredegar estate and by Periams brush factory.

Prior to the First World War, Rhiwderin Band led the annual carnival in aid of the Royal Gwent Hospital (then entirely voluntary). There was also a football team which won the then-famous Woodstock Cup.

In 1927, classrooms at the school were taken over for secondary pupils. In 1929, four more classes were started in the chapel. This continued until 1935, when Bassaleg school opened.

The photographs are of Rhiwderin. The Then photograph shows the railway station (closed 1952) to the left. It is now a private house, although the railway still carries occasional trains of stone from Machen quarry. Next to it is the underpass, which in those days was the main access to the village.

Nowadays, it is pedestrianised and vehicles use a level crossing alongside. Again to the right is the local pub, the Rhiwderin Inn, still functioning and in the left background is Rhiwderin School, now used as a community centre. Most of the buildings in the old picture are still intact, while the nearby fields now have houses on them.

Ray Caston, Bassaleg