Nowadays Starbucks coffee shop is next to the old Westgate Hotel. On the opposite side of Bridge Street is another bank, National Westminster and opposite is the Ty Hafan charity shop and also Greggs the bakery shop. Also nearby is Specsavers and McDonald’s

Mrs M Reardon, Newport

THE cameraman is standing in Commercial Street looking towards Westgate Square. The ironwork on the left hand side of the photo is the portico of the Westgate Hotel.

The large building behind the portico is the Midland Bank – now the HSBC Bank and across Bridge Street is the National Provincial Bank – now the NatWest Bank. Next door with the white awning was A Payne the tobacconist and next door again was WH Smith.

Under the pink awning was Alexandre the gents’ tailors followed by Liptons provision merchants and just off camera was Montague Burton another gents’ tailor.

Dave Woolven, Newport

A hive of activity at this major junction of the Town Centre. No Chartist Statues then but plenty of trams. The impressive bank buildings have changed little, and the picture portrays a vibrant atmosphere then.

Jim Dyer, Newport

The Now and Then picture is of Commercial Street and the Westgate Hotel. I have fond memories of a very grand hotel, I had my wedding reception there in 1961 and I especially remember the beautiful staircase. I used to work in the Woolworth store in the same street, it was always very busy, especially on Saturdays. People back then seemed happier, friendlier, and not so money-orientated.

Mrs J Prisk, Newport

A few more memories from the week before: The Now and Then picture is of the old manor house, now part of the Celtic Manor resort. It was originally called Coldra House meaning peak of the hill. The house was built for £4,000 by Thomas Powell, who had three sons who all met with unfortunate ends at relatively young ages. The house was sold to Thomas Beynon and when it opened as a nursing home, he named it after his mother, Lydia Beynon. I had a feature on the building published in the South Wales Argus back in 1988.

Mr Friend, Newport

My mother Rose Bayliss worked at Lydia Beynon for several years and told many stories of the staff, patients and the good times she had there.

Rosemary Weir, Colorado, USA

The Now & Then picture for December 17 is Lydia Beynon Nursing Home. I was born there in 1949. It is now part of the Celtic Manor Resort.

J Parsons, Penperlleni