LAST week we featured a picture of the Seaman’s Union on 31 Ruperra Street, Newport.

THE picture is of the Seaman’s mission in Ruperra Street Newport, opposite is the cattle market now Asda, down towards Dock Street is the Masonic Hall. I lived next door at 32 Ruperra Street. I can recall in the fifties the seaman’s mission was in use.

Bernard Marshall, Newport

WHAT a lovely old picture today of Ruperra Street showing the Seaman’s Union. In fact I never knew it was there. But the photo shows the place buzzing with men. This was probably at the height of coal exports around the world, very profitable Newport. Of course the merchant navy in Newport lost a lot of men during World War Two, second only in proportion to population to Liverpool. Very brave men.

Jim Dyer Newport

THE Now and Then is the Seaman’s Union Office, Ruperra Street, Pill, Newport. The photo is a bit before my time but as a seaman myself, I went on strike, outside the same union office, in the sixties.

I don’t know what those seamen was striking for but we went on strike because we were sailing under articles from the 1800s, one tin of Nestles milk a week.

Some ships rationed your fresh water so they could carry more cargo. And it did not help, when some titled lady from London told the press merchant seaman they are the scum of the earth. Who did she think brought her goodies home through torpedo infested waters? Donald Duck?

Arthur Nicolaas, Newport

THIS week’s Now and Then I’m sure is the top end of Ruperra Street, near Dock Street, Pill. Asda supermarket is now opposite but it was the old cattle market as kids we loved to go there. The Seaman’s Union, my brother was in the Merchant Navy and years later called there many times.

Mary Stock, Newport