OVER the past few months of lockdown we have been hearing of more and more high street names closing.

In Newport alone we've said goodbye to the likes of Top Shop, Schuh and Tiger in Friars Walk, Peacocks could be next to close and over the last few years many other names, both national and independent, have closed their doors for good.

Here we delve into our archives to bring you more names which have disappeared from the shopping streets of Newport. How many do you remember?


South Wales Argus:

Reynolds was a rather grand department store in a suitably grand Edwardian building on the corner of Charles Street and extended over numbers 149, 150 and 151 of Commercial Street. Ornate carvings adorned and cast bronze panels displayed the shop’s name in raised and polished letters.

Reynolds used to sell drapery and complete house furnishings, and the site later housed another department store Owen Owen. On the opposite corner of Charles Street was the Talbot Inn which dated from early Victorian times.



South Wales Argus:

The Talbot Inn would later make way for a piece of classic post-war design hosting a classic of British retailing. The corner of Commercial Street and Charles Street used to be home to Woolworths.

The much-lamented former store chain collapsed in 2008.

Looking every inch a 50s department store, this Newport branch closed in the 80s and was demolished to make way for the existing development.

Woolworths in Newport then moved to the Kingsway Centre, which closed at the end of 2008.


South Wales Argus:

Moving along Commercial Street was another icon of Newport shopping, which has sadly ceased to trade.

Wildings was founded by Alfred Wilding from Shropshire, who opened his first shop in Newport in 1874, and was a Newport fixture for nearly 150 years. The store moved to its present home on Commercial Street in 1931. Famed for its Christmas window displays, the store was revamped in 2014. The shop closed for good on January 19, 2019.

When the late Newport West MP Paul Flynn officially re-opened it in May 2014, he summed up the place the store has in the hearts of many in the city: "Wildings is as Newportonian as the Transporter Bridge, as Welsh baseball, as the Chartists. Here since 1874, it’s not a here today, gone tomorrow store like some.”

BHS/Great Universal Stores

British Home Stores was originally sited on Griffin Street and used to be known as Great Universal Stores - part of this building now houses Tiny Rebel’s Newport city centre pub.

As British Homes Stores it moved to Commercial Street next door to Barclays Bank at the base of Chartist Tower. It is now part of the scheme to transform Chartist Tower into a hotel and offices, which will become home to the South Wales Argus in the near future.


South Wales Argus:

Opposite Great Universal Stores on the corner of High Street and Griffin Street was Cecils, the outfitters and drapers.

Aside from clothing the people of Newport, it kept them entertained with a till system where staff placed customers' money into canisters which were then attached to overhead wires.

A pull of a handle would send the canister flying along a wire to a central cashier who sent the change and receipt back along the wire.

Such a system would surely attract crowds were it still there today.


Further up High Street, before it was changed beyond recognition by the building of the Old Green Roundabout, were some famous Newport stores.

Jays Furniture shop, which was formerly the Shaftsbury Cafe, stood perched on Newport bridge.

The store was a particular favourite with children because of its large mirror.

In the style of a famous early 1960s comedian Harry Worth, youngsters would stand in front of the mirror with half of their body reflected wave their arms up and down.

To the delighted kids and no doubt weary parents this would create the hilarious illusion they were jumping up and down.

Boyd's Music Shop

Boyd’s of Bond Street was one of the classy shops on the Old Green. Often displaying a grand piano and a saxophone in the window, it backed onto Jay’s on the bridge and had an Art Deco façade.

Other stylish shops included Willy Steiner’s hairdresser’s, known as Newport’s very own ‘Teezie Weezie’. It was equipped with modern electric hoods and was the go-to place for women to have their perms done.

National Fur Shop

Also on the Old Green was the National Fur shop. It was apparently the last word in style and was managed by a woman called Iris Thomas who had, it was said, been carnival queen of Newport.

It only ever had, like all modish places, just one item in the window.

Newport Arcade

South Wales Argus:

Still very much with us, this much-loved part of Newport's life has seen many and varied stores grace its presence over the years. Home to a variety of shops including Burtons the tailors, Stanley Jones the bookshop, Wagstaff’s later Winifred Bignall selling cosmetics and costume jewellery. At the High Street end was Crouch Jewellery and gentleman’s outfitters Stuart Kimptons.

In the forties some of the businesses listed included Salisbury’s selling leather goods, HS Williams, bootmaker, milliners Pritchard Gore (they also had another shop selling baby linen and children's outfitters) and Davies' dairy.

Shops at the arcade in more recent times have sold beer, cookware, skateboards, scented candles and, of course, The Pot cafe, which has been a favourite for years.