Blaenavon in old picture postcards

Blaenavon in old picture postcards

:   Roger Bowen
:   Torfaen
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2269-6
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Blaenavon in old picture postcards'

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49. A view of Albert Street now sadly demolished - in the second decade of the century. The picture shows tradesmen's horse-drawn carts (one of them possibly belonging to a flour merchant). Shopkeeper Stokes, who appears in another photograph in this baak, can be seen outside his premises. Also just within view at the top of the street is the aptly-named 'Hallelujah Lamppost'; this landmark served as a religious meeting place, but it was also frequented by travelling mountebanks and variety acts.

50. Blaenavon Workmen's Hall, one of the finest buildings of its type in the valleys, has served as a cultural and social focus for the community for many years. Built in 1894, it has attracted some of the finest performers in music and the arts, including the actars Emlyn Williams and Miles Mallesen and the tenors Stuart Burrowes and David Lloyd, The superb acoustics are especially favourable to musical performances.

51. Above, right: The India and China Tea Cornpany shop in Broad Street (on the site of presen t day Barrell's) iIlustrates the commercial prosperity of the town in former times. Few streets would have been without a number of goed shops, and some of the larger stores would have employed an even larger staff than is to be seen here. The signs in the wind ow proclaim the high quality of the goods sold.

Below: The 'Co-op' store in the outlying district of Blaenavon called Garn-yr-erw. Such shops were to be found in all valley towns; in Blaenavon, the Co-op was only one of many large and prestigious outlets. In the old days industrial enterprises often paid their workforce in kind, giving workers tokens which could be exchanged for goods in the company shop. This system was open to abuse, as products were frequently over-priced. The company shop in Blaenavon was situated in North Street. Eventually the system of payment by token was made illegal by the Truck Acts, which ruled that employees had to be paid in current coin of the realm.

Above, left: The well-known barber shop of Stan Morris near the bottom of Broad Street. According to the sign in the window, this particular hairdresser's talents extended to the re-covering of old umbrellas.

52. The shop keeper Dai 'Peg-leg' Griffiths - the boy seen here - had premises in Engine Row, near the North Street ironworks. He lost his leg in an accident at Blaenavon works when still a boy, and he later became one of the most popular and best-known characters in the town. It is said that he kept special wooden legs for different occasions, and many anecdotes are told about his exploits. According to one story Dai jokingly leapt into the boxing booth at Lion Square, only to break his artificial leg in so doing. Dr. Avarne was none toa pleased to be called out to do the repair work.

53. Ruther's shop in Broad Street (the shop is also shown at photo 54, with a horse and eart in front of it), Mr. Ruther, the proprietor, was known as a philanthropie person who wouid willingly distribute unsold fruit and vegetables to the poor rather then destroy them.

54. Above: A commercial scene from the days before the First Wor1d War. The photograph was taken outside Ruther's greengrocers and general store in Broad Street. The horsedrawn carts were used for local deliveries. It is said that one of the harses had a tendency to walk backwards up the main street!

Left: A Forge Side shop which will be well known to local readers. Forge Side is one of the outlying areas which, like Pwlldu and Garndyrus, developed after the main urban area. The New Side steelworks formerly extended for the whole length of the present residential area.

55. Mr. Stokes, pictured here in front of his shop in Albert Street, was among the grocers who were privileged to supply the Kennard family (which ran the Blaenavon Company). He was succeeded in his business by his son John.

56. Blaenavon's police force in 1910. The first police officer took charge in 1836, two years before the construction of the Loek-Up in North Street. Before this time there was a set of stocks near the Company Shop in North Street. Blaenavon's first true police officer was Mr. Hodder. His name has since been corrupted to 'Order' through the use of the Iocal accent over the decades.

57. Above: This group from the early 1920s is from Hillside School, Hil! Street. Note the children's dress; in most photographs of the time it can be seen that children ware extrernely tough boots. Few children in this photograph are without dons or toys.

Below: A group of children outside Hillside School in Hili Street. The picture was probably taken soon after the school's opening in 1905. Of particular interest is the dress of the children. The hoopcarried by the girl had a Iocal counterpart with an attached stick. The two components were known as a 'bowlie' and 'guider'.

58. The 'Loek-Up' in North Street was built in 1838, a year before the Chartist riots disturbed the peaee of the valleys and brought an attaek on the Westgate Hotel in Newport. The Loek-Up was situated near the ironworks and opposite the Drum and Monkey public house, whieh is mentioned in Alexander Cordell's book 'Rape of the Fair Country'. The boisterous eharaeter of the town in those days ensured that there were many rowdy scenes worthy of the law's attention. The Mortimer family in 'Rape of the Fair Country' lived in Snepherd's Square nearby. It is seen on the photograph opposite.

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