Abercarn Council Offices, Jubilee Week, 1977     © Dory Buck

 

 

Postcard of Abercarn High Street, circa 1910, with the Garn Chapel on the left 

 

 

A train going through the Pantyresk level crossing, towards Newbridge, in 1989. ©TBA

 

 

Abercarn from the mountain opposite; Gwyddon School is centre, with the old Council Offices to the left and the Distillery to the right. The two remaining rows of The Ranks can clearly be seen, bottom left. Circa 1978.

 

 

Aerial photograph of Abercarn, showing West End, the Gwyddon, Llanfach, Persondy,
Chapel of Ease, High Meadow and the West End Road running past the old South Celynen site, at this point undeveloped. Trecelyn Viaduct can be seen in the distance.
Taken around 1997.

 

 

 The Ranks, looking down towards Price's Square, 1977   © Dory Buck

 

An old print of Abercarn from an elevated position looking down over West End towards the
Tin Works and Cwmcarn. Hand-coloured.

 

A view taken at the junction of  Islwyn Street and Llanover Street in West End, looking at the shop that became Hoff's.

 

Abercarn Railway Station, situated just across the road from the Crown pub in West End.
This view looks North towards Newbridge.

 

 

Very old general view of Abercarn and West End from the mountainside to the west. The railway bridge, Crown pub and West End School can clearly be seen, but as yet there is only one house on Pantyresk Road. © TBA

 

A similar view to previous, but separated by a hundred years or so! The Crown can clearly be seen again, but West End School has been demolished and replaced by two blocks of apartments. Pantyresk now has houses and the area is heavily wooded. In the distance is Chapel of Ease and beyond that, the coal tip above Newbridge, made of South Celynen waste 
© TBA   


Gwyddon Road, with the Distillery pond in the foreground.


A canal bridge and lock, directly in front of the New Inn pub.  © TBA

 

The Prince of Wales Colliery, Abercarn; scene of the disaster in 1878, in which 268 men and boys died. This photograph is taken from the Rhyswg hill, looking across the canal, location of the current by-pass road.

(
For more photographs of Abercarn Colliery, look in the Abercarn sub-section 'Work')


Graffiti on the roof of 'the new', but derelict, St Luke's Church (built between 1923 and 1926); West End can be seen in the background, with West End Park, Pantyresk Road and Cae-Gorlan Chapel clearly visible. You can't help but think that this impressive church would make an absolutely outstanding Community, Arts and Performance Centre  © TBA

 

The interior of St Luke's Church, before it fell into disrepair  © TBA

 

A photograph of the same area today; amazingly, the church is still structurally very sound, despite the years of neglect  
© Dory Buck

 

A 'bird's eye' view from the mountainside opposite Abercarn; the four rows of The Ranks dominates the centre of the photograph, and St Luke's Church, Gwyddon School and the Council Offices are also visible.
Llanfach is yet to be developed.

 

Another 'bird's eye' view from the same mountainside opposite Abercarn, but many years later; the four rows of The Ranks have been replaced by the modern 'Ranks', as has the Council Office building. Llanfach has now appeared, as has the newer 'St Luke's' Church at the very left edge of the photograph.  © TBA

 

A photograph of West End, with the Brass Foundry to the left and the Tin Works over to the right. West End School can be seen just in front of Cae-Gorlan chapel.   © TBA

 

Crumlin inventor Iolo Weevil experiments with his patented 'Upside-down Canalocar', in an effort to avoid potential traffic jams on his way to buy goose-eggs in Pontywaun; he unfortunately came to grief when swerving violently to avoid an unruly Abercarn duck on a section of the canal very close to the present-day pedestrian underpass. 16th October 1912.

 

A photograph of Abercarn taken from above the Quarry Pit, looking across towards The Ranks,
with the Tin Works in the distance   © TBA

 

An old photograph of Abercarn High Street. The houses on the right are long-gone.   © TBA

 

A modern panoramic view of Abercarn from the mountainside, stretching from West End at the extreme left, to the end of
Rhyswg Road at the right  © TBA

 

 

Looking back at Abercarn and the Tin Works from the forestry road above the railway, probably in the 1930's. You can make out Pantyresk, but there's no sign of the coal being tipped on the mountain. © TBA
 

 


 

Photograph of Abercarn from Rhyswg Park; only three rows of the Ranks are left, and work is in progress on the by-pass. Central Hall, the Garn Chapel and the bus shelter by Howard's Café are all clearly visible. Probably taken in the early 1970's. © Ken Buck


 

The derelict West End station, waiting for demolition, probably in the early '70's. Just above the station can be seen the station house (by the bridge) and to the right, the apex of the roof of
the Crown public house. © TBA

 

The old Library has been demolished and the new Surgery building is well on the way to completion.
13th October 1994. © Ken Buck.
 


 

Howard's Café, Abercarn, probably around 1978 © Ken Buck

 

 

Looking over the roof top of the Garn Chapel toward Pantyresk Road; around 1985. The warning lights can be seen on Pantyresk level-crossing. © Ken Buck

 

 

Looking down Price's Square at the first phase of industrial units; C. Brest's shop is on the left,
now the pharmacy. © Ken Buck.





The view over Abercarn and the remaining two rows of the Ranks; photographed around 1978
© Ken Buck.






John Parfitt's Family Butcher's Shop, October 1994 © Ken Buck.






The view across the valley towards West End from Abercarn Cemetery, photographed around 1978
 © Ken Buck.






Looking down towards Abercarn, the Market and Commercial and the old Library from the hill up to Llanfach, photographed around 1978. © Ken Buck.





The Garn Chapel, 1978  © Ken Buck.




Looking across the roof-tops at Knight Bros DIY shop and the Garn Chapel, 1993 © Ken Buck.





The Garn Chapel during demolition, 13th October 1994. © Ken Buck.





View over Abercarn towards West End, October 1994  © Ken Buck.





Abercarn and the Ranks, 1973  © Ken Buck.





A (later) similar view as above, from the hill to Llanfach; demolition has now started on the Ranks, around 1982  © Ken Buck.





The Ranks, Abercarn, 1982  © Ken Buck.






The rear of the Ranks, looking up towards the side of the Garn Chapel, 1982  © Ken Buck.




 Victoria Hall, Abercarn, on the site of the present S Williams Car Sales, around 1970  © TBA




The rear of Victoria Hall, with the old bus shelter and the side of Howard's Café to the left, 1970. © TBA




The Garn Chapel and Pantyresk Road, 1993; the trees behind Pantyresk are still quite young and the 'Rock of Ages' can be seen at the very top - it has since disappeared behind the trees. © Ken Buck.

A slightly fuzzy photograph of Pantyresk Crossing and the crossing keeper's hut (since disappeared). The gates were still manually operated at this point; this photograph is probably from around 1972  © TBA





A fantastic view over Abercarn from the mountain opposite; the council yard still has the two gas tanks, the remains of Abercarn Station platform can still be seen, Central Hall is still standing and the area around the Tin Works has yet to be developed. Photograph from around 1984. © Kelvin Thorne.






A similar shot, showing more of the old railway station and the quarry and Llanfach. 1984.

© Kelvin Thorne.







A shot of Pantyresk and West End from the mountain; Chapel of Ease and the (much smaller) quarry is in the background. 1984. © Kelvin Thorne.






West End from the mountain at Llanfach; the old West End school is still standing next to Cae Gorlan Chapel. Taken around 1980. © Kelvin Thorne.

 



The old Library, the Abercarn UDC Council Offices and the last two rows of the Ranks from the mountain, 1978. ©TBA






Overview of Abercarn and the Gwyddon, 1978. ©TBA






The remarkable Reg Jones and his donkey; Reg gave himself the title of 'Squire Jones' but was known by everyone as 'Spoons'. He was an ever-present at local carnivals and fetes, always accompanied by either his donkey or goat and was a true local character.






Looking across at Llanfach and the quarry from Mynyddislwyn, near the three masts
(above 'the Spiteful')
© Dory Buck



 Again, looking across at Llanfach, this time with a telephoto lens, from Mynyddislwyn, near the three masts (above 'the Spiteful') © Dory Buck





West End School; probably taken in 1957.  Fourth from the left in the back row is Jenny Dight, later Evans, and far right, back row is Peter Seldon. In the third row, Margaret Thomas is second from the left, and third from the left is Ann Sperrey (later Powell), who has supplied this information.  Fifth from the left in the same row is Ellen Preen and far right is Rosemary Townsend. In the second row, far left, is Janet Way, the twins (fourth and fifth left) are Carol and Anne Spinks and far right is Doreen Sage, who is sat next to Jacqueline Suter (with scarf). Front row, second from the left is Ben Ryan and far right is Brandon Lavender. The teacher is Mr Phillips.
The photograph is courtesy of Gerald Lewis.



 




Two incredible sunsets over Pantyresk (you can see the mast), taken from the top of Llanfach Road.
© Kelvin Thorne

 



A hand-coloured postcard of Islwyn Street, West End, probably dating from the late 1950's. The Post Office, seen on the left, has only recently closed down. Courtesy of Granville Davies.



  

Bridge Street, West End, probably around 1910. © TBA





Commercial Road, Abercarn in the 1940's (looking towards Newbridge), taken between the New Inn and the Swan. © TBA




Commercial Road, Abercarn in the 1950's (looking towards Newbridge), taken between the New Inn and the Swan  - almost the same spot as above. The canal has now been filled in. © TBA





High Meadow House or Abercarn Uchaf (Upper Abercarn), with a suspicious looking postman walking backwards up the drive to deliver parcels in a novel and surreal fashion. He later fell in the canal.




Abercarn Rangers in the 1950's © Jill Parfitt



 

Abercarn FC 1925-26, supplied by Steve Pearce of Maidstone in Kent. Steve's father Melvyn is aged around five and peering out from behind the man kneeling on the left of the front row. The photograph belonged to Steve's grandfather, James Henry Pearce, who was injured in WW1 at the Somme, and is standing, second left, next to his brother Harry, standing far left. Their brother-in-law, the club secretary William Tilley, is second from the right in the middle row, and William's son Kenneth is the boy sitting cross-legged at the front.

This is one of only three photographs to survive the destruction of James Henry's house during a WW2 bombing raid over Bermondsey, London in 1941. © Steve Pearce

(see other photographs of Abercarn sporting teams under the sub-section 'Sport')

 

A group of Abercarn likely-lads on holiday in Weymouth around 1955; this photograph has been supplied by Ken Buck (third from the left, back row). On the far left in the back row is Les Urch, who was sadly killed in a mining accident. Does anyone else recognise themselves ?





West End School, around 1953-54. The teacher is Mr Phillips. Photograph courtesy of Leonard Lloyd.

 










 


Abercarn Baths, during the period after closing and before demolition - they were situated on the steep grassy bank adjacent to Abercarn Infants and Primary School. Anyone who is old enough to have used the baths will remember how cold they were! Good memories of hot summer days though.....
© Rob Dobson






A panoramic shot of Abercarn from the roof of St Lukes.

 



Wonderfully atmospheric shot of Abercarn in the early 1970's, dominated by the silhouette of the long-gone Central Hall and the Stately-Albion factory to the right. Notice the absence of a mast on distant Machen Mountain. © Ken Buck.





Brilliant, aerial colour shot of the old Tin Works before most of it was demolished. This dates from the mid-1970's and clearly shows Central Hall (bottom right), the old Council yard on the other side of the railway (complete with gas-tanks and dust-carts) and Stately-Albion to the bottom left. Now Travis Perkins and the Sorting Office take up much of this space.





















Two superb examples of 'Gwyddon Vale Mineral Water Co. Abercarn'  pop alley bottles. Bottles courtesy of John Cotton..... thanks John. Photograph by Dory Buck.
























































































Milkmen John and Gilbert Davies with their horse and cart, delivering the milk in Crosskeys. Photograph courtesy of Wynne Rees





A stallion travelling from farm to farm to serve the working mares... tough work, but someone's got to do it. If I'm not mistaken, the horse appears to be smiling, and let's be honest.... who wouldn't?

Photograph courtesy of Wynne Rees







The descendants of Wynne Rees - they farmed at Llanfach. Photograph courtesy of Wynne Rees, who still farms in Brecon.






This wedding photo was taken at Llanfach farm on 5th September 1912 when Rees Charles Rees and Elizabeth Rees's oldest daughter, Margaret (Peggy) married Jim Jones in the Welsh Free Presbyterian Church, Abercarn (built by Benjamin Hall). She was a milliner and he was an insurance clerk and they moved to London and had three children. Photograph courtesy of Wynne Rees






Wynne Rees's grandfather, David Charles Rees, sat on the steps of the Celynen Chapel; there was once another half to this photograph, now long gone! Photograph courtesy of Wynne Rees.






The Celynen Chapel Drama Group, taken around 1911-12  - Wynne Rees's grandfather, David Rees (born 1889), is sitting on the left. This would have been a Welsh-language play. Photograph courtesy of Wynne Rees







David Charles Rees as a baby, taken around 1890-91 in the studio of  photographer Chas Spencer, 45 High Street, Abercarn. Photograph courtesy of Wynne Rees






A superb postcard of West End, showing clearly the now demolished school next to the Chapel on Cae Gorlan Street. To the extreme right you can see the South Celynen colliery. Photograph courtesy of Wynne Rees







An atmospheric shot looking down over West End from Pantyresk; this looks old but was actually taken in 2014. © Dory Buck






A hand-coloured postcard of St Luke's Welsh Church (Lady Llanover's Church), Abercarn. Courtesy of Wynne Rees.






Abercarn United 1st XI, 2009. The manager is Dean Kendall and the photograph was taken by Kelvin Thorne. Other photographs of Abercarn sports teams can be found in the Abercarn sub-section 'Sport'.







A misty morning on one of the many forestry roads to be found in the hills around Abercarn, beautifully photographed by Graham Way.





 




























 

Can anyone shed any light on the identity of the lady in this photograph? It's not Princess Anne or Annie Oakley. Any ideas? Photograph courtesy of Wynne Rees






The caption on the photograph says all you need to know about this sad image. Photograph courtesy of Wynne Rees





Abercarn House, which was on the site of Abercarn Primary School, was the one-time home of Lady Llanover and Benjamin Hall (Big Ben); the image was simultaneously supplied by both Yvonne Hurd and Jacqui Etches, so thanks to you both for your input. © TBA

 

An excellent postcard supplied by Jacqui Etches; this is the canal basin at Chapel of Ease, roughly occupying the position of the new roundabout for the housing estate on the old South Celynen site. The bridge is at the top of the hill that goes down towards the school, and the view is facing towards Abercarn with Newbridge behind. The Coach House (of Abercarn House) still exists and can be seen on the extreme right.

 
 
























































Sally Williams has kindly supplied the following information about the above photograph; the  young man standing up with the book is Trevor Price Thomas, and directly below him (also with a book) is his brother, Clement Price Thomas (later to become a Harley St chest surgeon, and knighted for operating on King George). Both were born in Brynhyfryd, Cae Gorlan Street, Abercarn, which is occupied by his great niece and her family to this day. The photograph was taken by Abercarn photographer Chas Spencer. Photograph courtesy of Wynne Rees.



















High Meadow House or Abercarn Uchaf (Upper Abercarn); photograph taken on the 1st March 2014 and supplied by Illtud Jones.






Watercolour painting of Abercarn, looking down over the valley at Abercarn House and on towards Newbridge, at the site where the first shaft of the South Celynen Colliery would be sunk in 1874. The artist was probably standing near Persondy. The painting, dated 1847, is by Frances Waddington, later Baroness Bunsen (1791-1876)

 



Another watercolour by Frances Waddington, older sister of Augusta Hall, Lady Llanover. This painting is dated October 1838 and looks down the valley towards Machen Mountain from the canal, somewhere near the present position of the bypass, adjacent to Cwmcarn High School.






A third watercolour by Frances, Baroness Bunsen (1791-1876); this time looking back up the valley from the canal at Pontywaun, towards the lock at Factory Trip and Cwmcarn village. The artist has romanticized the view, making the canal and river much closer than they actually are. Dated October 1838.


This photograph was kindly supplied by Emma Banfield and this is her caption - does anyone know anyone on this Abercarn trip to Blackpool?
"This is a photograph I got a couple of years ago when my Great-Uncle died. He lived in Abercarn all his life, growing up in Llanfach before moving to The Ranks in his later years. He's at the back of the photograph, in front of the guy framed in the doorway, in amongst all the sailors but is the one without a hat. His name was Malcolm Haynes. In front of him, on his right and slightly hidden is his sister Margaret, on her right is their brother Llewellyn, who was known as Llew, and on his right is another brother Doug. I don't know the man to Doug's right, he's moving so is blurred, but on his right is Will Haynes, their uncle, in front of him is my Great-Grandmother, Hilda Haynes, nee Evans, who grew up in Newbridge before marrying and moving to Abercarn, and is the mother of Malcolm, Margaret, Doug and Llew. On Will's right, slightly hidden, is Beatrice Haynes, their sister-in-law, and on her right, sat with her legs crossed, is Will's sister Iris Haynes. I believe they were all on a trip to Blackpool and I was wondering if some of the visitors to your website might be able to identify some of the other people in the photo". Can anyone help?







Again, this photograph has been supplied by Emma Banfield, who asks the following: "I also have this image, which is by no means in perfect condition, but you can still make out faces. I believe the lady 3rd from the viewer's left (half hidden at the back) is my Great-Grandmother Hilda Haynes. I also believe that the lady four across from her, to the viewer's right, with her hand resting on the base of her neck, is Hilda's sister Margretta, known as Gret, nee Evans. Depending on when the photo was taken her surname could have been Cunningham or Morte. I don't know who the others in the photo are but was again wondering whether anyone recognises anybody else?" Is that Gloucester Cathedral in the background? Can anyone shed any light on this 'mystery' trip?


















Great sequence of photographs showing the demolition of Abercarn's Central Hall, following a fire. Photographs by Paul Knight.





The Stately-Albion mobile home factory on the Prince of Wales Industrial Estate, on the site where the pit once stood. Stately has been a major employer in the area since the 1960's. This photograph was taken from the forestry road above the Rhyswg, around 2003.















































































































































































A group photograph of Stately-Albion employees, gathered together in 2003 to celebrate the company's 40th anniversary celebrations, having been formed in 1963 and located in Abercarn since 1969. In the centre (in sunglasses) is MD David Hurd, the son of one of the founders, Roy Hurd, and Stately remains a family firm to this day. To the far right in the front row is the much-missed Rod Farmer.






















































































Abercarn School Infants III around 1900. Gwen Rees is far left, second row from the front in the sailors' suit. Gwen was born and brought up at Llanfach farm and moved to Brecon with her family around 1912. Photograph courtesy of Gwen Rees's grand-daughters, Gwenda Watson and Edwina Douglas.






Photograph courtesy of Gwenda Watson and Edwina Douglas.


























The five guardians of the largest box of chocolates in the world, an object of great civic pride, known locally as 'The Abercarn Box' and kept in the Cutting. It was later raided by some rascals from Cwmcarn while the guardians were in the Crown getting drunk. When they got back all the chocolates had been eaten and all that was left were lots of empty foil wrappers and rude graffiti on the toilet wall. As a result of this perceived dereliction of duty, the guardians all had their buttons ceremonially removed and their gold watch chains cut; they were banished to a life of ignominy and shame in Fochriw.







Persondy Farm, which stood on the hillside where the present day Persondy is located, facing across the valley towards West End. Photograph courtesy of Jacqui Etches.














Members of Abercarn Top Club, just prior to a carnival or fete, sometime around 1960. Shortly after this photograph was taken they all went and got changed into their outfits.











Three Cwmcarn boys in the Newport RFC strip; all represented Wales at the end of the 50's and beginning of the 60's. From left to right: Jack Hurrell, Des Greenslade and Brian Jones. Photograph courtesy of Brian Jones.



 Three Newport RFC players in their Barbarian shirts, at the old Cardiff Arms Park following the famous 6-0 win over South Africa on the 4th February 1961; the very muddy chap on the left is Newbridge-born scrum-half Billy Watkins, in the middle is the famous Welsh lock Brian 'B.E.V.' Price from Deri and on the right is centre Brian Jones. Photograph courtesy of Brian Jones.



Cwmcarn-born Newport and Wales centre Brian Jones in his Welsh cap and jersey, around 1961. Photograph courtesy of Brian Jones.


 

 Abercarn Cemetery on a frosty December morning © Kelvin Thorne
2016



































































































































The view under 'the Buckets', driving towards Abercarn with Newbridge behind the viewer. Photograph © Keith Knight





'The Buckets' being dismantled; the viewer is looking towards Newbridge with Abercarn behind. Photograph © Keith Knight



















































The Coach House, as it appeared in the late 1940's or early 1950's; currently the home of the Hurd family it has been much-altered over the intervening decades, while still retaining the same look and character. 

This photograph was forwarded by Jacqui Etches and was supplied to her by Richard Jackson, the grandson of the lady who used to live there in the 1940's. She had moved there from Jersey when the Germans occupied the island during WW2. Thanks to both Jacqui and Richard.







Two great shots of the once-famous 'Bum Tree', on the side of the West End Road.... at one time it was Newbridge's premier tourist attraction with people travelling from as far as one and a half miles away, just to get a look. Then with one fell swoop of the woodcutter's axe it was gone, along with the associated passing trade, and now Mother Nature has hidden the remains of the bum from view. Thanks to Chris Jenkins for the suggestion of using these images.




*****We realise that images we put on this site are of interest to many local people, and unless the copyright owner of any individual image has an objection, we don't mind the images being copied and used on other sites. But lately, so many people have brought to our attention that quite a few images (more than a few) have been lifted and placed on the 'Abercarn Memories Public Group Facebook' page, especially by two men in particular, that we'd like to stress here and now that we have absolutely no objection to this, but the normal procedure when lifting/copying any image is to credit where the image came from - if people can adhere to this long-accepted principle in future it would be greatly appreciated, and also have the benefit of exposing this website to people who may not yet know of its existence. Thanks very much.*****