Newbridge & South Celynen from Top Park, 1977     © Dory Buck


  Newbridge High Street, 1955        ©The Francis Frith Collection


 Newbridge High Street, 1965      ©The Francis Frith Collection


 Newbridge High Street, 1960     ©The Francis Frith Collection


 Newbridge Hotel and Square, 1960     ©The Francis Frith Collection



 Newbridge High Street from the Hotel, 1955    ©The Francis Frith Collection



Lower Newbridge High Street at Ebbw View 



Postcard of Newbridge High Street, circa 1966



South Celynen Colliery from the West End Road, 1977     © Dory Buck
(For other photographs of the South Celynen, look in the Newbridge sub-section 'Work')



North Celynen Colliery from Crumlin
(For other photographs of the North Celynen, look in the Newbridge sub-section 'Work')



 Train leaving the South Celynen Colliery for Newport     © TBA


Newbridge Town AFC and Boxing Club shortly before demolition. A historic building, it had been built by local miners during the depression in the late 1920's, which was recognised by the small square plaque on the door   © TBA


A view from the mountainside above the beginning of the West End Road, looking back over Newbridge towards Crumlin;
the Viaduct is seen in the distance and Treowen and the Catholic Church are notable by their absence    © TBA


A fairly recent 'telephoto' photograph of Fields Park, as seen from the top of the coal tip above Newbridge. The railway that led to Treowen Halt and eventually to the Crumlin Viaduct ran from left to right, just at the top of the wooded area below Fields Park. Towards the bottom right, the roofs of houses at Homeleigh can be seen, poking above the greenery. The farm behind Fields Park (top right) was for many years worked by Rhys Collins and his family.  

© Kelvin Thorne 2005


 BR 37 Class 37182 and 37179 passing the South Celynen Colliery with the 'Welsh Collieries Rambler' rail tour,
on Sunday 13th April 1980   © Gerald T Robinson


A view looking back down Pantside Hill towards Newbridge; interestingly, behind the houses can be seen the huge, long-forgotten coal tip that used to tower over Newbridge Welfare - this was cleared to make the area that currently has an office block,
The Otter pub and a Macdonald's (on the site of an old cottage). The original 'Pant Farm' can be seen on the right. 

© The Francis Frith Collection

Looking across at Celynen Row and the West End Road; to the left is the South Celynen's Manager's Office and the long colliery canteen, where there is now a large lay-by.  © TBA 

Looking towards Newbridge at the long-gone Celynen Row; to the left can be seen the West End Road and directly behind and to the photographer's right was the South Celynen Colliery. Directly to the photographer's left was the Manager's Office.  ©TBA 

Great memories of the Memo, kissing in the back row and Harold the Manager with his unnerving torch....  © TBA

A lovely period postcard of Newbridge and it's many attractions..... it's surprising how little has changed, although the Grammar School is now the Comp and the 'new' block sits where the trees stood; the school field is now the Leisure Centre.  © TBA

A view over Newbridge from the old 'Hill Street Park'; sitting at the summit of Top Park is the Cenotaph, which now has pride of place next to Oakdale 'Stute at St Fagan's Museum. This photograph dates from the early to mid-seventies and little has changed.   © Ken Buck 

A view down the valley from Treowen Stars field. There's a cricket match going on on the Welfare and to the very left can be seen the old Boy's Club building before it was redeveloped into Newbridge  RFC's clubhouse. The Green Bridge junction can clearly be seen, as can Billy Griffiths' nearby yard and work is well underway in clearing the old tip that towered over Newbridge Welfare AFC's end of the Welfare grounds. Look carefully at the right-hand side of the photograph and you can make out the buildings of the South Celynen and 'the Girder' over the River Ebbw that was a tricky and adventurous shortcut back to Newbridge..... this again dates from the early to mid-seventies.  © Ken Buck

The cup-winning Newbridge Town team of 1984; the captain is Kelvin Thorne and the two officials are Ken Buck (Manager) and Ray Hurley (Trainer).  

Courtesy of Kelvin Thorne/Newbridge Town AFC Archives

(For many other photographs of Newbridge sporting teams, look in the Newbridge sub-section 'Sport')  


 Brilliant telephoto view of Newbridge and it's High Street; taken around 2005 from on top of the old coal tip, it's dominated by the 'Stute, the Memo, Ellis Williams' Garage and Windsor Avenue Park.  

  © Kelvin Thorne

'The Streets' - the heart of Newbridge. This shot is from around 2005 and was taken from the top of the coal tip using a telephoto lens. The streets visible are Beynon Street, Blaenblodau Street, Torlais Street, Hill Street, Pennar Street and (top right) Panteg Terrace.  The new by-pass can be seen at the top left.  

 © Kelvin Thorne  

An interesting photograph, taken from the top of the landscaped coal tip above Newbridge; the work on the by-pass is well underway, the old school tennis courts are still next to the bowling green, as is the red-gra playing area. The Calzaghe Bridge is still to be built.  © Kelvin Thorne 

A view towards Newbridge from the mountainside at Llanfach; the by-pass and Trecelyn Viaduct have yet to be built, but the large area of ground under preparation is destined to be the new playing fields.
© Kelvin Thorne.

Again, a photograph from the mountainside at Llanfach, looking towards Newbridge and the South Celynen colliery, probably taken around 1984. This gives a good indication of not only the position of
'the South', but also it's size. © Kelvin Thorne.

Looking down at the redevelopment of the old South Celynen site; the new access bridge across the river has been made on the land that used to be Abercarn Junior School's playing field and the first buildings, nearing completion, were the very first 'show homes'. © Kelvin Thorne.


Newbridge railway station, circa 1915 - the view is remarkably similar to today, apart from the missing Calzaghe Bridge and the two white farmhouse-type buildings near Golden Grove and Blaenblodau Street. Look up at the top field on the left - the next photograph is a modern view down towards the station from the very top left corner, just where the trees start. © TBA



 The view in 2012, from the mountain towards the Co-operative and Newbridge railway station; part of the Calzaghe bridge can also be seen, as can the astroturf area at the back of the Leisure Centre. Crumlin Viaduct would have dominated the backdrop before it's demolition. © Dory Buck.


The old 'Green Bridge' over the canal in Newbridge, with what became Billy Griffiths' yard in the foreground. This area became a well-known junction and is now the major roundabout at McDonalds and the Otter public house. This looks back towards Newbridge, from the area that is now playing fields. The elevated position of the photographer suggests it was taken from on the (now cleared) coal tip.

The remarkable Reg Jones and his donkey; Reg gave himself the title of 'Squire Jones' but was universally 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.


The Celynen North Halt, just off North Road, Newbridge. This looks back towards Crumlin Low Level station, and illustrates perfectly how the Viaduct used to dominate the view.  Taken around 1961.


© Kelvin Thorne

© Kelvin Thorne

© Kelvin Thorne

Courtesy of Granville Davies


Courtesy of Granville Davies 

Courtesy of Granville Davies

© Dory Buck

Not a very old photograph (early May 2013), but it's already dated - by the end of October 2013 the HSBC Bank was closed and Newbridge had one less bank. © Dory Buck

The Catholic Church, Newbridge, late 2013. © Dory Buck

James Dean Bradfield

St Paul's Church Hall, used by Tynewydd School for their PT lessons when it was wet and their Nativity Plays every December © Dory Buck

Newbridge's new railway station on the recently opened Ebbw Valley line; this was taken in February 2008, the first week that services were restored after a gap of 46 years.
Notice the Kwik Save/Somerfield/Co-op building in the background..... © Kelvin Thorne

A train travelling south from Newbridge, photographed from the West End bridge; taken in the first week of operation, February 2008. Notice the housing estate in the background on the South Celynen site is just beginning to take shape. © Kelvin Thorne.

The new housing on the site of the South Celynen, photographed from Llanfach in early 2014.
© Kelvin Thorne.

Panoramic view of Newbridge from the scaffolding surrounding the Newbridge Memo during it's restoration. ©  Rebecca Gingell/Newbridge Memo Archive.

The South Celynen Colliery Manager's Office - now demolished - on the West End Road, taken in the mid to late 80's © Timothy Rendall

The 'buckets' or the 'aerials', whatever you want to call them, above the road between Chapel-of-Ease and Newbridge; this was to protect the road-users from anything that might fall from the buckets as they moved up the mountain to dump on the tip. The road was always very slippery on this stretch, due to the continual fall of damp coal-dust  © Timothy Rendall.

Quite a blurred photo. but the only one available at present of Mill Farm in Newbridge, which until relatively recently was derelict but still standing
, roughly where Macdonald's is now. This photograph has been taken from what was then the canal, but is now the road - from this position you would be looking at the 'Drive Thru' side and the Otter would be directly behind the farm. © TBA


A photograph taken at the unveiling of Newbridge Cenotaph on the 24th October, 1936, at its original site in Top Park (Caetwmpyn Park); the unveiling was undertaken by Sir John Beynon, Bart, CBE. Also in the photograph are Mr T Thomas, Chairman-elect of the Memorial Committee, and Mr Harry Williams, Chairman of Abercarn Council.  Following the unveiling, the Legion Standard Bearers presented arms, and the 'Last Post' was sounded.  

A shot of Fields Park in the late 1960's from the mountainside above Eugene Lucas's bungalow; note how most of the houses are still burning coal. © Ken Buck.

The waterfall near 'The Rock' above Fields Park; a rite of passage for Fields Park boys was jumping off The Rock and over the stream to the path on the other side.
An enchanting place to grow up. © Ken Buck.

Newbridge United RFC XV, around 1958, photographed on Newbridge Welfare. The captain (holding the ball) is Eric Cooper, who also played cricket for Newbridge CC for many years. Far left in the middle row is Horace Hopkins, and behind him, far left in the back row, is his brother Ernie, who also boxed. Second from the right in the back row is Ray Jenkins, who also played for Newbridge Bowls Club later in life. The dog is Montmorency Mongrel, a local celebrity and licker of stamps. 
Photograph courtesy of Horace Hopkins' daughter, Debra Goslin.

Two superb examples of 'Gwyddon Vale Mineral Water Co. Abercarn' 
pop alley bottles. Made in Abercarn, but no doubt enjoyed by the people of Newbridge too. Bottles courtesy of John Cotton..... thanks John. Photograph by Dory Buck.

Newbridge Snow-tel © Dory Buck

This photo is circa 1950, at the Memo in Newbridge - on the right are Rinaldo and Barborina Zani who had just completed a long night catering for a function with two of their friends (names unknown).
Ron and Mrs Zani - as they were known to everyone in Newbridge - originally rented the Cosy Café at 25 High Street, opposite Ebbw View Terrace. They worked long hours to build up their business and also did some catering at the Memo - hence this photo. In 1962 they moved to the top café (Ron's Café) next to the Newbridge Hotel - this building was previously used as a post office and before that it was Rabioti's café, during WW2 and earlier. Ron was a real character, while Mrs Zani was reserved and respected. They had two children, Margherita and John. Photograph courtesy of their son, John Zani.

A North Celynen Colliery outing to Barry Island; date unsure, but possibly late 1950's to mid 60's.

The Calzaghe Bridge, under construction at night, photographed from Ebbw View Terrace, sometime in 2008.

A beautiful example of a 'Chase Ricketts' pop-alley bottle, produced in Crumlin.

This photograph has been kindly supplied by Mo and Derek James.

Newbridge Welfare AFC Welsh League team around 1964-65, photographed in front of the wall in the corner of the Welfare grounds. Photograph courtesy of Archie Self (second player from the left, front row, next to his brother Ronnie).

A sunburst over Meredith Terrace and the newly finished entrance to the Institute and Memo.
© Chris Buck 2015

The Newbridge fire, 11th February 2015 © Chris Buck


St David's Foundation shop and The Station Café are destroyed in the Newbridge fire, 11th February 2015.







Looking down on the devastated premises being cleared the day after the fire; the shops had been rendered unsafe and buildings that had stood in the centre of Newbridge for well over a century were gone in hours. With thanks to Robert Holder and Neil Thompson for allowing access to the upper floor of their premises to take this photograph. © Dory Buck



Treowen Wartime Fire Service, with Joe Stone in the centre. Joe was a miner at the South Celynen and, along with other miners, joined the AFS at the outbreak of war. He served in Plymouth, Swansea and London during the Blitz and in later years he was selected to represent Wales as part of the Guard of Honour at Queen Elizabeth's Coronation in1953. He served in the AFS (along with his sons William and Howard) until it was disbanded in the late '60s. Photograph courtesy of William Stone, Joe's son.

The Newbridge Utd team who played Tredegar in the Welsh Cup in the 80s.

The names are top left back row Paul Gameson, Councillor Martyn James, Ron Twin Davies, Steve Laffan, Graham Heath, John Peregrine, Brian Edge, Gary Freeman, Chris Hopkins, Jeff Thomas, Mark Gadja, Martin Hyde, Wayne Morgan, John Prosser, Neil Price (deceased), Tony Bates.

Left Front row kneeling; Bruce Barrowman, Ray Sheldon, Cen Hayward, Gwyn Jones (skipper), Gary Hollister,  Adrian Niblett, Leighton Powell, Craig Roberts, Geoff Luxton.

 Photograph courtesy of John 'Polly' Peregrine, gentleman of this Manor.

An 'H Edwards' stone bottle, found in the mid 1960s by Roger Reese, in the garden of a derelict cottage by the canal side, close to the present metal footbridge at the bottom of Pantside hill. Photograph courtesy of Roger Reese.

A beautifully evocative shot of Fields Park Road in the late 40s/early 50s.... just ONE car in the street. Photograph courtesy of Brian Selway

The Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977, being celebrated at Fields Park, in front of the old football clubhouse, now long gone. © Brian Selway

A street party at Fields Park, to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee in 1977. © Brian Selway

Looking across the rooftops at Tynewydd House, one of the oldest houses in Newbridge © Kelvin Thorne

Tynewydd House for sale, before it underwent structural and exterior changes. Standing on Newbridge's High Street, it is reputedly one of the oldest - if not the oldest - houses in the area © Kelvin Thorne (who grew up there)

Tynewydd House, High Street, Newbridge © Kelvin Thorne

The rear of Tynewydd House, High Street © Kelvin Thorne

Disaster at Tynewydd House.... the very substantial chimney collapsed into the house, bringing down part of the roof © Kelvin Thorne

Ray Hurley (left) and Ken Buck, the two men, along with Ronnie Self, who were responsible for relaunching Newbridge Town AFC from the ashes of Newbridge Welfare AFC, hence the Phoenix crest.

A sad but self-explanatory photograph - after the Arthur Scargill-led miners' strike of the mid-80s, most mines in Britain closed down, as did the South Celynen.... the miners painted this tram as a tribute and sad reminder of what was being lost. Photo courtesy of Ken Buck.

Tynewydd School Nativity Play, around 1963. This was always held in St Paul's Church Hall, which was on the land that backed onto the Junior School's playground. The school is gone, but the Church Hall still stands. The photograph is courtesy of Heather Willis (née Freeman) who is standing, far left, and who lived in Fields Park; another person on the photograph is David Fox (front row in a blazer) who was a lovely guy and later became a well-loved vicar in Penarth before his premature death in June 2008.

Newbridge United RFC, pictured on the Welfare Ground in front of the Grandstand; this photograph is from the early 1950's and features brothers Brian and Dennis Bartlett - Brian is the second player (in hooped shirt) from the left in the back row and Dennis is second from the left (in hoops) in the front row. Photograph is courtesy of Brian's son, Kieron Bartlett.

The Newbridge Cenotaph, sitting at the very top of Newbridge's Top Park - the design was influenced by the London Cenotaph in Whitehall and was extremely attractive. However the position made it increasingly difficult for older ex-servicemen to get to, and so a smaller and more accessible area for reflection and commemoration was established by the Institute, and the original Cenotaph was dismantled and reassembled at St Fagan's Folk Museum near Cardiff, coincidentally right next to Oakdale Institute. A nice touch is that all the original Newbridge names are still on the Cenotaph now it's been rebuilt at St Fagan's. 

The perfectly reassembled Newbridge Cenotaph in it's new position at St Fagan's Folk Museum, near Cardiff. As the poppies denote, it's still used every November for commemoration on the anniversary of Armistice Day

A beautifully restored 'Memo' - up until around 1964 or '65 the seats and carpets were still original and the same deep plush burgundy red as the curtain - they seemed so warm, expensive and luxurious to us young kids. I remember when we first went in after the seats had been refurbished in blue, we all thought it had been done on the cheap because it didn't look as expensive or warm and didn't match the curtain anymore!

The Newbridge branch of Barclays Bank, before its closure in 2016. The building now houses Greggs              © Kelvin Thorne

Sergeant Roy McStuart Ross RAF

Roy was a member of the seven-man crew of Avro Lancaster ND642 HW-N (100 Squadron) that was lost during a bombing raid over Berlin on the night of the 24th March 1944, having taken off from RAF Grimsby at 18:57 that evening. Their bomber (nicknamed 'Sosban Fach' because of the largely Welsh crew) was shot down and crashed near the German town of Eilenburg and all the crew were killed; their remains were buried in the Berlin WWII Cemetery. Roy was a skilled rugby player who lived in Pennar Street, Newbridge; his older brother Dick Ross was the Senior Overman at the South Celynen colliery until 1976 and Roy's name is remembered on both the current Newbridge Cenotaph near the 'Stute and the previous 'Top Park' Cenotaph, now sited at St Fagan's Museum.


 The grave of Sgt Roy McStuart Ross in the World War 2 Cemetery, Berlin. All the crew of the downed Avro Lancaster bomber (100 Squadron) were buried there. Photograph taken by his great nephew Chris Buck of Abercarn, who visited the cemetery to show his respects while on a visit to Berlin on the 25th January 2018.


The old disused bus-stop shelter on the West End Road - this stands directly outside the entrance to what was the South Celynen Colliery and is one of the few reminders left of Newbridge's proud mining history © Kelvin Thorne

Windsor Avenue Park © Kelvin Thorne

Superstar actor Gregory Peck riding a horse, during the filming of the Hollywood film 'Arabesque' near Crumlin Viaduct in July 1965. The film also starred the beautiful Sophia Loren, and was released in 1966 © Robin Williams

A crowd gathered on the railway embankment below Treowen bottom park in July 1965 to watch the filming of 'Arabesque', with Hollywood superstars Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren, culminating with a dramatic scene involving a crashing helicopter, shot on Crumlin Viaduct, just before it was demolished. © Robin Williams

Hillside Methodist Church, marching on Whit Sunday, May 1961. This photograph was taken just outside Crumlin High Level Junior School. © Robin Williams

A long-shot of Greenfield Terrace, the new Tynewydd School (on the site of the old Greenfield School) and the white landmark of Newbridge's Italianate Catholic Church © Kelvin Thorne

Another long-shot; this time of the top of Ashfield Road and the new Tynewydd Junior School - the site was once Greenfield Secondary School, but most buildings were demolished for the new school to be built - the two-storey red brick building to the left of the school yard is an original building and reminder of Greenfield School © Kelvin Thorne

The redeveloped area in front of the face-lifted Tynewydd House, 2018 © Kelvin Thorne

A sunny day at Windsor Avenue Park © Kelvin Thorne

Five Go Mad in Devon.... the time: 26th August 1974, the place: Torquay's premier night-spot 'The Bavarian Bier Keller', the cast: clockwise from front left: Stephen Ford, Phil Duddridge, Dory Buck, John Williams and John Zani. Zarn has already arrived in that exalted state that only one too many steins can achieve..... some Newbridge boys in suspect jumpers. Photograph courtesy of John Zani.

Newbridge Whitsun March, possibly in 1959, at the bottom of Hill Street. The young lad in the centre front, wearing his Sunday best blazer, is Kelvin Thorne. Photo courtesy of Kelvin Thorne.

Looking across at Newbridge, possibly from the canal bank (now the by-pass near Axiom); the Top Park is still just a hilly field and the Grand Cinema is prominent to the bottom left of the photo. Postcard courtesy of Jocelyn and Mike Davies.

Looking down onto lower Tynewydd Terrace from near the path up to Top Park; slightly out of shot to the right would have been the old Tynewydd Infants and Junior School and the fact that neither the 'Stute nor the Memo are built (but ground seems to have been cleared near Meredith Terrace for the 'Stute) dates this photograph as pre-1908. Postcard courtesy of Jocelyn and Mike Davies.

Looking up High Street at the junction with Tynewydd Terrace towards the Café; notice how the road is completely unsurfaced, which would place this around the turn of the century, possibly 1901. Postcard courtesy of Jocelyn and Mike Davies.

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 Cwmcarn-born centre Brian Jones. Photograph courtesy of Brian Jones.

The North Celynen, covered in snow, and photographed from a garden on North Road. Photograph supplied by C Eynon.

Greenfield Secondary Modern School Rugby First XV, 1962-63, captained by Mike Shepherd. The Headmaster on the left is Mr G Groves, and the PE Teacher and Rugby Coach on the right is Chris Padfield, who soon after moved to Newbridge Grammar School, where he taught for many years. Photograph supplied by Mike Shepherd 



The six aerial photographs above were supplied by Robert McCarthy and were taken by him during a flight over Newbridge, arranged by Robert to celebrate his father's 60th birthday in August 2007 - at first glance it appears that nothing's changed, but look closely and you'll notice that there is no McDonald's at the roundabout, although the site has been cleared and prepared. Also the new housing on the site of the South Celynen Colliery is still to be completed. © Robert McCarthy

A watercolour painting by artist Ray Evans of the very top of Hill Street, painted from a position in Beynon Street. © Ray Evans


A photograph taken outside Tynewydd House, High Street. On the left is Ollie Davies, ex-Fields Park goalkeeper and a carpenter in Newbridge for many years. In the centre, with the quiff, is Billy Medcraft  and to the right is Dick Self. © Nancy Self

This is Newbridge St John's Ambulance Brigade, outside Newbridge Ambulance Hall (which was on the opposite side of the Ebbw River to Wesley Hall Chapel), possibly in the 1940's or 50's.

William Coleman, sat in the centre wearing his medals, helped to build the hall and was involved with the St John's Brigade (as were his brothers) all his life. He worked in the Celynen North and was involved in Mine Rescue towards the latter part of his life. The last rescue he was involved in was the Six Bell's Mining Disaster and he died shortly after.

Photograph supplied by William's grand-daughter Carol Princic, as is the photograph below. 



The photograph above is of the 1930 Senior and Junior North Celynen Ambulance teams, including four Coleman brothers - the brothers (in the front row) are William, Tom, Ivor and George. George Coleman won The Edward Medal for bravery in 1926 after a roof collapsed in the North Celynen. This photograph has been supplied by Carol Princic, who has lived in Australia for the past 30 years. Thanks Carol.


The following ten photographs are of Newbridge Carnival in the summer of 1968, and have been kindly supplied by Brian Morgan. It seems true that summers actually were better in the past....





You forget how popular the Newbridge Carnival was back then - remember Mr Targett in his small van with a huge tannoy on the roof, making the announcements? It's great to see the Welfare so crowded, back on a glorious summer's day, long gone.... all ten photographs above are © Brian Morgan.

'The Rock' or 'Sky Rock', depending on which part of Newbridge or Fields Park you hail from.... a great place to jump over, play and make dams in days gone by; before computers and smart phones, that's what kids used to do, believe it or not...  There are no prizes on offer, but can you 'Spot The Dog'? There is one - honest! © Martin Methuen

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.

Tynewydd Infants 1st Year; November 1944 - photograph courtesy of Neen Buck, who is stood on the chair, far left.

Tynewydd Junior School, Standard IIa, in 1966 - photograph supplied by Carol Princic (nee Davies), who has lived in Australia for over thirty years (see sub-section 'Schools' for more)

Three guys enjoying a final fag before going down to do their afternoon shift at the North Celynen in 1978 - left to right: Dai Purn, Kevin Reynolds and Chris Sharp. Photograph courtesy of Kevin Reynolds.

Idris McCarthy Senior, proudly sat astride his motorbike at the end of Ebbw View Terrace, Newbridge, in 1935. The Welfare Ground can be seen in the background. Photo courtesy of Kerri and Rob McCarthy.

"This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius"..... the hippy clothes place this somewhere in the early Seventies; some likely lads being serenaded outside the New Inn in Abercarn, including Newbridge boys Graham Harman (in yellow jacket), Bonker Preece and Enoch Rees-Jones (Ennock to all who knew him). Ennock was quite a character..... now sadly no longer with us. Photograph simultaneously supplied by Kelvin Thorne and John 'Polly' Peregrine.

You might wonder what 'the Fab Four' are doing on this site - if you look carefully in the bottom right-hand corner of this LP cover ('Please Please Me' - their first LP from early 1963) you'll see the name of the photographer, Angus McBean. Although not a Newbridge family, McBean's parents moved around Wales on a regular basis, due to his father's job as a mine surveyor, and Mrs McBean gave birth to young Angus during a stay in Newbridge in 1904. Angus's family soon moved on, and he later attended Monmouth School, followed by Newport Technical College (later Newport Art College, Clarence Place), where he developed an interest in photography, selling a gold watch left to him by his grandfather to buy photographic equipment.

He went on to become a 'celebrity photographer' of the old school, photographing many leading theatricals, such as Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor and Quentin Crisp. He also photographed Cliff Richard's first four album covers, and was commissioned by the Beatles' young manager Brian Epstein to photograph 'his boys' for their first album, photographed in the stairwell of the EMI offices at Manchester Square, London. A similar photograph from the same session was also used on the later retrospective double 'Best of/Red Album' (1962-66) and the Beatles requested the pose to be replicated by McBean for use on the cover of their projected next album, provisionally titled 'Get Back', but that album became 'Let It Be' and a different cover design was used; McBean's photograph was finally used for the retrospective double 'Best of/Blue Album' which covered the tracks from the Beatles' later career (1967-70), and showed them as they looked in 1969 (see image below).

Angus McBean continued working well into old age, and fell ill while on holiday in Morocco - he returned to England and died in Ipswich shortly after, at the age of 86.

Self-portrait by famous Newbridge-born photographer Angus McBean (1904 - 1990)

No caption required really.... a newspaper cutting of regulars of the Beaufort Arms (now the nursery by the traffic lights), dressed up as farmers for Newbridge Carnival. The Beaufort was a popular pub, run by Eric and Pat Jones - you may remember the large framed photograph of a Beaufort bomber in the Lounge. Newspaper cutting courtesy of John Peregrine.


 The news Newbridge awoke to on Tuesday, 18th January 1955.... the Grand cinema (Newbridge had two cinemas back then; the Memo and the Grand, by the river bridge) had burned down overnight. Above is how it was reported as the lead story on the front page of the South Wales Argus; below is the report reproduced in full, should you want to relive the experience! Newspaper cutting kindly supplied by ex-Grammar School head boy, Phillip Walkley, now living in Germany.


It's one of those events that is still spoken about with reverence and awe by people of a certain age... great to read a report of the time, which brings it to life.

*****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.*****

Season 2017-18; Newbridge-born referee, 22 year-old Jordan Harman, is already refereeing regularly in the Welsh League First Division and having reached that level at such a young age, has a great future in the professional game ahead of him.


This photograph is from the Carnival held in Newbridge in 1953, to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II - it shows the Fields Park float, the subject of which was 'Modern Elizabethan', to emphasise the optimism generated by the new monarch. The float was decorated in red, white and blue, and some of the local Fields Park girls on the float are Neen Ross, Dilys Watkins, June Davies, Christine Hodges and Sylvia Jones. The photo has been supplied by Neen Buck (née Ross).

The pillbox at the bottom of Pennar Lane - this was ideally situated to fight a rearguard action against a Nazi Panzer Division as its tanks trundled their way past the Red Lion, after refuelling in H Ellis Williams' forecourt. Luckily for Hitler, we never had to unleash our pillbox army on his marauding hordes..... © Kelvin Thorne 


This photograph is of St Paul's Church Choir, and the Rev Stanley Jones is also present  - it has been supplied by Foster Edwards, who left Newbridge in 1966; Foster asked if anyone knew any more about it and what the occasion was. If you have any info, please contact this site and we'll forward it to Foster.

Tynewydd Junior School 1970; back row in the striped blazer is the late Andrew Simmonds, who went on to play for Newbridge CC. Middle row in the pink cardigan is Catherine Powell (née Jenkins), and front row, third from the left, is Mike Thorne, who supplied the photograph.


The five photographs above have been supplied by Mike Shepherd; they show the dramatic results on Newbridge Welfare of a blocked culvert in November 1986. Jack and Jemma Shepherd can be seen surveying the flooded pitch on two of the photographs. Luckily the Welfare's drainage is very good and things were soon back to normal. 


A snowy view down the valley from Manor Park, with the Catholic Church just edging into the photograph from the left. © Mike Shepherd

A view down the valley from North Road, with the area just the other side of the tracks still undeveloped; probably late 80's/early 90's © Mike Shepherd

Headmaster G Groves awarding Mike Shepherd and Ruth Williams the winner's trophy at Greenfield School Swimming Gala, 1963. Photo supplied by Mike Shepherd 

Newbridge RFC prepare to leave for a tour of Cyprus. Photograph supplied by Mike Shepherd.


A Men's Outing, sometime in the 1950's. Courtesy of Colin Parfitt.

A group of Stonemasons with Llanover Estate - Lyndon Bevan from Llanfach is in the middle, and to Lyndon's left is Wally Parfitt from Treowen. Photo courtesy of Colin Parfitt.

Are these the ugliest Ladyboys ever? Not really - three Newbridge blokes dressed as women for a local Carnival; photograph supplied by Janet Fears (née Harman) - Janet's Dad Bill Harman is the man in the middle.

Two photographs of the church that used to be just below Top Park, at the bottom of the Doctor's Hill, on the site of the parking area behind Victoria Terrace. It was demolished in the early 1980's. © Dory Buck

A photograph of Greenfield School Football Team, 1959-60, supplied by Dai Wilcox, the second player from the right in the back row, standing next to goalkeeper Ollie Davies. Dai went on the play for both Treowen Stars and Newbridge Town, while Ollie spent his career playing for Fields Park.

Newbridge Town FC, 1977-78.  The man on the far right at the back is Ronnie Self, who had recently retired due to a broken leg, and the mascot sat on the football at the front is Ronnie's young son Keiron Self, who went on to become an actor and play the daft dentist Roger Bailey Jnr, alongside Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wanamaker  in the long-running BBC comedy 'My Family'. He also played PC Claude Cox in 'High Hopes' and continues to act today. Photo courtesy of Peter Hackling, back row in the gold jersey.

Newbridge Town FC on tour at Wembley Stadium in Spring 1981. © Peter Hackling

The lane up to Rhys Collins farm, behind Fields Park Road, looking as pretty as a picture. © Dory Buck

Barbara Bevan of Llanfach; Barbara became involved in the restoration of the Memo in 2002, initially through her membership of the choir, she became aware of a petition to save the Memo from demolition and started collecting signatures door-to-door.

 In April 2003, a public meeting was called and Barbara became the Treasurer of the newly-formed committee, before becoming a Trustee, and eventually Chair of Trustees in 2016.

Barbara resigned in October 2018 on her 80th birthday, and the Memo's committee showed its appreciation of her commitment and dedication by naming the ballroom in her honour.

The renovated 'Memo' in 2017, photographed from the grounds of St Paul's Church. A true gem, in the heart of Newbridge. © Dory Buck

The Newbridge butcher, Clarry Matthews, who took over running the shop from Trevor Croad - Clarry had worked for Mr Croad as a young lad, and ran the shop until he retired, when it was taken over by his son Richard, who still runs it. © Richard Matthews

Butcher Richard Matthews outside his shop in Victoria Terrace; Richard took over running the shop from his father Clarry, and still runs it now. © Richard Matthews 

On the right is Clarry Matthews as a young butcher's lad, in Trevor Croad's shop on Victoria Terrace; on the left is the manager of Mr Croad's Abertillery shop. © Richard Matthews

A drawing of Victoria Terrace in 1955; see Gwyn Davies's shop on the left, Briggs' in the distance, and Hextall's electrical and record shop on the right, under the 'Ferguson' sign. Courtesy of Richard Matthews.

The great 'Ron's Caff', with its steamed pasties, frothy coffee, Coke Floats, pinball machine, tomato-shaped Ketchup dispensers and creamy ice-cream. And the inimitable Ron Zani. Great times.....

G Carpanini; ice-cream seller and café proprietor 

General view from the by-pass, overlooking Newbridge Welfare and Comprehensive School, with Pantside and Woodland Drive in the background © Dory Buck

Looking down at Newbridge from the recently cleared lane above Llanfach; cutting back the trees lining the lane exposed this tremendous view © Kelvin Thorne

A similar shot to the previous one from the same position, but this time showing Newbridge in the glow of a Summer's day, with all the trees looking very green and full. Newbridge is a pretty town, and not laid out like a typical Valley's community, due to the sudden widening of the valley at this point.  Photo © Dory Buck