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What about the old horse block?

Following last week's rummage through Pontypridd's back pages, Colin Griffiths emailed about the picture of the demolition of the old Colliers Hotel...

MY father, Ivor Griffiths, left Porth and the colliery to become the

We ran it as a succesful pub and bed and breakfast until 1952. My jobs included collecting and washing the glasses and hosing out the cellar on a Sunday morning, before the days of Sunday openings.

Our guests included artists that performed at the Municipal Theatre, the Glamorgan cricket team as well as the travelling salesmen that visited the local traders and the Wednesday and Saturday market - especially those who could not afford to stay at the New Inn.

An item which did not appear in the photo was the horse mounting block which was sited at the town end of the pub.

The building next to the pub was the Corn Stores which in those days also operated as a wholesale grocers where they stored cheese and apples which were imported from Canada.

The next building in the photo was Caddy's Store which was an ironmonger and garden store. Other business's in Mill Street included Marenghi's cafe, with the best ice cream in Pontypridd, Emlyn John the butcher who also ran a stall in the market and a Chinese Laundry, with real Chinese!

I would be interested to hear if any of your readers have a photo of the building before its demolition (editor's note: email Yesterdays and we will forward all correspondence to Mr Griffiths).

On the subject of the old market, Mrs Ann French recognised her late father in one of the pictures of the traders...

THE man with the hat and the dark glasses was Alfred Healing.

He worked at the Royal Ordnance Factory in Llanishen for many years and when he retired he sold flower bulbs at the market.

With his friend, he would travel to King's Lynn and buy up his stock of bulbs to sell at the market.

Going back a week, our Yesterdays on the Pope's visit to Cardiff attracted many responses. Here's one from Christopher Palmer of Pentrebane, Cardiff...

How surprised was I to see my photo in the Echo - I was one of the apprentices at the Wimpey training centre. That's me kneeling in the front with the striped top.

I was in the second year of my apprenticeship with the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) and was earning PS21.50 per week and was being trained by Doug Dunscombe at the Wimpey training centre which was on Newport Road.

This was Wimpey's head office and also contained its main workshops for all plant and machinery repairs and servicing, plumbers workshop, carpenters workshop, etc. This site has long gone and is now occupied by Homebase and M&S etc.

I can remember being told we were going to be making the credence table and ambo pulpits for the Pope's visit and can remember the delivery of timber. It was a timber called Idigbo which is an African hardwood.

All of the joints were cut and assembled by hand and if my memory serves me right it took us about a week to complete. It was then finished in a French polish.

I have no idea what happened to them after the Pope's visit.

At the end of my time with the CITB there was only myself and Russell Berg remaining and Wimpey then employed us full-time for us to complete the last year of our apprenticeship.

I remember receiving my first full-time pay packet, it was about PS86 pounds for a week. After being used to PS21.50 this seemed like a fortune.

I have some very good memories of that time and seeing that picture again brought them all back.

But many years have passed since then and I am now a lot heavier and have far less hair, in fact very little hair.

The picture brought a smile and to a lot of people I work with much laughter as they couldn't believe that it was me.

Thank you for reminding me of such a good time in my life.


Bulb seller Alf Healing as spotted in last week's edition

Top, the old Colliers pub in Pontypridd and, above, the workers who made the Pope's credence table and ambo pulpit, including Chris Palmer, front left
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 2, 2013
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