1956 Free Press

January 13th – Funeral of Mrs R Jones (In Obituaries)

Goytrey old folks’ parting gift to chairman
The founder chairman of Goytrey OAP branch, Mr Thomas Langley, was presented with a table lamp, upon his leaving the district at the branch’s annual party on Saturday.
An associate member, Mrs Lillian Jones, made the presentation.
Tribute was paid to Mr Langley by one of the guests, County Councillor Mrs M Davies, (secretary of the East Mon Division of the OAP Association) who said that Mr Langley had been a great help to the branch and must have worked like a Trojan to get it started.
Other guests included the Rev. A Rees (Saron Baptist Chapel), Councillor and Mrs H H Hatchley, Mr & Mrs G James, (chairman and secretary of the Griffithstown branch) and Mr Ben Bishop, (secretary of the Memorial Hall Management Committee) who was accompanied by his wife.

The Oldest Member
The club’s oldest member, 96 year old Mr James Harry, was also present. Last September Mr Harry was crowned “King” of the Welsh old age pensioners at the national rally in Abergavenny. This honour is given to the oldest member at the rally.
An iced cake was cut by the oldest lady member, Mrs R Prosser who is 86.
The secretary, Mr H I Prosser told the Free Press that at Christmas 7/6 was given to each of the branch’s 96 members. This he said, was the results of concerts and bazaars etc., and quite an achievement for a rural area.
After they had enjoyed tea, the old people were entertained by Messrs H I Prosser, Jack Gray, Sid Derham, Ken Searle, W Howells, Charles Merrick and Misses Brenda Merrick, Bonnie Lewis, Marilyn and Judith Price and Janice Screen. Miss Mildred George was the accompianist.

January 25th – Mrs M Spanner, formerly of Goytrey (In Obituaries)

January 20th – Why are old people of Goytre homes boycotted?
While the rest of the country is advocating the care and attention of old people, there still exists among a small number of people in Goytre an attitude that is more typical of the Dickens era than our present Welfare State.

Last week, at a special meeting of the Goytre branch of the Old Age Pensioners Association, the committee decided to boycott the old people at Nantyderry and Goytre. An extract from the letter of the hon. Secretary reads: “ I have to inform you that the outcome of this meeting, is that the committee’s decision is to reject the two homes.”

If the decision were not so tragic it would be almost farcical. Sixteen old ladies, one aged 96, in Goytrey House, were founder members and belonged to the Association before many members of the committee which has now rejected them.

After the overwhelming response to the appeal for Christmas gifts for the aged of Pontypool, we fail to see why fifty two old people in Goytre are denied the right of membership and any facilities of the Association.

Perhaps the committee of the Goytre branch of the OAP Association will reply to this letter through the press in order that the public may judge for themselves whether their reason was a justifiable one.

C H Bedds, Superintendant A.I.S.W.
A Beddis, Matron A.I.S.W

March 2nd – Marriage

At St Peter’s Church, Goytre by the Rev. B Vaughan, (Bishops Chaplain) Michael, fourth son of Mr & Mrs M Halligan, Birkenhead and Phyllis, youngest daughter of Mr & Mrs Rosser, of Frondeg, Goytre.

The bride wore a full-length gown of white taffeta covered with French lace and a full length veil held in place by a pearl tiara. She carried a boquet of red rose-buds. Bridesmaids, Misses Jean Brown, Margaret, Catherine and Ann Halligan (sisters), Maureen Sumner, brides cousin and Gladys Fowler, in full length white taffeta dresses and pink sashes and muffs and head-dresseses of pink rose-buds.

Flower girls, Misses Mary Johnson (groom’s neice), Jennifer Harris, Christine Marshrones, in white taffeta dresses with pink muffs, white capes and old fashioned poke bonnets.

Page boy, Master David Cardus, (groom’s nephew), in a sailor suit. Best man, Petty Officer Gwyn Bassett (RN); Groomsmen Messrs Kenneth Rosser and Terance Marshrones.

The bride’s mother wore a grey costume with pink accessories; the groom’s mother a mushroom coat with brown accessories.

Recption, Goytre Memorial Hall. Honeymoon, Cornwall, the bride travelling in a beaver lamb coat with maroon accessories.

March 23rd – Penperlleni sewerage scheme must be pruned

A cut of £2,000 has got to be made by Pontypool Rural District Council in their proposed sererage scheme for Penperlleni.

Reporting this to Thursday’s meeting of the Council, the clerk, Mr T P Holmes-Watkins, said he had et the Welsh Board of Health’s chief engineer, who held out no hope of the scheme’s approval without the cuts, which would be made in the cost of the filters.

The modified scheme, said Mr Homles Watkins appeared to be efficient for some years. He had no idea when the Ministry would allow them to start.

March 23rd – Sunny Bank Goytre

For Sale – Country Villa, known as Sunny Bank. That convenient and pleasantly situated detached freehold country villa, New Town Road, Goytre.

Situate midway between Pontypool, Abergavenny and Usk, in the village of Penperlleni, close to the church, school, post office and main bus route.

Containing lounge, dining room, scullery, 3 bedrooms and usual domestic offices.

Electricity, soft and pump water supply. Good garage. Large garden with road frontage offering another site.

April 20th Mrs S W Griffiths, Nantyderry

(In Obituaries)

May 4th – Mrs E A Shepherdson (In Obituaries)

May 11th – Goytrey Women’s Institute

Mrs Swinnerton presided over the monthly meeting at the Memorial Hall. Mrs Lewis (secretary) gave a report of the half-yearly council meeting held at Abergavenny.

Mrs David attended to help the members in a discussion on the various resolutions in the agenda for the annual general meeting.

She was thanked by the chairman and Mrs Clayton. A new member, Mrs Robinson, was welcomed. The competition, for a miniature flower arrangement, was won by Miss L Knight. Tea hostesses were Mrs J Wilding, Mrs B Bishop and Mrs M Williams.

June 1st– Marriage

Jenkins-Murray. At St James’s Church, Pontypool, by the Rev C A Long, Bryan John, younger son of Mr & Mrs James Jenkins, Goytre House Lodge, Goytre, to Yvonne, younger daughter of Mr & Mrs C J Murray, Tyr-Ardd (The Gardens) Llanover

The bridegroom wore a naval uniform. The bride wore a full length gown of white nylon net and witchcraft lace. Her three-quarter length veil was held in place by a headdress of orange blossom. Her bouquet, specially designed by her father was of pink rosebuds and lilies of the valley. Matron of honour, was Mrs Winifred Jones, (sister) bridesmaid’s, Misses Maureen Gould, (groom’s cousin and Glenys Edwards, all wore dresses of pale blue net



June 15th – Goytre man for trial

Alleged threat to murder Kent girl.

Arthur William Watkins, 36, a lorry driver of Bryn View Goytre, Pontypool, was committed for trial by Hythe (Kent) magistrates charged with causing to be received by Miss Priscilla Mary Finn, aged 21, a letter threatening to kill or murder her.

He was granted legal aid, but was refused bail. His case will be heard at East Kent Quarter Sessions, which open at Canterbury on June 25th.

Mr N K Cooper, prosecuting, said Finn first met Watkins in 1951 when she was 16. They were both employed by the same store in Folkestone. Their friendship developed and in 1953 they were exchanging gifts.

Watkins told the girl that he was married with one child. Subsequently he admitted to her that he had two children. Mr Cooper said that was a matter which caused a certain amount of friction between the couple and between the accused and the girl’s mother.

Agreed to Marry
In March 1955, Watkins went to Pontypool to live with his mother. Before he left he asked Miss Finn to marry him and she agreed. They corresponded regularly and when Watkins came to Folkestone to see his children he met the girl.

In December 1955 Watkins told Miss Finn that divorce proceedings against his wife had been satisfactorily completed and again she agreed to marry him. Tentative arrangements wre made for the wedding to take place a month after her 21st birthday.

Mr Cooper said subsequently the girl reconsidered the position. She was a Roman Catholic and if she married she would have to give up her religion. Then there was the question of the accused’s children and the objection from her parents.

All the matters weighed on her mind and she decided to tell Watkins that she had changed her mind.

The solicitor continued that a letter written by Watkins to the girl contained such phrases as: Unless you marry me I shall kill you and myself. How, after all, do you expect me to forget your charms and assurances? You will not marry here on earth in spite of what you said, so we shall be married in death together………….It is marriage or we both die together.

Girl in Tears
Miss Finn, an office clerk, burst into tears when giving evidence. Asked whether she thought Watkins’ threats were genuine she relied: “I put it down to the fact that he was so upset that he was driven to those measures.”

Detective-Constable J Irvin read a statement which he said was made by Watkins. It read: “ I could not really believe Mary had changed her mind so suddenly and when I returned to Wales I decided to make an effort to get her to change her decision.”

“The threats I made in the letter about destroying her were only intended to frighten her and show how serious I was about her. I never had any intention of doing her or her parents any harm. My threats were only made to try and make her change her mind about marrying me. I still love her very much and the shock of her turning me down made me lose my senses a bit.”

Watkins told the Bench that although he made the threats he had no intention of carrying them out.
“I want to get back to my job to get some money to keep my children and my mother,” he said.

June 15th – Garndiffaith Vicar Moving to Goytre

The Rev. Algernon Lionel Davies, vicar of Garndiffaith sice 1936, has accepted the living of Goytre, rendered vacant by the registration of Rev. C W Kelly.

Mr Davies was curate of St George’s, Tredegar from 1926 to 1930, and of St Mathew’s, Pontypool, from 1930 to 1936.

The Rev. Charles William Kelly, who is 67, has retired because of ill health. He has been rector of Goytre since 1949.

June 29th – Ex Wife Forgives Goytre man’s threat to kill girl lover.

“You know what happened to Romeo and Juliet. That is our fate my darling.” So wrote a 36 year old divorced Goytre lorry driver to a Kent girl who refused to marry him.

At East Kent sessions at Canterbury on Monday, Arthur William Watkins, of Bryn View, Goytre, admitted that he maliciously sent a letter to 20-years-old Priscilla Finn threatening to kill or murder her.

After he had been given an absolute discharge on payment of ten guineas costs, Watkins left the court with his former wife for her Folkestone home where he later said “I have been a fool.”

His ex-wife Lily said “It was just mid-summer madness.” I have forgiven him and we are getting married again.

Extracts of letter sent by Watkins to Miss Finn, and read by Mr Richard Du Cann, prosecuting, contained such passages as:
“I will not be just a sweetheart for life.”

“If you will not marry me on earth we shall marry in death together.”

Worked at same store

Mr Du Cann said Watkins and Miss Finn met in a Folkestone store where both were employed, he as a night watchman. Last December he divorced his wife and Miss Finn agreed to marry him on June 2nd.

But when she obtained her birth certificate for the marriage it revealed to her for the first time that she was an adopted child. That upset her considerably.

She obviously thought again about the desirability of marrying Watkins and her mother exerted pressure on her, particularly because Watkins was a Protestant and she a Roman Catholic.

Miss Finn wrote to Watkins mother with whom he was living at Goytre, saying she had decided not to marry him. It was then that Watkins wrote a letter asking the girl to meet him in London finishing with the threat:

“If the answer is no destroy you and plunge the knife into my own heart,” said Mr Du Cann. There was no evidence that Watkins had the means or the intention of carrying out these threats.

His Heart Ruled His Head
For Watkins, Mr A Greenwood said his heart had ruled his head. He was sorry for any distress caused and he hoped to re-marry his wife.

Mr C B Trusler, a probation officer, told the deputy Chairman, Mr Christmas Humphreys, that as far as the girl was concerned the affair was over.

“Watkins is on very friendly terms with his ex-wife. She is in court, I think there may be a happy ending,” he said.

In discharging Watkins, Mr Christmas Humphreys told him, “here is a man who has lived not too wisely but too well.”

We are impressed by your general good character, by the decent way you have behaved towards your ex-wife and the possibility that here will be a happy ending to the affair he said.

July 27th – Fall Hastened Death

Mrs Annie Jones (In Inquests)

August 3rd 1956 –of Mrs A Jones, Goytre (In Obituaries)

August 10th – Goytre Show Special Winners

Left to right: Mrs F Messenger; Pat Williams, Nantyderry; Graham Owen; Mr A Constance (Usk); Miss C M Edwards, Nantyderry.



August 17th – Cwm House, Goytre

J Straker, Chadwick & Sons have received instructions to sell BY AUCTION, at an early date the Freehold Small Holding known as

CWM House, Goytre, comprising a stone and slated homestead, together with four enclosures of pastureland extending the in whole to 7 acres.

Vacant possession on completion.

September 21st – Mrs R Prosser, Goytre

(In Obituaries)

September 28th – Wedding

At St Iltyds Church Mamhilad by the Rev. R E Seaton, Organist Mr C Jenkins, Lindon, fourth son of Mr & Mrs W T Arthur, Goytre, to Iris, eldest daughter of Mr & Mrs A A Price, 2 Woodside View, Little Mill.

The bride wore a full length gown of lace and net over satin with full length veil held in place by orange blossom and pearl.

She carried a bouquet of red carnations. Bridesmaids Miss Joyce and Ann Price wore blue and pink full length gowns with gloves to match and carried posies of mixed roses.

Best man, Mr Eric Arthur (groom’s brother).

Horseshoes were given to the bride by her two nieces and nephews. The brides mother wore a deep blue suit with pale blue accessories, groom’s mother a deep blue suit with a white fleck and white accessories. Each wore a spray of pink carnations.

Reception, Little Mill Hall, honeymoon, Southsea. The bride travelled in a lime coat with black and white accessories.

November 16th – St Peter’s Church Goytre

Bazaar & Sale of Work, Including Jumble
Will be held at Goytre Memorial Hall
On Saturday 4th November at 2.30pm and also at 7. 30 Whist Drive
Proceeds in aid of Church Funds


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