1958 Free Press

January 10th – Goytre woman killed when car plunged down embankment

A verdict of accidental death was returned by a jury at a Blackwood inquest on Mrs Mary Elizabeth Litten aged 73,   of Westleigh bungalow, Goytre, who died when the car she was travelling in as a passenger plunged 75 feet onto a railway line near Maesycwmmer.

The jury added a rider that the road where the accident occurred had been in a bad condition for a number of years and some notice should be taken of the fact.

A fence through which the car passed before going down the bank consisted of two strands of wire on posts, wide apart, it was stated.

Sidney James Walton, of Belle Vue Farm, Goytre, the driver of the car said he was taking Mrs Litten and Mr Sims to visit Pontypridd Crematorium.

Post Snapped

When he entered a straight between the Crown Hotel, Pontllanfraith and Maesycwmmer, the car would not obey the steering, went to it’s offside, then returned to the nearside. A nearside front wheel struck a concrete post which snapped.

“Had there been one good strand of wire there, this would never have happened,” he said. “I have been driving 40 years and have never seen anything like it. It was so simple.”

He said there was nothing to stop the car going down the bank. There was no fence and some of the posts which should have been upright were lying down.

January 17th – Double Golden wedding celebration at Goytre.

A brother and sister who were married at a double wedding ceremony at St Peter’s church Goytre, 50 years ago were guests of honour with their wife and husband respectively, at a party given at Goytre Memorial Hall on Tuesday to celebrate their weddings.

The couples were, Mr & Mrs Josiah Owen of Hill View, Goytre and Mr & Mrs Frank Averill who had journeyed from their North Wales home at Cadelyn, Corwen.

It was on January 14th 1908 that the parties walked to the church for the ceremony which was conducted by the late Rev Joseph Davies.

Seventy seven year old Mr Owen is the senior partner in the building firm Owen Bros., which came into being in 1948, though he had worked on his own account since 1921. His wife, aged 73, is a native of Holm Lacy, Herefordshire, came to Goytre to employment at the home of Capt., Cook, adjutant with the 4th Volunteer Battalion of the SWB and they met at Mr Owens’s home, 4 years before they were wed.

It was about the same time that Mr Averill, who described himself as “one of the boys of the village,” met his bride. He was employed at Nantyderry station and they decided to marry when he obtained a house at Chester, following moves from Nantyderry, which included a spell at Newnham Bridge.

Houses were just as scarce to get then as they are now said Mrs Owen to the free press and as we had an offer of a house also, my sister-in-law decide to postpone her wedding, which was arranged for boxing day, to coincide with ours, as she thought so much of her brother.

Mr Owen, at that time was employed in the building trade by Mr William Willis and the houses at Goytre could almost be counted on the finers of one hand.

There were no houses from Penperlleni Bridge to Church Farm, a distance of about a mile, he reminisced. His wage packed “not a pound a week when averaged out over the year. There were no guaranteed wages then.”

Despite his age Mr Owen is still active and each day goes to work. At present he is working at Trevethin.

All Round Athlete

In his youth Mr Owen was an all-round sportsman. From 1901-12 he captained Goytre FC, while at cricket he was a crack-hand. Fifty years ago I was a member of the Goytre team that went to Garndiffaith to open the new cricket ground.

This is the second Golden Wedding celebration in the Owen family; her parents also enjoyed this distinction, one of her treasured possessions is a silver jug given to her parents on that occasion.

Mrs Averill, when she met her husband was employed by Mr Berrington at Pantygoitre House. Since her marriage she had lived away from Goytre, returning for occasional visits. Her husband retired from railway employment eight years ago after 52 years service. She celebrated her 75th birthday last December and her husband was 74 ten days earlier.

Mr Owen and his sister hail from a well known Goytre family. Their father was a cordwainer and was employed by Mr Parkhouse at Pontypool. One of the family of four sons and three daughters, three sons and a daughter survive.

Brother in USA

One of the surviving brothers is Mr David Owen, aged 80, now living in California. Before he emigrated in the 1920’s he had worked at the Lower Mill, Pontypool, for 30 years and was the workers representative on the conciliation board. The other brother, Mr Harry Owen (72) was also in the building trade but has now retired.

Mr and Mrs Owen have one daughter, Eileen James of Penperlleni. Mr & Mrs Averill have two sons, Harry and Kenneth and one daughter, Mrs Phyllis Corbin, with whom they live.

Forty two people attended the party on Monday. A vase of flowers was presented to Mesdames Owen and Averill by Richard James (Mr & Mrs Owens grandson) and bouquets were presented by Mrs Annie Burgess on behalf of nephews and nieces.

Goytre village produce show

May 23rd – Golden wedding celebration of Mr & Mrs Gwatkin Parc Bach Farm

Mr & Mrs Gwatin who recently celebrated their golden wedding were married by the Rev Joseph Davies at Goytre Church. They have lived the greater part of their lives in the district, Mr Gwatkin having been born at Church Farm, Nantyderry. He is aged 76 and his wife is two years younger. They have three daughters, one son, 12 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

Photograph shows Mrs Gwatkin receiving a bouquet from her oldest great grandchild, 5 year old Susan Arthur, at a party to celebrate the occasion.

6th June

Proposal of a bus scheme for Nantyderry.

A bus scheme to cater for the public in the Nantyderry area because of the closing of the railway was suggested in a letter from Abergavenny Rural Council was read at Pontypool Rural Council annual meeting.

Abergavenny Council suggested a joint meeting between representatives of the Councils and Western Welsh Bus Company to discuss a local bus service to enable the public to reach Goytre Hall.

Mr H Stinchcome said the local parish council suggested the bus should run through Newtown and Penperlleni. A bus from Nantyderry to Goytre Hall would not pay.

It was decided that Mr Stinchcombe and the clerk, Mr T P Holmes Watkins should reepresnt the council at the meeting.

Goytre man fined £10 for theft

Father of nine children, Gilbert George Webb of Frondeg, Goytre, was fined £10 at Usk yesterday for the theft of a fuse board, bulk head fitting, pair of scissors, five electric light bulbs, two gallon tins of paint and two sparking plugs to the total value of £8, from the ROF, Glascoed.

Webb, who had been employed at the factory since 1941 told the court he had bought the goods at various times, believing they were ex-war department property.

They were in a car he had bought. Any attempt to erase the Government markings on the property could have been made before the items were disposed of as ex-WD he said.

Webb denied he told PC W Edwards, who found the items at Webbs home, “all right, it started about 4 or 5 years ago.”

PC Edwards said that when interviewed Webb was very co-operative and fitted electric lights in the attic so that it could be illuminated to be searched.

August 15th

Mr Richard Rosser 54 of Frondeg Goytre killed in a car accident at Little Mill

Funeral of Mr Richard Rosser at Mamhilad (in inquests)

October 30th – Hit with a cider bottle

Two of four youths alleged to have wounded a 32 year old man at Goytre were conditionally discharged by Pontypool magistrates, who dismissed the charges against the other two.

Christopher William Griffiths 20 and Alan Gilbert Webb 16, both of Plough Road Goytre, who were bound over, were also ordered to pay £3 each towards the cost.

With the other two boys aged 14 and 15 they denied the charge.

Eric John Frewin of Newtown, Goytre, said the boys chased him into a field and he was hit on the head with a flagon of cider he was carrying.

Ernest F Draper, of Newtown Goytre said Frewin called at his house, covered in blood. It was streaming down his face and his clothes were covered. He used 4 towels before he could stop the bleeding.

Griffiths, who cross-examined Frewin for threats, which he denied, said Frewin had the bottle in his hand. He took it from him and threw it away, but Frewin, who had been pushed down moved his head and the bottle hit him.

Griffiths father said that over the past 18 months he had warned Frewin to leave the boys alone or he would have a hiding.

Frewin was also bound over for 12 months to keep the peace.


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