1961 Free Press

January 27th – Goytre Farm Broken Into, Hay Bales Blaze

Thieves who broke into a Goytre Farmhouse are also thought to have been responsible for burning several bales of hay which were stored in a nearby cowshed.
Mr Don Jones, The Walnut Tree Farm, Goytre, awoke on Saturday morning to find his kitchen window had been forced open, although nothing seemed to be missing.
On a further examination of his outbuildings he found that several bales of hay and straw which were stored in the corner of a cowshed had been burnt.
The blaze had been fierce enough to crack glass in a nearby window and char rafters in the roof. Some valuable dairy cows were in the shed and the effect which it will have on these is not yet known.
“It was a wonder the whole place didn’t go up,” said Mr Jones.
On the other side of the wall there was a large storage tank containing 200 gallons of diesel oil.
It is thought that the persons responsible were disturbed while in the process of entering the house and ran off.

March 17th – Goytre VPA hold spring show

Goytre VPA held their annuals spring show In Llanover Village Hall on Saturday.
Mr R Perrott, the county organiser, who opened the show, said that Goytre had one of the oldest established VPA’s in the county. It was unfortunate, he said, that they could not hold in their own village.
Miss C Phillips, county VPA secretary, said that a spring show was an excellent social event for a gardening association.
The judges were thanked by Mr H Prosser.

Daffodils or narcissi, any variety in 7in pot or over:

  1. A E Messenger
  2. W Owen

Daffodils or narcissi in 61/2 pot or under:

  1. A E Messenger
  2. W Lambert

Daffodils or narcissi grown in pots:

  1. A E Messenger
  2. F C Messenger


  1. A E Messenger

One Hyacinth:

  1. Mrs P Owen
  2. F C Messenger

Three Hyacinths:

  1. Mrs L E James
  2. A E Messenger

Cut daffodils or narcissi:

  1. A E Messenger
  2. Mrs Draper


  1. Mrs G E Jones
  2. A E Messenger


  1. A E Messenger
  2. Mrs G E Jones

Any other potted plant:

  1. Mrs G E Jones
  2. Mrs Dykes

Spring flowers for effect:

  1. Mrs G E Jones
  2. A E Messenger

May 19th – Death of former Goytre man in California

The death took place on May 6th at his home in California of Mr David Owen (83), second son of the late Edward and Harriet Owen of Goytre.

Before leaving this country in 1923 he worked in the Lower Mills of Panteg Works and was the men’s representative on the Conciliation Board in 1920 and 1921.

He was a member of Griffithstown Congregational Church and played for many years with Goytre Hall Cricket Club.

Since leaving this country in 1923 Mr Owen had had a copy of the Free Press sent to him every week.

Mr Owen is survived by his wife Mrs Annie Owen, a son, Mr Harry Owen and a daughter Mrs Mabel Coopland, all of whom live in Los Angeles.

His two brothers, Messrs Josiah and Harry Owen live at Goytre. His sister Mrs Ada Averill, lives in Corwen, North Wales.

Stole tools from Goytre man’s garage

Three Pontypool men who went to see a young Goytre apprentice carpenter and offered to buy his old motor-cycle, then went into his garage and stole his kit of tools, it was alleged at the local court on Friday.

Walter James Morgan Gibbs (26) of Tranch Road, Frederick Philip Powell (23) of Crumlin Road and Spencer David Jones (22) were each fined £10 for stealing the tools and were ordered to pay £3 10/- each as restitution to the owner, Edwin Jones of Old Stores, Goytre.

Edwin Jones’s son, Robert William Hayden Jones an apprentice carpenter, said that one of the men called at his home and offered to buy his motor-cycle , while the other two stayed outside in the van. “We talked over whether I should sell it to him or not and then he went back out to the van, got in and drove away,” he said.

Motor-Cycle Chase
“Almost immediately after they left I had reason to go to the garage and as I went in I found the tools which had previously been on the bench were missing. It came to me that those three men must have taken them, because I went to the garage just a few minutes before they arrived and the tools were there then, so I jumped on the motor-cycle and raced after the van. I caught it up just past BNS, but it did not stop so I went after it again until it reached the Turnpike and it was there that I overtook it.

I asked the three men in the front if I could search the van and they agreed. I searched all over the van but could not find a trace of the tools so I jumped back on my bike and rode away said Mr Jones.

Tools Jettisoned
PC R Morgan said he and a detective constable took statements from all three men. Powell and Gibbs said Jones took the tools and then threw them out of the window when he knew Robert Jones was following the van on a motor-cycle.

When they were charged with the offence all three denied it.

Gibbs, Powell and Jones were given one month to pay the fines with the option of two months in prison.

May 26th – Goytre man did not report an accident

A Goytre market gardener, Evan Williams (66) of Lower Cae Coed was fined £3 by Pontypool Magistrates on Friday when he pleaded guilty to a charge of driving without due care and attention.

He was fined a further £1 for failing to stop after being involved in an accident and was ordered to pay £2/17/6 costs. A charge of driving without reasonable consideration was dismissed.

John Hawkins of Chippenham, a lecturer on farm machinery, said he parked his car outside his father’s house on Usk Road in Pontypool and went into the house for lunch.

While in the house he heard a crash and went outside to investigate. He found his car with another one further out in the road close to his rear offside wing.

As he approached the other car it moved off and although he was unable to stop it he took the number and after finding that his car was damaged reported it to the police. He estimated the damage at £5.

I’ll Have To Pay
PS W Harvey said that when questioned about the alleged offence Williams said: “You know more about it than me, I’m not going to argue, whatever it costs I’ll have to pay.”

Williams said in court that he slowed down behind the other car because of oncoming traffic. As he pulled out from behind it he miscalculated his speed and struck the back bumper with the nearside of his car.

Williams said he had not stopped as he did not think that any damage had been done. It was the first time that he had ever been prosecuted for a motoring offence.

June 16th – Goytre man flown to hospital

An emergency helicopter dash from Plymouth to Newport was made on Wednesday to take Mr Cedric Anthony Jones aged 27 of Park View, Goytre to the RAF hospital at Halton, Buckinghamshire, where an artificial kidney was available..

Mr Jones was critically ill at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, suffering from severe internal injuries, together with two broken legs, a broken arm, a broken pelvis sustained in a motor-cycle accident at Croesyceiliog on June 3rd.

The decision to transfer Mr Jones was taken at 11.40am and a call was made to the Coastal Command helicopter station at Plymouth. Just over an hour and a half later the helicopter landed in Shaftesbury Park, where Mr Jones and his family were waiting in an ambulance.

His fiancée, 19 years old Miss Shirley Broom, of Conigar Cresent, Usk, to who he became engaged only last month, was among those who saw him off. We had planned to get married next year. We may have to wait now – but I don’t care how long, she said.

He’s Got Faith

Mr Jones’s mother, Mrs Elsie Beeching said that although her son was very ill he had told her; “I’ve got faith enough to move mountains, and I am so very grateful for all that’s being done for me.”

Newport police held up traffic at the Old Green Crossing, causing long traffic queues on both sides of the river bridge, to give priority to the ambulance, which was preceded by a police escort and followed by a taxi carrying hospital staff, including a doctor who flew with Mr Jones.

The artificial kidney was fitted Wednesday evening and his condition on Thursday was stated to be “still critical.”

July 14th – Whose Walnut Tree?

The cutting down of a 200 year old Walnut Tree has raised a storm of protest in the parish of Monkswood. The tree, which stood on it’s own small island near the top of Rumble Street, was a well loved landmark and had given it’s name to the road junction on which it stood.

Mrs F Richards, who claimed ownership of the tree and who ordered it to be felled, told a Free Press reporter “I cut it down in an attempt to stop my chimneys smoking.” The tree was once part of my ground before the road cut through it, and I claim to be the legal owner of it.”

Rural councillor H Stinchcombe who feels very strongly about the matter , opposes Mrs Richard’s claim to be the legal owner of it.”

The tree is in the parish of Monkswood and her wall is the boundary of the parish of Goytre,” he said.

“The old tree was a landmark and in my view it is wrong that a thing like that was allowed to happen.”

An Old Inhabitant

Mr Jack Shepherdson who has lived in the parish for 80 years , said that as far back as he could remember the tree had been public property. He recalled a similar attempt by Mrs Richards to cut the tree down some 20 years ago but on that occasion she was stopped by Mr Thomson of Estavarney Farm, the farm which was granted the manorial rights before the days of the parish councils.

“I can’t understand it ,” said Mr Shepherdson. “The old tree was as solid as when I used to throw stones up for walnuts some 70 years ago.”

His son, councillor Ivor Shepherdon was present on Friday morning when the cutters started to fell the old tree and he prevented them from continuing until the council surveyor had been consulted about the matter. Despite his pleas, the council surveyor informed him that the tree was not the council’s property, so they could do little about it.

An Institution

Mr Jack James, another resident of the parish who is not prepared to take the matter lying down, described the tree as “more than a landmark – it was an institution. The parishioners as a whole are disturbed about the matter.”

The clerk to Pontypool Rural District Council, Mr Philip Jones, told us although there is strong feeling among the local members, the tree was not the property of the council. I don’t think it will be brought before the council as there is nothing that the council as a whole can do.

The present owner of Estavarney Farm, Mr H G Hampshire, who it is thought might have stronger claims to the tree through an old manorial right, was very annoyed when he heard that it had been removed.

So the controversy goes on. Whose tree was it? Had anyone the right to remove it?

August 11th – Over 1000 attended Goytre village fete

Goytre village fete and flower show in the grounds of Goytre Hall on Monday was acclaimed as the most successful for many years. Over a thousand people passed through the gates to enjoy an afternoon of bright sunshine in picturesque surroundings with all the attraction of the fete and show.

Proceeds were in aid of the fund to establish a new village hall, and the president of the new hall committee, Mrs Wynford Rees, whose home is Goytre Hall, was called to open the proceedings.

Mrs Hall spoke of the need for a new hall  in Goytre which could become a social centre for the area, “so far we have nothing,” she said.

The loss of the old hall in a fire two years ago had been a great blow, for although it had been leaky and draughty it had been a place where people could meet and enjoy themselves.

She complemented the committee on their efforts during what had been a very trying time and concluded by expressing her delight at the interest which local people were showing by their attendance.

The quality of exhibits in the produce section was very high, although the children’s section was not to well supported and the cups for this class were held back, there were 36 exhibitors and 234 entries.

Challenge Rose Bowl, Gordon Vimpany.

Silver Challenge Cup, A E Messenger.

Challenge Rose Bowl, Mrs D V Morris and Mrs M D Owen, (shared.)

Amateur gardening awards; Diplomas, Mes E F Draper and Mr F C Messenger. Floral Art Certificate, Mrs T W Rees.

Womans’s Own awards, Bronze Medals. Mrs D Morris and Mrs M D Owen,. Diplomas Mes E F Draper and Miss Dorothy Jones.

August 18th – Goytre man needs treatment, not punishment

A 22 year old farm labourer who admitted attacking a crippled smallholder late one night with a six foot stake was said at Pontypool Magistrates Court on Friday to suffer from brainstorms.

Dr J D Lyons, of Abergavenny, told the magistrates that the accused was a potential epileptic and must have been in a dreamlike state so that he did not appreciate what he was doing.

The doctor said the man, William Henry Christopher Griffiths, of Plough Road Goytre, had inherited tendencies to epilepsy and was now undergoing treatment which was necessary to control his outburst of violence.

At a previous hearing Griffiths pleaded not guilty to the charge of causing bodily harm and asked for legal aid, but altered his plea on Friday to one of guilty.

The smallholder, Reginald David Joseph Williams, also of Goytre, was said to have been partially crippled by polio.

Prosecuting, Mr Keith Bladon, said that the accused called at Williams’s smallholding on a number of occasions before the alleged offences.

One night he told him his pigs were loose on the road. Another night he called and asked him to change some money and on another occasion he woke him up late at night saying he had found his fork on the road.

Struck With Pole
The night after the incident with the fork, Williams heard a knock on his front door. When he opened it Griffiths struck at him with the pole. He turned his head to avoid the blow but was struck on the shoulder and fell to the ground.

When Griffiths was interviewed by the police he admitted the offences and told them: “I don’t know why I did it, it wasn’t for the money.”

Later when charged Griffiths said: “I still don’t know why I did it. I’ve had headaches a lot lately, perhaps that is the reason.”

Defending, Mr Peter Underwood, (instructed by Everett & Tomlin) described the case as one for the treatment rather than punishment.”

Griffiths was bound over for two years on condition that he underwent treatment. He was also ordered to pay £5 towards the costs.

December 1st – Goytre man is off to the Falklands

On board a cargo boat which sails from Tilbury on December 7th bound for the Falkland Islands, a remote Crown Colony off the tip of South America, will be 21- years-old John Fielding of Cwm Farm , Goytre, whose ambition to see the world and seek adventure have promoted him to take a job with one of the large sheep farming companies there.

He will live on a self-contained sheep station on East Island, which is one of the two major islands in the group and on which is situated the only town, Stanley.

He has signed on with the company for five years, after which time, they will, if he wishes, provide his passage back to the country. If he decides to return before this time, he is quite free to do so, although he will have to find his own fare.

“If I get fed up I can always come back,” he told a reporter. “Life’s what you make it.”

A Great Change
When asked why he had picked such a remote part of the world to start his new way of life he replied: “There weren’t any opportunities for this type of thing in, say, Australia or New Zealand. It is a great chance. If I didn’t take it I might kick myself for the rest of my life about it.”

John, who is a native of Goytre, lived for a time and was educated at Southall in Middlesex before moving to Llantrisant, Glamorgan , he returned to Goytre two years ago and since then has worked on a farm owned by Mr Hampshire at Monkswood near Usk.

He has a happy go lucky nature most suitable for a man about to embark on such a venture and has found no distractions such as a girl friend which might have altered his mind about going.

I would be going if I had any ties here. The Falklands Islands consist of two larger islands, East and West Falkland and a hundred smaller ones covering in all a total area of 6,500 square miles.

They were first discovered in 1592 by John Davies and became a British Crown Colony in 1771.

December 29th – Goytre man must take driving test again

A 65 years old Goytre market gardener who passed a driving test in 1948, agreed to take another one as soon as possible, after Pontypool magistrates had found him guilty of driving without due care and attention on Friday.

Evan Williams, of Lower Cae Coed, Goytre, was fined £5 and disqualifiedfrom driving until he takes another driving test. He pleaded not guilty.

Haydn Hillier, of Penywain Street Wainfelin, told the court he was travelling on the main Pontypool-Abergavenny road past Goytre school when the accident occurred. He stopped in the road, after giving ample indication, to enable him to turn right into a road junction.

Seven or eight cars were coming from the Abergavenny direction so he was forced to wait for them to pass before proceeding. While waiting he suddenly felt a bump and although his footbrake was on, he was pushed forward a little way.

A passenger in the car, James Goldsmith , of Goytre, corroborated Hillier’s evidence and said the car that had pushed them forward was driven by the accused Williams.

PC Len Richards said when he arrived at the scene of the accident he saw the two cars involved were an Austin A30 driven by Hillier and a Wolseley driven by the accused.

In a statement, Williams told the officer, “I was driving from Pontypool towards Goytre. I was following behind this car, and when I was only a few yards behind it, the driver suddenly signalled his intention of turning right.

At The Last Moment

“He gave the indication at the indication at the very last moment and consequently I had no time to pull up and I hit his bumper. It was not my fault. The driver of the other car gave me no warning of his intentions.”

In court Williams told the magistrates that he had made every effort to avoid the accident. “He gave his indication at the very last minute. I did not think he would go down the road he did – I do not think any sane person would try and go down there.”

Cross-examined by Superintendent John Haines, Williams agreed that if there had been no traffic coming from the Abergavenny direction, as he had alleged, Hillier would not have stopped in the middle of the road, I know that road and use it frequently, so I suppose you would describe me as one of those people who are “sane,” added Supt. Haines.

It was stated that Williams had been before the court on a previous occasion charged with a similar offence and found guilty. It was also said that he had taken the driving test in 1948.


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