Free Press – 1947

January 10th 1947 Free Press

Six Brothers Bore Mamhilad Man to his Grave

The funeral took place at Mamhilad Church of Mr David Bowen aged 77, of the Old Rectory Mamhilad.

Mr Bowen who leaves a wife, Mrs Elizabeth A Bowen, one son and three daughters, was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Edward Bowen of Oak Cottage Goytrey.

He was in business as a builder and contractor at Little Mill until recently and was one of several brothers who won a high reputation as stone masons.

He was chairman of Goytrey Parish Council throughout the war.

Six brothers acted as bearers:- Messrs Arthur, William, Abraham, John, Tom and Sidney Jenkins.

January 31st 1947

Mr G. Jones Nantyderry

The funeral took place at Goytrey Church of Mr G Jones aged 86 of School House Nantyderry, who died at Panteg Hospital.

Canon Joseph Morgan officiated: Mrs Swinnerton was the organist.


Mrs Jones, widow; Mr and Mrs P Jones, son and daughter-in-law; Mmes G. Rogers, B. Hiller, A Bodenham and C. Crook, sisters-in-law; Mr A. Bodenham, brother-in-law; Mmes Jarman, P. Horton and G Horton, nieces; Messrs R. Bodenham, F. And T. Crook, nephews; Mmes F. Leeworthy, F. Titcombe, M. Magners and E. Biddescombe, Messrs A. Husk, B. Spicer, F. Morgan and W. Griffiths, friends.


Sorrowing wife; Percy and Doris; George, Rhoda and family; Bessie and family; Blanche, Alf and family; Roy and Ethel; Charlotte and family; George, Minnie and children; Ivor, Edith and little Wendy; Mrs Ora Byrde; Mrs Robert Byrde and family and Miss E. Byrde; Captain C.G. Byrde; Mrs W.K.R. Murray and Mrs Basil Greenwood; Mr and Mrs F. Leeworthy and Mrs Magness; Mr and Mrs F. Titcombe, Charlie and Kitty; Mrs E. Biddescombe and Edna; Bob and May; Homestead, Cwmavon Road and The Garth Machen; Mr and Mrs W. Griffiths; Mr and Mrs G. Kenny and Brian; Friends and neighbours, Jean Joan and Cyril; All at Ty Gwyn; Mr and Mrs Knight and Leah; Mr and Mrs . and D. Merrick; Mr and Mrs Brain, Miss R. Wilks, Mr and Mrs W. Jenkins, Mr and Mrs and Miss Bishop; All at Post Office Nantyderry; family of the late G. Parsons; Mr Morgan and Annie, Penpergwm.


February 14th 1947

Former Nantyderry Man Acquitted

Samuel Horace Lewis (47) formerly a farm manager for Captain Beale of Lower House Farm, Nantyderry, was found not guilty at Monmouthshire Assizes of stealing 24 lambs, valued £89/3/8d ., the property of Ernest Brace a Pontllanfraith baker.

Brace said he had bought a new farm at Wolvesnewton and engaged Lewis as an advisor to help him stock it.

Mr Justice Wrottesley asked the jury to find him not guilty and then dismissed him.


Friday 25th April 1947

Marriage at St Peter’s Church by Canon Morgan:

Sidney Dunford of Weymouth to Eileen Holterman of New Jersey, Newtown Rd., Goytre.


April 25th

A car crash in Rockhill Road Pontypool on March 31t hd a sequel at Pontypool magistrates Court on Saturday when Sidney James Walton 42, a farmer of Walnut Tree Cottage Mamhilad was summoned for driving without due care and attention without reasonable consideration for other road users, without a driving license and for having insufficient brakes. Baker who was represented by Mr Kenneth Wood (Baker, Jones, Hornby & Wood, Newport,) pleaded guilty to the offence and not guilty to the other three.

Vernon Parfitt, Goodrich Crescent, Malpas, said he was driving his car up Rockhill Road towards Pontypool near the foundry, was overtaking a stationary car on the left hand side of the road when Walton’s car came from behind a long string of cars going in the opposite direction, hit the back of the car it was following and ricocheted across the road into witnesses car and damaged the rear mudguard and bumper.


Felt a Bump

Douglas Rees, 7 New James Street, Blaenavon, a motor driver Sid he was driving his employers Rolls Royce at the rear of the string of traffic referred to when he felt a bump at the rear. When he stopped he saw Walton’s car tangled up with Parfitt’s car.

William John Edwards, 3 Ton Bach Street, Blaenavon, passenger in the Rolls said he glanced behind when he felt the bump and saw Walton’s car cross the road at an angle and collide with a car coming in the opposite direction.

P.C. James Richardson, Griffithstown, who was called to the scene of the collision, said Walton’s license had expired on March 7th. With the handbrake full on, he and Rees were able to push the car without difficulty and with the engine running and travelling at ten miles per hour, the footbrake was ineffective except under compression.


26 Years A Driver

Walton, who said he had been driving for 26 years without previous trouble told the magistrates that the Rolls pulled out without warning and he followed it. Because there was a car coming up the road it pulled back to the left and its rear mudguard struck the front of his car. He stopped before Parfitt’s car struck him. In trying to get through he added that he had his brakes tested every month and they were attended to 3 or 4 days before the accident.

William Henry Hewitt said he tested the brakes as stated by Walton and they were in order: Something may have broken and rendered them ineffective.

The Magistrate dismissed the first charge, fined Walton 40/- on each of the 2-4th charges and 10/- for having no license. He was also ordered to pay £2/10/0 costs and his license was endorsed.


May 16th

Penystair – Goytre with vacant possession, 5 miles Pontypool 51/2 miles Abergavenny

Stone built with Asbestos slated roof, house contains, Parlour, Large Kitchen, Dairy, Scullery and 4 bedrooms over, i good decorative order with adjacent store room and loft over.

The farm buildings include 2 bay stone and tiled roof barn, concrete floor cow shed to tie 7, stone slab for 3, 2 pig cots, G.I.

Open implement shed and 2 bay Dutch barn away from the homestead. The land is in several enclosures of Pasture, Arable and some Wood and having a total of 55 acres in one block having frontage to the old Abergavenny-Pontypool and other hard roads.

The whole occupies a delightful position with commanding views over the Vale of Usk.

To be sold at the Three Salmons Hotel on Monday 5th May at 2.30pm 1947.

Sold subject to tithe of £4 16s to Mr Evans Mamhilad for £1,600 plus tenant’s right to £130. A small landslide had taken away part of the approach road.


May 24th 1947

Gipsy’s Theft

Two Race, (Pontypool) caravan dwellers went into the country with their horse and cart to collect scrap. They “collected” 2 car batteries worth 10/- from Joseph Edwin Edgar of Goytre.

At Pontypool on Saturday 21 year old Stanley Williams plead guilty to stealing them and was fined £1. His partner Job Smith aged 16 denied all knowledge of the theft and the case against him was dismissed.

Honora Wyman, wife of Alfred scrap dealer said she paid Williams 10/- for the batteries.

P C Jenkins said that when interviewed Williams admitted the theft and absolved Smith from being implemented.


July 25th 1947

Farmer for Trial on car deal Fraud Charges

When James John Goldsmith, 38 year old Goytrey farmer was charged at Pontypool on Saturday with obtaining £550 by false pretences in a motor car deal, it was stated that the car, which had changed hands at least nine times had been bought for £385 by Victor Russell Hewlett James, a Caerleon publicity agent in November 1945 was bought for £550 by Reginald Norman Hills a Birmingham engineer in April 1947.

The car was a 1936 12hp SS Jaguar and before its transfer to Hills, Goldsmith, it was alleged altered the dates in the registration book in order to sell it as a 1937.

Mr W K G Thurnall, prosecuted, evidence of the alteration was given by James and Alexander Stone, controller and licensing officer to Worcester County Council, disclosed that the book was a continuation document and that the registration book had been lost.


Wanted Reduction

Hills said that Goldsmith told him the car was a 1937 model. He did not examine the registration book until the next day after the deal was closed and when the authorities confirmed that the car was manufactured in 1936 he wrote to Goldsmith seeking a revision of the price. “I don’t think I would have paid £550 for it had I known it was a 1936 make he added.”

Cross-examined by Mr D P Tomlin (Everett & Tomlin) who defended, Hills agreed that in view of the laying up of many cars over various periods’ condition and mileage were of more importance than the date of manufacture.

Denied Alteration

In alleged statement to PC K Jenkins Little Mill, Goldsmith denied altering the dates and telling Hills the car was made in 1937. From the time he bought the car to the time he sold it he never took the registration book out of its envelope.

“If James is certain the book was in order when he gave it me, Hills must have made the alteration to try and get some of his money back,” one statement read.

Goldsmith who pleaded not guilty was committed for trial at the Quarter Sessions. He reserved his defence and was allowed bail.

(On the 10th October James Goldsmith of Ty Llwyd Goytrey was found not guilty and all charges against him were dismissed.)


July 25th

Smallholding well situated against the parish road forming an excellent well secured investment and residence for occupation and known as;

Belle Vue Goytrey, comprising a substantial (built 1921) dressed stone small residence, with slate roof, and front and west side rough cast, containing sitting room, dining room, kitchen, dairy, ground floor and four bedrooms first floor.

Detached brick and slate wash house at rear and shed covering. Engine pump and well, outside W.C.

Pleasant lawn with ornamental trees, small kitchen garden and young orchard, together with 27 acres of productive sweet pasture and arable land, farm buildings etc., now let to Mr J A Walton on an annual tenancy at £65 per annum Candlemas and including stone and tiled barn converted into concrete floored cow stalls to tie 10 and mixing room, 3 GI loose boxes, 3 bay GI span roof hay barn side sheeted, 2 excellent stone and slate pig cots.

Rennie, Taylor & Till to sell by auction on behalf of the executors of the late Mr Thomas Whitney at The Greyhound Hotel Abergavenny Tuesday next August 5th 1947 at 2.30pm.


September 26th 1947

Parish of Goytrey – 7 miles to Abergavenny and 4 to Pontypool

Sale with vacant possession of 2 attractive freehold cottages, both in excellent state of repair, conveniently situated against parish roads and short distance from main road bus service- viz;

Lot 1 – The Walnut Tree, containing 2 bedroom, sitting room and living room on first floor over large store room 42’x12’; easily converted into living accommodation, pretty garden etc.

Rich pasture field of 11/2 acres, a 2 bay hay barn, and cowsheds to tie 12.

(Sold to Mr Francis Chappell of Henllys for £1000)


Lot 2 – Ivy Cottage

A neat well kept 4 roomed dwelling together with pantry and stores, garden etc; situated adjoining both lots and 2 and capable of being considerably improved.

By Auction; Rennie, Taylor and Till, Clarence Hotel, Pontypool, Thursday October 9th 1947 at 7pm

(Sold to Mr W Phillips for £660)

Ten acres of rough grazing land was sold to Mr A J Ball of Mamhilad for £340)


November 14th

Collided With Stationary Car: Fined £10

Police tests carried out on the wiring of a damaged car decided the issue at Pontypool Magistrates Court on Saturday, when Sidney James Walton, (42) a farmer and commercial traveller of Walnut Tree Mamhilad was charged with driving without due car and attention and with reasonable consideration for other road users.

The case was a sequel to a smash at the top of Pentwyn Pitch at 11pm on October 2nd when Walton’s car ran into the back of another car which had broken down and which was jacked up on the side of the road.

Walton, who was represented by Mr D P Tomlin (Everett & Tomlin) pleaded not guilty. Mr W K Thurnall prosecuted.

Thomas James Drinkwater, 1, Old Fire Street, Clarence Corner Pontypool said he was driving towards Pontypool, when, near the top of Pontypool his rear wheel became punctured, 120 yards beyond a bend in the road and jacked the car up. His father had set off to get a new inner tube while witness and his wife sat down on the grass verge to wait. The rear lights and two side lights were on.

50 Miles an Hour

Presently a car came from the direction of Abergavenny at a speed he would estimate to be 50 mph and it seemed to be swaying s though the driver was uncertain. It crashed straight into the back of his car, knocking it across to the other side of the road.

Cross-examined he said the light system of his car had been over-hauled a week before. Mrs Doris Irene Drinkwater, his wife said she looked up suddenly and saw a car coming straight for them. She said “look out” and she and her husband just got out of the way before it crashed into the back of their car.

Thomas John Drinkwater, 26, Lower Bridge Street, Pontypool, the owner of the car said the lights on it were in perfect working order, the damaged was assessed at £80.

P.C. Kenneth Jenkins said that when he got to the scene of the smash Walton told him “I hit that car,” it had no lights. Witness found that the rear bulb was smashed, but when he made a connection between the bulb socket and the body of the car sparks were given off, that proved that the system was in order. Walton said he had dimmed his lights because there was traffic coming towards him and before he knew it had collided with the back of the stationary car. The steering shattered. Walton’s car was broken; he had sustained cuts on the face. It was a moonlight night.

Defendant’s Story

Walton told the court he was driving at no more than 30mph. He dipped his lights as he rounded the bend because a bus and several cars were coming in the opposite direction and then next thing he knew was a grey bulk like a patch of fog loomed up before him and there was a crash. The steering wheel was drawn up under his chest and he had cuts on the face. There was no light on the stationary car. He denied that P.C. Jenkins examined the light circuit of the other car while he was present. Other events to the effect that Walton’s car was travelling at normal speed and that there was no lights on the stationary car was given by George Simms, 9, Clarence Place, Pontypool: William Henry Hillier, 1 Channel View, Penygarn, Pontypool and Miss Jean Williams, 28 Harpers Road, Garndiffaith, all passengers in Walton’s car.

After a retirement the Magistrate found Walton guilty on the first charge and dismissed the second.

He was fined £10 and his license was suspended for three months. He was stated to have been fined 40/- in April this year for driving without reasonable consideration for other users of the road.


December 12th 1947

Goytrey Woman’s Suicide: A Sad Story

Afraid of having to enter a mental home Mrs Harriett Morris left her sleeping husband in the early morning, waked 300 yards from her home to the canal in her nightdress and threw herself from the bridge.

“Suicide whilst in a state of mental instability” was the verdict recorded at the inquest at Pontypool on Saturday by Mr D J treasure.

Mrs Morris 58, married woman with no children lived at Vine Tree Goytrey.

Dr J B Fitzsimons said he had been treating Mrs Morris for the past three years for nervous debility. When he saw her at home on December 1st she was depressed and hysterical. She told him that she was very ill – her nerves were bad – and that she was not going to get any better. He discussed various possibilities with her and she seemed to become pacified; she showed no suicidal tendencies. He then suggested she should go to Abergavenny Hospital as a voluntary patient and she replied that she should take a little time to consider it.

Mr Morris told him the following morning that his wife had not made up her mind. When the Doctor saw her on the following Wednesday she said she was willing to go to the institution. On Thursday we went to Griffithstown mortuary and saw her body. Death was due to drowning.

The Coroner: were you surprised? – “There was always that possibility.”

“Couldn’t Stand Living”

Edwin John Morris said that up to two years ago his wife had been quite normal. She showed signs of developing nervous trouble after nursing her mother, who died after a year’s illness during which she was bedridden. Last summer her health seemed to improve but in the winter she again became depressed. She told him she could not carry on and that “she had to go as she couldn’t stand living any longer.” She ha d never tried to harm herself.

On the night before the tragedy she became very strange and would not speak. When the doctor called he told Mr Morris that she should go into a mental home as there was nothing more that he could do. His wife overheard the conversation and she refused to go. The next day said Mr Morris he intended to arrange for her to go but he did not mention the subject to her again and they went to bed.

“She Has Done It”

In the morning he found his wife was not in bed. After looking for her in vain in the house he went towards the canal. His niece went ahead to look for Mrs Morris. A few minutes later she returned to say, “She has done it; she is in the canal.” He saw her in the canal near Parc-y-brain Bridge, on the Pontypool side. She was in her nightdress. People were getting her out.

Mr Morris in reply to the Coroner attributed the tragedy to his wife’s nerves. She had to give her mother constant attention during her illness and was unable to get help.

The Coroner: it was enough to break down the strongest constitution.

Miss (should be Mrs) Esmeralda May Lewis of the Castle Goytrey said she reached the canal in time to see Cliff James trying to bring her aunt to the bank.

Lying Near Bank

Ivor Jenkin, The Knoll, Goytrey, said he was driving his van along the road leading to the Goytrey Arms when Miss Lewis said “auntie has done it; she is in the canal.” He ran to the canal and sw the body, which was lying in shallow water three feet from the bank. He helped James and Arthur Howells to get to the bank; she was already dead.

P.C. Kenneth Jenkins Little Mill told the Coroner that Mrs Morris might have reached the canal from her house by walking across fields or along the grass verge of the road. It was unlikely that she had walked along the rod itself, as it had a flinty surface and no marks were found on the soles of her feet. The canal bridge was about 200 to 300 yards from her house.

Jumped From Bridge

The constable said he formed the opinion from the position of the body that Mrs Morris jumped ten feet from the hump-backed bridge into the canal.

The Coroner said he was satisfied that Mrs Morris was not in a normal state. If her husband had been able to get her to agree to go to a mental institution she might have recovered. The fear of what was going to happen to her caused her to commit suicide. She did that rather than become an inmate of a mental institution.

The funeral on Sunday at Goytrey Church was conducted by Cano L.G. Morgan, rector, Mr C. Meyrick presiding at the organ. Mrs Morris was a member of the Church for many years.


12th December

Must Vacate Cottage

A chauffer-gardener who had been employed by Mrs Lesley Byrde of Goytre House for over 12 years and had recently been sacked for being “disagreeable and insolent,” was ordered by Pontypool magistrates to vacate his cottage on the estate to make room for his successor.

Mr Raymond Watkins (Watkins & Co.) represented Mrs Byrde and Mr Emrys Chivers (Mr D Granville West MP) was for Thomas Howard the occupier of the cottage.

Mrs Byrde stated Howard was engaged by her husband who had since died in 1935 and he moved into the cottage in January 1938.

Mr Chivers: How many persons are living in your house? – Myself and a companion.

It is a sixteen roomed house and has 8 bedrooms, could not Howard’s successor live in Goytre house?

There is ample room. One of the conditions of his employment is that he shall have a cottage.

Mr Watkins made the point that the man’s occupancy to the cottage was on a service tenancy and Mrs Byrde was entitled to possession.

Mr Chivers contended that Howard’s contract of service had nothing to do with the cottage and the terms of the contract had not been altered since 1935.

The relationship between Mrs Byrde and Mr Howard was that of landlord and tenant and he was entitled to the protection of the Rents Restriction Act which meant that Mrs Byrde would be obliged to find him other accommodation.

After a long retirement the magistrates of whom Mr F H Davies was chairman found that both parties recognised that the tenancy of the cottage was a consequence of service with Mr Byrde.

There would be an order for possession in 28 days.


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