Just 6 miles (10km) from the border with England, the Welsh town of Abergavenny derives its name from Abergafenni, or mouth of the River Gavenny. Originally the Roman fort of Gobannium, and later a medieval walled town, Abergavenny offers visitors the chance to walk around the ruins of a castle built by the Normans soon after their conquest of Wales.
A Time Tour of Abergavenny
James Fox created this engaging and informative short film. Each scene begins with a 2017 photograph or piece of video. He then turns the time back to show an old photograph, with the historic date on screen. Even the sound effects are well chosen, and James wrote the music track too.
Before The Great War
This BFI film is about the Cheshire Territorials rather than a look at Abergavenny, although we do see the beautiful countryside nearby. You can also glimpse a couple of buildings in the camp background.
Because the title identified the opening scene as ‘troops leaving Stockport’, this is probably the 6th Battalion made up of men from Stockport, Hyde, Stalybridge and Glossop.
The working holiday was filmed the year before the Great War broke out. Those young men on screen arrived in France by 10 November 1914, and were present in the trenches at the time of the famous Christmas Truce football matches in no-man’s land.
The 6th Battalion saw action at the Somme, Ypres, the Spring Offensive and the Hundred Days Offensive. Many of them did not come home.
Abergavenny In The 1940s And 1950s
YouTube channel Forgotten Abergavenny uploaded this collection of home movies in colour from Frank Whiting and his family. Family scenes from the 1940s and 50s show an outside lido, a lovely garden, a countryside walk, large farm equipment driven by a small boy, and finally Lord Baden Powell himself inspecting Scouts in the town. The faces of dozens of young scouts are seen clearly on screen.
In 1950 Princess Margaret officially visited the Coed Glass Nursery School in Abergavenny. This British Pathé footage records it in black and white, although there is no audio.
The equipment offered to the babies and small toddlers looks lacking in health and safety, yet alone much stimulation for learning and imagibation! A nurse in full uniform holds a new born baby. There are several other women dressed in nurse uniforms. Adults talk, occasionally looking down at the children on the floor.
There’s a very entertaining scene where toddlers and babies fight over a Nursery Rhymes book, which is then repeatedly thrown about, while one of the youngsters bawls in the background.
In the final scene we see the outside of the building. A banner declares ‘God Save The King’.
Driving Around Abergavenny
In May 2009, davev8580 recorded his trip through Abergavenny on his way back from Brecon market.
In August 2016, Frank S took a drive around the streets of the town. Because it was a hot, sunny day, there are hundreds of local people walking about.
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