THE flick of the switch – it’s easy to take electricity for granted, but winters here would have been very different without it.

Most of Monmouthshire’s rural areas did not have electricity until the 1950s, after both the Second World War and the nationalisation of the industry in 1948.

Lighting came first but by the mid ’50s about half electricity consumers had sockets too.

The electric iron was one of the most popular products, but the Electricity Board was keen for the public to use more.

Showrooms extolling the virtues of electrical appliances became part of the high street scene in most towns.

This photo shows Chepstow’s showroom in the ’50s in the corner shop at the top of St Mary Street.

When E G Walker’s ironmongery and furniture shop next door at no 7 Beaufort Square closed in 1969, the electricity showrooms moved into that spacious and prominent shop in the centre of town.