LAST week Nostalgia showed a photograph of the staff of Fowlers Department Store on a day trip on the Monmouth-Brecon canal in 1941.

This week the photograph from the early 1960s is of two glamorous ladies, Peggy Rutterwelsh and Joyce Williams of Garndiffaith, looking at the Fowlers Department Store window display of ‘Bri-Nylon’.

During this time, ofcourse, Pontypool was one of the ‘homes’ of Bri-Nylon, with its production at the British Nylon Spinners factory (after 1966, ICI and later still, DuPont SA) factory at Mamhilad.

Edwin Fowler Snr established the shop in Commercial Street in the nineteenth century after moving from his shop and home in St Mary Street, Cardiff. Edwin was the son of Charles Hanbury, Baron Sudeley (brother of Capel Hanbury Leigh). He set up his business in the former Lion Hotel on Commercial Street and thus it became known as Lion House.

Edwin’s son, also named Edwin (and thus known as Junior) took over the business at the turn of the twentieth century, was then succeeded by his son Arthur and later, grandson Edwin Worton Fowler.

During World War II, Edwin Worton Fowlers wife Grace managed the store whilst he served in the RAF.

Up to 100 people were employed by the Department Store as it expanded with further departments on Crane Street. Fowlers continued to be a popular shop until the early 1970s, when due to family circumstances, the store was closed.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.