IN 1997 the author Marguerite Shaw compiled some ‘Memories of Cwmbran New Town’ for a new book. One of the reminiscences published was that of Margaret Knowler.

“Leaving an old house and shop, said to be one of the oldest in Cwmbran village, to live in a modern flat in the new town was a wonderful experience…

"Two flats were built at the end of a row of houses in Hanbury Close, Northville. Where the houses met, forming a close, a staircase gave access to the top flat. Most of the neighbours were, like me, out at work during the week, so we saw little of one another apart from at weekends.

"There was a flower patch underneath my bedroom window. Through a gate opposite was a path to a large patch of ground surrounded by the backs of the houses, where clothes lines were erected. Anyone wishing to grow vegetables could take a piece of this land for that purpose.

"Hanbury Close was a convenient place to live, near the shops and buses to Newport, where several of us worked. At first there was only one shop… and then building started on the town shopping centre bringing in well-known shops such as Woolworths and Marks & Spencer.”

Years later as Cwmbran New Town celebrates 70 years since its inception, Ms Knowles’ memory is a poignant reminder of the many changes during those years to the way we live (and the way we shop) now!

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.