ONE HUNDRED and thirty three years ago, on June 20, 1887, Queen Victoria celebrated 50 years on the throne. In London, a huge celebratory banquet was held in her honour to which 50 crowned heads of Europe attended.

Here in Torfaen, the Pontypool Town and District Committee (forerunners of the Urban District Council and now Community Council) organised huge celebrations, including an Eisteddfod in Pontypool Park.

The picture shows on the left (now Pontypool RFC rugby pitch) the tightrope walk erected for the crowd’s entertainment allegedly with the daredevil Blondin and the rest of the picture takes in the view across the park to the town shows the scale of the event, with many marquees for entertainment and dining, with it was claimed "should the weather prove unfavourable, shelter can be provided for at least 20,000 with the large amount of canvas at command.”

To ensure the vast crowds that came to the celebrations behaved themselves, 60 policemen were drafted into the park "under Superintendent Whitfield, with several mounted officers and for those inclined to be disorderly or pugnacious, temporary cells and police barracks [were] erected in the Park.”

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.