THIS photograph of the Pearce and Haycock family was taken at their house at Mount Pleasant, Pontnewynydd in June 1915.

Pictured stood behind the wall is mother, Mrs Alice Haycock (neé Perry) and her husband, local collier, then builder and mason, James Haycock (known locally as Jimmy Pearce after his step-family).

Sat with their three children is James’ mother, Mrs Margaret Ann Pearce.

The two girls stood in front of their grandmother are Gwladys (aged four) and Gwenllian (aged six) Haycock. Both of these grew up to be well-known and liked school teachers.

The smallest little girl, stood up, is Blodwyn Myfanwy (aged two) who grew up to be one of the Valley’s most enduring and celebrated citizens of the twentieth century.

From an early age all three of the Haycock sisters were encouraged in the arts by their talented father and regularly won prizes in their school and chapel Eisteddfodau.

Whilst Gwenllian and Gwladys went to teacher training college in Bangor, Myfanwy went to Art College in Cardiff and during the 1930s and Second World War became a busy artist, poet and journalist – working for the Western Mail and other Welsh papers before joining the BBC in London in 1943.

After the war ended in 1945, Myfanwy left the BBC and became a successful freelance journalist in London, whilst also writing articles and poems, illustrating books, designing Christmas cards and becoming an active member of the Council of the Society of Women Journalists and the London Welsh Society.

Teacher Gwladys Haycock carried on living in the family home in Mount Pleasant after her parents died, and preserved all the family prizes, Myfanwy’s Eisteddfod Chair and was an avid collector of her sister’s articles, illustrations and poems.

It is thanks to Gwladys’ collection of all the family ephemera which she left to Myfanwy’s younger son David Wynn Williams and his bequest to the Torfaen Museum is still in the borough and available to see or to research by appointment.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.