IN THE early nineteenth century, Molly Hanbury Leigh of Pontypool House introduced some regeneration and landscaping of Pontypool Park, including the building of the Shell Grotto, Rustic Arbour, picnic features along the brook, kitchen gardens and palm houses, a new stable block (now the museum) and other features - as was the garden fashion of the day.

As part of the landscaping, it was decided that the forge in the park would have to be removed to another site and so it was closed down in the park (now the site of Pontypool RFC) and moved across the river to the town behind Osborne Road (the area now the site of Riverside car park and adjacent housing) – utilising the water from the Afon Lwyd, like its sister Osborne Forge further up river at Pontnewynydd.

The new Town Forge was built over a previous, smaller plating mill and was producing high quality iron by 1830.

From the mid-1880s, the forge reverted back to the production of tinplate after iron production became less popular following the rise in the manufacturing and use of steel.

The Pontypool Works at Town Forge finally ceased production in the late 1950s.

This picture was taken at the tin plate works in the 1920s and the gentleman seated on the right was Micah Lewis, who was head packer at the works for over 30 years and was also a founder member of Pontypool ex-Servicemen’s Club.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.