IN 1935, celebrating 25 years of the reign of King George V, many marked the Silver Jubilee by the lighting of a series of beacons throughout the country.

The Blaenavon beacon was built on the highest accessible point in the area, the Blorenge mountain.

Pictured are the volunteers in their efforts to build the bonfire. The nearest beacon to Blaenavon’s beacon was that in Abergavenny; built by the Abergavenny Boy Scouts on the Deri.

The previous Jubilee celebrated in these areas was Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, marking her 60th year on the throne, in June 1897 – so it was a first for many.

On Saturday, May 4, the King spoke on BBC radio in the evening before lighting the first beacon. May 6 was made a bank holiday for the event and the week was filled with a variety of events including community singing, concerts, dancing and sports for the children.

The jubilee took place in the middle of the Great Depression at a time of very high unemployment, especially in the South Wales area and was a much needed relief and distraction for many.

Next year will be the Platinum Jubilee (70 years) of the reign of our current Queen, Elizabeth II. Events and awards are being organised ready for the celebrations. If you have any good ideas for the Jubilee - why not let Torfaen Museum know?

This Nostalgia piece has been researched and written by local history graduate and museum volunteer, Lewis Griffiths.