The Prince of Wales has officially opened the newly restored Newbridge Memorial Hall today and was greeted by around 400 people.
The Newbridge Memorial Hall, known as ‘The Memo’, is a Grade II listed 1908 workingmen’s institute and adjoining Grade II* listed 1925 memorial hall.
In 2004 the building featured in the BBC television programme Restoration, which it only narrowly failed to win.
Ten years later the renovation work has now been completed, thanks to the efforts of the very committed group of local fundraisers, and the Memo has been brought back into use, with its spectacular original decorations restored and its major rooms retaining their original uses of ballroom below and auditorium above.
The restoration work has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Big Lottery, CADW, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Trustees of the Institute and Memo and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, amongst others.
Originally opened in 1925 by local colliery owner Lord Beynon, as a memorial to local servicemen who lost their lives during World War One, the much loved building fell into disrepair and sparked a 10 year campaign by local residents to restore the building.
Chair of the Memo, Howard Stone who has been at the forefront of the developments, said: “This is an incredible day for all of the trustees, supporters, local community members and funding bodies. We have fought long and hard for this and to share the celebrations with Prince Charles and our 400 guests is the perfect way to mark this wonderful occasion.”
Works began on phase one in 2012, which consisted of the construction of an extension to original building. The new part of the building is home to Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Library Service and a number of multi-use community rooms.
The second phase concentrated on the restoration of the Memo including the impressive ballroom. With a capacity for a 700 strong audience the building played host to all styles of music concerts from dance bands to punk rock, tea dances to teddy boys, from rock and roll to heavy metal.
Cllr Ken James, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Sustainable Development, said: “To see this landmark building full once again truly lifts my heart. It was a real hub of the community many years ago and to see the loving restoration that has been poured into this project is fantastic. I must extend my congratulations to everyone involved in making this a reality.”
It is the second time Prince Charles has visited the county borough this year.
In July, His Royal Highness and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Senghenydd’s National Mining Memorial and paid tribute to Wales’ coal mining past.
Source: Caerphilly Media Ltd
A JAILED Newbridge drug dealer has been ordered to pay back a quarter of the £105,000 he made from selling cannabis.
Stuart Lewis, aged 31, of Elm Court, pleaded guilty to supplying class B drugs after being caught red-handed with more than £25,000 in cash in shopping bags as he fled from police.
Lewis was sentenced to two years and four months in prison in May for possession of cannabis, possession of criminal property and supplying cannabis between June 1, 2012 and February 12, 2013.
At Newport Crown Court yesterday, Recorder Greg Bull QC ordered Lewis to forfeit £25,167.02 under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which is the full amount available of the £105, 297.12 that Lewis profited from his drug dealing over the seven months.
Newport Crown Court heard in May that Lewis was arrested on February 12, 2013 in Aberbeeg after his car was pursued by police for speeding.
The pursuit led to him crashing into a lamppost, when he fled from the scene on foot carrying shopping bags. He was then chased and caught by police officers.
The court heard that police seized £25,167.02 in cash from his person and found 363g of cannabis at his home in Newbridge.
The £25,000 is already in the possession of the police who recovered it at the time of his arrest. It will be transferred in the next 28 days.
Bargoed Ice Rink
Wednesday 10 to Sunday 14 December, 10am to 7pm
The amazing Open Air Ice Rink will be returning to Bargoed for FIVE days in total this year.
Set next to St. Gwladys Church, the ice rink creates a fantastic festive feeling. The town centre will be open as usual. There is a fantastic selection of shops within the town centre along with high quality cafes and public houses for visitors to have a bite to eat or a relaxing drink.
Tickets are £3 per person.
There is no pre-booking of tickets.
Saturday 6, 9am to 5pm and Sunday 7 December, 10am to 4pm
See the town centre come to life with stalls along the high street, real reindeer’s, funfair rides, traditional entertainment, Santa’s grotto and donkeys in the nativity scene.
Snow globes workshop
Saturday 29 November. 10am to 3.15pm.Join us for this popular workshop and create your own Christmas snow globe! Please bring along a jam jar with lid. No labels please!
Suitable for children aged 5 plus. Booking essential.
To book your place call 01495 272001 or go to the Cwmcarn Forest website.
Bargoed Christmas Market
Saturday 29 November, 10am to 4pm.
Bargoed Town Centre.
Local food, craft and charity stalls.The event also includes street entertainment, funfair rides, real reindeers and children’s entertainment and activities.
Call 02920 880 011 or go to the Christmas website for further info.
An attempt was made to “catch hold” of an 11-year-old boy in Blackwood, police have said.
The suspicious incident happened at around 6.25pm on Wednesday November 19 on Fairview Hill.
A Gwent Police spokesperson said: “An 11-year-old-boy was walking down Fairview Hill when he was approached by a man.
“As the man came towards him the boy started to run. The man raised his arm as if in attempt to catch hold of him but failed to so and didn’t run after the boy.
“The boy returned home safely and was not harmed.”
The man was described as being in his late 30s, mixed race and clean shaven, with dark messy hair.
He was wearing dark baggy trousers and a dark top, possibly with a zip up the front of it.
The spokesperson added: “Anyone with information about this incident should call 101 quoting 473 19/11/14.
“Anyone with concerns should speak to their local Neighbourhood Policing Team.”
The funeral of Glyn Hughes, a former newsagent in Newbridge will be taking place on Tuesday 18th November 2014 with a Service at Golden Grove Pentecostal Church, Newbridge at 12.15pm, followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium at 1.30pm. Family flowers only please donations if desired to Newbridge and Abercarn Rotary or Newbridge Branch of the Royal British Legion may be given at the service.
Most middled aged locals will remember Glyn who gave jobs to many paper boys & girls, he ran a very traditional papershop which was a cornerstone of the town.
THE former Newbridge Library is to be placed on the market by the council with a view to handing the reins over to prospective businesses. Caerphilly council’s cabinet members met on the 12th November to discuss the future of the former Newbridge Library, which they deemed “surplus to the requirements” of the authority, due partly to the renovation works at Newbridge Memo, which includes a brand new library.
A report presented to members said the condition of the former library, which was built in 1970, is likely to deteriorate while it would cost the council more than £53,000 to put the 470 square-metre accommodation into a “reasonable standard” over a five-year period.
It was estimated demolition work would cost in the region of £20,000.
Cabinet members unanimously voted in favour of option 2, which would see the building being offered to interested businesses or ventures either through freehold sale or to lease it out.
Local councillors as well as the Newbridge Community Partnership have said they want to see the area used for amenity or recreational space, or for an alternative community use. Local people use the grounds to walk through from Newbridge town to get to the doctors or as a shot cut to treowen.
The report said there have been a limited number of enquiries regarding the future use of the site, one of which from a community organisation.
It added: “Should an organisation wish to develop the site, we would require the submission of a viable business case detailing a firm proposal. Therefore, option 2 would be to offer, via freehold sale or leasehold disposal, the opportunity for interested parties to submit detailed proposals and supporting business cases for acquisition of the former library.”
A further cabinet report will be submitted in due course outlining recommendations for the preferred end use of the building following consideration of any business proposals submitted.
Source: South Wales argus by Caio Iwan