and grounds dedicated as a public park. [ photos ]
The single building
in Llanarth Street that was the Newport Power Station is enlarged so
that 36 new lamps could be erected in Alexandra, Caerleon Road and Shaftesbury
Newly built Royal
Gwent Hospital opened, replacing the totally inadequate, 40 year-old
Stow Hill Dispensary. [ photos ]
Last of the town's
wells (Baneswell) closed and sealed. Found to be clogged with dead rats.
The 500th house
is completed on the Marshes Estate and the remaining 16 acres dedicated
as Shaftesbury Park.
tram service reaches Lysaght's Works, Corporation Road.
for Infectious Diseases refurbished and extended. [ photos ]
The tramway system
on the Transporter Bridge.
tramcar crosses Newport Bridge into Maindee.
The extremely serpentine
section at the mouth of the River Ebbw is realigned and together with
the surrounding 96 acres of land absorbed into the borough. This area
will eventually be part of the new Alexandra South Dock.
the great magician and escapologist, makes a spectacular escape from
a locked police cell in the Town Hall.
Newport now possesses
more electrical connections than any town of comparable size.
The Great Central
Hall opens in Commercial Street and, in its earliest days, stages 'Bioscope'
shows, believed to be the town's first introduction to moving pictures.
Bridge is opened. [ photos of the transporter bridge ] [ visit our transporter pages ]
makes an out of court settlement to Lysaght's Steel Company for damages
incurred as a result of the unexpected tolls on the Transporter Bridge.
Newport Dock Disaster July 2nd.[ account, photos and film ]
The council install
a refuse destructor and incinerator because it is cheaper than tipping.
July 14th. Opening
of the enlarged Alexandra Dock. [ photos of Alexandra Dock ]
August 3rd. Newport
Police capture the German freighter 'Belgia' taking prisoner 20 crew
and 75 naval reservists. [ Photos
Johnny Basham, becomes welter-weight champion of Great Britain. [ article by Haydn Davis ]
Opening of the
United Tube Works Ltd, Corporation Road, which was closed down 50 years
later under the name Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd.
Johnny Basham becomes
the first outright owner of a Lonsdale Belt by winning three successive
welter-weight championship bouts.
The County Borough
of Newport becomes a single parliamentary constituency.
A temporary wooden
bridge is erected alongside the town bridge. [ photos ]
Several cases of
rabies appear in the town.
There are race
riots and a railway strike. The Army is called in to prevent disorder.
16,000 rats are
trapped or killed in the town.
Newport is declared
the seat of the Bishop of Monmouth and St. Woolos the pro-Cathedral
of the Monmouth Diocese.
The Prince of Wales
visits the town. He travels on the Transporter Bridge and tours the
in Dock Street between foreign and British sailors using guns, knives,
clubs and stones.
purchases Brynglas House to become one of the town's secondary or central
The extent of virulent
infections in the town is bad but not quite of epidemic proportions.
Topping the list are: diphtheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough, measles,
tuberculosis, typhoid, sleeping sickness and puerperal fever.
October 5th. Temperatures
in some parts of the town register 80 degrees, Fahrenheit, a record
that still stands for the time of the year.
on the Talybont Reservoir.
complete a Great War roll of honour showing the names of the town's
4 women and 1,511 men of the combined services.
April 1st. A tremendous
blizzard covers the town in deep snow.
A council motion
to build a crematorium is defeated on the grounds that "disposal
of the dead by burning is pre-Christian!"
A member of the
council quite seriously remarks that "Newport Castle was where
King Charles had sat with his Knights of the Round Table".
All the pigs in
the council piggery succumb to swine fever.
are bitten in their prams by rats.
The Cenotaph is
unveiled in Clarence Place. [ photos of cenotaph ]
reach 93 degrees Fahrenheit
Limited mixed bathing
is allowed for the first time in Stow Hill baths.
The use of the
council refuse destructor and incinerator is discontinued. Installed
in 1910 because it was cheaper than tipping, it is now found to be costing
£10,000 a year more than tipping!
Rain? In one period
of 24 hours in January, 1.94 inches fell on the town (estimated at 878,000
tons of water).
The chief constable
proudly reports that there has not been any methylated spirit drinking
in the town.
The council decides
not to build the Alway and Ringland Estates.
The new town bridge
is opened (cost £250,000). [Follow this link for article and pictures]
A plan to build
a new cathedral at Bassaleg is abandoned because the cost exceeds £500,000.
Lord Tredegar donates
to Newport his deer park at Cardiff Road to be dedicated as Tredegar
The total enfranchisement
of women adds 9841 women over the age of 21 to the borough's voting
More cases of smallpox
than for many years.
The general rate
is reduced by a mammoth one and sixpence (7½p) in the pound.
Newport Post Office
handles a record 63,540,828 parcels in the year.
22 degrees of frost
are recorded in the town on January 2nd.
with an epidemic of 227 cases.
Double decker buses
make their first appearance in the town together with the town's first
two police cars - open tourers costing £315 each.
Maindee Fire Station
closes down, the building to be converted into a town library.
May 27th and 28th.
Described as the worst storm ever known to hit Newport, the resulting
cloudburst causes heavy flooding at Malpas, Caerleon Road, and Maindee.
Tredegar Park and the Lighthouse Road are submerged.
The 100 year-old
Old Town Dock is filled in leaving just the entrance lock as a memento.
The last of Newport's
famous wool fairs is held at the cattle market. Cheaper foreign imports
are to blame for the closure.
Somerton Park is
purchased by the Cardiff Arms Park Co. and Newport County play their
first match there on August 27th against Clapton (Leyton) Orient.
On November 17th
the first greyhound meeting takes place.
The Graf Zeppelin
flies over the town at 1500 feet.
15 year old shanty town in Brooks Field Liswerry is finally cleared
of over 40 decrepit vans, tents, cardboard shacks and hovels.
Petrol at the town's
pumps is reduced in price from 1/8d (8 pence) to 1/3d (6½ pence)
For the first time
in the town's history all three of the magistrates on the Court bench
Newport Civil Service
Club opened at Bettws.
The first road
to be known as Kingsway opens. Called by some "The Town Centre
Bypass", it stretches only a few hundred yards from The Old Green
to the end of Corn Street.
Baron, Viscount Tredegar, dies at age 67 and his son, Evan, becomes
4th Baron, Viscount Tredegar.
Two lidos open
at Bulmore (Bullmoor) and Alltyryn. Both are outside the borough.[ photo ]
is in a dreadful state. Lord Tredegar hands it over to the care of the
Office of Works.
The Newport Borough
boundary is extended to take in 2,853 acres of St Woolos parish (Maesglas)
and parts of Christchurch, Malpas and Bettws.
Under the Children's
Act 1933, a 13 year-old boy is sentenced to be birched. The sentence
was suspended by the Home Office after a 1,000 signature petition was
submitted. The King's signature was required for final remiss.
For the first time
Newport's population exceeds 100,000.
A measles epidemic
is fatal in 25 cases out of 925.
King George V's
Silver Jubilee celebrated in great style. The town is surrounded by
great beacons on every hilltop. Parties in nearly every street, everywhere
a riot of red, white and blue.
A big storm floods
many town centre shops and a night of continuous thunder and lightning
brings hailstones as big as walnuts.
On January 16th
another fierce storm and the highest tides for 40 years breach the sea
wall at Goldcliff, flood the moors and many streets along the town reach
of the River Usk.
June 17th. J.H.
(Jimmy) Thomas, son of a poor family in Pill, resigns his post as a
cabinet minister over a scandal involving budget secrets. [ Article by Haydn Davies ]
The decision is
made to scrap Newport's tramway system in favour of diesel buses.
January 11th. The
Little Theatre opens in Dock Street.
In May, the town
is once again festooned in flags and illuminated at night with thousands
of coloured lights as the coronation of King George VI is celebrated.
July 14th. For
the first time in several hundred years a reigning monarch makes an
official visit to Newport. King George cuts the first sod of the new
civic centre. [ photos ]
ever Lady Mayor is chosen.
buildings all over the town.
The issue of 96,000
gas masks is commenced and the first public air raid shelter is built
in Brunel Street.
Six feet deep trenches
are dug in the Capitol Car Park and some public parks.
July 14th. Maindee
Swimming Baths opened.
Nearly 2 miles
of 6 feet deep trenching to accommodate 10,000 people is completed.
The first 2,000
of an estimated 11,500 domestic air raid shelters are installed.
June 3rd. Under
the terms of the Military (Compulsory) Training Act 1939, hundreds of
young men aged 20 to 21 gather at the Employment Exchange to register.
July 1st. The Talybont
Reservoir is completed 16 years after its commencement allowing each
person in Newport 23.17 gallons of water.
AFC is promoted from the 3rd Division to the 2nd Division of the English
War is declared.
The Friars Street
thermometer registers 26 degrees of frost, the lowest since 1815.
issue of ration books is completed.
April. In the war-time
South Western Division of the Football League, Newport County finishes
May. On the first
day of the appeal for volunteers for the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV),
336 Newport men step forward. By June 1st this number has risen to 1,200.
housewives start to manage on reduced rations (8 oz of sugar, 4 oz of
7,000 evacuee children
arrive in the town, to be distributed around the county.
During June, the
town has 50 air raid alerts, the first of 480 to follow in the next
June 26th. First
bombs fall on the town. St. Julians and Dewstow Street are hit.
Fighter Plane Fund buys its first Spitfire (£6,000).
The ship "City of Benares" carrying evacuee children to the
USA is torpedoed in the Atlantic. Seven Newport children are lost.
A Heinkel bomber, brought down by barrage balloon cables, crashes on
a house at the top of Stow Hill killing the son and daughter of the
Newport's famous tramp poet, W.H. Davies, dies. [ Article by Haydn Davies ]
October. A lone
German bomber drops a stick of bombs over Pillgwenlly. Damage is suffered
in a straight line across six streets. The Alexandra Dock Hotel is hit,
the landlady killed and several customers injured. [ photos ]
Police Force takes on its first three women police constables.
March. The Newport
Destroyer Fund buys a destroyer (£750,000).
employs female 'clippies' on buses and trams for the first time since
the first World War.
May 10th. A mock
gas attack in the town centre catches many people without their gas
masks. Victims of the tear gas are treated by first aid personnel.
May 31st. Another
raid by a solitary aircraft. Bombs cause direct hits on Fields Park
Road, Ridgeway Avenue and Glasllwch Crescent. 23 people killed, 24 injured.
560 houses receive damage in varying degrees.
July 1st. In the
early hours, huge parachuted land mines fall on Kensington Place, Beechwood,
Archibald Street and Eveswell Street. The death toll is 35 with 46 injured.
Later that same day, the new St Julians High School is opened.
August 29th. Bombs
fall on Beaufort Road, Beaufort Place and Badminton Road.
A single bomb falls into the garden of St Paul's Vicarage.
October 7th. Several
bombs fall on Rogerstone rendering 130 houses uninhabitable.
December. 200 allotment
plots rented out with all occupants 'digging feverishly for victory!'
January. The Empire
Theatre, Charles Street, burns down. An electrical fault is suspected.
July 9th. 700 couples
dance in Beechwood Park to the music of the National Fire Service Orchestra.
Watched by a crowd of over 1,000.
July 13th. All
Newport licensees are ordered to ration their beer supplies for 3 months.
March 31st. King
George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Elizabeth visit the town. This
is the first official visit by the Princess to a town outside London.
May 28th. The Alexandra
Dock is packed with shipping of the D-Day invasion fleet.
June 4th. The docks
are empty of ships and the 36,000 tons of ammunition and explosives
that they carry.
July to December.
Many trainloads of wounded servicemen and civilians arrive for treatment
at the Royal Gwent and St Woolos hospitals. During the same period nearly
1,800 evacuee children arrive to escape the new threat of the V1 pilotless
planes (buzz bombs or doodlebugs) and the V2 rockets.
Black-out lifted. Street lights once again illuminated.
The Home Guard
stands down. Celebrated by a massed parade through the town.
Newport High School suffers a disastrous fire.
May 8th. VE Day
commences a week of unrestrained merry-making, dancing, singing and
drinking - as long as the beer supply held out!
August 28th. Heaviest
rain in the town for 70 years - 3.09 inches in 24 hours.
Field Marshal Lord Montgomery arrives to receive the freedom of the
The U.S. Army leaves
Malpas Court camp. [see map of camp] [see article on Malpas Court] [see article on the GIs in Newport]
June 10th. Victory
Week begins and all the celebrations are repeated.
January 17th. In
the Alexandra Dock, a ship unloads the first bananas seen in the town
for 6 years.
Bridge tolls are suspended.
February. The heaviest
snowfall in the town's recorded history. Hundreds of thousands of tons
of snow clog the streets. The stone piers of the Newport Bridge are
encased in ice.
The town's cinemas
are open on a Sunday for the first time.
The largest ever
cargo of 600 motor vehicles is shipped from the Alexandra Dock.
The town's first
bus station opens on the open market at the top of Dock Street.
St Woolos Church
is declared the permanent diocesan cathedral. [ photos ]
AFC, near bottom of the 3rd Division, win through to the 5th round of
the FA Cup, beating on the way, 2nd and 1st Division sides. Drawn away
to 1st Division Portsmouth, the home side win by 3 goals to 2 - but
only in extra time.
November 6th. Holy
Trinity Church Christchurch is gutted by fire.
St John's Church Maindee is gutted by fire.
The first television
signals reach Newport from Sutton Coldfield.
The last of the
old Newport potteries, Dudley Street closes down.
is sold to become a Catholic school. [ photos of Tredgar House ]
National coal shortage.
A ban is placed on the use of electricity in advertising. All windows
in the shopping centre are blacked out.
In the fourth clash
of the season between Newport and Cardiff rugby teams a 3 -3 draw means
that Newport remains unbeaten.
June 18th to the
30th. A fortnight of festivities celebrating the Festival of Britain.
70,000 visitors come to the Festival Hall - a converted aeroplane hangar
- in Kimberley Park (Crindau Park), Malpas.
A start is made
on the massive St Julians Estate, 960 houses and flats.
April 12th. Grove
Park, Pillmawr Road, Malpas is opened as Newport's 25th public open
St John's Church Maindee reopened 2 years and 10 months after its disastrous
fire. Restoration costs £50,000 - its original cost in 1865 was
The 1951 Census
shows that Newport has 31,000 households, 16,700 of which have no exclusive
The town's public
parks are opened for the first time on a Sunday for games and athletics.
June 2nd. Coronation
Day - another excuse for joyful carousing.
June 6th. The most
spectacular carnival ever presented. The watching crowds stand six deep
July 16th. The
newly-crowned Queen visits Newport. 50,000 people turn out, many having
slept all night on the pavements.
Newport re-establishes its old ship-building business.
Death of Frederick,
5th Baron Tredegar. His son John becomes the 6th Baron.
August 4th. First
new ship floated out of dry dock to the Alexandra Dock for fitting out.
April 1st. 309
acres from Caerleon and Llanwern added to the borough to accommodate
the developing estates at Bishpool, Ringland and Alway.
On Good Friday,
Trinity Church Christchurch, devastated by fire in 1949, is rededicated
by the Bishop of Monmouth.
July 24th. St John
the Baptist Church, Risca Road is destroyed by fire.
October 13th. The
town's automatic telephone exchange becomes equipped with the facility
of 'Tim' the speaking clock.
October 27th. The
64 year-old "Ravenswood", the smallest but most well known
of P & A Campbell's White Funnel fleet arrives at Cashmore's ship-breaking
Newport's greatest ever traffic jam. The town bridge and centre grid-locked
houses offered for sale on a town building site at £2,575.
March 16th. Mr
H F Spencer, managing director of Richard, Thomas & Baldwins Ltd.
announces the possibility of building a huge steelworks on the moors,
east of Llanwern.
Jive or jitterbug
dancing is banned in many Newport dance halls but is permitted at 2
in every 7 dances at St Julians School.
January 31st. Sale
at Sothebys of the Tredegar Estate's fabulous collection of of silver
plate. Total realised: £18,648.
The highest tide ever recorded in the River Usk (50 feet 8 ins) almost
laps over the top of the Alexandra Dock sea gate. Heavy flooding along
the town reach.
June 5th. The 61
year-old landing stage for Campbell's steamers at London Wharf, Clarence
Place, is towed away for reinstallation at Rotterdam.
March. The Shaftesbury
Street Clearance Order is made.
April. A new, £30,000
ballroom, The Majestic, is opened in what used to be the Tredegar Hall
Cinema on Stow Hill.
The luxury liner
"Reina del Pacifico" arrives at Uskside for breaking up.
The death is announced
of Margaret, Baroness Lady Rhondda of Llanover House, Llanwern. [ Article by Haydn Davis ]
A new £640,000
College of Technology opens at Alltyryn.
the first mobile library service in Wales.
The Prime Minister,
Harold Macmillan, confirms Llanwern as the site of a new steelworks.
June. A request
is received by the Monmouthshire County Council for planning permission
for the new steelworks on 2,580 acres stretching from the Newport Borough
boundary to Bishton.
Borough Council present to the Ministry of Transport a recommendation
for a bypass of the town centre by means of a motorway bridge and twin
tunnels under Brynglas.
This year sees
a drought that lasts for 8 months.
January. The commencement
of the building of Spencer Steelworks causes terrible traffic disruption
by hundreds of heavy, motorised loads passing through. This is further
aggravated by huge loads going to the new Uskmouth Power Station at
A new fire station
is built in Maindee on the bombed site in Archibald and Eveswell Streets.
A last performance
closes the Great Central Hall in Commercial Street. Sir John Barbirolli
and the Hallé Orchestra play Elgar's Enigma Variations.
April. The well
known Talbot Inn, Charles Street ceases trading. [ photos ]
July. It is announced
the previous 6 months have seen 248 road accidents, 66 injured and 5
killed - mostly because of the mayhem involving the new steelworks.
September. By now
the huge steelworks site has been raised by 3 feet overall by the pouring
of 7,000 cubic yards of concrete.
November 8th. The
Borough Council makes a firm decision to promote a parliamentary bill
to build the George Street Bridge and 160 houses and shops at the Maindee
end (Morris Street) are scheduled for demolition.
Chemists (then at 13 Commercial Street) is gutted by fire.
All the western
side of Shaftesbury Street is finally cleared except for the Winning
Horse public house. (This was to stand derelict until 1970 when it suddenly
collapsed injuring a passer-by and damaging several cars.) [ photos of demolition work ]
February and March.
427 abnormal loads, 21 of which were super-abnormal, pass through the
town, each time causing total disruption of the traffic.
The George Street
Bridge is approved by the House of Commons but the proposed six lane
highway is amended to four lanes.
Spencer Steelworks commences production with 14,500 tons of Canadian
April. The 17th
century Mill Street Chapel is closed for demolition to be replaced by
a Royal Mail building. [ photos ]
July 2nd. Work
commences on the George Street Bridge.
Work commences on the 450 feet long, split river bridge and the 1,200
feet long Brynglas tunnels on the M4 Motorway bypass.
October 26th. Spencer
Steelworks is opened by H.M. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
Following a national referendum, Newport's public houses open on a Sunday
for the first time in 47 years.
For the first 7
weeks of the year, Newport freezes almost solid in the worst winter
since 1947. Water supplies are cut off by frozen underground pipes,
transport is severely disrupted and deliveries of food, milk, coal etc.
are almost totally suspended. When the thaw arrived in late February,
it revealed thousands of burst pipes and hundreds of yards of collapsed
March. The 151
year-old Salutation Hotel at the corner of Commercial and Cardiff Roads
June 11th. The
hottest day for 45 years.
The Borough Council votes to complete the building of the Civic Centre
clock tower (suspended by the war) at a cost of £126,900. This
despite a poll of 8734 signatures in which the public voted 40 to 1
against. [ original design ]
October 24th. Dedication
of the newly-extended St Woolos Cathedral in front of a congregation
The last 30 feet of road decking is completed over the George Street
The last section
of catwalk is completed over the Severn Bridge. The first man in history
walks the 6,000 feet across the river in 18½ minutes.
April 9th. The
£2 million George Street Bridge is declared officially open.
July. The first
1,000 homes out of 3,000 completed on the £8 million Bettws Estate.
is closed as a coal port, giving the trade to Barry Docks.
and clearance of town centre properties begins.
May. The Llandegveth
Reservoir is opened 8 miles north of Newport.
February. By this
time the town centre is a mighty eyesore of rubble-strewn demolition
sites. The beautiful old Lyceum Theatre and the great bulk of the riverside
Star Flour Mill building have vanished. [ photos of the Lyceum ] [ photos of Star Flour Mill ]
A compulsory purchase
order is made on 58 unfit houses, all over 100 years old, in Frederick,
Portland and Broad Streets.
April 1st. The
borough is enlarged by the addition of 3,501 acres in Caerleon and Bettws.
The population rises by 7,433.
The Severn Bridge
toll is fixed at half-a-crown (12½ new pence).
The 3,000th house
is completed on the Bettws Estate.
the Queen Mother, opens the £6 million extension to the Royal
Queen Mother opens the Severn Bridge.
February. The Malpas
to Tredegar Park section of the M4 Motorway opens.
March. The 12 mile
section of the M4 from the Severn Bridge to the Coldra opens.
The town abbatoir
at Shaftesbury and Wyndham Streets closes for good.
The 130 year-old
Borough Police Force merges with the Gwent Constabulary.
January. The new
library, museum and art gallery in John frost Square suffers flooding
from the roof ventilation and heating systems.
Margaret opens the new library.
The old fire station
in Dock Street closes for demolition. [ photos of fire station ]
May. Lovell's Athletic,
Newport's famous amateur football club, belonging to the equally famous
local confectionary works, ceases to exist after 40 years of success.
American business man offers to buy the Transporter Bridge for £1
August. Leaks in
the Alexandra Dock's entrance gates cause the dock to be closed for
the first time in 77 years. The repair work takes 4 months, costs £900,000
and costs the dock 2 million tons of cargo.
in the town. The Newport Shipbuilding and Engineering Company ceases
operation due to competition from larger firms and foreign competition.
of the building of a £60 million extension to Spencer Steelworks,
involving the largest blast furnace in Europe.
The 1971 Census
shows a drop of 1190 to 111,810 in the town's population with only 2%
With the opening
of the final section of the new A449 dual carriageway from Usk to the
Coldra, Newport is now connected to the Midlands and the North by a
good class road system.
Newport Rugby Club
experiences its worst ever season. Suffering 28 defeats, it finishes
with its heaviest ever - 60 points to 15 by the Barbarians giving a
total of points against of 786. This only 3 years after its most successful
The Local Government
Act 1974. The area of the Borough increases from 12,000 acres and a
population of 108,000 to 45,103 acres (70 square miles) and a population
of 130,000. Absorbed are Caerleon Urban District Council and much of
Magor & St Mellons Rural District Council including 20 village communities.
The ancient office of alderman is abolished.
The new town centre
- John Frost Square, the errors, the difficulties and the Chartist influence.
Town Centre Strategy" is published containing unashamed admittance
of past blunders and seeking to lay blame on past councils. It also
states that John Frost Square presents a poor image through badly designed
buildings, lack of shelter and unsatisfactory access, especially the
dingy stairway to the bus station.
The bus station itself receives an extremely costly refurbishment which
does not result in any significant improvement.
Bridge is given a complete and expensive overhaul in the hope of revitalising
its interest as a tourist attraction.
There are adverse
comments from prominent people about the shoddy, over-priced car-parks
and the new, poorly designed Cambrian Road car-park.
The council ratifies a plan to build a barrage over the River Usk -
The River Usk Barrage Bill.
is opened to the public.
Several years of
feasibility tests, assessments and evaluations for the Usk barrage commence.
Much argument by
local dignitaries, MPs and the House of Lords criticising the damage
done to Newport's image by the poor aspect of the River Usk. A survey
of the town's population shows 66% in favour of a barrage - this positive
optimism suddenly stirs an anti-barrage faction into action.
July 13th. In the
House of Lords the second reading of the River Usk Barrage Bill takes
January 8th. A
barrage public enquiry commences.
April 23rd. The
public enquiry ends.
William Haig, the Secretary of State for Wales, rejects the barrage
rebuilding of the façade of the Library, Museum and Art Gallery
is not a spectacular success.
Large retail stores
are springing up all round the suburbs despite warnings that the town
centre must suffer.
A massive Euro
Park on 255 acres at Magor, with a high-speed rail link, is proposed.
April. The Euro-freight
project is another deal that is taken away from Newport. William Haig,
Secretary of State for Wales, awards the contract to Wentloog in the
City of Cardiff. He promises other options to revitalise Newport's fortunes.
July. The Secretary
of State for Wales signs a contract for the giant Korean Company, Lucky
Goldstar Electronics, (L.G. for short) to build the largest microchip
and semiconductor factory in Europe. The site is at Imperial Park, Celtic
Lakes, Newport. This is a £1.7 billion investment, immediately
planned to bring over 6,000 jobs and possibly 14,000 more as the spin-off
effect kicks in. Two comments at the time:
"This is the
ultimate vote of confidence in Newport's future. Newport has earned
its place as one of the business investment centres of Europe"
- Councillor Sir Harry Jones, leader of the council.
"This is the
second Industrial Revolution as far as Newport is concerned. Newport
will never be the same again!" - Councillor John Jenkins, Chairman
of the Economic Development Committee.
Often, before and
thereafter, prematurely optimistic remarks like these were to return
to haunt the senior council members who made them.
pound drainage scheme is commenced to prevent any more raw sewage from
entering the river water. This involves a series of large walk-through
tunnels partly under the River Usk carrying all the town's raw sewage
to a new sewage plant at Nash.
The new Labour
Government's Secretary of State for Wales, Ron Davies, intimates that
if he had been in post when the Newport Barrage was being discussed,
he probably would have allowed it.
The Far Eastern
stock markets suffer dramatic falls. 'Lucky Goldstar' (LG) sells out and the
new owner does not consider it viable to continue operations of such
magnitude in Newport. The LG bubble bursts with £170 million having
It is announced
that HM the Queen is to upgrade two British towns to the rank of city.
As an opening gambit in its campaign the town is designated "Gateway
City - a city in all but name."
The campaign gets
under way with an avalanche of claims from MPs and town councillors
alike, many of which are grossly exaggerated and some patently untrue
but all of which are guaranteed to sound good to the Lord Chancellor's
panel of adjudicators.
Newport fails to
obtain city status.
July 25th. It is
announced that to celebrate her Golden Jubilee the Queen is to confer
city status on four more towns, one in each of the four home countries.
This means that Newport now has only to compete with five other Welsh
towns - Aberystwyth, Wrexham, Machynlleth, Newtown and St Asaph.
The campaign begins. Much of it contains the same old historic exaggerations
but they seem to go unnoticed.
March 14th. Newport
is granted city status.
The Ryder Cup is
awarded to Newport's Celtic Manor golf complex, to be played in 2010.
In the summer,
during the digging of the foundations for a new riverside arts centre,
the hull of a large 15th Century sailing ship is discovered. Marine
archaeologists date the timbers to 1465. The historically moribund city
council order this, the oldest merchant ship ever discovered in Europe,
to receive the briefest of examinations and then to be reburied so as
not to hold up the building of the arts centre. There is a fierce public
protest, the council back down and the timbers are saved for preservation.
The council claim that their decision (under pressure) was the sole
reason that the medieval ship was not lost!
The new riverfront
arts centre is imaginatively named the "Riverfront Arts Centre".