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Mystery drill hall - help sought, please


Dragon
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Could this be the place? I've had this email from the website owner mentioned in my previous post...

Hi, Alasdair

I can solve this one for you. Its in Cwmcarn and is still the TA centre at grid ref ST 21669384. The clue was in 'Spiteful' as Spiteful Row was the very old row of cottages to the extreme right of your photo. The centre row of cottages is York Place and the righthand row is Wengraig Cottages. The general area on that side of the river was known as 'The Spiteful'. The Drill Hall is not shown on the 1901 OS map but is on the 1922 edition, copy attached, along with the modern version. The photo was taken above the quarry to the East. I'm regularly in the area so I'll see if the TA Centre is the original or a replacement. If I can, I'll get a 'todays' version of the scene if you'd like.

I'd be grateful for a copy of the original photo (without your notes, you got it all right!!) if you have one as I haven't seen this view before.

Glad to have been of help

Phil

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Congrats, Alasdair! Looks like you have nailed it. Well done all of you. This thread has been another example of the global nature of the forum.

Any more postcards, Gwyn?

Phil.

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Brilliant job, Alisdair! Very well done. I'm almost sorry we've cracked it - it's been so much fun.

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Could this be the place? I've had this email from the website owner mentioned in my previous post...

Hi, Alasdair

I can solve this one for you. Its in Cwmcarn and is still the TA centre at grid ref ST 21669384. The clue was in 'Spiteful' as Spiteful Row was the very old row of cottages to the extreme right of your photo. The centre row of cottages is York Place and the righthand row is Wengraig Cottages. The general area on that side of the river was known as 'The Spiteful'. The Drill Hall is not shown on the 1901 OS map but is on the 1922 edition, copy attached, along with the modern version. The photo was taken above the quarry to the East. I'm regularly in the area so I'll see if the TA Centre is the original or a replacement. If I can, I'll get a 'todays' version of the scene if you'd like.

I'd be grateful for a copy of the original photo (without your notes, you got it all right!!) if you have one as I haven't seen this view before.

Glad to have been of help

Phil

I have looked on Google Earth and it looks like an almost brand new building on the site. The photograph must have been taken between 1908 and about 1920 so the drill hall might not have been there in 1901.
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Given that this has been the most absorbing thread since Egbert's trunk, I almost hope it isn't found ... but it will be great if it is ... awaiting confirmation, and the hand of the ellipsis police upon my shoulder, with bated breath!

Adrian

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What a star! Brilliant! (I'll send you a message. Of course he can have a copy.)

Looking at the site on Live Maps in birds' eye mode, you can see all the cottages and the rail track, and it's all very convincing.

Given that they didn't have a spate of drill hall building in the immediate post-War years, and there's a delay in mapping anyway, it seems to me that we have probably found a pre-Great War drill hall. I'd be interested to know when it was built and I'll do some investigations of that.

(I'm going to delete the database extracts to save forum space.) Cwmcarn is just off the old map of the area I was poring over this afternoon with a magnifying glass.

Thank you so much to every single person who has contributed to this thread. I won't name names because I'd probably miss someone accidentally. But everyone has helped, with your searches and your lateral thinking and your enthusiasm for the quest.

I think we've had brilliant value for my 99p!

Gwyn

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This has been a really entertaining thread. It has engaged a load of people who offer an amazing variety of specialised knowledge, it has tantalised and challenged, and it has entertained. It's a classic example of what the internet is all about.

You lot are stars. You've proposed places everywhere west, north and south of Great Yarmouth, inserted rivers, canals, narrow- and standard-gauge railways, both branch and main line, a myriad of stuff, and then someone's gone "oh, yeah, it's so-and-so...."

Clever *******.

I'm happy because it was Gwyn who spent the 99p, not me; I'm happy because we've found us another drill hall; and I'm happy that you lot rose to the challenge.

I am in awe. Totally, utterly.

Clever *******.

Graeme

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I'm happy because it was Gwyn who spent the 99p, not me

I'll sell it you, with a history. :P

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Fantastic Alasdair, thanks for solving this one and putting us out of our misery; you've probably prevented a lot of eye strain! You don't have a contact with the winning numbers for Saturday's Lottery do you?

NigelS

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Brilliant - this is what the forum is all about. Well done all.

keith

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i've been dipping into this thread with great regularity to see if the mystery had been solved. Well done Alasdair and to everyone who has conrtibuted. As Gwyn says, 99p well spent!

Michelle

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Brilliant thread, glad I could contribute in a small way, but it's not over yet, is it?

I'm waiting eagerly for the 'now' pic to go with Gwyn's 'then' postcard.

cheers Martin B

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Any more postcards, Gwyn?

Oh yes. I could keep you going with "mystery drill halls" for quite a long time. :lol:

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Gwyn

A quick Google reveals that whatever exactly The Spiteful was, it's still there and still known as such.

This link to the Islwyn Ramblers indicates they had a walk there last year. Clickety click

John

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Oh yes. I could keep you going with "mystery drill halls" for quite a long time. :lol:

So what are you waiting for? Let's go!

Keith

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John,

I'm sure you Googled, Cwmcarn with Spiteful, which of course gets you there. The problem with spiteful on its own is that it gets you thousands of links. I know, I looked at most of them! Annette,[My wife, and English teacher] says that her pupils often add the extra'L' to such words, due to the need to do this when adding 'fully'. And then, of course, there was the T/F/P alteration. I've a good mind to contact these Islwyn trampers, as I remember threatening to walk this area when it was found!

I feel as if this is an evaluation of a project now, and before it concludes I look forward to Alasdair's potential extra pic. Cheers all, Phil.

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I'm sure you Googled, Cwmcarn with Spiteful,

Indeed, Phil.

If you (or anyone else) does contact the walkers, it'd perhaps add a bit to the story to know if there is a particular spot called The Spiteful or if it is a more general area.

John

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The perspective is not quite right but this is as close as i can get to replicating the photo on Google Earth

post-9084-1237458491.jpg

Brian

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Could this be the place? I've had this email from the website owner mentioned in my previous post...

Hi, Alasdair

I can solve this one for you. Its in Cwmcarn and is still the TA centre at grid ref ST 21669384. The clue was in 'Spiteful' as Spiteful Row was the very old row of cottages to the extreme right of your photo. The centre row of cottages is York Place and the righthand row is Wengraig Cottages. The general area on that side of the river was known as 'The Spiteful'. The Drill Hall is not shown on the 1901 OS map but is on the 1922 edition, copy attached, along with the modern version. The photo was taken above the quarry to the East. I'm regularly in the area so I'll see if the TA Centre is the original or a replacement. If I can, I'll get a 'todays' version of the scene if you'd like.

I'd be grateful for a copy of the original photo (without your notes, you got it all right!!) if you have one as I haven't seen this view before.

Glad to have been of help

Phil

Phil, I think I can give you a few pointers to help your further research. The photograph can only have been taken after 1908 (the colours of the railway coaches).

It is almost certainly pre 1914 (Printing the title on the negative was going out of use by then)

The building looks as if it brand new, the reason perhaps for the photograph.

Some have suggested that it includes residential accomodation. The 1911 census is becoming available, you may be able to put a name to a resident caretaker! You can of course check the 1901 census to see if the building existed then.

There is another forum on this website that does "then and now" views perhaps your "now" photo can appear on that.

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I'm going through the historic directories again. Cwmcarn is on our website under Abercarn; to save you looking, in 1914 Abercarn was (TF) 2 Bn Monmouthshire D Co. It's also in the Parish of Mynyddislwyn. Apparently three quarters of a mile from Abercarn Railway Station, it had four railways: three on the LNER and one on the GWR.

Give me time, please. Apart from anything to do with the drill hall, I would like to know why a place has such a very un-Welsh and unappealing name. I haven't yet found a local history website. I have to do other things as well, though, but I'll update with anything interesting.

Phil's comment on spelling is particularly relevant in that the apparent mis-spelling of Spiteful, and the indistinct 'F', were a distraction. Of course, names change. It seems to me that the key piece of information which enabled the search to be narrowed down was the high-res scanned image of the train. I was on the verge of deleting that file originally, thinking that no-one could find that of any use. Glad I reconsidered.

Gwyn

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An enjoyable thread! Having spent hours poring over Google Earth, I feel I've experienced a holiday in the Welsh Valleys - I know them so well now!

I just thought about who might know the landscape and thought about old-railway buffs/industrial archeology buffs and googled accordingly. When I found the website http://industrialgwent.co.uk/risca.aspx I was lucky that the 'contact us' email link was monitored - it so easily could have been a website created a few years ago and no longer 'live'.

So thanks to Phil Jenkins who supplied the answer so quickly!

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