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Bon Marche shop

Looking for inf on Bon Marche in Abertillery over last 100 years

Many thanks Bill Smile

The Bon Marche claimed to have made Abertillery the shopping centre of the Western Valleys, was originally established on the site of a mens outfitting department trading as Messrs Powell & Jones. It was expanded by Mr.G.O.Jones to include a drapery section which extended right through to Carmel Street by 1925.

It was formed into a limited company in 1923 trading as Bon Marche, (Abertillery) Limited. It was one of the largest stores in Monmouthshire with 54 departments employing approximately 80 people. The ground and first floor stocked all garments for women, men and children. the lower ground floor boasted of spacious furnishings and ironmongery showrooms with a department of skilled workmen for painting, wall papering and all house decorating

One of it's greatest attraction was that The Bon Marche Limited Company paid it's customers bus and train fares for purchases amounting to a specific value.

Town guide Circa 1950

bon marche

I can remember Bon Marche very well.Every saturday night the Salvation Army Band would march down from the hall and hold an open air meeting there.that was in the 1930s If my memory serves me right the Band master then was Ray Veal Fred

I remember the Bon Marche in the 60's. I also remember Bargoed Emporium! I think they were on opposite corners of the same street.....was one of them originally called the Pontlottyn?
Jim Nicholas

In the 1930's Abertillery held a Shopping Week during which Bon Marche had manequin parades in the Drill Hall. The pupils of Queen Street School were asked to take part and I was part of the finale dressed in Abertillery RFC kit and carrying a rugby ball. I was 9 or 10 at the time and remember being embarrassed at sharing the changing room with the young lady manequins. Those were the days !

I remember the Bon Marche, several of my aunties worked there.I also remember being at Queen Street school with Jim Nicholas but I cannot remember him dressing up in Abertillery Rugby Kit.   Shopping week was indeed a great week in those days.
                      Wilf Walbyoff.
Jim Nicholas

Bon Marche

Hi Wilf - good to hear from you, hope you are well. My mannequin performance must have been in 1933 or 34 as I went to the County School in 1935. My brother Don lives in Rugby and sister Molly is in Cardiff. You probably remember my wife Rita (Davies), we moved to Eastbourne in 2006 to be nearer to our sons who both live here.

Hello Jim and Rita,
                          Very nice to hear from you.   I remember you both at Abertillery County School.    I have always been grateful for the early days of my life spent in Abertillery.   Hope you are both keeping well.  I will not be scoring any more tries for Abertillery or Newport now that arthritis has set in.   I did quite well in Somerset playing for Somerset County and the British Police Rugby teams,
                          I married Doreen (Jones) from Abergavenny, and we have three sons.  My eldest son David also joined Somerset Police and recently retired as a Police Inspector.   We have two grandsons, six granddaughters, two great grandsons, and two great granddaughters.  If my memory serves me right Jim, I believe you were related to Miss.Gregory of Queen Street school.   I am still in touch with Nancy James who was also at the County School with us.    Hope to hear from  again .   Wilf.

Griffith Jones was my grandfather. He died in about 1926 leaving the shops(about 6 at the time) to his wife and young family.Quite a lot of money was lost in heavy death duties, and only Abertillery and Ebbw Vale shops were eventually kept. My father was only 12 years old when his father died.My father served throughout the war and lived in Abertillery shop after his demob and marriage in 1946. A few years later they moved to live over Ebbw Vale shop. Uncle Wilf stayed in Abertillery shop until he retired.I think this was about 1970 approx.If you want any more information i might be able to help

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