Policing Pontypridd in the 1850s
The Early Years
Pontypridd's famous bridge built by William Edwards, pictured today. At 140ft it had the largest span of any bridge in Britain.
It was not until the late 1850s that the name Pontypridd was adopted for the little town that had been known as Newbridge since the year 1755, when the famous span bridge had been erected across the Taff. Until the end of the eighteenth century Newbridge was little more than a village of thatched cottages, though it boasted a weekly market, and because of its position at the junction of the valleys, was the regular venue for the holding of fairs and other such occasions set aside for mixing business with pleasure by the scattered agricultural communities of the district.
When the Glamorganshire Canal (linking Merthyr Tydfil with the sea at Cardiff) was completed in 1794 that Newbridge began to assume greater importance. This development was further speeded up by the establishment of the famous chainworks (about 1808) and the first efforts to extract coal from the rich deposits of the lower part of the Rhondda Valleys in the 1820s. The first coal was transported by a tram way to join the canal at Treforest. By the 1830s the production of coal and iron was greater than the canal could handle and by 1840 the Taff Vale Railway (the first in Wales) was being constructed between Cardiff and Newbridge, following on to Merthyr Tydfil in 1841.
The arrival of the railway coincided fairly closely with the introduction into the valley for the first time of the new Glamorganshire Constabulary. In December 1839 agreement had not yet been reached on formation of the new County Police, so instead a trial force of a Superintendent and 6 Constables was established in the regions of Miskin Lower and Caerphilly Lower. The Superintendent was appointed in January 1840 and within a month or so all his men were active in their new duties, 3 in the Miskin Lower area (at Newbridge, Treforest and Llantrisant) and 3 in Caerphilly Lower (at Nelson, Caerphilly and Nantgarw). The Superintendent, Thomas Morgan Lewis, had been a Coldstream Guardsman for a short time before joining the Metropolitan Police and then working as a Sergeant (with 2 constables) in the Haverfordwest Borough Police.
Superintendent Thomas Lewis appears to have been a flamboyant character, for not only did he adorn himself with a forage cap of blue with "scarlet welts on top and sides, gold band and crown, with gold tassel on top," but added a touch of splendour to the uniform of his men by providing their swallow tailed coats with scarlet cuffs, with collars embroidered in scarlet with "Crown and number." The emphasis which he placed on his own importance and appearance is perhaps best reflected by the fact that whereas the total cost of the coat, greatcoat and trousers for each of his men was under £5, his own was of superfine quality and cost nearly £15.
Superintendent Lewis chose to reside at Llantrisant and remained there until he was directed to live more centrally at Newbridge in August 1841. The first constable at Newbridge was PC 1 Philip Banner, whose beat was described as including the town of Newbridge, and extending from Lord Bute's Quarries at Pentrebach to the "Traveller's Rest" on the Cardiff-Merthyr Turnpike road. The "Traveller's Rest" was a public house at the junction with the road leading to Abercynon on the site now occupied by a petrol filling station. The Cardiff-Merthyr road then ran past the Chain Works via Ynysynharad and Coedpenmaen road. Banner's neighbour to the South was PC 5 William Jenkins at Treforest (from Lord Bute's Quarries at Pentrebach to the Moulder's Arms near Upper Boat) and to the North, PC 6 Robert Roberts at Nelson, covering Nelson and Gelligaer and the Merthyr-Cardiff turnpike from Quaker's Yard to the Traveller's Rest. The other 3 Constables were stationed at Nantgarw, Llantrisant and Caerphilly.
At the time that PC Banner commenced his duties at Newbridge in 1840, the town consisted of little more than one long street extending from the old bridge to the Tumble, with a few houses at the beginnings of Mill Street (towards the Rhondda) and along the tram-road which ran through the present Sardis Road across the top of the Tumble towards Treforest. On the steep rise from the Tumble to Pencoedcae (at the foot of the Craig) and on the other side of the new railway was a cluster of cottages, public houses and common lodging houses called Llanganna, which was to remain the toughest quarter of the town for many years to come.
Newbridge Chain, Cable and Anchor Works, built in 1818.
On the other side of the River Taff was Ynysyngharad house and estate (now the Park), and the famous chain works, as well as numerous cottage housing boatmen and others engaged in work on the busy canal. The only crossings over the Taff at this time were the steep sided old bridge and the ancient ford alongside (complete with stepping stones) which could be used only when the river ran low. Courts were held in the town but as in most other places where no court room had been built, the magistrates met in any room large enough to suit their purpose, usually the "long room" of a public house. In the early days this honour appears to have been shared by the "White Hart", the "Butcher's Arms" and the "New Inn." By the 1850s the "New Inn" had been so improved that it became the regular court venue.
Pontypridd pictured in the 19th Century. On the right are the grounds of Yngsangharad House.
PC Banner and his colleagues at Treforest and Nantgarw had quite a problem on their hands for the rapidly changing character of the Taff Vale had introduced lawlessness and violence. The canal had created a "floating" population of bargees and ostlers ready and willing to supplement their meagre earnings with robberies and larcency. The sinkers of new pits at Gyfeillion (Hopkinstown) and Dinas as well as the hordes of hard drinking "navvies" engaged on railway construction work were always ready to resort to violence, if only for recreational means!
In the diary of a Llantwit Major resident, who knew him in the late 1830s when he was a paid policeman in that Vale town, Banner was described as a "big man." There is no doubt Banner would have found his physique of great advantage at the time. The newspapers of the 1840s provide little news of the everyday life of individual policemen, but there is little doubt that Banner and his comrades in blue did extremely well, for when the question of the extension of the Force came up in 1841, the Magistrates of Miskin and Caerphilly were enthusiastic in their praise. Major Rickards (Llantrisant) said he could "fearlessly laud the introduction of the rural constabulary into his district." He did not wish to "place a stigma on the old system of parish constables but in comparison with the present police they were but as old washerwomen."
Mr Booker (Llandaff) considered the individual ability and bearing of Superintendent Lewis "more valuable in his district than a troop of horses." This reference by Mr Booker was perhaps prompted by the fact that Superintendent Lewis was pressing for the provision by the magistrates of a horse to facilitate his supervision of a very wide area. However the Magistrates, always careful about spending money, suggested that if Lewis resided at Newbridge instead of Llantrisant he would not need a horse. Lewis promised to move to Newbridge but had not done so in August 1841, when the full County Force was approved and the first Chief Constable, Captain Napier, insisted on him making the move.
The New County Police Force
The 6 "trial force" constables became merged in the County Force when it came into being in October 1841, and all but one became Sergeants in the new Force. Banner became Police Sergeant Number 3 and returned to Newbridge for duty. In September 1842 he was transferred to St Nicholas, where he remained (except for about a year in Maesteg 1848-1849) until 1852 when he appears to have become "mine host" at the Three Tuns, St Nicholas, the impressively thatched house opposite the police station. His place at Newbridge was taken by PC 29 William Hume. Hume did not last long for in March 1844 he gave evidence as a retired police officer. PC Hume was succeeded by PC 26 James Thomas, who was the first police officer to take up residence as Sergeant in the newly provided police station in Sardis Road (then called the Tramroad) early in 1845, becoming Superintendent of No 2 (Newbridge) District of the Force in 1847.
Sometime towards the end of 1845, Superintendent Thomas Morgan Lewis left the Force and was succeeded by Thomas Mostyn, who had previously served as Superintendent at Wrexham. Superintendent James Thomas then suddenly took over at Newbridge in June 1847. James Thomas had previously served as a police constable and a police sergeant and had taken over the Newbridge beat in the latter part of 1844.
It would appear that Mostyn's abrupt disappearance from the Force was linked to a libel action against a Mr Reece, a solicitor of Pontypridd. Mostyn was a single man who lived in lodgings. He offended Mr Reece who subsequently complained about him to Chief Constable Captain Napier. Mostyn alleged that Mr Reece had besmirched his name by claiming that he was a drunkard, that he obtained money by inappropriate means, cohabited with abandoned women, sat for hours in public houses and was generally unfit for appointment as a police officer.
Captain Napier ordered an enquiry into the allegations, and this was carried out by two Superintendents of the Force (Superintendent Peake of Neath and Superintendent Corr of Bridgend). The inquiry evidently did not sustain Mr Reece's charges against Mostyn, for he wrote to Captain Napier declaring himself not satisfied with the enquiry and repeating the charges against Mostyn. Reece offered Mostyn £80 in settlement but his counsel maintained that £800 was a fairer figure. This advice however proved somewhat unfortunate for although Mostyn won the case, damages were assessed at only £10!
First Police Stations at Pontypridd
With the road improvements at Pontypridd, by which Sardis Road was lined with Mill Street by a bridge over the Rhondda river, the first specially built police station at Pontypridd disappeared, 122 years after it was built as a lock-up for the town, with accommodation for one resident Constable, an office for the District Superintendent and 2 cells.
Sardis Road Police Station
The above photograph shows some of the alterations to the building since it ceased to be used as a police station in 1868. However, it is not difficult to imagine the original building if a piece of paper is placed over the upper storey so that it cannot be seen, and a wing like the one on the left is envisaged on the other (i.e. the right side) - this wing was removed to permit access to the big building at the back by the staircase shown, and the upper storey added to make good the accommodation lost when the wing was removed.
Until the station was provided the solitary Pontypridd policeman used his house or lodging as the police station and secured a prisoner overnight by handcuffing him to the solid iron grate in the kitchen. If there were more than one prisoners he had to stay up with them overnight (for there was no cell or lock-up in the town).
Captain Napier reported that "his constables were much harassed by sitting up all night in charge of prisoners. After having been on duty through the day a man is often compelled to proceed with his prisoner the day following to a magistrate and from thence to a gaol before he can take his rest. Newbridge - the town was not called Pontypridd until the 1850s - which from its central position is a great thoroughfare, is frequently crowded with thieves and vagrants, and suffers more particularly from this inconvenience for whilst the constable there is in charge of a prisoner other depredations are common. Three months ago (i.e. September 1842) a constable proceeding with 2 prisoners (one a noted Bristol thief, the other a prostitute) on the road to Llantrisant was accosted by 2 men, who wished him good night, threw some inflammatory matter into his eyes, knocked him senseless and rescued the prisoners who were handcuffed."
This unfortunate constable would almost certainly be PC 29 William Hume who had taken the place of Sergeant Banner. The Pontypridd policeman was particularly unlucky in those days for his beat covered the extremities of 3 court areas, with the result that any case on the Tumble side of the Rhondda river had to go to Llantrisant Court, and on the Chainworks side of the Taff to Caerphilly, for the jurisdiction of the Newbridge Court was limited to the parishes of Llanwonno and the Rhondda.
With the introduction of the Force throughout the County in October 1841, came the question of providing a "station house" for each of the 4 districts or divisions. Captain Napier selected Newbridge as the most suitable place for the number 2 Division, and in March 1842 reported the offer of a site owned by Mr Rickards (there is a Rickards Street in Pontypridd), one of the magistrates in the area. Napier's recommendation was for a dwelling for the constable plus 3 cells at Bridgend and at Newbridge. However, when the magistrates learned that it was more costly to build at Newbridge than at Bridgend (the site at Newbridge being more difficult and labour charges there higher) they decided that 2 cells would have to suffice at Newbridge, the plans for both stations being otherwise much the same.
The progress of events is as follows:
31st December, 1841 "The same plan of building (i.e. as Bridgend) will answer equally well for Newbridge, but although one cell less will be required, the cost will be the same in consequence of the greater expense of materials. The site is in the immediate neighbourhood of the railway station and the property of Mr Rickards of Llantrisant, who has offered the land on a lease of 99 years at 2d. the square yard."
16th March, 1842 "The piece of ground at Newbridge is called Tir Hanna, in the immediate neighbourhood of the railway station and of easy access to the town, with a frontage of 42 feet and back 55 feet, with the cost estimated as the same as at Bridgend, and furnishings at £5."
(Major Jebb of the Prisons Department of the Home Office suggested alterations to the plans (e.g. that the cells should open into an internal passage and not into the prisoner's yard) which pushed the actual cost up to £414-13s-10d. for the building, plus £17 for a pump in the yard.)
7th October, 1844 " The Newbridge Station is nearly completed, but a few cupboards are needed in addition to the approved furnishings."
It would appear that the station was taken over early in 1845 and was first occupied by PS 26 James Thomas who was in January 1847 to become Superintendent at Newbridge.
The station had its teething troubles and appeared to have been badly built. Captain Napier wrote:
2nd April, 1845 "The chimneys smoke and the roof admits rain in several places."
26th June, 1845 "The police station remains in exactly the same state as in my report for last quarter."
28th June, 1849 "I beg to report that upon the appearance of cholera in this County I immediately directed my Superintendents to place themselves at the disposal of the local authorities to carry out the powers of the Sanitary Act. In furtherance of this object the Superintendents of Merthyr, Newbridge and Ogmore have been appointed Inspectors of Nuisances and have made every exertion to carry out the wishes of the respective Boards of Health with considerable success. A quantity of lime and brushes have been kept at police stations and given out to all poor persons applying for it. Great numbers have applied and used it readily in their dwellings....In all cases the disease first involved the low localities and the neighbourhood of open drains. Three cases have occurred in the Police Force, but all are now convalescing and in the case of the wife of PC Rowlands at the Newbridge Police Station, it was produced by a drain which passes directly under the bedroom and terminates with the outer wall and has no outlet. At times it is very offensive. The drain was thus left by Mr Whittingham."
The terse indictment of Mr Whittingham, County Architect and Clerk of Works, by Captain Napier appears to have needed no further comment for Mr Whittingham was already in serious trouble over faults in the construction of Maesteg and Merthyr Police Stations, and was shortly to be sacked because of this on the instigation of Captain Napier. The fault at Newbridge was remedied by a Stone Mason at a cost of just over £12.
In front of the Police Station ran the old tramway along which coal was conveyed, in horse-drawn trams to the canal at Treforest. The presence of this tramway alongside the turnpike road explains the unusual width (and the name) of Broadway, which embraces the width not only of the old road but of the tramway as well. Access to the new police station was across open land in the gap between the Tumble and the Station.
In 1847 the Chief Constable was concerned by the purchase of the "gap" land for the building of cottages, and reported that the approach to Newbridge Station was about to be closed. This would leave the communication open only a tramway which was private property, although before the lease was taken it was clearly understood that the approach to the station should be left free. Although there is no record of what action was taken, the deeds of the 10 cottages built have a clause stating that the right of ownership extended only to the front door and that a public right of way existed along the front. This clause was dated 1847 and seems almost certain to be the result of Captain Napier's move to keep the approach clear.
Old Pontypridd Police Station, door and passage.
This photograph is of the passage of the Sardis Road Police Station, showing the front door, which is lined by an iron sheet and secured by locks and bar. Note the hat rack and its position high on the wall, for it was used for the tall top hats of the "peelers" and had to be put overhead because of the size of the pegs designed to take the tall top hats of policemen worn between 1840 and 1864.
The First Pontypridd Police Constables
As previously stated, Police Sergeant 3 Banner was the first police officer at Pontypridd. He served from 1840-1842 and was succeeded by PC 29 William Hume who served for a year. PC 26 James Thomas then took over in 1843. He served from 1843-1847 and was the first resident in the new police station early in 1845 as a Sergeant. He left in the first month or so of 1847 to succeed William Mostyn as Divisional Superintendent at Newbridge, with only one more man under his command than had been the divisional strength at the beginning in 1841. An extra man had been granted for Treforest which by virtue of its tin works and collieries was far more of a police problem than any other place, barring Caerphilly.
James Thomas was succeeded by PS 18 John Thomas who spent 2 years in Pontypridd (1847-1849) before returning to Llantrisant. Thomas was replaced by PC 26 Rees Rowlands who left in the middle of 1849 (no doubt he had had enough of the station and the police force for his wife had contracted cholera there and nearly died). PS 1 George Pim came next (1849-1852) and saw out the first decade of the policing of Pontypridd by the County Force.
It must have been very difficult in those days for the solitary constables stationed so far from each other, and it must have been worse for the Pontypridd constable than the others, for he had the Superintendent "breathing down his neck" most of the time. The first Superintendent, Thomas Morgan Lewis, didn't fit in at all. He started by getting on the wrong side of the Chief Constable by insisting on wearing his most flamboyant forage cap, and then tried to work some civilian clothes for himself into the contract for police uniform! His excuse was accepted (that he had asked for a separate bill to be sent to him), but the incident obviously did not do him any good as his name disappears from police records in 1845.
Superintendent Mostyn had trouble with a solicitor, Mr Reece, who alleged he was unfit for police service and who proved to be a problem to the police for many years. Superintendent James Thomas however proved very different. He served at Pontypridd for many years with great distinction, earning commendations for his policemanship and courage, e.g. for the arrest of a Cardiff murderer in a lodging house at Pontypridd, dealing with riots at Gellygaer and the aftermath of a riot in the Rhondda in 1853.
Policing Problems at Pontypridd
One of the problems faced by police constables at Pontypridd in the 1840s was stemming the uncontrolled influx into the country of hordes of Irishmen and Scotsmen, who together with their families, came seeking the better prospects of living afforded by the rapid growth of industry in Wales. Ireland was being particularly stricken by the successive seasons of failure in potato crops, and hundreds of Irish people landed without permission every week on the coast of the County, deliberately setting ashore at lonely spots to avoid being turned back at the ports. Pontypridd was one of the towns plagued with them, for it was en route to the "Eldorado" of Merthyr Tydfil for all those who put ashore before docking at Cardiff.
It was the duty of the parish constables to bring the "Irish or Scotch Poor" (i.e. those who had become a charge on the parish) before the magistrates who were directed to send them back to the countries from which they came. The captain of the ship specified in the order of the Court had to accept the passenger and to take him back on payment of the approved passage money. The constables made many a trip to Cardiff or Swansea with such poor people. The passage money fixed by the courts varied from place to place. In Glamorgan, it was £1, which enabled the Reverend George Thomas, a magistrate from Llandaff, to raise a laugh at Quarter Sessions in 1843 when the chairman explained that the "charge allowed for passing Irish poor from the County was £1, but to Swansea was 10 shillings," to which the Reverend replied that Swansea were the wiser, for £1 was enough not only to take the paupers away but to bring them back again!
Conferences had to made regularly with the constables on neighbouring beats. The Pontypridd man was lucky in having one colleague as near to him as Treforest, but he still had to make conferences almost daily with the Nelson constable at Fiddlers Elbow and with the Llantrisant man at Ty'r Mab Ellis on the Beddau side of Pencoedcae. At this time, it was the only means of quick transfer of local information, as well as of pay and paysheets. It is almost certain too, that the Pontypridd Constable, PC 26 Rowlands, had the distinction of having the only stag hunt organised on his beat! The hunt took place on 2nd May 1849.
Police Strength and Pay
The police strength in 1850 was the same as it had been 10 years earlier (one at Newbridge, one at Treforest), but it was evident even at that time that the police establishment needed a substantial increase. Not only had Newbridge and Treforest become more and more populous and important, but the coal era of the Rhondda had already began, the coal prospectors being particularly attracted to these valleys by the immense coal reserves of high quality and the presence of almost unique canal and railway communications. In addition to the Glamorganshire Canal (completed from Cardiff to Merthyr in 1794) and the Taff Vale Railway (1841), the South Wales Railway (later the G.W.R.) had reached Cardiff early in 1850, and the Cardiff Docks had been enlarged.
In 1851 George Pim continued throughout the year as the solitary policeman in the town, living at the Tramroadside Police Station. His neighbour at Treforest was PC 26 Thomas Wright. In January a local magistrate complained about the "great annoyance experienced by the conduct of able-bodied vagrants who at this inclement season commit offences so as to be sent to prison and be kept at public expense until fine weather comes again." It was suggested that such prisoners should have the lowest scale of prison diet, i.e. bread and water. Another magistrate said that the most common offenders of this type were vagrant Irishmen who broke windows to get the necessary prison sentence. On 25th January 1851, newspapers reported that Pontypridd had experienced gas lighting for the first time since the gas works were constructed in August the previous year. However, on the down side, "mud, mud and more mud" was still swamping the streets.
In 1852, Sergeant Pim was replaced by PC 1 Robert Collins in March. Collins was to become Sergeant later on in the year. He appears to have been a very big man, for the Chief Constable reported that, "his size would not admit of his wearing the coats made for his predecessor," and new clothing had to be bought. Courts were held at the "New Inn" for the parish of Llanwonno, and at the "White Hart" for Llantwit Fardre. In December, Captain Napier supported a petition for the appointment of police officers for the Rhondda. This development was well overdue for although the police strength of the Newbridge District had remained the same as in 1841, the population of the Rhondda had increased fourfold and that the number of collieries had increased from 3 to 12.
1853 saw 2 constables being approved for duty in the Rhondda Valleys. They began their duties in the Rhondda Valleys in February, one at Dinas and the other at Heolfach. In October Captain Napier prepared for and obtained the first pay rise for his men:
"I beg to lay before you a petition from the police force under my charge for an increase in wages consequent upon the constant rise in the price of provisions and the general increase in pay throughout the Kingdom. Sometime previous to the petition being forwarded to me I had felt serious inconveniencing from receiving the required notice (one month) to quit from several of my most serviceable officers and on enquiry it appeared that, the general feeling being strongly against any application of a strike for higher wages, the men had come to the resolution of giving notice and of seeking situations and higher wages elsewhere. Under these circumstances and being unwilling to lose the services of men who had served in the Force for many years, I recommend them to draw up a petition which I might lay before you."
The following year, in January 1854, police wages were increased by 10%, a Constable's wages from 20/-to 22/-, Sergeant from 22/- to 24/6 and Superintendents from 40/- to 44/-.
Inadequate Cell Accommodation
1854 also saw increased pressure on the inadequate cell accommodation at Pontypridd by reason of the fact that at the end of 1853, the lock up at Llantrisant (an old parish cell in the town hall) as well as other parts of the town hall had been given by the Marquis of Bute to be converted to a schoolroom and all Llantrisant prisoners subsequently had to be brought to Pontypridd. The following year in 1855, the Chief Constable Captain Napier stressed the inadequacy of the two cells at Pontypridd, stating that during the preceeding quarter 48 males and 11 females had been in police custody for periods varying from 6 hours to 5 days, as many as 6 at a time and of both sexes.
In addition to this, Napier complained that the "Government plan" for heating the cells (by flues under the slab floors supposed to duct warm air from the Constables's fireplace) had "proved quite useless" and that on frosty days the Constable had to bring prisoners from the cells to his living room fire, a proceeding which Napier described as not being "always practicable." It was to be another 13 years before a bigger and better police station was provided.
In October, Captain Napier applied for and obtained an additional man for Pontypridd, bringing the town strength up to 2 men. In his application he reported that "in the town of Newbridge the duties have become so heavy that one constable is not sufficient and the Superintendent has been obliged to call in one of the constables at the gas works." The population was by now upwards of 5,000 which made it obvious that one man was not enough, particularly as the beat included part of three petty sessional divisions making it necessary for the constable to attend at Llantrisant, Caerphilly and Aberdare.
PC 18 John Thomas who had been transferred to Newbridge from Llantrisant in 1854 (to succeed PS 1 Collins) was now joined in the town by PC David Morgan, who became renowned for his physical strength and had probably been selected on this account for duty in turbulent Pontypridd. One incident was reported in the press as follows:
"Superintendent Thomas, having heard of a prize fight to take place at Llantwit Fardre between two noted pugilists, dispatched 5 County men to suppress the brutal affair but all turned on the officers, and thought the gallant policemen defended themselves to the utmost they were outnumbered and suffered severely. PC Price of Caerphilly was treated in a shameful manner. One of the pugilists was arrested and conveyed to Pontypridd Police Station. Great credit is due to Sergeant Thomas and PC David Morgan, the strength of the latter officer making him a match for any three of the ruffians."
PC Price was compelled to retire a little later as a result of the injuries he received.
During the year 1854 plans were drawn up for a new County Court to be built at Pontypridd, for the holding of such courts in public houses was deemed unsatisfactory.
The New Taff Bridge and the End of the First 20 Years of Policing Pontypridd.
An early photograph of Pontypridd, shown here in 1910.
On the right is the entrance (through the railings) to Ynysyngharad Park and the old road to the Chain Works. The horse and cart is about to cross the bridge over the Merthyr-Cardiff canal. On the left (but not shown) is the Llanover Arms. All the buildings in the foreground (and the canal) have disappeared, and on the site now is the roundabout providing access to the modern dual carriageway linking Cardiff with Abercynon.
In January 1857, work finally began on the new Taff Bridge at an estimated cost of £1,000, the old bridge being inadequate. The new bridge opened on Friday 5th December and was described "as a bridge to be crossed without breaking horses' knees or indeed the necks of riders, connecting the parishes of Eglwysilan and Llanwonno, 20 feet wide, 172 feet long, cost £1,575, built with stone from the quarry of Morgan Edwards, and bearing the inscription "This bridge was erected AD 1857 in public subscription. Designed by Robert Hughes, District Surveyor and built by Thomas Jenkins."
The opening procession of the Taff Bridge was led by Superintendent Thomas and his constables, PCs John Thomas and David Morgan, marched on either side of the parade. The opening of the Taff Bridge must have been an occasion of tremendous pride to the police and one in which the importance of their presence in the community of Pontypridd was made plain. Policing had come a long way in Pontypridd in the 16 years since the Glamorgan Constabulary was founded. Although the number of police remained small there had been an increase in numbers, pay had risen, communication links had improved and plans for a County Court for Pontypridd were underway.
The earliest known photograph of police constables at Pontypridd. This was taken in 1901. All were single men living in at the station.