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  1. The picture of Alexandra arcade is actually Jubilee/waterloo st arcade. Archade ran from waterloo st to goat st through what is now BHS. It ran from approx 50 yds up lane between present M&S and BHS, which was part of waterloo st.
    Opposite M&S was a phrenologist (reads emotions/illnesses from bumps on skull). The picture shows a large M&S which had grown from 1 to about 3 shops combined (info from old directories). Photo was originally supplied to me at M&S swansea from company archive, and west glam archive have a copy.
    M&S started in arcade in 1902 and opened first shop on oxford st in 1929.
    Roof of arcade can be made out in some aerial pre war pics and one on this site (fisher st aerial I think, arcade up to left opposite old david evans.
    Arcade destroyed in blitz.

  2. Correction to last post, on aerial pic on goat st, arcade roof is half way up pic on left.

  3. Hello there

    The card dealer in Dwillyn Street was R E Jones who was my great grandfather.

    We’ve recently been putting together a family website, knowing that the family had some hotels and other catering outlets in Wales and London, but not quite the size that it was – so we’ve started archiving the business matters as well.

    The dealership related to R E Jones Ltd and I think you’ll just see that name at the top of the advertising. R E Jones Ltd designed built and managed The Mackworth Hotel, High Street, 1895, had wine merchants, cafes including the first automatic catering outlet in the UK, in Swansea, restaurants and also had 4 hotels over in Cardiff and 3 hotels in Porthcawl and cafe mumbles, boarding lodges, other restaurants and so forth.

    They went on to fund design and build The Piccaddilly Hotel in London, Cafe Royal, Kit Kat club and so forth … also including taking over Vickers, the areoplane factory and building a number of the famous Vickers Vimy aeroplanes after WW1.

    R E Jones had 4 boys, all went into the business, three lived in Swansea and my grandfather, the youngest, in Cardiff.

    Cars came onto the scene about 1905 onwards, and The Mackworth had their own service for the passengers at the Docks and railway station coming to stay at the hotel, etc.

    One of the boys set up Swansea Motor Cabs around 1908 and this was worked from the Mackworth at first and then later from Dillwyn Street.

    Apparently according to motoring magazine archives, Dillwyn Street was the largest motorship in Wales.

    I would like to use the picture, as this is the first we’ve found and give the necessary credits.

    Our website is

    Hope that all helps!


    • Images here are from a variety of sources and to be frank the copyright issue has never been properly considered. If a source could be determined an appropriate reference to it would certainly be displayed or if necessary the image could be removed. There is no financial aspect to this site, it simply exists to share an interest in the subject – old swansea.

  4. My great aunt Ethel Boulton used to work for Potter Gilmore Gowns in Castle Street. Eventually she run the shop which was bomb out during the Swansea Blitz. I had hoped that there would be some pictures of the premises before if was destroyed, and so would appreciate any pointers to where I could find some?

  5. I`m not connected to the running of this site. Have a look at David Roberts` picture book on the Swansea blitz. There might be something in there. Waterstones used to stock it, not sure if they have any now. The West Glamorgan Archive Service have loads of street photos. If you’re local a visit and a plod through the files might turn up something. They can guide you to your best chances. There’s a Facebook page called So you think you know Swansea`. Join that and post a question about the shop. Lots of users there have old images of the town.

  6. Thanks so much for the advice I will certainly have a look in Waterstones and failing that the local libraries might have copies of the same. What amazes me is how wonderful the buildings were before the War and how we opted for the new Post Atomic Orwellian architecture to replace it. I suppose that was because of the constraints of the new reality that was Britain was bankrupt after 1945 and the prospect of the Cold War was beginning to loom large? A great pity that we lost some of the medieval buildings and the prosperous Victorian buildings simultaneously, they added character. Its easy to agree with the often repeated assertion that town planning in the 1950s & 1960s just finished the work the Luftwaffe started in the 1940s? Thanks again for the help, its much appreciated.

  7. I’m writing the biography of Dr. Fritz J. Hansgirg, a brilliant Austrian-born German chemist and metallurgist. It was Hansgirg’s magnesium patent — and Emil Winter, Hansgirg’s financier (Magnesium Metals Corp) — that were used to establish the magnesium plant at Swansea, Wales . I’m looking for any photographs of the plant during its construction or later. If you have photos (or information) please contact me via at . Thanks!

  8. I have a copy of a photo from Swansea which I would like to use in an article I am writing. It shows Bullin’s transport. I am unable to find the site and am wondering if you can either point me in the right direction or advise re use of the photo

    • I believe that Bullin’s had a livery stables at a premises off Walter Rd, named Bullin’s Lane, there is quite an area of open land to the rear of houses, that could have held the livery stables.

  9. Just a quick note to say what a fascinating site this is, and also to let you know that my late father took the colour photo of the Rutland Street depot and office. I have the original slide, and some others, in my possession.

  10. Hi, can you tell me where I can get a copy of the aerial pic of Swansea please, you’ve called it Swansea shoreline and includes the new dev around the docks etc.

      • Thanks for your reply, yes for my own research I may do that, but I wanted to use in a slide show and was somewhat worried about the copyright issues. Some people are happy for people to use images, or will easily give permission, other not! Lovely site though with great pictures.

    • Hello Cynthia

      Thank you for your comments.

      We are currently trying to find out more about Ernest (Ernie) Frank Sutton
      1915 – 1916 Ernest (Ernie) Frank Sutton who was appointed sales manager of R.E. Jones (Garages) Ltd.

      Ernie was a local aeronautical pioneer, reputed to have been the first man in Glamorgan, if not Wales, to fly a powered aircraft; that flight was made at Oxwich Bay, part of the Penrice Estate.

      He and his brother, George, founded and managed Perfecto Aero Propellors Co Ltd., based at Picton Mews, Swansea, which like so many early aviation businesses folded in their fledgling years. 1914-1915.

      He enlisted 1916 with the Royal Flying Corp where he served as a motor engineer and continued in the motor business after the Great War.

      Ernie and his elder brother George had founded Sutton Bros motor dealers and repairers in the early 1900’s before joining R.E. Jones, and continued the firm as Ernest Sutton Ltd during the 1930’s and 1940’s according to records.

      So if anyone has early pictures of 1910 recording the flight, or indeed, any other information, please get in touch.

      Best wishes

  11. Hello, I am researching The Strand for a University project. If you would be willing to share any more info on its history and especially the area leading up to the subway behind the station, please let me know.

    • I have limited knowledge but would be only too happy to assist; give me a call on 07594602789 ;

      • If you go to the reference library and look at back copies of the journal “Minerva” you will find an article by Gerald Gabb on the Strand in Victorian times. Can’t recall the year but about 7 or 8 years? It wouldn’t take long to find. Good luck!

  12. Gerald Gabb has written an article on the Strand. Check Minerva (the Swansea Local History Journal) which is available in Swansea Reference Library. I think its in that journal.

    • the story i have is that when st marys church was to be restructured / rebuilt a local architect put up plans but was unsuccessful, and in spite he mounted the devil high on a building he had on the corner of orance street looking directly at the church. the building (now demolished) was where the whitewalls quadrant entrance now sits

    • The ‘Urban Myth’, that is the Swansea Devil.
      I expect you’ve read the account of the story by Bill, I’m sure he won’t mind me pointing out that the facade of the building the image was placed is Church St.
      Some time ago I attended a talk give by an eminent Swansea historian, the subject of the Swansea Devil, came up, this man is an authority on this subject, he said that in all the research he’s done, he cannot find any evidence of the story before 1941, when in fact the Church did burn thanks to incendiary bombs, courtesy of the Luftwaffe.
      It would appear that the myth has come about to fill the events that happened.

  13. The site is very useful in that it provides pointers for further enquiry if you are researching family history; its always brings a smile to my face seeing the faces of those largely lost to us now peeping out of sepia tinted photos – I wonder what they would think of the city now?

  14. Any information and photos of green hill I lived in number 11 EMA street from the war till 1948?? Thanks

  15. Has anyone have any info on a swansea pub called Harrises brass bar .my parents run this pub back in the 1940/50 s I think it was .It was known as the Brass bar . All I know is it was I think in the high st somewhere around the railway station .

    • Built early 1960s, I think. The store closed and the building was demolished after 2000, I think. Pauline Pelosi had an article about it in the Swansea Local History journal a few years back…

      • The David Evans that is pictured was a replacement building for the one that was destroyed by incendiary bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe in the Swansea Blitz: 19 to 21 February 1941. It replaced a much older establishment that had been present on the site since before the turn of the Century.

        Composition layout of the store was as follows: ground floor Castle Gardens Entrance (pictured) was the ladies perfumery and cosmetic in art nouveau style with Oak Parquet flooring; some women and men fashions were on this the ground floor; 1st floor had a larger womens fashion department and Hairdressers; 2nd floor was furniture and Persian Carpets; topmost floor was China and Glassware and adjacent to this was the Circles Coffee Shop. All floors were accessible by a brass railed central staircase but there were two lifts: customers and service lift. There was a basement that served initially as an electrical department but around 1996 started to be used a discount clothes department that was very popular with Swansea people because expensive brands like Burberry; Dolce & Gabanna; Tommy Hilfiger were available at vastly reduced rates and were arranged according to size instead of brand for ease of purchase.

        David Evans was part of the House of Frazer Group that was latterly bought by a Icelandic company but following the Credit Crunch of 2008 the store was closed and sold off – the site was then redeveloped. David Evans is very much missed by all those who used to buy there because you knew you were buying quality if you bought from there. This is just a sketch of the store from memory but I would be happy to add to it if you want any more information just ask.

  16. Hi I am trying to find a picture of St Helen’s School for boys dating to 1930/1940. My dad was evacuated to Swansea for two years and went to school there. He is 90 in October and we are trying to do a ‘This is your life’ for him. I would be grateful if anyone could help.

  17. If you live in Swansea it would be worth contacting the West Glamorgan Archive Service in County Hall, Oystermouth Road. They have a card index to photographs. No guarantee that the school you seek has deposited any photos, though.

  18. Hello,

    I hope you’re well.

    I’m currently working on a new documentary for 5STAR (Channel 5) about sex workers in Swansea and I’m looking for some historical photographs and footage of Swansea High Street and iconic landmarks/buildings in Swansea city centre to show how the city has changed over the years and would love to use some of the images included in your article.

    It would be great if you could contact me on to discuss whether or not you would be happy with this.

    All the best,

    Danyca Reis

  19. Great site, thank you. I’m trying to find a picture and or site of The Star Hotel in Wind Street. have you come across it in your extensive research? Any info gratefully received please!

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