Newport Through Time highlights the journey of a city that began over 700 years ago when the first mayor took office in AD 1314. Often struggling with an identity that is confused by its close proximity to the Welsh borders it has been claimed alternatively by England, Wales and Monmouthshire. Now it sits as a gateway city, an entrance portal to the principality via the Gwent levels that border the Bristol Channel and the River Severn.
This book explores Newport from the start of the Industrial Revolution, when the Welsh coalfields spilt their rich black harvest into the ever-expanding port, with its adjoining canal and myriad of railway lines that punctuated the streets, criss-crossing the busy thoroughfares as they gravitated towards the sea and the Alexandra Docks. The author examines the family firms that became both household and international names, and as the city begins a new era we examine in pictures how it was and how it is now.
Jan Preece was born in Pillgwenlly, Newport, in the late 1940s. This backdrop of terraced streets and the sights and sounds of the dockland area led him to develop an unshakeable passion for heritage and the past. In the mid-1980s, he started the Pill Heritage Project, a community archive telling the story of Newport's docklands. Following closure several years ago, Jan moved the archive online (www.quietwomansrow.com), with great success. Today, Jan Preece works as a photographer and architectural model maker.