The Village as it was
Mrs Brenda Samuel
Henllys, which is Welsh for Old Court, stretches from Nantymwlr Brook in the North of the Parish to Bettws in the South and Islwyn in the West.
It is a very Old Village. Though one could hardly call it a village, it had no centre.
It straggles the road from Rogerstone to Cwmbran sheltered by Mynydd Maen Range with farms dotted on the hillside. There isSt. Peter's Church in the South and Mount Pleasant Chapel in the North (although the chapel is outside the boundary) and between the two you have the Zoar Chapel. (Sad to say is now obsolete). A School, two public houses, Castell y Bwch, Dorallt, and a Village Hall.
As a village it was very close knit. The church and the chapels were well attended. There was a weekly dance at the Village Hall, which was run by the Conservative Party. Whist Drive in the winter - people would sit around the big black tortoise stove - and it didn't really matter if you could play or not.
Every August a Sheep Dog Trial would be held with a large tent, where produce would be shown and children could enter for wild flowers Competition, this was at Cock y North Farm where the new housing estate Pantyrhaul Close now is.
There were Hedging and Ditching Societies, Young Farmers Club, young People's Meeting in the Chapel, Sewing Guild and Women institute.
One Headmaster started a Mutual Improvement Society, in the 1930s People were very poor because of the unemployment situation and so the charge was 1/- per year. There were lectures by important people and it was at that time when a Male Voice Choir was started. A Mr Albert Cocker was the conductor; they competed in Eisteddfods and won prizes.
During the war and Army Camp was stationed at Graigllwach Farm. Life became exciting. The soldiers attended the sixpenny Hops at the Hall on a Saturday night but everything had to close down at 11.30pm. because the next day was Sunday. The congregation in the chapel swelled with the presence of the soldiers on a Sunday Morning.
One Saturday night the searchlight at the camp had a direct hit from a bomb, luckily no human life was lost but sadly four cows were killed. The next day people walked up to look at the devastation. It was sad to see the animals lying there. Our first encounter with the war.
At the time everything was full steam ahead for the war effort. Some of Village men worked in the mine in Cwmcarn and some in Girlings and Saunders Valve Co's in . Cwmbran. Some worked for "The War Ag" ploughing until two in the morning (Double summer Time was in Force).
In 1972 on a peaceful Wednesday morning in September, it came over on the wireless that Cwmbran Development Corporation were to extend the New Town of Cwmbran into Henllys.