1 Castle Street

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1 Castle Street
T.J. Jones, Grocers, ca. 1901

1 Castle Street is a quiet Village home today but it wasn't always so! There has been a building on this corner since the Civil War. It is a working man's cottage that has housed carpenters, tailors, Grocers and Bakers.

T.J.Jones, Grocers was located on this busy corner from 1900-about 1935. Old Raglan residents fondly remember it as Mrs. Lumley's Corner Shop and Cafe. She was well known for her warm hospitality, her good home cooking and her distinctive dog, Rastus - she also had 14 cats!

Among the many paying guests Mrs Lumley put up over the years, none was stranger than the young woman in her twenties who arrived with a suit-case, looking for accommodation and offering to work in the shop.

Mrs. Lumley's youngest son Clarry, then thirteen, was curious about the new arrival. "It was war-time and we were always being told walls have ears and that sort of thing".

Clarry's curiosity deepened when he discovered that the door to her room was locked - "It was almost unheard of to lock your door in those days". - and when he saw candle-light streaming from underneath her door late into the night.

The next day he got hold of a set of keys and took a look inside her room; he lifted the suitcase and found it was locked.

"I don't know whether I must have moved the case but at about five o'clock the next morning - a Sunday morning - the young woman complained to my mother that she had a migraine which was so bad that she would have to leave at once".

She ran down the stairs with her suitcase, my mother flew after her but there was no sign of her - she had just vanished! There was no traffic around at that time on a Sunday so someone must have been there to pick her up."

Mrs Lumley reported the incident to the local Police Sergeant, Alf Needs who showed her a book of photographs from which she was able to identify her mysterious lodger.
Mrs Lumley in her shop

Months later the Sergeant called again at the Corner Shop to tell her that the woman had been picked up in Bristol as a German spy.

(source: Monmouthshire Beacon, Thursday, May 4th, 2000, newspaper article donated by Sylvia Price)

Not everyday is as exciting as this one. Mrs. Lumley's Coffee Shop was a gathering place for young and old. The Girls Land Army would walk up from their hut on Chepstow Road (beyond Brooks Farm) for a cuppa. Boys and Girls enjoyed meeting and chatting and watching the world go by.

More history...

Go to: St Cadoc’s Church

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