WATKINS Reg (F78)
The Transport Cafe and filling station on the Old Monmouth Road was a busy, popular place in the 1950s-1970. Reg, a farmer, and Enid, a Land Girl, purchased the Transport Cafe (then known as the Castle Garage) from the Chapple family.
There was a sweet shop and a juke box in the Cafe where, on Saturday nights, youngsters stopped by after their barn dances to 'hang out'. It was 'the place to be' in the post war years.
Sixty years later, the Old Monmouth Road is quiet, as the cars and lorrys speed down the A449. The Transport Cafe is now the site of Frank Sutton's Agricultural Engineer.
Reg's petrol station moved to Raglan High Street and added a Ford Dealership. And the business has been operated by the family for 3 generations.
(F78) In loving memory of REGINALD GORDON WATKINS Born 10th May 1925, Died 12 May 1997, Also his dearly loved wife ENID MURIEL WATKINS Born 30th Dec 1924, Died 27th Feb 2009, Rest in Peace
Whilst working in the Raglan area during World War II, Reg met Enid Reynolds, a Land Army girl. The Land Girls were recruited by the Government to work the farms while the men were away fighting. Enid and the other Raglan Land Girls lived near the Ethley on Chepstow Road (now the Enterprise centre).
Enid was born in Bedwas, Caerphilly. Her family were miners but she came to love Raglan during the war years. Reg had a car (a rare item in those days) and he courted Enid by taking her on outings as far as Porthcawl. After the war, they married and settled down to raise a family.
Whilst working on a bailer, Reg had a serious accident and lost his arm. As a result of the accident, Reg and Enid bought the Transport Cafe and Filling Station at Cuckoo's Row on the A40 on the outskirts of Raglan.
This family business thrived for many years until in 1970, when the A449 dual carriageway was built, by-passing the filling station. Reg foresaw the demise of the business at Cuckoo's Row, bought a parcel of land and acquired planning consent for the Raglan service station on the A449. Unfortunately, he was unable to secure funds to develop it and sold the site to A.J. Lowthers, who later built the service station.
Reg and his two sons, Mike and Nigel, ran this business for many years. Mike later emigrated to France and Nigel took over the business upon his fathers death, on 12 May 1997. Nigel and son Leigh continue to run the business as a Ford dealership.
Maisy Watkins, Raglan Primary School History Detective, May, 2013
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