Abertillery Saddlers & Harness Makers.
Abertillery was still in its infancy while the Nantyglo, Coalbrookvale, Cwmcelyn & Blaina Iron Works and Collieries and other industries were in full swing, the Iron and Coal companies had their own saddlers and harness makers either working for them or independent saddlers that were in contract to the many different corporations.
The earliest saddlers I can find was in Brynmawr in 1859, Mr Edward Chegwidden, there was also a Leather Cutter, Mr William Probert in the same year. In 1871 there was a saddler in the Garnfach, Nantyglo by the name of Mr George Dyke.
In Blaina in 1891 there was a saddler in the High Street by the name of Mr John Morgan.
At Abertillery the Industries were soon building up and the need for saddlers and harness makers drew quite a few to the area in the mid to late 1800s.
Mr Thomas Owen.
In the 1870s there was a Saddler and Harness maker by the name of Mr Thomas Owen at Church Street Abertillery. Mr Owen went bankrupt in August 1877, as reported in the London Gazette.
Mr John Rees Jones.
A while later Mr John Rees Jones, Saddler, came to Abertillery, he was originally the Contractor to the South Wales Colliery, Cwmtillery, Tillery Colliery, Penybont, Coed Cae Tillery Colliery and Cwmnantygroes Colliery. He later opened a business at No6 Church Street Abertillery, in the 1880s, still trading in leather though supplying the public and private companies.
Mr Thomas Davies.
In June 1892 Mr Thomas Davies opened another Saddlery & Harness making business at No83 Cwm Street (now Somerset Street) he informed the public that he could execute every description of Saddlery and Harness at the lowest prices.
Mr William Vaughan.
In August 1892 Mr William Walter Vaughan advertised he had opened his own Saddlery and Harness making business in Abertillery and had taken over the business from the late Mr J. R. Jones, Church Street Abertillery. Mr Vaughan would later move to Llanhilleth.
Mr S. M. Ash.
In January 1900 Mr S. M. Ash came to Abertillery and set up a Saddlery and Harness making business at No5 Oak Street, opposite the Railway Station.
In 1905 Mr William Walter Vaughan opened a branch of his saddlery business at Llanhilleth, opposite the G.W.R. Railway Station.
In June 1910 Mr William Walter Vaughan moved from his premises at Church Street to No40 Somerset Street.
In 1910 Mr S. M. Ash opened another shop in Abertillery within the Arcade and also traded from his old premises at Oak Street.
In September 1920 Mr S. M. Ash sold his shop at Oak Street and moved up to the Arcade and opened a shop at the back of his other shop, with an entrance onto High Street opposite the Church School. Mr Ash’s old premises at Oak Street was purchased and turned into refreshment rooms and renamed the “Station Cafe”. In October 1920 meetings were held there with the aim of re-forming the Abertillery Harriers Club.
In 1920 W. Vaughan was still in Somerset Street trading as W. Vaughan & Sons.
In 2017 Messrs Ash, High Street, Abertillery ceased trading and closed, ending 117 years in the same business.