Mr J. Ward Williams.
Mr John Ward Williams was born in Aberystruth in 1830. His father was Mr Crawshay Bailey’s Manager at the Iron Works Nantyglo. There is a Mr Ward Williams residing in Nantyglo on the 1854 Electoral Register.
It’s believed that Mr John Ward Williams came to Abertillery and opened the Iron Foundry in Church Street in 1874 (as seen on the map above). He appeared on the 1881 census as living with his wife Jane and son Henry in Church Street and employing 5 men at his foundry.
His wife Jane was from Swansea. His son Henry was born in Aberystruth in 1863.
Mr John Ward Williams was the first pioneer of the setting up of the Starr-Bowkettry Society in Abertillery, the Chairman was Mr Joseph Wallace. He was a leading figure on the Chamber of Trade and helped in the setting up of the Lawn Tennis Courts in Abertillery in 1890.
On the 7th April 1893 Mr John Ward Williams sadly passed away from Pneumonia at his residence at Brynteg, Blaenau Gwent. His Son Henry Ward Williams took over the Iron Foundry business from his late father. During this time the business was re-named Warwills.
In 1925 the Foundry closed.
In 1926 the Foundry was owned by J. H. Cole though was still known as Warwill’s.
In 1959 the Foundry employed 70 people and expanded down to the now derelict Tin Works site at Station Road. The foundry behind Church St became its engineering dept while the old Tin Works site was used to make its castings.
In 1987 the Foundry was owned by Abertillery Holdings.
A new building was erected at the Station Road site to house their engineering dept.
Land to the south of the Station Road site was sold to the Low Cost Supermarket chain.
The Warwill’s Church St Foundry was sold.
In 1989 Abertillery Holdings moved its head office to Bristol.
In 1991 the company was registered as Sycamore Holdings.
In about 1992? the Foundry was owned by Bawn Bros.
In 1997 Bawn Bros sold the site to Tesco Supermarket and moved the Foundry to their Aberbeeg site and incorporated with Blackwood Engineering.