I discovered a rare postcard of Bridgend being offered for sale on ebay; I quickly put in a bid which was confirmed as being the highest so I sat and waited to see what would happen. A day or two before the auction closed there was a sudden flurry of activity which saw me outbid and I had to considerably increase my offer until I was the highest bidder again. All went very quiet and with minutes to go on the auction I was still being told by ebay my offer was the highest so I watched with baited breath for the last few seconds countdown, 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – only to see the message “You have been outbid” when the auction closed. Oh well, it was not cheap although I might have gone a little higher to secure it.

The reason I was anxious to acquire this little gem is because it included the shop which my great grandfather took over in the late1800s. Thankfully the seller supplied a reasonably good preview of the postcard. H J Stokes took over Mr East’s business in 1896 but the shop (third up on left) was opened a number of years before the family moved from their previous home at Aberavon to their newly-built home in Merthyr Mawr Road. At the time of the 1911 census, H J and his son Wilfrid (my grandfather) were living in lodgings in Acland Road, Bridgend but the other six members of the family have completely disappeared, I can’t find them anywhere – a mystery to be solved!