YOUR QUESTION BOARD
I am looking for anyone who used to drink at the DOG in the middle to late 70s especially Chris Hardman, Elaine Hardman nee Simmonds, Dai & Linda Agland, David & Cheryl, Wayne & Julie, Linda Green and anyone else. Also anyone who used to go to the stute in oakdale on Saturday nights. If you are, or know anyone I`ve named please get in touch or tell them I`m looking for them. I know that Chris Hardman now goes to the Junction but every time I am over Pont he`s not there and I think Elaine lives in Maesycwmmer.
My grandfather George Thomas Raymond HANCOX (but known as Raymond) was station master between 1955 and 1956.
I still live near the old nunnery. When first moved to the penllwyn that is where I went to Sunday School. Mrs Camel and her family lived there, if I remember right He was the head gardener for Mynyddislwyn Council. Mrs Camel and Mrs Williams was our Sunday School teachers. Not long after the New Church was opened St Mary's.
I remember the the old Nunnery which is now the Penllwyn hotel back in 1950
I used to see the nuns walking about .Then the council put in a caretaker the Saddliers? they stayed there untill it was turnrd into a hotel,
I remember two ladies Mother and daughter who run the farm which was also in that area it was the biggest barn I have ever seen? the ladies were the Blanchflowers the old lady died and the daughter was murdered by a local lad C 1957
The two ladies often walked around the area when I was young but they tened to keep to themselves? when probate moved in after the daughter died I remember watching as the probate officers carried stuff out of the garden shed, there was a bunch ok keys that one man had to struggle to carry they were huge.
The family was given that house by council after the estate was taken over by council and all the keys etc from the estate were stored in the shed
as you know it was all part of the Lanover estate after Captain Morgan married iinto that family
I work for Groundwork Caerphilly, we're based in the old council offices on Tredegar junction roundabout. We're really interested in finding out more about our building and potentially doing a project about it. The building will have been in use for 100 years in March 2013.
We'd love to hear stories or have photos. If anybody has any info please contact me on 01495 222605 or firstname.lastname@example.org
YEs, Robert and thank you. I`m still looking for more photos.
hi sylvia did you recieve the last email i sent you. bob banthorpe
Did you get the photo I sent I hope it was of some use
dear sylvia morgan many thanks for the offer to send me a picture of the junction at pontllanfraith is the junction called treadgear junction? any pictures would help me in my quest even ones showing part railway detail would be greatly appreciated. my email address is email@example.com thank you.
If you let me know your e-mail address, I have a picture of the junction that I could send you
hi folks its robert banthorpe ,I fogot to give you my email address when i posted my request for information on top and bottom stations to make a model of. does either mike tynen or garnet marshal have any photos of the stations or tredgear junction that you could share with me please?
at pressent i am researching pontllanfraith high level and low level stations with respective junctions at either ends. as i need track plans, photographs of all railway structures(including both high level and low level stations) is there please anybody who could furnish me with the material i need to be able to build a oo model railway layout any help and assistatance would be greatly appreciated.please feel free to contact me by email . many thanks robert banthorpe
I lived opposite here in no 10 Blackwood Road in the mid 1970's / 1980 by then the station was gone and just the track there I wonder if this would ever open again like the stations from Ebbw Vale down the valley Newbridge etc.,(which has been a great sucess) they were not very forward thinking when they close the railway lines in this area
any idea when this was first used or built i need to knowfor a school project??
When my mother was expecting the birth of my sister in 1946, I was sent to stay with my grandfather, Jack Marsden, at 10 Blackwood Road. I was expected to be in bed by seven, and would often spend the ensuing hours looking out of my bedroom window at the front of the house in hope of seeing one of the tall-stacked locos entering or leaving the High Level Station. The Low Level Station was another country!
My grandfather was station master of the top station, my uncle still lives in the Station House, as kids we used to sit on stairs in his house and talk to the train drivers
This photo is taken from the footbridge of what we used to call the Top Station. The Low Level Station [Bottom Station] is behind the large tree in picture
To The Right of the train is Collins fish bar and the tredegar junction
over to the left just in front and to the left of the bus is where 'Neil's shop' is now.
this is a blast from the past, i remember my grandad (Emrys Stock) giving me and old penny to spend in the shop, my aunty Jacky took me as i was about 3, had to walk past the mill, even remember catching sticklebacks in the pool, even remember the reindeer from the switchgear and running across the field to wave at the engine driver when i saw the coal train coming over the bridge at the top of the road,
I remember the old mill I used to go down there and buy crasked corn for my chickens I think it was a Mrs mills who was still running it C1950
I remember being so scared of the mill and the travellers that would stay there too as a child. I have an old book here somewhere written by a lady from Mynyddislwyn Mountain written in the late 1800's and even back then the travellers are mentioned there.
To Ruth Heard (nee Thomas)
Very fond memories of the area, the Mill, your house, et all. Moved to Perth Western Australia with my family in 1983 and revisited Gelligroes in 2011. The whole of the district has changed significantly since I moved from Pont in 1965, where did all those new roads come from (progress I guess!)and what happened to SWS, a shadow of its former self.
To Paul Robinson: yes, I did collect tadpoles in the old quarry pond. I too was born in 1949. We must have been in the same year at school? I am living in Tasmania now.
I was born in the cottage shown behind the Mill in 1945 and lived there until I got married in 1967. The girl sitting on the bridge wall is probably my cousin Ann Thomas and the man is one of the Moore brothers probably Len or John who lived in the mill house opposite the mill.There was a shop in the front room of the mill house.The brother who picked up the distress signal of the Titanic is Arthur Moore(RT) who had an Alvis car. He went to work for Marconi.
I remember my father buying his seeds etc from the mill , and the gypsies used to camp at a big pond around the corner near there , the distress call also came from the Titanic to the house near the mill
Iremeber there used to a big pond on the lane by the mill where the gypies used to stay also the distress call came from the titanic at the house by the mill and that my father used to buy his seeds etc from thereI
I seem to remember a Pete Colbourne at Pont school. I was born in 1949. Did you also get Tadpols out of the old quarry pond?
Lived at 12 Woodland Road until I was 15 in 1964. I remember many a bike ride down to the Mill, collecting hazel nuts along the way, and being frightened of the Gypsies in the old quarry.
I was born in 14 woodland road on 11th june 1952
Some of my relatives lived here around 1950 and I`d love to get a copy of this photo to send to my cousin
To Sue Jones
I know for sure, as a young boy myself and mates smashed the roof in. Lived in Pont Woodland Rd 1950-1969. Moved to Australia, Live in Cairns.
Yes, at one time it was a sweet shop, not sure when though.
Hi,i have just bought a picture of the mill can you tell me if there was a cottage at the back of the mill opposite the sweet shop.
My grandparents farmed in Gelligroes and my dad Arthur Williams used to go "ratting" down at the old mill with great success. Many stories of the lads boxing in the barn on a saturday night. Maybe a few old chaps will remember thier fathers talking about such times - "down at the Williams barn"
The mill wheel is now back in full working order, not sure when they work the wheel, but I am sure if you ask them they will let you know.
 Enter Marconi
After studying for just three months, Artie was advised by the Principal there to enter for a Government examination in Wireless Telegraphy and Morse Code, in which he was successful.
It was at this time that Artie’s activities, not least his reception of the Titanic’s distress calls, came to the attention of Guglielmo Marconi, the ‘father of wireless’ himself. One local resident wrote to Marconi to inform him of Artie’s achievement.
Marconi then came to Gelligroes to meet Artie and to discuss his work and his experiments, and he invited Artie to join the Marconi Company as a draughtsman.
By 1914, Artie was transferred to the Ship Equipment Department of the Marconi Company, and on the outbreak of the First World War he was engaged as a technician in ‘special Admiralty fittings’ – working on the armed merchant ships which operated clandestinely on the open seas and were known as ‘Q’ ships.
He also supervised the installation of wireless equipment on the Dreadnought-class battleships HMS Invincible and HMS Inflexible which steamed the 8,000 miles south to the Falkland Islands in 1914, to face down a German naval threat to the south Atlantic islands.
Connected with the Admiralty through the Marconi Company, Artie later became assistant to Captain H.J. Round (who was himself Chief Assistant to Guglielmo Marconi), and he worked with Captain Round on the further development of the thermionic radio valve without which advancements in radio could not have taken place.
 Peace-time Activities
Following the cessation of hostilities and the end of the Great War in 1918, Artie Moore was appointed to the Marconi Company’s Liverpool establishment. There he took charge of the newly-formed Ship Equipment Department where the latest and most up to date transmitters were being fitted.
In 1922 he supervised and oversaw the fitting of the first trawler to be equipped with wireless telegraphy equipment.
A year later he was transferred from the Marconi Company to the Marconi International Marine Communication Company and their establishment at Avonmouth, where he was appointed Manager.
Not content simply to ‘manage’, Artie’s innovative and inventive spirit led him to patent a very early form of Sonar (called the ‘Echometer’) in 1932, and, as is quoted in the following excerpt from his obituary written by Councillor Richard Vines, Headmaster of Pontllanfraith Technical School: “…..his inventive mind gave to science many devices by which he will be remembered as one who succeeded through industry…..’
‘…..His Alvis car was fitted with an apparatus which would record on a dial the efficiency of petrol at varying speeds with various loads through all gears…….”''
Again one can’t help but wonder what Artie would have made of today’s computer controlled vehicles with their digital petrol consumption indicators – no dials pointers or analogue scales – maybe that’s another story……!
Artie remained at Marconi’s Avonmouth establishment until his retirement in 1947, but by 1948, with his health failing he moved to Jamaica to recuperate. He was 62, and would never return to Wales, his homeland.
After only six months in Jamaica he left for England, and on Thursday the 20th of January 1949 he passed away in a Bristol convalescent home.
In 1949 Monmouthshire Councillor Richard Vine’s public appreciation of Artie Moore concluded with the words: “Gelligroes has invariably been coupled with Islwyn the poet and philosopher, and now it also has associations with the world of science”
 Modern Times
But despite contributing greatly to the advancement of radio in those early days, Artie Moore’s pioneering efforts in wireless communications remain relatively little known, even within his own locality.
However, the inspiration he gave to budding wireless enthusiasts in his local area led to the creation in 1927 of the Blackwood Transmitters Club, which later became the Blackwood Amateur Radio Society, which still exists to this day.
Today, Artie’s mill at Gelligroes stands silent and idle, and is now used as a store for materials for the candlemakers workshop nearby.
A group of local amateur radio enthusiasts are creating an ‘Artie Moore archive’ and continue to search out information regarding this sadly unsung, but remarkable and extraordinary Welshman, in order to tell the full story of Artie, of his connection with the historic Titanic disaster and of his exploits in early wireless communication.
They have also periodically set up an amateur radio station at the Gelligroes Mill, transmitting with the callsign MW0MNX (Artie’s own station’s original callsign had been ‘MNX’), and Artie Moore’s mill has, for the first time in nearly one hundred years, once again reverberated to the magical sound of Morse Code.
Arthur Moore (1887 – January 20, 1949), was a British wireless operator who heard a distress signal from RMS Titanic before news of the disaster arrived in the UK.
In the early hours of April 15, 1912, in the loft of the 17th century Gelligroes Mill, near Blackwood, Caerphilly in south east Wales, the young wireless experimenter using crude radio apparatus received a faint signal in Morse Code:
“CQD CQD SOS de MGY Position 41.44N 50.24W. Require immediate assistance. Come at once. We have struck an iceberg. Sinking….We are putting the women off in the boats…..”
Moore continued to copy out the Morse signals he was receiving: “We are putting the passengers off in small boats” “Women and children in boats, cannot last much longer…..”
Then came the final, desperate, signal: “Come as quickly as possible old man; our engine-room is filling up to the boilers”.
Artie breathlessly relayed the dreadful news to the locals and to the local constabulary, who did not believe his news. Two days later, both the locals received confirmation through the local and national press that it was true. The newspapers also confirmed – as Artie had claimed – that the new ‘SOS’ distress signal had been used by the Titanic’s radio operators along with the usual ‘CQD’ signal, thus proving that Artie had indeed received the signals from the doomed liner.
At the time - in 1912 - it was understood that the range of Titanic’s wireless was 400 miles in daylight, and possibly up to 2000 miles in darkness. It now became clear that reception of radio waves up to 3000 miles was not only possible, but had been achieved that tragic night, by a young, relatively uneducated wireless experimenter using nothing more than his own crude home-made equipment.
Artie Moore was born in Pontllanfraith, the eldest son of local miller, William Moore. At a young age Artie was involved in an accident at the mill, which resulted in the loss of the lower part of one of his legs, and for the rest of his life, he wore a wooden leg.
By the age of ten, Artie had developed an interest in amateur engineering and using his own initiative he adapted a bicycle to cater for his wooden leg, and locals recall him rattling around the village on it, making a nuisance of himself. As he grew, he became what is known as a ‘character’ in the locality, and was constantly playing tricks of all sorts.
At some point prior to the year 1909, most likely in his early teenage years, Artie, a keen amateur engineer, using a hand made lathe driven by the water-wheel at the mill, built a working model of a horizontal steam engine.
He entered the model in a competition in The Model Engineer magazine. He received as his prize a book by Sir Oliver Lodge entitled Modern Views Of Magnetism And Electricity, which awakened his interest in wireless.
Working at Gelligroes Mill in Pontllanfraith near Blackwood, Gwent, he soon began erecting wire aerials and building his rudimentary radio station, consisting of a coherer-based receiver and a spark-gap transmitter. It was his considerable engineering spirit that enabled him to store electricity in his batteries via a generator coupled to the mill wheel itself. The same generator was also used to charge batteries for the local farms which were at that time not connected to the mains supply.
Artie was almost continually experimenting with wireless by this time, often defying his father and staying up late into the early hours, sitting at his station listening to the signals emanating from ships, both naval and merchant, travelling the coastal waters around Wales, the south-west of England, as well as stations on the Continent.
Sometimes, in an attempt to improve reception he would relocate his station and set it up at a farm high up on Mynyddislwyn.
Using the contemporary although basic spark-gap transmitter technology of the time, Artie together with his friend Richard Jenkins, an electrical engineer at the local coal mine, made what was probably the first use in Wales of amateur wireless for business purposes.
Having set up a second transmitting and receiving station at Ty Llwyd farm, owned by Richard’s father which was located approximately three and a half miles south of Gelligroes at Ynysddu in the direction of Newport, Artie received an order over the air for grain to be delivered from the mill to the farm.
This would have been around 1910, but you can’t help but wonder what they would make of today’s business radio, mobile telephones, or even ordering over the Internet!
Front Page News in 1911
A further exciting development took place when Artie made the front page of the London newspaper The Daily Sketch after he intercepted the Italian government’s Declaration Of War on Libya in 1911.
In 1912, Artie was 26 years old and his wireless construction knowledge and skills had improved to such an extent that he was able to build more sensitive receiving equipment and he therefore began to receive transmissions on a regular basis, often relaying the information to the locals sometimes many days before it appeared in the national press.
But it was his reception of the Titanic’s distress call which propelled Artie into a career that was to take him from that little mill in Wales and on to greater things within the realms of early wireless development.
In the summer of 1912, Artie’s activities and the publicity surrounding him following the Titanic disaster soon led to him coming to the attention of the then Monmouthshire Education Committee, who offered him a scholarship to the British School of Telegraphy in Clapham, London, so he left to embark on his studies in the world of science and wireless communication.
Many years ago, in the 1940's, I Iived in Spencerville, Indiana and had a pen pal that I corresponded with.
Her name was Ann Powell, and she lived in Pontllanfraith. She would probably be about my age -
79. I have several pictures of her, one with whom I assume was a younger brother.
Do you remember a Tony Pugh who lived in Blackwood, Pontllanfraith. He moved to Slough and then Windsor, Berkshire and worked in computers at Mars. His mother still lived in Blackwood. Have lost touch and wonder if anyone knows where he is now.
Interesting to see some of the names of teachers,(or masters, as we had to call them), at Pont Tech. I was there 1956-1960.
George Parfitt - fantastic teacher. Unfortunately, he died in the early 60's.
Glyn Price - headmaster. Horrible, ineqitable man.
Warwick Jones - sports master - another great teacher.
I moved to Blackwood from London in 1954, aged 11 and returned to London when I was 17,as soon as I left school.
My sisters and brother still live in Wales.
I have a friend Gerald (Jim)Thomas from my Pont Tech days, who lives in Warbstow, Cornwall. He used to live in Abercarn. In the 60's , he played rugby for Pontypool and had a trial for Wales.
Also, at the same time, I was in that school with Sir Terence Matthews.
I have from time to time, tried to contact old friends, e.g Tony Powell, David Kettle, Alec Hawley, but without success.
The area has changed immensely and I think, for the better.
Hi Vince, again. I wonder if you know Alan Davies? He lived at Markham at the time and he was also at Pont Tech the same time as me. I also courted, for a short time a girl in Markham, Pat Parks, behind Abernant Road, where Alan lived. Regards, Eric .
Cant remember you but you were there in Pont Tech a couple of years before me I guess. I started at the age of 12, I think, as I went to Oakdale school for about a year after failing the 11 plus exam, so it would have been around 1954. I lived not far from George Parfit at the time and he would sometimes give me a lift into school when he saw me running down the Penllwyn hill!. Yes I remeber the others you mentioned too as they were all there at the time. Courtney treasure also was the games master a little later than Warrick. Regards, Eric Edwards.
Hi, I was at Pontllanfraith tech in the 1950s and Mr Cobley (didn't he run the RI class?) had just started and was, at that time, the only master without a 'gown'. Ther was 'nogger' Hanney (sucking peppermints), Killer Watts, then Dinkey both maths teachers maths teachers, Iuan was there are well (Mr Evans) along with Price the headmaster. Oh! yes and JET Jones (social studies). You must have all remembered the secretary, always blushing when she entered the class room!
The Nunnery, at the Penllwyn, I was born in Llanover avenue then moved to Broadmead and now living in Barry , also had the Cohen (We called them the 'Quarns!') family living there at that time. I went to Libanus scool with one of the boys, can't think of his name (maybe Egley? or Hegley?). Regards, Eric Edwards.
In reply to earlier comments I thought Mr Cobbley taught History?
i am desperate to know any history on the penllwyn manor!!!! i want to create a timeline for it and i am really struggling to find anything!! i know its an original building built by captain henry morgan, and his family lived here... what was it after that? i know it was a nunnery then a church, i need information, proof, order!! this is a astonishing building that people know such little about! please email me with any information firstname.lastname@example.org
I lived in Markham and travelled by bus to attended The Tec from 1952 to 1956 with Mr Glyn Price as head master. [The late Dame Margret Price father } I've fond memories of most of the teachersm Mr Parfitt metalwork, Les Edwards woodwork, Mr Haney, maths ,Mr Jones science. Mr Warick Armstrong young PE teacher. the play area was an old caol tip. Still have school phots of prefects,rugby and cricket teams some 56 years later.
played rugby on fopotball field, swam in open air pool, PT in Plazar ball room. Lunch at the Grammar school, Mrs Baker head cook.....Oh happy days.
What a fantastic Pont was. This site brings back lots of memories like going down the mill & picking mint & putting it in bunches & selling it around Springfield also delivering milk with Mr Durbin up the tumpy sliding down on greased bread wrappers or cardboard .What great memories.
I also, was at Pont Tech. Left in 1959 and remember Mr Cobley as a young master
No picture of the Technical School at Pontllanfairth. I attended most days from 1959 until 1964, I think.
Lots of fond memories, particularly the sport and one particular teacher, Mr John Cobbley. If he was teaching today, he would have undoubtedly been nominated for teacher of the year on many occassions. He made maths very interesting.
In the top left of picture can be seen Pontllanfraith Junior School [ Old Board School,built C.1886 ]
The large building in the middle foreground ,with horses and trap,was the "Greyhound" public house,now a Vetinary surgeons.
Brian Rees lived at 15 Millbroak Rd .
Rember the good old days in woodland road waiting by the old telephone box for santa to come.
Do you remember an Albert Allaway living in Millbrook terrace. I dont know the number. He was a retired miner
Sylvia Morgan(nee Allaway)
From 1954 to 1969 living in 28 Millbrook Rd. I remember Tom Mathues very well. Tom helped me get in SWS. His son Colin went to the same school as me. Tom Mathues alos did Fireworks to New Years Eve. One can truly say "The good old days in Pontllanfraith"
the second float changed each year i went out on the float for two years when it was a space rocket and a ship
This Xmas sleigh was was the brainchild of Tom Mathews who made it on site at SWS
For many more pictures of people from South Wales Switchgear in days gone by, try the attached link.
I remember the lollies tossed to us by Father Christmas from this float when I was a young child in Springfield. It was a great treat.
My late father, uncle and surving aunt all worked at the Swithgear. As a little girl I too would eagerly await the arrival of Santa at Cascade. I would love to know if these members of my family are in the photo
I have great memories of Father Christmas visiting just before Christmas. It was an annual tradition for me, my sister and my parents. and was a milestone in the year for us. We would congregate, along with many others along the road leading into Springfield Estate and get more excited as we heard people saying "he's coming". If I remember correctly he used to throw sweets for us kids. It was magic and I will never forget it. The people involved in making it happen have my sincere appreciation and thanks.
Arthur Tantrum was living in Sir Ivors Rd a few years ago. Don't know if he still does.
hi can anybody remember the Tantrum family who lived in Pont? Am doing family tree but not computor wizard. Any help greatly appreciated
Llanarth Stores has been a pet shop and is now a hair dressers since then. I think there are 4 hair dressers in Springfield now :(
My email address is email@example.com if anyone from Springfield/Pontllanfraith wishes to contact me.
Hi, Ray, have just found your messages today(18/1/13). Cant believe that we are in touch after 50 yrs+. As David has said, he & i lived at Springfield Stores, with our Mum and Dad, Bill & Elsie, from 1950 - 1960. In my case this was from 6 yrs to 16 yrs, which makes me 68 now! I think you were about my age, possibly a bit younger?When we moved to No 1, Llanarth Rd.,the house was not a shop, but a house and soon after, was converted, and enlarged, into a shop, not by any builders, but by my familys male relatives doing the physical work for the conversion. I can remember, as a young boy, watching this happen.When we moved in, the house had an outside toilet, and no bathroom. Later, this was changed, for the better.I can remember you and I exchanging comics, over a long period, and, yes , I did have an aunt in Chicago, who sent over invaluable American comics, unobtainable in the UK! My friends, at the time, and probably yours as well, were John Hold, 4, Cwmalsie (younger sister Elizabeth), Carol Wall , 1 Cwmalsie, Richard & Hugh Green, Mill Rd.,( Did Richard play for, and Captain Pont Rfc?), and yourself. i recall you lived about 3/4 doors from us, and Mr & Mrs Withers lived next door. I lived and died at Mr Musselwhite baths in the Summer, and walked there , in my bathers every day with my season ticket.Do you still live in Pont, Ray?Are you in touch with any of my previous pals?When i 1st lived there, in 1950, I travelled by train, every week day to St Albans RC school, Pontypool. This involved getting up at some crazy time, walking to Pont Low Level Stn ( now, obviously demolished), catch my train, and have another 15 minute walk, at the other end to school.Later, when I was 11, all this changed. My new school was St Illtyds grammar, in Cardiff. I then caught a train, again from Pont Low Level to Hengoed High Level, where i changed trains and caught a train at Hengoed Low Level for Queen St Stn., Cardiff, where I caught a 10 min bus to school!!! Ho-hum!!! Fun days! My parents shop was open 6 and a half days, till 1:00 pm Sun. I worked there Sun am, when I was older and earned sixpence!!! this was OLD pence, not new. As David has said, we all moved to Cardiff in 1960, where it took me ONLY a 10 min bus ride to school.Sadly, all my contact with Pont finished then (my fault!). I am now married,a Solicitor, & 5 grown up kids, So, theres been a lot of water under the bridge since I left Pont .I have tried to email you, but cant get thru? Anyone else who reads this, please get in touch also?More to come, if anyone interested?
My favourite shop in this row was Mantel's the Chemist because as well as selling and dispensing medicines he sold Mecanno spare parts and Dinky toys, this would be where i got rid of most of any money i got on birthdays etc.
I rember you David, i used to be friends with your brother Bernard. I lived in the 'prefabs' behind your row of cottages and used to visit you and Bernard to play chess and Cluedo. I seem to remember you had/have relatives in America who used to send you 'Archie' comics which i used to borrow, Happy days
I was brought up in Pontllanfraith between 1950 (aged 2 years) and 1960 when I left for the bright lights of Cardiff. My father ran Springfield Stores near the old swimming baths. I'll try & dig up a photo
the bus was on the RAILWAY LINE DOH!
I remember peglers and clives chip shop
also the chemists the plaza dance hall and vics cafe or marios in my day I also remember the bridge over the railway does anyone remember the west mon bus ending up on the rasilway line it was a double decker
must have been about 1968
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