Updated May 1st 2015
Established September 2001
by Steve Hammonds
Welcome to the website of the old Aberdare Boys’ Grammar
School. The web server continues to provide pages to visitors from all over the
world, and the website continues to grow thanks to your contributions. If you have
any photos or documents to share please let me know - my email address can be found
in the panel on the right. Alternatively, you may wish to make a suggestion for
an entry in the Former Pupils section, if so please let me have details, and a picture
if possible. To see full details of what has been added recently, click the link
shown below ‘Latest Additions’ in the column on the left. Thank you
again to all those who have already made contributions by writing short articles
or by sending in photos.
Mark Cosovich, ABGS 1967-74
Former pupils may be interested to know about the stunningly
good restoration work that Mark Cosovich carries out on Mercedes cars at his Swansea
business centre. He has recently published the first comprehensive English-language
book on the legendary Mercedes-Benz W123 Series. It fulfils the demand for a detailed
analysis of the model. Co-written by Mark, who is an acknowledged and respected
W123 specialist, together with the UK’s leading classic car author, Martin
Buckley, the book has a foreword by ex-F1 Champion Jody Scheckter.
On the far left is an example of Mark’s restoration work
and on the near left is his book on the Mercedes W123 series.
You can read more about Mark in two press articles, here and
A video in which Mark talks about his work and which includes
details of how to obtain the book can be found here.
Video only here.
Marks’ foundation in Metalwork and Engineering was
all done at the Old Boys Grammar School Workshop, and he has given a credit to
his teacher, Mr Ken Williams, and the school in his book. Mark would very much
like to contact Ken but so far has failed to locate him. If anybody knows the whereabouts
of Mr Williams, please let us know so that the two can meet up again - after 40
click the image for a larger version
There are now fewer than 10 tickets
remaining for the reunion. If
you wish to attend, please contact Richard as soon as possible to avoid
disappointment. The function will take place on Friday,
July 31, 2015 at the
clubhouse of Aberdare Golf Club. The cost will be £17.50 for a 3 course dinner.
The guest speaker will be Nigel Owens who is recognised as one
of the top rugby union referees in the world and a highly entertaining after dinner
There will also be an opportunity for those who wish to
play golf to start the day earlier, and spend the afternoon at the club. Green
fees for non-members will be £12 and we will be teeing off around noon.
Please contact Richard if you wish to attend the dinner
on either 07850 129272 or
Hirwaun Primary School 1971 Leavers
Andrew Hoggins, ABGS 1971–78, is looking in to the idea of organising
a reunion of 1971 Hirwaun Primary School leavers at some point in 2016. He has set
up a web page at
so that class members can communicate with each other, and
on Twitter he has set up @HPLeavers1971
Aberdare Community School: Past students
can keep abreast of the developments at the newly opened Aberdare Community School
by visiting its website, which is at
Here the head teacher reflects on the school’s first term, and
the latest report about the school from the Cynon Valley Leader, in which it is
reported that the first group of pupils will arrive at the new school buildings
in May. However, pupils in Years 11, 12 and 13 will remain at the Cwmdare Campus
to complete their examinations in the summer. All years will be at the school near
the town centre in September 2015.
Former Girls’ School Centenary Booklet
The Aberdare Girls’ School Centenary Booklet is available
for purchase from the school, price £4 plus £1 UK p&p, Aberdare
Community School (Plasdraw Campus), Cwmbach Road, Aberdare, CF44 0NF. Tel. 01685
Former Blaengwawr Comprehensive School
The online archive that has been set up to celebrate the school’s
history can be found here.
Cynon Valley History Society Past students with
an interest in the history of their home town may be interested to know that the
society has produced various publications over the last forty years. Those currently
in print are as follows:
Old Aberdare (Volume 10), (2008) ed. Geoffrey
Evans. £5 plus £1 p&p.
Chapels of the Cynon Valley, (2004) by A.V. Jones. £10 plus £4.50
p&p. (Details of the 180 chapels built in the valley)
Churches of the Cynon Valley, (2012) by A.V. Jones. £20 plus £6
p&p. (Details of the 32 Anglican churches in the valley)
The Men Who Marched Away,(2014) by Geoffrey Evans. £12 plus £2
p&p. (Details and stories of the valley’s WW1 casualties)
The Land Your Fathers Possessed, (2011) by Geoffrey Evans & D.L. Davies.
£10 plus £2.50 p&p.
A Digital Archive of ‘Hanes’, (July 1984- Autumn 2011), the
newsletter of the Society, plus more, a DVD-datadisk.
£5 plus £1 p&p.
Details of these books and how to purchase them can be found on the
the CVHS website, and on its publications
page, or contact the society’s publications officer directly via email
Some Background Information about Aberdare County School
The school building was completed in July 1894 but, for reasons explained
in the History section of this website, opened two years later on September 28th,
1896 as The Aberdare Technical and Intermediate Schools with Head Master W. Jenkyn
Thomas and four assistant teachers: two men and two women. There were 141 pupils
present by the end of the first term, 88 boys and 53 girls, taught in mixed classes
for the majority of their subjects, although the building had separate entrances
for boys and girls.
The school soon became known as The County School and remained
so until the early sixties when the Grammar School name became more widely used.
The pupils from the lower end of the Cynon Valley left in 1907 when Mountain Ash
County School opened initially at Gwernifor, Miskin, moving to Dyffryn House much
later in 1926. Then in 1913, the girls together with the women staff left for their
own school in Plasdraw.
There was little significant change at the County School in terms
of the nature of staffing and curriculum over the years until the Trecynon buildings
were vacated in 1964 and the school relocated to the bottom of Cwmdare Hill.
In 1978 the Boys’ Grammar School closed and there was a
fairly smooth transition to comprehensive status, when the Aberdare Boys Comprehensive
School opened. Many of the existing staff were reappointed to the new school which
was housed in the ex-grammar school buildings on Cwmdare Road, as the upper school.
The buildings of Rhydywaun Secondary Modern School in Penywaun, which had also changed
status, housed the lower school. The lower school at Rhydywaun was eventually brought
to a new building at Cwmdare Road after two serious fires at Rhydywaun caused almost
complete loss of its buildings.
From September 1st, 2009 Aberdare Boys Comprehensive School,
was renamed Aberdare
High School (opens in new window). The school adopted a new badge, which showed
a similarity to the original grammar school design with ‘dragon and book’.
The picture, above right, shows the school as it was in 1978, but additionally there
was a large sports hall added to the site, behind the two-story block on the right.
The new hall was both a school and a community facility.
In 2011, the decision was made by RTCBC to close the Boys’ High
School, the Girls Comprehensive (at Plasdraw and The Gadlys) and Blaengwawr Comprehensive
School. It was intended that the pupils of all three schools would be housed in
the new school to be built at The Ynys, near the centre of Aberdare, and which was
initially planned to open in September 2014. By then Aberdare had three secondary
schools instead of the existing five. The new Aberdare Community School did open
in September 2014, but only in name, and a move into the incomplete new school buildings
was deferred until 2015. The temporary homes of the new school are at the former
Blaengwawr, Aberdare High and Aberdare Girls (Plasdraw) buildings. For further details
of the reorganisation scheme published in 2011, click
Aberdare High School, The Lower School, Summer 2013.
Aberdare High School, The Upper School, Summer 2013.
Trecynon School Clock
The asking price of ‘The Old Clock Tower’ is £275,000.
The tower and adjacent room have been converted into a new home that featured in
both the South Wales Echo and the Cynon Valley Leader in July 2009. The Echo article
was particularly impressive with a three-page spread, including a full-page photo
of the building on the front page of the homeWALES supplement. The current owner
is Ray Radnedge of Radnedge Architectural Antiques in Llanelli. In the article he
says he initially purchased the clock only. But he then heard that the tower was
to be demolished by the developer, so he bought that too. The inside pages show
several views of both the exterior and of the internal fittings. Details of the
property can be seen on the estate agent’s website by clicking
A gallery of photographs showing the reinstatement of the clock
can be found in the School Building section of this website. The weather vane now
completes the architectural fittings at the top of the dome, and the clock faces
are now illuminated at night. The clock, which had been removed for restoration
and repair, consists of a two-and-a-half tonne structure made of solid oak with
cast iron facings, copper roof, and a 10 ft pendulum.
If you have any comments, or contributions for the site, click here for a
form, or contact the editor via email:
Use the box below to find something or someone on this site:
Aberdare is one of the areas in the UK where the online satellite maps from
Google Maps are of a high resolution.
Go to Google
Maps to look down on the old school site and to explore the rest of the town.