Updated June 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.
Philip Morris Walters
We were shocked to receive the sad news that former pupil Philip
M. Walters died on the morning of June 24th. Philip was a pupil
of the school, 1949-57, leaving for UCW Aberystwyth to
study law where he graduated Ll.B. He became articled with
Aberdare solicitor Graeme John and qualified as a solicitor
in 1964. He then went into a partnership with his colleague
Peter Jenkins until 1998 and from that time became a consultant
with the firm, remaining as such until his death. In
the early 1980s, he became HM Coroner for Mid Glamorgan,
later Bridgend and Glamorgan Valleys, and retired from
that post in 2008.
Philip was the son of Ted and Ann Walters, (née Morgan). He was brought up
in Siop y Parc, 63 Gadlys Road, premises that the Morgans and
later the Walters occupied for a total of 67 years until 1964.
With his parents, he attended Carmel Welsh Calvinistic Methodist
Chapel, Trecynon. Philip was a family man, but always had serious
interests in sport, and in later life particularly bowls, where
he played at the Harlequins Club. He had held the post of President
of both Aberdare RFC and Aberdare Athletic Club. At school,
he played for the 2nd XV and was scorer to the school cricket
XI. He was a strong advocate for the Past Students Association,
and in this respect was actively involved in the organisation
of the large reunion in 2011. Philip lived in Elm Grove, Aberdare.
He shall be sadly missed by the many people who will
remember him, above all, as a genuine and good person.
Ynys School Building
All pupils of this school have now transferred to the new building.
The temporary accommodation in the old schools is now shut.
Video of Plasdraw School Eisteddfod 2015 a last
chance to see the interior of the Plasdraw School Hall, as well as the eisteddfod
competitors, click here.
to the bottom of the page to get to the video player.
click the image for a larger version
There are now fewer than 5 tickets
remaining for the reunion. If
you wish to attend, please contact Richard as soon as possible. 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
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
a 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 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 September
2014 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 were at the former Blaengwawr, Aberdare High
and Aberdare Girls (Plasdraw) buildings. Pupils started moving
out of these old buildings and moving into the new building
in the summer term of 2015, with examination candidates remaining
in the Cwmdare Road building to take their examinations.
For further details of the reorganisation
scheme published in 2011, click here.
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.