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The Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

1896 to 1978

A personal record of the life and times of the
County Grammar School for Boys
published by the old pupils of the School

Contents

Latest additions

Updated  April 1st 2015

Established September 2001
by Steve Hammonds

April 2015

Old_School

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.


Notices

Advert Reunion

click the image for a larger version

 Reunion:  Tickets for the reunion have sold well, there are now fewer than 20 remaining. 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 speaker.
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
Richard Evans

 

Mark Cosovich

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.

Restored Car
Merc Book

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 here.
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 years.

Rosslyn Evans, ABGS 1958-65
Past students who were at school in the mid–1960s will remember that one of our classmates Rosslyn Evans, of the Gadlys, disappeared in Bristol in November 1965, just 4 weeks after starting a course in medicine at the University there. He has never been found. His family have never given up hope of finding out what happened to him, almost 50 years ago. An article published in the local press on March 15th about Rosslyn can be read here.

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
https://hpleavers1971.wordpress.com/
so that class members can communicate with each other, and on Twitter he has set up @HPLeavers1971

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 homepage of the CVHS website, and on its publications page, or contact the society’s publications officer directly via email at
HW

Coleg y Cymoedd – Aberdare Campus The local press is reporting that the Welsh Government is lending support for a new £20m Aberdare College campus. This development in Further Education would mean the Cwmdare College buildings would be replaced by new ones near the railway station. See also the college website.

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 http://www.aberdarecommunityschool.org.uk/
Here the head teacher reflects on the school’s first term, and here is 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.

January 18, 2015
At the centre, the new school catching the dawn sun, January 19th, 2015. Merthyr Mountain in the background.
from Clive Stanley Williams

Former Aberdare High School

The 28-page colour commemorative booklet, “End of an Era”, distributed at the final Prize and Speech Evening of Aberdare (Boys’) High School can be read, or downloaded, here.

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 872460.

Former Blaengwawr Comprehensive School
The online archive that has been set up to celebrate the school’s history can be found here.

 
Cwmdare Rd School

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 here.

 
Lower School 2013
Aberdare High School, The Lower School, Summer 2013.
 
Upper School 2013
Aberdare High School, The Upper School, Summer 2013.
 

Trecynon School Clock

clock tower

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 here.

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.

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contacts

Related Link

Aberdare Girls Grammar School

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Aerial Views

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.