Updated April 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
click the image for a larger version
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
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
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,
A video in which Mark talks about his work
and which includes details of how to obtain the book can be
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
Hirwaun Primary School 1971 Leavers
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
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
plus £1 p&p.
Chapels of the Cynon Valley, (2004) by A.V. Jones. £10 plus £4.50
(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
(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
Coleg y Cymoedd – Aberdare Campus The local
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
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 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.
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
School can be read, or downloaded,
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
online archive that has been set up to celebrate the school’s
history can be found here.
Some Background Information about Aberdare County
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 feedback
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.