Stephen J. Hammonds B.Sc., Ph.D.
Microbiologist, University Lecturer & Founder of the abgs Website
(ABGS 1957-1964)

Steve Hammonds, 2004

Steve Hammonds, c. 2004

Steve Hammonds the owner and founder of this website died, aged 67 on May 30th, 2013 in Loughborough. He leaves a wife and a son.

Steve was a very keen angler, and was driving home from a fishing trip on the day he died. As well as fishing he also very much enjoyed breaks in north Wales and in Shropshire where he and his wife maintained a caravan in each location, travelling over from their home in West Bridgford, Nottingham. Not surprisingly Steve also had a keen interest in botany, and he contributed many photographs, mainly of botanical specimens, to the photo sharing site Flickr. His page is here.

Steve’s funeral took place on June 18th at Wilford Hill Crematorium, West Bridgford. The crematorium chapel was full, and amongst the mourners were three past students from ABGS, and others who previously lived in Rhigos where Steve grew up. The choir from St Mary’s Church Nottingham, under their director and organist John Keys, sang at the service, and helped the congregation to give a superb rendition of ‘Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer’, to the tune ‘Cwm Rhondda’. Another musical piece with a Welsh flavour was the organ voluntary on exit, R. Vaughan Williams’ prelude ‘Rhosymedre’, which was also played at Steve and Jean’s wedding almost twenty six years earlier.

A few years ago Steve wrote his own entry for this Former Pupils section which is presented below.

Steve Hammonds

Steve at the campsite, 2009

I lived in Rhigos1 and was bussed to and from Aberdare every weekday, for a seven year stretch, to attend the Boys School where I ultimately studied science subjects (Botany, Zoology and Chemistry).

I graduated from Reading University with a degree in Microbiology in 1967, completed a PhD at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1971, then worked in various microbiology-related jobs in London and Liverpool. From 1975 I lectured in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at The Nottingham Trent University, and retired in January 2006.

I now live in a suburb to the South of Nottingham. I'm married to Jean, a Liverpool girl, and we have one son, Matthew.

I’m keen on fishing of all kinds (except sea fishing as there isn’t much sea around Nottingham, not yet anyway), but I particularly enjoy trout fishing in the Derbyshire rivers not far from home. I also enjoy botany and wildlife, and photography. For a long time I’ve also had a mild and completely harmless interest in local2 and personal history, but since we started the old school web site this has got totally out of control and I now spend a lot of my spare time, when I’m at home, researching the old school and helping to look after the web site. I get more fun from the old school now than I ever did as a pupil!


  1. Steve was born in Mexborough in Yorkshire, but at an early age arrived with his parents, Thomas Alfred Hammonds and his wife Annie Elizabeth (née Lanceley), and their five children at Beacon Road, Rhigos where his father found a job in the glass-making factory on the Hirwaun Trading Estate. Mr Hammonds worked previously at the Dale and Brown glass works in Swinton, where he was a refractory bricklayer. When the Beacon Road houses were demolished the family moved to The Bryn Estate, Rhigos where all the children, eight by this time, were raised. As the children grew up they eventually all moved away, and some settled in Swindon where Steve’s father and mother eventually went as well. They died there in 1985 and 1991 respectively.
  2. Steve played a part in setting up and maintaining the Rhigos Memories website.