Aberdare Boys Grammar School

A letter about school admission
from W. Jenkyn Thomas to Mr Constantine Carney

from Victor J. Carney

school building

A letter from W. Jenkyn Thomas, dated September 1903

This letter is from the first Headmaster, W. Jenkyn Thomas, to the father of a prospective pupil, Frank Clarence Carney who had taken the entrance examination, which originally was sat just before the beginning of the Autumn Term. The father was Mr Constantine Carney a baker and confectioner of 7B Weatheral St with business premises at 27 Canon St, (later run by Len Godding, also a baker and confectioner).

In the very early days of the school there were few scholarships available for pupils. When no help was forthcoming, parents had to find the school fees, as well as buy books for their children. Of course, the family would also lose the potential wages that their sons or daughters would otherwise have earned in the workplace. As a result of this correspondence, F.C. Carney did enter the school, on September 28th, but stayed for just two years, leaving in July 1905 just after his fifteenth birthday. However this short period at school was not at all unusual at this time, and throughout the whole of Wales most pupils left after about three years at their Intermediate Schools.

After leaving school Frank went into his father’s business in Canon St, but after several changes of career eventually became the manager at Salisbury Employment Exchange, a post from which he retired. Frank had an elder brother Victor W. Carney who also attended the school (1897 – 99). Victor qualified as a mechanical engineer and worked locally in the mining industry. Frank and Victor both died in their early fifties, in 1942 and 1943 respectively.

F.C. Carney was the father of the contributor of this item, Victor J. Carney, (1935 – 2015). Victor concluded his career as Registrar at the University of Swansea. His wife Anne, (née Bevan), died in December 2018.

Entry James Entry Martin