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Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

Past Student Association

school building

Past Student Society/Association
Activities circa 1911

Mementoes that belonged to Frank C. Carney who attended the school from 1897 to 1899.
He was father of Victor Carney (ABGS 1945 to 1953) who contributed the items.

Letter requesting attendance at meeting
October, 1910
Receipt for Membership Subscription,
Debate: Shall Women Have Votes
November 1910
Reunion: December 30, 1910
Lecture: The Message of H.G. Wells
March 17, 1911
Whist Drive and Dance, April 1911
Annual Reunion, New Year’s Day, 1912
Annual Reunion, Jan 3, 1913

The Past Student Association/Society was founded in 1902. It had a busy programme of activities in the days before television, and even more so before the advent of the wireless set.  There were various activities: a regular dancing class on a Friday under the direction of a Miss McDonald; summer trips by charabanc to such destinations as Southerndown and The Gower Peninsula; ‘Smokers’ for men; Whist Drives; illustrated talks; debates; hockey, cricket and football teams; a dramatic society as well as the formal Annual Reunion Dance.

The Association was particularly active after each of the World Wars when it worked hard to raise funds for the purchase of the memorials which still stand in the current school hall.  After the first World War the funds were sufficient to pay not only for the memorial but for a piano, sports pavilion and a contribution of £30 to a scholarship fund. The PSA did not function during World War 2, the last meeting taking place on 9th February, 1940 and the first meeting after the War on 30th November 1945.

After WW2, it was resolved to erect a memorial plaque for those who had fallen in the conflict, and part of the surplus from the Old Memorial Fund (1914-18) was used to supplement the new fund which eventually was sufficient for the purchase of the memorial plaque1, an inscribed beech lectern2 (with a carved dedication to the school casualties of both wars) and English and Welsh bibles for the lectern that were to be used in school assemblies.

Of course, women were past students prior to World War 1, and they also took an active part during the inter-war period. Many of those women who attended the school prior to the separation of the institutions in 1913, gave their allegiance to the Trecynon Association. Indeed some remained faithful to the Association and served on the committee right up to 1946.

The 1960s also witnessed renewed activity, with trips, treasure hunts and once again fundraising, on this occasion for the trophy cabinet. Then, in 1995, a group of past students began making arrangements for the centenary activities of 1996.

1 The cost being £138..10s..0d
2 The lectern was Model No. 1077 from Messrs J. Wippell & Co of Exeter, who are still in business.