Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

School Buildings

old school

A selection of photographs taken at the Trecynon site in 1973,
nine years after the relocation to Cwmdare Road.

form Dylan Morgan (past student: 1957-1964)

ABGS Top Yard

A view from the top of the school yard. On the far left is the Physics Lab. On the ground floor of the main block was Room 8
on the left and Room 9 on the right. The Chemistry Lab spanned the whole width of the first floor.
The blocked off entry on the far right would have opened onto the cloakroom and may have been a separate entrance
for boys when the school had separate boys and girls departments.


ABGS Lower Yard

Moving down the yard to the Physics Lab entrance, we reach the steps that led down to the lower school-yard.
The building directly ahead housed the staffroom on the first floor together with a classroom. Below,
was a shower room and canteen. This canteen was linked to the classroom above by a ‘dumb waiter’ which was used
at lunch times when the first floor classroom was used as an overflow dining room.
The archway on the immediate left would have opened onto the Gym, but we do not recall that it is was ever in use in
the 1950s and 60s.


ABGS Bike Shed

This is the view looking up the slope from the rear vehicular entrance. On the left is the canteen, shower and staffroom accommodation
referred to above. Directly ahead is the end wall of the gym, a garage and a caretakers room. On the far right is a bike shed.
The metal gates were not present when the buildings were used for the school.


ABGS Gym Entrance

This is the entrance to the school gymnasium; it is just visible in the previous photograph. It afforded valuable protection
to boys in rainy weather when access to the main school buildings was forbidden. The door opened onto the changing
room which had a most distinctive smell!



Here is another corner of the site that has not received the attention of photographers. Past students will instantly
recognise this place at the very top of the yard; the brick wall being part of what we called ‘the Bog’
or ‘Dubs’. This area was home to those who dared to smoke outside the lavatory building - always with a lookout posted
to watch for any approaching schoolmaster. The area also afforded us one of the smaller soccer pitches available in
the school playgrounds; the two nearest drainpipes forming the goal posts. This game had one goal only,
but two teams could still vie to score the largest number of goals against the lone keeper.
We are proud to recall that the pile of rubbish visible in this shot would not have been present in the days of Mr. David Jones
or Mr Venn; but we had less litter to drop in those days, and more to fear if we did!
The trouser-polished tile-capped wall was an easy route
out of the school for those willing to slide down to Hirwaun Road at the rear of the school.
The style of the building suggests that brick part was a later addition to the original stone built structure.


ABGS Back Entry

This is the door where we queued up for lunch. It opened onto a corridor off which were situated Rooms 3 and 2.
To the left were two staircases: one led up to the staffroom and another led down to the canteen. This was the canteen we
used before the new one opened in September 1961. School meals were popular; when the new dining hall opened,
out of the 436 boys in the school, 160 took school ‘dinners’. The three windows on the right belonged to Room 4.
This was a warm classroom in winter as it was above a boiler room that could be reached by steps hidden by the wall on the right.
The hole in the wall was used to allow coal to be shovelled down to the boiler room coal house.


ABGS Main Facade

The is the well-known view that has been used on numerous postcards throughout the years.
Of note is the new structure behind the clocktower and the gentleman’s collar.


ABGS Old and New

This final photograph is a composite of one taken in 1897 and one of Dylan’s taken in 1973, both in the lower school yard.
The camera is pointing in roughly the same direction. You will notice that in 1897 there were two windows next to the door,
but only one in 1973. It appears that in order to construct the block that housed the canteen, showers and staffroom, it
was necessary to remove the end of the original Room 2/Room 3 corridor. We think that the window on the left
was converted to a new doorway, without the fancy surrounding brickwork of the earlier version.
We have identified a ‘stone block’ that helps to fix the identity of the window on the right.