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Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School


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Newspaper Report of 1914 Sports Day

This was the first Sports Day after the splitting of the original mixed school into separate boys’ and girls’ schools in September 1913.

Aberdare County School

The annual sports of the Aberdare Boys’ County School were held at the Ynys Field on Thursday. The starter was Mr Aubrey Roberts, M.A., and the secretary Mr D.S. Nicholas. The prizes were distributed by Capt. G.A. Evans, J.P., the High Constable of Miskin Higher. He was introduced by Ald. T. Luther Davies, M.E., new Chairman of the Governing Body. Two boys, J.D. Powell and Roy Lewis, proposed and seconded a vote of thanks to the High Constable.


100 yards open. — Heat winners: Jeffries, W. Watkins, Sarvis, G. Thomas, Nicholas, C. Hughes. Final: 1, W. Watkins; 2, C. Hughes; 3, Garfield Thomas.

High Jump (under 15): 1, J.E. Williams; 2, Lindsey.

Putting the Shot: 1, Hopkin Walters; 2, J.E. Evans.

220 yards (open): Heat winners: W. Watkins, Hopkin Walters, Cyril Hughes, Ivor Edmunds, J.E. Evans, T. Jeffries. Final: 1, W. Watkins; 2, R. Howells; 3, J.E. Evans.

Place-kicking 1, Pontin 2, Nicholas.

100 yards (under 15): Heat winners: Lambert, Rees Evans, Burge, Stubbins, Dan Jones. Final: 1, Rees Evans; 2, Dan Jones.

Throwing Cricket Ball: 1, H. Walters; 2, A.G. Davies; 3, Garfield Thomas.

220 yards (under 15): Heat winners: Stubbins, Lambert, Dalrymple, Ben Howells, R. Evans, Edgar Jones. Final: 1, B. Howells; 2, Stubbins; 3, Edgar Jones.

Sack Race: Heat winners: Mackintosh, Idris Jones, Tucker, Fithen, W. Edwards, Edgar Jones. Final: 1, Edgar Jones; 2, Idris Jones; 3. Fithen.

440 yards (open): 1, W. Watkins; 2, Nicholas.

House Race: 1, Mr E. Ogwen Williams’ house; 2, Mr W.H. Fenton’s house; 3, Mr L. Thomas’ house.

Blind Horse Race: 1, D. Nicholas and H. Walters; 2, Edgar Jones and W. Edwards; 3, J.E. Evans and C. Hughes.

High Jump: 1, Garfield Thomas (4ft. 7in.); 2, David Nicholas (4ft. 6in).

Long Jump (under 15): 1, W.R. Rees; 2, Rees Evans.

880 yards (open): 1, Dalrymple; 2, Handel Jordan.

Chariot Race: 1, D. Nicholas and Co.; 2, W. Edwards and Co.; 3, Runge and Co.

Obstacle Race: Heat winners — Mansel Evans, J. Davies, D.R. Davies, Lambert, Edgar Jones, Beverley Jones. Final: 1, Mansel Evans; 2, Edgar Jones; 3, James Davies.

The Challenge Cup for the competitor who secured the highest number of points was won by Garfield Thomas, who scored five points. It was given by the Old Pupils’ Society.

The Band of the Training School, who appeared in their new uniform, played selections during the day.

Ald. Thomas Luther Davies (1861-1936) was a colliery manager who lived in Cwmaman. He had a long career in the mining industry, and took considerable interest in public affairs. He was a Christadelphian who had published some religious articles. His son Archibald and daughter Lizzie were pupils at the school in its very early days: from 1905 and 1907 respectively. He died aged 75, when he lived at 7, Plasdraw Road. He lies buried in Aberdare Old Cemetery, with his first wife Lizzie Isabel Goldie, who died in 1894 in childbirth, a son Thomas, and his second wife, Etty Roberts, (known as Cissie), in an unmarked plot, (W9/4).
Fithen, who came third in the sack race, was Henry Haydn John Fithen, known as Haydn. He lived at 105 Cemetery Road, Trecynon, and was at the school from 1913-15. His son Gordon, ABCS 1939-46, has an entry in the Former Pupils section of this website.
David Sidney Nicholas: Dai Nicholas entered the school in 1909 at the age of 12 from Robertstown Elementary School, and quickly became an accomplished soccer player. He was capped by Wales at schoolboy level in 1912, but his career was interrupted by the outbreak of war, and he joined the Navy in World War I. Towards the end of the war he played several games as an amateur for Swansea before turning professional with Merthyr. However his football was once again put on hold for a few years when he entered the Carmarthen Teacher Training College.
In 1921, aged 24, he joined Stoke Football Club staying until 1925; for three of those years the team played in the Football League Second Division, but for one year, 1922-23, in the Football League First Division. He returned to Swansea Town, for a further six seasons, 1924-30. He played for Wales on three occasions in the period 1921-24. Eventually he became a teacher in Aberdare.
D.R. Davies has an entry in the Former Pupils section of this website.
Joshua Dalrymple was the son of the landlord of the Castle Inn, Cwmdare.
Ivor Edmunds was a member of the Edmunds family of Hirwaun.
The Band of the Training School :The Merthyr Union Workhouse built an infirmary in Llewellyn Street, Trecynon in 1871. But by 1877 the building was converted to an Industrial School for children; there was also an Industrial Farm to the north of the building. From about 1895 the Industrial School became known as The Training School. Apparently the Training School was converted into a branch workhouse in 1912 when alternative cottage homes for children were erected in Llwydcoed. Presumably, in this 1914 newspaper report, the Band had maintained the name previously associated with the Training School. See here more details of the Merthyr Union Workhouse, which included Aberdare.