Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

Certificate Ceremonies

Old School

Aberdare High School
Final Prize & Speech Evening

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014


Mr Ian Machin, Mr Alun Maddox and Mr Roy Noble
on the platform in the School Gymnasium

On a warm summer evening in June, 2014, the Boys’ School held its last ever Prize and Speech Evening.

The event was attended by the Headmaster Mr Ian Machin and his wife, together with representatives of the local authority RCTCBC and its education department, school staff, former staff, governors, former governors, former headmaster Dr Geoff Abbott, former Deputy Head Judith Griffiths, former Head Boys, together with invited guests, parents and students.

Mr Alun Maddox, Chair of Governors, acted as chairman for the evening’s proceedings. The principal guest was Mr Roy Noble, OBE, BBC Wales presenter, as well as a former governor of the school and parent.


At the beginning of the meeting, Mr Maddox briefly outlined the 118 years of the school’s history; the headmaster Mr Machin delivered a humorous but encouraging speech to the pupils and prize winners; Roy Noble delivered a polished address which entertained the audience and suggested how the boys might conduct themselves in order to fulfil their true potential in their future careers.

Terry Harding

Terry conducting the band playing the theme from Star Wars

Mr Terry Harding, recently retired, was a Technology teacher at the school for many years. He was invited back for the Prize Evening to conduct the Jazz Band that had been assembled at the front of the Gym.

Terry was well-known in the school and Aberdare for his stewardship of Hardy’s Magic Big Band which he conducted for many years. The band gave many generations of the school’s boys an experience of band playing which took them to many venues across south Wales, and into Europe. There is a section of this website in the Cultural Activities section about Mr Harding and the band.

Matthew Jenkins

Matthew Jenkins, Head Boy, after
presenting Mrs Machin with
a bouquet of flowers

Head boy Matthew Jenkins was extremely busy during the evening. He welcomed the visitors at the beginning of the evening, gave the vote of thanks to Roy Noble, and presented Mrs Machin with a bouquet of flowers. However his most important task, during the main part of the evening, was to assist Roy Noble with the large number of cups and other prizes that needed to be selected and presented to the correct student. The introductions and names of prize winners during this part of the ceremony were announced by Mr Mark Jefferies, Assistant Headteacher.

All guests who attended received a copy of the large glossy 28-page booklet aptly named “End of an Era”. It contained the names of all the pupils in the academic year 2013-14, names of staff, governors, names of all the prizewinners, a short history of the Boys’ School commencing in 1896 to the present day, news of Former Pupils and much more - a great souvenir.

At the end of the ceremony an enthusiastic rendering of Mae Hen Wlad fy Nhadau was given by all present.

All guests then moved to the Upper School assembly hall where a large buffet had been provided by former member of staff Mrs Christine Lloyd assisted by Carrie Lloyd and members of Years 10 & 11.

Guests and members of staff lingered for about an hour recalling times past, and saying their final goodbyes to the old school.


Click on the small images to view the larger versions.

End of an Era
The cover of the
souvenir booklet
“End of an Era”
page 1
Programme: page 1
page 2
Programme: page 2
page 3
Programme: page 3
page 4
Programme: page 4