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Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

Memories & Memorabilia

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School Prize 1913

Laura Ellen Williams, Form Va, (later to become Mrs Laura Runge)

Front Cover Dedication Title Page Book Spine

Laura’s book is The Essays of Elia by Charles Lamb, published by The Walter Scott Publishing Co. Ltd., Felling-on-Tyne and carries the mark I2-I2, a possible date of publication. It is bound in leather with a reddish brown spine, and the front and back in green leather, with the words Aberdare Intermediate School, 1913 written in gilt lettering on the front. Inside the front cover we see that the book was presented to Laura Williams for her work in Mathematics; the handwriting is that of Mr Cox, the headmaster.

When Laura was in Form Va in 1913, the school was in its last year as a mixed school. She was a pupil from September 1912 until July 1913, when she was awarded her CWB Senior Certificate with three distinctions. She had previously been a pupil for three years at Penarth County Secondary School. She lived in Monk House in Monk Street with her father Edmund Williams, a commercial traveller for a brewery, and her stepmother Sarah Williams. She transferred to the Girls’ County Intermediate School when it opened on Thursday, September 11th, 1913.

However, whilst she was a pupil at Trecynon, Laura had made the acquaintance of Guy Runge, (son of the watchmaker Bernhard Runge, Cardiff Street). In fact, she married him in 1922, and Guy subsequently became a school teacher at The Gadlys Secondary School. They eventually settled in the house named in “Paviland” at the end of Pendarren Street. Both were born in 1896; Laura died in 1970 and Guy in 1977.

Note: The school names: Aberdare Technical and Intermediate School; Aberdare Intermediate School; Aberdare County School; Aberdare County Grammar School; and Aberdare Boys Grammar School all refer to the same selective institution which existed between 1896 and 1978. The use of the word ‘Intermediate’ was dropped when Headmaster T.B. Reynolds retired in 1954, but it had already become obsolete when the 1944 Education Act renamed these Welsh secondary schools as Grammar Schools.