Aberdare Boys‘ Grammar School

Reunion of the 1957–64 class
held in 2004

from Steve Hammonds

school building

Reunion Album 2004

After first being proposed in the summer of 2003 our reunion was held, as planned, on the afternoon of August 7th 2004 at the Tŷ Newydd Hotel in Penderyn Road, Hirwaun, 40 years after we left school to go our separate ways. We made a special effort to contact as many of the old boys from our era as possible, and to invite them. We believe we found about two thirds of our class mates, though unfortunately many of those contacted could not make the date that we had booked.
On the day of the reunion several past pupils were there: Colin Rees and his partner Dilys, Steve Hammonds and his partner Jean, Dylan Morgan, Phillip Moore, Keith Eynon, Peter Williams and his partner Haf, Derek Aust, Terry Evans, Lynn Parry Thomas, Morton Russell and his partner Elizabeth, Russell George, Derek Davies from the 1955-62 class, and Stephen Lewis from the 1958-65 class. Doug Baguley and his partner Andrea had intended to come from their home in Kent but had to cancel the trip only two days before the event due to illness. Tony Key left a letter at the Hotel the day before in which he expressed his regret that he could not be there due to a family holiday but would keep in touch. They were missed, as were the others who wanted to attend but were unable to do so.
It was a hot and brilliantly sunny day, one of the few such days this summer. Most people managed to turn up on time at 12.30 and Colin took a few photos of individuals before lunch. However, one of the organisers, Steve who was travelling from Nottingham that morning, was delayed due to the closure of the Heads of the Valleys Road and an extraordinary diversion from Brynmawr down to Crumlin, across to Abercynon, and back up to Merthyr. His wife, from Liverpool, saw rather more of the Valleys that day than she’d anticipated! Still, they eventually arrived before lunch and were quickly revived with a glass of something cool and refreshing.
Here are some photos from before lunch. Click on each thumbnail to get an enlarged picture.
Derek and Terry
Derek Aust, Lynn Thomas,
Peter Williams &
Terry Evans
Dylan Morgan
Dylan Morgan
Lynn and Peter
Lynn Parry Thomas
and Peter Williams
Keith and Phil
Keith Eynon
and Phil Moore
Phil Moore
Phil Moore
Keith Eynon
Keith Eynon
Steve Hammonds
Steve Hammonds
Steve’s delay was a bit of a worry, as he had all the money for the event! In addition, the Head Waiter kept asking Colin if he was ready for lunch to be served, and Lynn was on call from work and had to leave by 2.00. We eventually sat down at about 1.20 to a good lunch and some excellent conversation, mainly about our memories from school, and about what we had done since we left. Many of us hadn’t met since that summer 40 years ago when we finished school, so there was a lot to talk about. A couple of the participants mentioned that they had been to the Tŷ Newydd during our schooldays when it was used as a family home. We understand that it was owned by the NCB at the time and used as accommodation by one of their senior staff in the area. One of the children of this family at the time was a pupil at the school and invited several friends from school to a birthday party and an overnight stay.
The following photos were taken during lunch.
Group of three
Dylan, Derek Davies
and Derek Aust
Peter Williams and Haf
Peter Williams and Haf
Group of 6
Dylan Morgan, Phil Moore,
Peter Williams, Haf,
Keith Eynon and Lynn Thomas
Two Dereks
Derek Davies
and Derek Aust
Terry Steve Phil Peter
Terry Evans, Steve L,
Phil Moore and
Peter Williams
Derek Aust with glass
Derek Davies, Derek Aust,
Jean and Dilys
Colin Rees at back
Peter, Haf, Keith, Lynn,
Colin, Steve and Russell
(looking at the books)
In the foreground Derek Aust
and Derek Davies
Notice in the last photo that Colin is standing in the background in front of a screen and a table. He had brought along a large number of items from his collection of school memorabilia for people to browse through on the day. These items included his school cap, for example, and various exercise books, text books, and examination papers. Terry Evans had also brought along a lot of interesting items, including his scout shirt complete with badges from the 9th Aberdare, and a variety of photos including some from a school trip to Paris. Others had brought a variety of photos, documents, school books, and other items. Steve had produced a computer CD containing a copy of the web site and a copy of an old Guide to Aberdare, published by the Aberdare Urban District Council in 1956, for distribution to those who had computers and knew how to use them (most of the participants fortunately). Colin had also prepared a slide presentation to illustrate an excellent and amusing talk on his memories from the school, richly embellished with spontaneous contributions from the audience.
The following photos were taken after the presentation, and if you’ve been wondering what our partners were doing all this time, the photos suggest that they found a way to alleviate the boredom.
Colin and Dylan
Colin Rees, Derek Davies,
Terry Evans, Morton Russell
and Dylan Morgan
Russell George
Russell George
Russell and Steve
Russell George and
Steve Hammonds
The girls enjoying the
afternoon in the garden
Morton Russell
Morton Russell, Terry Evans,
Peter Williams, and
Derek Aust
1964 Biologists
The four biologists:
Steve, Peter, Keith, and Phil
Peter and parasol
Another photo
taken in the garden
That evening, several of us went on a walk through Aberdare Park to work off the excesses of the afternoon. Here are a couple of the pictures from this walk which include people.
Park Walk
Walking up the hill
away from the lake
Dilys Rees and Jean Hammonds
Near the bandstand
We had a very pleasant afternoon indeed. We seemed to run out of time very quickly, it was 5 o’clock before we realised it and we had to part company again.  We were all so busy eating, drinking, talking and looking at the display of memorabilia we had brought along that we didn’t take as many photos as we’d intended, and we forgot to get a class photo of all of us together. If we have another reunion at some future date, we must choose a time when more people are free to come, and we might consider having a stand-up buffet rather than a sit-down meal to give us more time to circulate. You might guess from these comments that the trials of organising the occasion haven’t put us off completely, so if you were unable to come this time watch this space.
Some reminiscences
Dylan Morgan has sent us an interesting story of one of his memories, of a famous snowballing incident, which was rekindled by the reunion. Click here to read it.
And Phil Moore has sent an entertaining account of his thoughts of the reunion. Click here.