History and Heritage

History of Ystalyfera County School


Public subscriptions towards the Ystalyfera School Building Fund were first received in 1891 and when the Glamorgan Scheme received the Royal Assent in May 1896, the school was almost ready to be opened. During July, August and September governors meetings were held in the new school, which was officially opened on 20th October 1896.

Read More - History of Ystalyfera County School

In the photograph in the book Stepping Stones, by Bernant Hughes (reproduced top right), the main building of the Ystalyfera County School shows a row of trees. This photograph I took in January 2017 still depicts the trees along the front of the building but I am almost too afraid to ask if they will still be there at the end of this year. If I could be granted a wish, I think I would like a way to be able to listen to what Mother Nature especially her trees, records of the history as it unfolds beneath their branches.

The caretaker's house was built on the end of the building. The front of the building also housed the main entrance and an entrance for the staff. The earliest reference I could find was an advert for the post of Caretaker which according to the letter published a week later caused someone to feel very disgruntled. The successful candidate was to have free coal and there is a chimney still on the building and the lean-to at the back may have been where the coal was stored. I am told these building are soon to be demolished to make way for a new junior school but standing in front of this house/home I cannot but feel sad to think of one more piece of history is to be rendered to the archives in the name of progress. Read More - The Caretaker

The first Headmaster of Ystalyfera County School was Arthur Blount Sully, appointed on the opening of the school in 1896, and serving until 1913. He was replaced by Henry Rees, known as Harry, who was in the job for thirty years, from 1913 to 1943. Ben T. Jomes, a long-term Master at the school was Headmaster from 1943 to 1945, and was succeeded by E D Lewis.

Read More - Headmasters of Ystalyfera County School

In 1932, Ystalyfera County School was expanded with new classroom blocks, laboratories, art room, lecture rooms, and dining rooms. An opening ceremony was held on 31st October 1932, attended by Alderman D.T. Williams.

Read More - Expansion of Ystalyfera County School

There is a tendency to focus on former pupils of a school only through the lens of those who fell in the World Wars. The local newspaper (known as the Llais) would frequently, however, comment upon former pupils of Ystalyfera County School who had achieved something notable in their lives, or in the life of the county of Glamorgan. We have taken some of these newspaper articles and made a page featuring some of these exploits.

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In November 1956, an anonymous donor and former pupil of Ystalyfera County School donated a pipe organ to the school to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee (60 years of existence). A concert was held to celebrate both the donation and the jubilee, in which the organ played a prominent role.

Read More - Diamond Jubilee Organ