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Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

Memories & Memorabilia

school building

School Prize 1911

Edith Veronica Tay, Form IIIa

Front Cover Dedication Title Page Book Spine
Edith’s book is the novel Hypatia by Charles Kingsley, published by Macmillan & Co. and dated 1895. It is bound in red leather with the words Aberdare County School written in gold lettering on the front. Inside the front cover we see that the book was presented to Edith Veronica Tay for her work in English Subjects; the handwriting is that of Mr Cox, the headmaster. Edith was better known as Vera, and after leaving school she played a prominent and active role in the Past Student Association, which organised numerous social events throughout the twenties and thirties.

When Edith was in Form IIIa in 1911, the school was coeducational. She was a pupil from September 1909 until July, 1911; but it was not unusual at that time for pupils to stay for just two years at the school. Edith was almost 13 when she started and left in the July after her fourteenth birthday. The family lived in Richmond Terrace in Abernant. Her headmaster was W. Charlton Cox; though had she stayed a little longer she would have transferred to Plasdraw when the Girls’ County School opened on Thursday, September 11th, 1913. The first headmistress was Miss M. S. Cook.

We don’t have any pictures of the 1911 class, but pupils probably looked similar to those on this slightly earlier photograph.


The Census of 1901 lists five persons with the surname Tay living in Aberdare:
John, aged 47 from Staffordshire listed as a Colliery Stableman
Frances, aged 43 also from Staffordshire
Frank, aged 9 born in Rowlands Castle, Herefordshire
Minnie, aged 7 born in Marstow, Herefordshire
Edith, aged 4 born in Whitebrook which is south of Monmouth
The current local telephone directory shows that there are still (2010) several people with this surname in the Ystradfellte and Glynneath areas.