Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

Cultural & Musical Activities

Old School

A brief newspaper report of the 1905 Christmas Concert

County School Concert.
On Friday evening at the County School a concert was given by the pupils of Miss Ethel Madge, mistress at the County School. The well-arranged programme was got up by Miss Madge, and the meeting turned out to be most entertaining and successful. Among those present were Mr and Mrs D.P. Davies1, Mrs W. Lloyd2, Mr and Mrs W.C. Cox3, Mrs Mander4, Major and Mrs Morgan5, Mr Tuckfield6, and Mr and Mrs Ogwen Williams7. All the little girls were prettily dressed in white and blue, and all did their work very creditably. The outsiders who contributed to the success of the evening were Miss Alice Morton, who sang “White Clover” in a manner which captivated everybody, and Mr Eben Powell, R.A.M., who gave an exceptionally brilliant rendering of “The Soldier,” and at a later stage sang “The Longshoreman” which won him a well-merited encore. Miss Edith Handley’s pianoforte selection, “Arabesque,” charmed the audience, and she responded to a loud encore, while “Polacca” (Weber), by Miss Olive Thomas, had a most enthusiastic reception. Songs were given by the following little girls:— “To San,” Hilda Davies and chorus. “Ten Little N——,” Norah Tuckfield and chorus. Pianoforte solos were contributed by the following:—“Andante Rondo,” Gwen Hughes. “You and I,” Althea Lake. “Sonatina,” Nancy Edwards. “Allegro,” Maggie Halewood. “Fairy Whispers,” Dorothy Mills. “Allegro," (Mozart), Elsie Jones. “Cinderella,” Emily Rogers. “Berceuse,” Frida Bawden. “Fairy Barque,” Annie Morgan. “Sonatina” and “Allegro,” May Kent. Waltz (Beethoven), Mabel Thomas. 6th Valse, Sophie Davies Jones. Russian fete dance, Sadie Williams. “Gavotte,” May Roach. “Scherzando,” Lily Phelps. Irene Walters also gave a pianoforte solo. Ernest Thomas played “Pansy,” and Willie Morgan played “Burlesque.” A skirt dance by Maggie Halewood and Irene Pratt was exceedingly charming.
Aberdare Leader, 23 December 1905
  1. Mr David Price Davies, Ynyslwyd (House), Aberaman. Gentleman Landowner, town councillor, Justice of the Peace, committee man, Chairman of Governors.
  2. Mrs Walter Lloyd was Mary Smith Lloyd. She was in 1913 to perform the opening ceremony of the new Girls’ School in Plasdraw. Mrs Lloyd and her husband, Walter, were founder members of Trinity Presbyterian Church, and until her husband’s death in 1883, they ran the newspaper Y Gwladgarwr. In her old age Mrs Lloyd went to live with her daughter and son-in-law E. Emrys Evans at 9/10 Victoria Square above the Chemists Shop.
  3. Mr Walter Charlton Cox was attending one of his first public meetings of the school since taking over the headship earlier in the year. His wife was May Daniel of Llwydcoed, a former pupil of the school.
  4. Mrs Mander was probably Mrs Gwenllian Mander, (née Lewis) the wife of Frederick William Mander (1857-1923), J.P., Glanynys House, Plasdraw. Mr Mander was a governor of the school; the owner and founder of a very successful grocery business; a director of the Black Lion Brewery, of a colliery company and of the Aberdare Steam Laundry Company; a Freemason; and High Constable 1892-93. The Aberdare Leader reveals that he was an early advocate of the motor car, for in 1904 Mr Mander was fined 20 shillings for driving his car in Aberdare Park at an excessive speed—between 15 and 18 mph. In 1907 Mr. Mander bought Fairfield House ... for £250 !
  5. Probably Major Morgan Morgan, J.P. and Mrs. Frances Emma Morgan, of Maesydderwen, Mountain Ash. The Morgans became related by marriage to the Manders when Captain A.O. Mander, son of Mr. & Mrs F. W. Mander married Miss Daisy Frances Morgan, daughter of (the now) Colonel and Mrs. Morgan, in 1915. Another son of the Morgans, David, appears on the WW1 Memorial Plaque of the School, a casualty in 1917. Morgan Morgan was an Estate Agent.
  6. Possibly Mr. George John Tuckfield, Manager of the Metropolitan Bank, (later to become the Midland, then in 1999 HSBC Bank, Cardiff Street).
  7. Mr Ogwen Williams was a member of staff at the school. There are biographical details about him in the Teachers Section of this website.
  8. Some Pupils, most of which were in Form 1:
    Hilda Davies was from East Avenue, Aberdare.
    Norah Tuckfield, daughter of G.J. Tuckfield, see note 6.
    Gwen Hughes was probably from Ivy Cottage, Abernant.
    Althea Lake lived at the Shepherds Arms, Cwmaman.
    Nancy Edwards was the daughter of David Edwards, sub-postmaster at Cwmdare Post Office. Nancy was to become the wife of D.O. Roberts and mother of Dafydd Roberts, dental surgeon of Broniestyn Terrace, and Whitcombe Street.
    Maggie Halewood belonged to the Halewood family of successful boot and shoe manufacturers and retailers of Canon Street, whose factory stood behind the current telephone exchange in High Street. Previously the factory was a woolen mill.
    Dorothy Mills was the daughter of the butcher F.J. Mills of Commercial Street, Mountain Ash.
    May Kent came from Woodland Street, Mountain Ash.
    Sadie Williams lived in Harriet Street, Trecynon.
    May Roach lived in Clifton Street. Her father was a draper.
    Lily Phelps lived in Whitcombe Street, Maes-y-Dre.
    Ernest THomas lived in the Swan Hotel, Aberaman, where his father was the landlord.
    Irene Pratt lived in Station Terrace, Penrhiwceiber, with her mother who was a teacher.
    Eben Powell was very much in demand as a amateur bass soloist in Aberdare & District. He lived in Broniestyn Terrace.
    Edith Handley was a music teacher from Swansea.
    Olive Thomas was from Berthlwyd Cottage, Hirwaun. She was a pupil of the school at this time.