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Marion31

Arael Infants and Junior school records

Does anyone know where these records are? For many months I have been asking staff at Gwent Archives office, Blaenau Gwent offices, Abertillery Museum and Library without success. After prompting, I had a reply from Gwent Archives to a query I made in February this year to say that the last head teacher was Ian Rolls but at the time of closure 2004 (?) it was  being looked after by Pat Thorley  - not sure if this person is male or female. As I live in Norwich it would have been helpful if someone at Gwent Archives had gone the extra mile for me and tried to find out from these people the answer to my often repeated question - where are the school records?
I was told at one stage that they must have been passed on to the school that succeeded it, but which one?  It used to take pupils from Warm Turn, Lancaster, Griffin and Arrail Streets. I was there from 1936 to 1944. The school opened in 1902 and my father and his brothers went there from around 1910. Miss G. Lewis taught them and was
Governess when I was there.
I would be most grateful for any help to find these records.
Thank you.
Rocke

Hello Marion.

Just to start the ball rolling (there are people who will surely be more au fait with it than me) I believe that the Catchment Area for Arrail St became part of the CA for Bryngwyn ie. that Bryngwyn effectively became the successor of Arrail St.

However I remember there was a bit of a kerfuffle about choice etc. and a lot of pupils transferred to Queen St.

If I'm incorrect then someone please correct me.
What I'm trying to do is avoid potential confusion about which was the successor school if, for example, someone says that their child transferred to Queen St and it is assumed that Queen St must have been the successor.

The best thing to do is write to the Education  Dept, Blaenau Gwent CBC (Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale NP23 6XB) and ask which school officially took over the catchment area of the former Arrail St school, and perhaps mention that you're asking because you wish to access school records. It might kill two birds with one stone.

I know that the Order for closing the school (and public consultation) would have provided for a formal transfer and since it's only 10 years ago it should be straightforward to get on the right path (might be a long path but at least it will be in the right direction).
stoob

Arael Infants and Junior School Records.

These records should be over the archive centre in Ebbw Vale, was under the impression they were doing a big thing on school intake registers, believe Blaentillery go way back.
It did open around 1904 and closed 2002. Mr Gathorne Jenkins was the first headmaster and it was enlarged in 1913 to allow for up to 476 children.
Kellys trade directory 1914. Arael mixed and infants, Gathorne Hardy Jenkins headmaster, Miss Annie Jane Phillips infants mistress, average attendance, 323 boys & girls 140 infants.
1n 1954 there were 8 sets of twins attending the school.
Marion31

Thank you Rocke and Stoob for your helpful replies re Arael schools. Bryngwyn and Queen St. schools have never been mentioned in this connection before. I will contact Blaenau Gwent again and hope for more success. I remember the date 1902 was carved into stones over the Arael entrance doors but it may have opened later.
stoob

Arael Infants and Junior School Records.

The records for Six Bells Infants(1892-1974) and Six Bells Juniors(1900-1960) are over the archive centre, can't see the Arael listed though.
Marion31

Arael Schools Records

Last year I completed a survey for Gwent Archives and had an interesting reply from the Archivist. Apparently there is no legislation making it compulsory for school records to be deposited with local archives, but they are advised and persuaded to do this so that they are available for research as they are unique and irreplaceable.
All Monmouthshire schools were surveyed and recorded in 1972. These showed that at that time the following records were held by the Arael Schools and treated as separate Junior and Infant Schools.
Arael Infants School ( opened 1903 ) held Log Books 1903 - 1972
and Admission Registers 1961 - 1972
Arael Junior School ( opened 1902 ) held Log Books 1902 - 1972
These records are usually passed on to the successor schools.
With limited resources Gwent Archives said they do not have a pro-active role in seeking records held by various organisations.
Another piece of information told me that the Arael School closed in 2002 and was used as an Education office for Blaenau Gwent until 2009.
An archived article in the South Wales Argus suggests that in
2009 / 2010  the Pontypool Park Estate was going to take over the site.
The address is Pontypool Estate Office, Maesderwyn Rd. Pontypool.
However, I doubt if the records would be there. I must try the Bryngwyn and Queen St. Schools first. I have already discovered that they are not at Abertillery and Six Bells schools.
Rocke

I guess that 1972 is a pertinent date because Local Government Reorganisation took place then.
Blaenau Gwent came about from the demise of Abertillery UDC, EV UDC, Tredegar UDC Brynwawr TC and Blaina TC, or sometyhing close to that.

Gwent CC came into being and assumed the role of Local Education Authority (LEA).

Gwent CC would therefore have devolved Education to successor Unitary Authorities that came into being as a result of the 1996 Reorganisation ie. BG went from being a mere Borough to a County Borough.  

However, my previous comments are still pertinent because BG was the responsible authority when Arrail St was closed. I don't know if it was required that BG a) ensure that education records were properly transferred to it following the 1996 Reorganisation; and b) ensure that records pertaining to schools closed were transferred to successor schools.

However, those questions could be asked.
Marion31

Arael Schools records

For over a year I have been searching for these records. Gwent Archives and Blaenau Gwent Borough Council refer me back and forth to each other . Email queries are often ignored so a couple of weeks ago I wrote to the CEO at BG offices in Alma St., Abertillery, as that was the only address I could find for letter writing. Plenty of other ways to contact them, and I have phoned to no avail. So far no acknowledgement of my query. How do I get through to these people? If anyone knows the name and address of the right person to contact I would be grateful.
Thank you,
Marion Lambert
Rocke

There are no BG offices in Alma St Marion.
Did you possibly write to the Adult Learning Centre (which is based within the Comp's grounds)?

The address to write to is Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale, NP23 6XB, the HO of BG.

I suggest that you write to the Chief Education Office, cc the Chief Executive and if you don't get a reply within, say, 2 weeks then make a Corporate Complaint ie. write to Corporate Complaints - also at the Civic Centre. There's a process that has to be followed and it should ensure that there's steady progress made.

PS, there's no point in BG blaming/pointing you to Gwent Archives.  
Regardless of where they are held the responsibility is the LEA's, so even if GA has (had) them BG should be doing the chasing.

I'm afraid this sort of thing is all too prevalent, hiving things off and trying to imply that the responsibility went along with them.
It doesn't.
Marion31

Arael schools

When I looked for an address for sending a letter there were three. One was in Abertillery so I chose that one not knowing that it was a Social Services office. No reply, but on phoning them they tried to be helpful and may have re directed my letter because recently I had a message from a lady in Anvil Court ( 21st century schools officer, Education Transformation Team ) who has promised to respond when the documents are located or it is discovered what has happened to them. I live in hope!

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