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Abertillery Grammar School
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Anthony Earl-Williams



Joined: 20 Feb 2011
Posts: 349



PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:45 am    Post subject: Abertillery Grammar School  Reply with quote

I am an Old Boy of the school, long living in London.
Could somebody please tell me whether Mrs Ida Mounter who used to be the Latin mistress is still alive; or when she died? I have fond memories of her. Her husband was Headmaster, I think, at a neighbouring Secondary Modern School.
Many fond memories of Six Bells where we lived, and of the old St. Johns Church where Father Oscroft-Jones was Vicar.
Anthony Earl-Williams (Hampstead)
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dragongirl



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 192


Location: Coventry West midlands

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Anthony,
  I went to Abertillery Grammar School and am from Sixbells . I must have been there before you because we were taught Latin by a Master
nicknamed Percy, can`t remember if this  was his actual name, He used to sweep up and down between the desks like a bird of prey in his black
gown.!!!!!
  Jim Mounter was the Headmaster of Bryngwyn school I can`t remember where Mrs Mounter taught before she moved to the  grammar school and I honestly can`t tell  you definately if she`s still alive. I do not go home to Abertillery much since my Mum died 6 years ago,
Did Rev Oscroft Jones live in Bryngwyn Road at one time?
 I guess you`ll  get someone along to answer your questions soon
 Regards
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Uskside



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 17


Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dragongirl wrote:
Hi Anthony,
† I went to Abertillery Grammar School and am from Sixbells . I must have been there before you because we were taught Latin by a Master
nicknamed Percy, can`t remember if this †was his actual name, He used to sweep up and down between the desks like a bird of prey in his black
gown.!!!!!
† Jim Mounter was the Headmaster of Bryngwyn school I can`t remember where Mrs Mounter taught before she moved to the †grammar school and I honestly can`t tell †you definately if she`s still alive. I do not go home to Abertillery much since my Mum died 6 years ago,
Did Rev Oscroft Jones live in Bryngwyn Road at one time?
†I guess you`ll †get someone along to answer your questions soon
†Regards


Hello Dragon Girl / Anthony Williams
Iwas at Bryngwyn Secondary, Jim Mounter was our Geography and PE Teacher teacher 1956 / 1960 Mr Richardson was our Headmaster, Mrs Bennet his Secratory And mr James who taught Shorthand Mrs Cook was the Cookery Teacher ( she went  to live in Canada ) and Mr Blake the Music Teacher ( He went to live in America ) My Dad was the local Boot and Shoe Repairer (Six Bells) He used to repair some of the Teachers shoes
Miss Richards the English Teacher, Mr Snelgrove was our art Teacher
Is there anyone a Member of this site or Guest That was around at this time, and remembers the shoe shop Tossels or my Dad = Small It would be nice to hear from you.
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David



Joined: 15 Aug 2009
Posts: 213


Location: in front of my pc

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Uskside i remember Tossels shoe shop. I also remember the barbers shop next door. I dont go to Six Bells often now but i think the shoe shop is either a betting shop or a florists now. Cyril Blake passed away a long time ago in Miami.
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Anthony Earl-Williams



Joined: 20 Feb 2011
Posts: 349



PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:59 am    Post subject: Abertillery Grammar School Reply with quote

Thanks Dragonfly.
I'm only just getting the hang of this system!
I think Jim Mounter may have gone on to be Headmaster at Gelli Crug and perhaps someone will confirm this.
I've seen Mrs Mounter in old photos of Abertillery Grammar so know she was there quite a long time.
Also fond memories of Miss Evans (Fan) who taught French, Geography and Spanish. I remember visiting her in Ebbw Vale hospital before she died. And there was Miss James who taught English and lived well into her 90s.
I last visited in 2009 but everything was different and so many old friends moved away; and of course friends of my parents dead and gone. I went to Brynhithell Cemetery and Cwmtillery Church Yard - how depressing is that!!
I tried to get into St. John's Church in Arael Street but it was locked and barred. Still, the mountains are as beautiful as ever and I even had a picnic on a lovely warm autumn day, overlooking the valley - many happy memories. We lived in Richmond Road. Does anyone remember Alan Higgins? We were good pals; he's my age and his family also lived in Richmond Road. I believe he played rugby for Abertillery and may be living at Aberbeeg. Blaenau Gwent Council seems to do much more for Ebbw Vale than it does for Abertillery. The Pontlottyn Building all derelict and all those empty shops.  Very sad.
Have one friend still there - Mrs Christine Tidey who is one of the local councillors for Cwmtillery. We were at school together. Her mother Nancy died two years ago and was "local" Mayor of Abertillery when quite elderly.
I hope to visit soon to pay my respects at the Miners' Memorial. I tell all my London friends about Six Bells and Abertillery. I ought to bring a party down!
Talking of the Grammar School, does anyone recall Neni Williams who taught Scripture? I think he lived into his 90s.
Father Oscroft-Jones lived in Windsor Road by the park.
My father was Harold who worked for many  years at the Ebbw Vale Steelworks and his father was Artimus Williams who was an official at the Tillery Collieries Company. I have the black slate/marble clock which was presented to him and my grandmother on the occasion of their wedding in August 1902. It still works and makes me think of my roots every day.
My grandmother was a Handy. Her niece Marion had the grocers in Somerset Street which used to be the Dorothy Tea shop.
So nice to have discovered this site.
Anthony
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dragongirl



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 192


Location: Coventry West midlands

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Anthony
              Miss Amy Evans (Fanny French)to all pupils taught me French
a lovely lady but unable to keep a large class under control!!!
Miss James taught me English  this was in the early 50`s.
 Neni Williams lived at the bottom of Eastville Road all the years I lived
in Bryngwyn Road  I know he was a good age when he died.
  there was a Mr Handy taught in the Grammar School when I first went there but can`t remember which subject he taught.
. Old Age!!! doesn`t come alone
     Abertillery has certainly changed with lots of shops closed  but the Pontlottyn  is now a Weatherspoons pub and   won Best Pub Loos in Wales  award not long ago. Woolworths is now Iceland
Somerfield closed this month so only large shop is Tesco I agree some
parts are depressing but as my Mum used to say ¨its still Home wherever  you are.
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Phillip T. Small



Joined: 05 Oct 2007
Posts: 188


Location: Here, There & all Stops In-Between

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uskside

You must be Stephen Small.. My grandfather, William Alfred was your father's Brother ?  They used to live up Cwm Nanty Groes before moving to Blenheim Road... Vi Tossell was their sister.....

Regards
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Anthony Earl-Williams



Joined: 20 Feb 2011
Posts: 349



PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:44 pm    Post subject: Abertillery Grammar School Reply with quote

Hello, Dragongirl!
I've worked out you must be 10 years older than me!  I'll be 60 next month and I won't even get my London Transport Freedom Pass till I'm 61!
Funny, we all called "Fanny French" "Fan".  She was nice but, as you say, couldn't keep control. But weren't we all so much more polite in those days?  I am still hoping for news of Mrs Mounter, so if anyone reading this can recall anything PLEASE let me know.
I remember the Colliers bus going up Bryngwyn Road - near our back gate. It seemed an adventure going on that without parents! Can you remember the lovely (small) old bus that must have gone back to the 1930s? We children were always disappointed if the modern bus came!

Did you know Mr and Mrs Reg Vaughan? They lived at 10, Bryngwyn Road and were family friends. Reg Vaughan was my god-father. I kept in touch with Mrs Vaughan (Aunty Lil) to the end of her life in the 1990s. We were all staunch members of Saint John's Church in Arael Street.  It was very High Church.  When I was about 12/13 I said to my parents: "I don't want to go down to Mass this morning. Can't I just stay at home and play?"  The answer every week was: "No! You're going down to Mass whether you like it or not. What do you think Father Oscroft would say?"
So, I went, and somehow it stuck. I became a priest myself!!! All thanks to Father Oscroft-Jones, Vicar of Six Bells.

Mr. Handy taught Woodwork at the Grammar. He was a second cousin of mine and, in my opinion not a very nice man.He retired to Tring in Hertfordshire in his older years. I hated woodwork and he once smacked me across my right ear so hard (I must have been 13) that I have been partially deaf in it ever since. No Courts of Human Rights in those days! If any of his cousins or other family read this, they are welcome to get in touch and offer me some compensation! He was a nasty piece of work as were, indeed, several of the male teachers at the Grammar. If I say more this may not be put up!!

Glad the Pontlottyn is at least "something" again. Cllr. Christine Tidey didn't tell me this. And glad the Woolworths building is in use. A great loss, Woolworths. I used to love the one in Camden Town, near here.
I am told that St. Michael's Church needs great repairs that can't be afforded. That would be an architectural loss to the town. Perhaps they can get grants.
How often do you go to Aber?
By the way, I remember Tossels shoe shop. Does anyone remember Mrs Amy Gaily? Very nice lady. She kept a shop in Six Bells and was an aunt of Cllr. Christine Tidey.
Abertillery has a great pull on the emotions of those who have left it.
Anthony
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Uskside



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 17


Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Manawydan wrote:
Uskside

You must be Stephen Small.. My grandfather, William Alfred was your father's Brother ? †They used to live up Cwm Nanty Groes before moving to Blenheim Road... Vi Tossell was their sister.....

Regards


Hi Manawydan

No i am John Small we have spoken before, Hope U are stil keeping well
Its good to visit the site every nite, I have still not seen any indications apart from yourself of anyone I grew up with, or went to School with. But i will keep visiting I expect some one else will appear.
REMEMBER
Growing up is optional
Growing old is MANDATORY Laughing [/u]
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dragongirl



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 192


Location: Coventry West midlands

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject: your memories Reply with quote

uskside/John
                I remember Tossels shoe shop, were you related to the Small`s in Bryngwyn road ? Mark Father, Mum`s name escapes me. Mary,
John and Jill. I know there were a few brothers. My father was friendly with a few of them.Also another Small family a few doors away no idea of parents names but girls .. Carol and I think Margaret,they later moved to Roseheyworth Estate. Was it Andrew who worked in the shoe shop?
Small world isn`t it !!!
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dragongirl



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 192


Location: Coventry West midlands

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:32 pm    Post subject: abertillery memories Reply with quote

hi Anthony,
             Yes, your not far out with the age I`ll be 72yrs next month!!had my Bus pass for years but don`t use it often. Yes i remember the old Colliers Buses going up and  down. They soon changed to going straight down Ricmond Rd stopping at Laundry,3Hills Drs Steps and the Church at the bottom of Eastville Road
  Yes I do remember Mr and Mrs Vaughan, that must have been where I got the idea that the Father lived there .I thought they were his employees  Housekeeper  and General Help. !!
 I couldnt remember much about Mr Handy probably because he taught Woodwork and I rarely saw him. It was only you mentioning your Nan`s name that he surfaced!!!!He Certainly doesnt sound like a nice man.
I`m sorry to hear about St Michaels, my grandmother married there on Christmas Day 1904 by 1914 she was a widow with 3 small children
my granddad had died of TB
. Abertillery has been given  a £13million
regeneration  Grant to be spent on the Town so maybe they could apply
for a portion, it is a building worth saving. The Church at the bottom of
Tillery/Division St has a proposal to be turned into an indoor Market
its already been a Carpet Showroom and a Furniture Showroom but think
its been empty for a while
 I don`t go home much now I have 2 Sister in Laws in Ebbw Vale
 a stepson and family who moved to Bridgend ,and  two good friends left in Abertillery My family are in Swindon and outside Birmingham My
Sister lives in Sussex  My Uncle lived in London for years I love the place
but my husband doesn`t enjoy it at all .
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Uskside



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 17


Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: your memories Reply with quote

dragongirl wrote:
uskside/John
† † † † † † † † I remember Tossels shoe shop, were you related to the Small`s in Bryngwyn road ? Mark Father, Mum`s name escapes me. Mary,
John and Jill. I know there were a few brothers. My father was friendly with a few of them.Also another Small family a few doors away no idea of parents names but girls .. Carol and I think Margaret,they later moved to Roseheyworth Estate. Was it Andrew who worked in the shoe shop?
Small world isn`t it !!!

Hello dragongirl
I also live in West Sussex by the sea opposite the Isle of Wight.
I am related to the Smalls My Dad was one of the Brothers he was Angus
Jills Mums name was Min short for minnie Carol and Margarets Dad was Jack Small there was also Bill,Tom, Charlie, = 5 Brothers + 3 Sisters Alice, Violet, and one who went to live in Australia. There was no Andrew in the shop, It was my Dad. I located Jill last year, who came up to see me for the first time in 40yrs. It was good to see her, It was only then did I hear there was a third sister. I have'nt Been back for years. I am usualy on this site most days and find it makes some interesting reading.
Its nice talking to you, lets talk again. John
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Anthony Earl-Williams



Joined: 20 Feb 2011
Posts: 349



PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:03 am    Post subject: Abertillery Grammar School Reply with quote

Hello Dragongirl,
                        Did you know Mrs Blodwen Davies? She lived near the Vaughans at bottom end of Bryngwyn Road. It was she who was housekeeper to Father Oscroft-Jones. So what with Lil and Reg Vaughan and Mrs Davies, Father Oscroft was often to be seen in Bryngwyn Road, which may be why you thought he lived there. Mrs Davies was also Church Warden at St. Johns. She died in 1968. There was another lady Avis something who lived about Number 4 or 6 Bryngwyn - another staunch St. Johns lady.
You say you have two sisters in law in Ebbw Vale. Is that where your husband comes from? My father worked at RTB Steelworks in EV for over 40 years and before I left for college in London we actually moved over there. My mother wasn't at all happy about that. Although she was from Hampshire, she had become very attached to Six Bells. She was 90 last October and still fairly fit; when dad died in 1978 she sold up and returned to Southampton where she still is. My father's remaining South Wales cousins came to her Birthday Party.  She always says that if they hadn't gone to Ebbw Vale she would definitely have remained in Abertillery after dad's death. It is always Abertillery and Six Bells she talks about, not Ebbw Vale!
I know Sussex very well and have friends in Worthing, Hove and Brighton.
Of all the people who've looked at this site since I joined, nobody has written with news of Mrs Mounter which is a surprise. Was her husband Ted or Jim? Maybe they left Abertillery in retirement?
Have you been on the lovely little train that runs from Cardiff to Ebbw Vale? I have twice. For Abertillery you have to get off at Llanhilleth and then get a bus or taxi. Another example of Ebbw Vale getting more regeneration than Abertillery. Surely they could have had another branch, like in the old days, up to Abertillery.
From Swindon you could really be quite quickly back home because at least you're already half way there!
      Well, another quite late night. I'd better get to bed as I have a new cooker being delivered at 8am in the morning.
Nos da
Anthony
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pent boy



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 197


Location: pentwynmawr

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:32 pm    Post subject: Mrs Mounter Reply with quote

I remember Mrs Mounter in the county school teaching english literature. She had this peculiar habit of closing her eyes half way through a sentence and not opening them again untill the sentence was finished. Funny the things that stick in your mind Laughing .Sorry but I dont know if she is still around. The Percy who taught Latin was Percy Williams, Neni Williams did live into his nineties as did Bert Lloyd, and a friend of mine in Australia told me just last week that Tony Rees had also passed away. He played scrum half for Aber with another local teacher Ernie Lewis as his partner at ouside half.
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Anthony Earl-Williams



Joined: 20 Feb 2011
Posts: 349



PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject: Abertillery Grammar School Reply with quote

thanks for the info on Mrs Mounter. Some of the staff must have changed subjects because when I got to the Grammar School in 1962 we had Mrs Mounter for Latin and Percy Williams taught History only. Neni for Scripture. Ernie Lewis was our PT and Games master though we did have Neni for PT in Year 1. Fan for French. I kept up with her after leaving school until her death. We had a vary peculiar art teacher called Mr Jaqueman who was keen on lining up all the bpys and giving us a dose of his long ruler! Too often if you see what I mean!
Steve Lewis, Ernie's son was in my form and I believe he is still deeply involved in South Wales rugby - I read recently about some controversial decision regarding a young player. An Ebbw Vale friend sends me the Gwent Gazette but not every week.
So many nice memories and a shame the school was closed, in my opinion. It gave many ordinary boys and girls a real chance to get on in life.
Anthony

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