Porth Higher Grade School                
    Porth Secondary School            
        Porth Secondary Grammar School        
          Porth County Grammar Mixed  School
            Porth Grammar Technical School

The school fades into history

Home ... History ... School Staff 1954 ... Demolition Photographs ... Rededication of the Memorial plaques ... Reunion Dinners ... Houses (of the live-in variety) ... Panoramas ... Rugby stars

 Unfortunately this year's Spring reunion had to be cancelled,
 but the Autumn dinner went ahead at the Atlantic, Porthcawl on the 15th of October.
 We hope we are back on track with everything in place for an April/May date in 2016.
 Please get in touch if you would like to attend.

 Information Wanted - please read the following:

 Have you noticed the change in the heading of this page?
 Yes, that's right, the addition of Porth County Grammar Mixed to the list of prior names for the School.
 This was one that came as a surprise, even to Vivian Thomas, one of  the organisers of the reunions and a devoted researcher to find
 every  last snippet of the school's history.
 While discussing the panoramic photographs of the students with Gary Teague (see the May 2011 reunion dinner) he referred to the
 caption  as Porth County Grammar Mixed. This seemed odd, as it hadn't cropped up before, but when I checked my copy of the
 September  1954 photograph, there it was! On the October 1951 photograph it is clearly Porth Secondary Grammar School (PSGS), but
 sometime  between, it had been given a new name. To add to the confusion, as you will see from the new rugby players' page, Howard
 Norris is  holding  a rugby ball which carries the inscription PCGMS sometime in 1952/3.
 It's all a bit of a mystery, but if anyone can offer an explanation, I'd really like to hear from you.

 And on May 4 2013, Vivian Thomas came up with a page from a 1928 report by the Rhondda Urban District Education
 Committee  listing the teachers at the school, which gives yet another name: Municipal Secondary School, Porth. Seems like giving the
 school a change  of name was once a popular pastime! I'll keep the graphic at the head of the page as it is, though.

 Don't miss the link across the top of the page: Panoramas. This will take you to a page which displays the 1951, 1954, 1957
 and 1960 school panoramas.
 The panoramas can be downloaded, including a colourised version of the July 1960 photograph.

 Vivian Thomas's round-up of the rugby stars which were turned out by the school is now on-line.
 There is a link at the top and bottom of every page.

 And so to the opening paragraph, which has stood us in good stead thus far, so I'll not change it for now.

By whichever name you remember the school - or even as the Education Centre - its day is over. After six or seven weeks of preparation, the demolition team reduced the upper floor of the school to a pile of rubble during the weekend of May 31/June 1 2003, with site clearance taken place in subsequent weeks.
Rhondda-Cynon-Taff education department had been running down the operation there for several months. They finally moved out on Friday April 11th, and the demolition contractors moved in on the 14th.

What this Website will attempt to do is to provide a record of the school's place in history and preserve the memory of some of the staff and pupils who were part of that history. Please contribute what you can. Which pupils made their mark in the outside world? Let's hear about them!

There is a photograph of the staff who taught at the mid-life of the school in 1954. Can you provide information or anecdote which will flesh out their portraits with pen-pictures of their role in the school and the wider community? (Nothing scurrilous, please. They were paid only to get you to pass your exams. Most succeeded, and if some of them managed it and remained popular as well, then that was a bonus!) And if you want something similar of staff at a different time, then start the ball rolling!
Gary Teague (1951-'57) has put together his recollections of some of the staff; while David Jeremiah (1962 - 1966) recalls an often overlooked member of the staff - the school caretaker.

The page containing photographs taken at the reunion dinners begins with an In Memoriam section of staff and former students. In updating this on the first of August 2015 the latest addition is of Physics teacher Danny Evans, who had passed away on the 30th of July.

And, new from May 1st 2013, is Vivian Thomas's review of the former students who have graced the world of rugby. Now that the old boys are taken care of, is anyone prepared to prepare something similar for the, err! ... old girls?

There is also a rather sad selection of the photographs I took in the school beginning as the salvage team worked over the 2003 Easter Holiday, together with a few shots of the school as a building in the landscape. Other selections of photographs show further stages in the demolition process, and were added periodically until the site was redeveloped..

Also available is an Acrobat PDF plan of the school with each of the rooms numbered. I have filled in what use, as far as I can remember, they had during my time as one of Boss Morgan's boys between 1951 and 1955. Can you help with confirmation/classroom usage at this and other periods?   If you can, the plan is here, updated as information becomes available: porthsec.pdf (32Kb approx. updated to May 6 2003). If you have any problem opening the file from this Website, right-click on link, select Save Target As..., then choose a location to save on your computer. You can then open it from Acrobat Reader. (All files checked as virus-free by Avast! Internet Security.)

I hope that as the Website develops it will stir up even more memories to become a worthy record of an institution which, for almost a century, played an important part in the communities of the Lower Rhondda Valleys.

Please keep coming back to see how it is progressing.

Text and photographs copyright 2003 Deryck Lewis (unless otherwise indicated).
Email Deryck Lewis. Visit my Website

History ... School Staff 1954 ... Demolition Photographs ... Rededication of the Memorial plaques ... Reunion Dinners ... Houses (of the live-in variety) ... Panoramas ... Rugby stars

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Updated October 17 2015