Blaenau Gwent Infants School – The Crown.
On Tuesday 8th April 1902 at a monthly meeting of the Aberystruth School Board consisting of the following members – Mr J. P. D Williams (Chairman); Mr R. H. Williams (Vice Chairman); Mr E. J. Williams; Mr T. Drew; Mr C. H. Carter; Mr J. Davies; Rev T. T. Evans; Dr D. C. Muir and Mr I. Aled Jones (Clerk): The Rev T. T. Evans read a report from the school managers, they had inspected two sites for the erection of new schools at Abertillery and they had recommended the purchase of a piece of land on the Crown Estate at Blaenau Gwent for the erection of an Infants School and of an acre or more land on the Gelli Grug Estate just below the house of Mr William Stewart J.P. of the Tillery Collieries for the erection of a Boys, Girls and Infants School.
On Friday the 22nd May 1903 Tenders were invited from locals builders for the construction of the Blaenau Gwent “Crown” Infants School. Plans and specifications were able to be seen at the office of the boards Architect Mr R. L. Roberts of Abercarn. Tenders were to be received by June 8th 1903.
On Tuesday 9th June a meeting of the Aberystruth School Board consisting of the following members – Mr R. H. Williams (Chairman); Rev T. T. Evans; Mr Hugh Williams; Mr W. B. Harrison; Mr J. Davies; Mr W. H. Carter; Mr E. James Williams; J.P. Mr I. Aled Jones (Clerk) and Mr Boycott (Deputy Clerk): The following Tenders were opened for the erection of the Blaenau Gwent Infants School – Mr E. C. Jordan of Newport £3,700; Mr Davies of Cardiff £4,692; Mr D. W. Richards of Newport £3,635; Mr A. P. Williams of Crickhowell (late Abertillery) £3,615; Mr N. Bagley of Abertillery £3,680 7s 3d; Messrs Smith Bros of Newport £3,388; Gaen Bros of Abertillery £3,434; Mr J. Newcombe of Ebbw Vale £3,516 and Mr D. Lewis of Llanhilleth £3,597. The Tender of Messrs Gaen Brothers of Abertillery was accepted.
The construction of the Blaenau Gwent “Crown” Infants School went ahead and it seems the building work was done by the sub-contractor Mr Richard Tudor.
Mr Richard Tudor (left) 1864-1931 was from Haverfordwest. He came to Abertillery in 1891 as foreman builder to the Gaen Brothers, he was living in Alma Street, Abertillery. His first wife was Mary nee Lewis from Maesteg who sadly died in 1909, they had a son Mr Herbert Tudor, he was sadly killed in the Great War. Mr Tudor’s second wife was Miss Lizzie Gilligan, the Head Mistress at the Queen Street Schools. At the time of his death Mr Tudor had become a J.P. and was living in Enfield House, Oak Street, Abertillery.
On Thursday 21st April 1904 the Architect reported that the contract for the Blaenau Gwent Crown School had been executed on the 14th July 1903. Nine months had been allowed for the building, the school would accommodate 300 Infants but the site comprised insufficient land to build a mixed school when necessary. The whole of the roof was to be slated during that week.
A Commemorative Mug.
This Mug was presented to the pupils in 1991. I cannot remember what the Mug and the occasion was to commemorate?
I cannot find an official opening date or details.
The Crown Infants School closed in the 1990s and demolished. There are two blocks of houses built on the site of the old school and renamed Cwrt Coron? Further down Crown Street where the old Dinner Hall was, is now a community building called “The Wyndham Vowles Centre”.
A Commemorative Tea Towel.
In 1991 the school also had special commemorative tea towels made (as seen left) the school asked each pupil to draw a self-portrait and the images were printed on the towel, some pupils were asked to draw faces of the teaching and canteen staff and their images were included.
Points of interest – The map in the featured image shows the Crown School (centre). To the left was Rees’ Bakery “Wonderloaf”. The large building on Crown Street to the left of the school was used as the school Dinner Hall and Canteen. At the bottom on the image was the Abertillery Technical School, the Intermediate School Annex, later turned into a Court House and now demolished. Also bottom (far right) marked P.H. was the Royal Exchange Inn since demolished and now private housing, 4 doors up is the Crown Inn, corner of Victoria and Crown Street.