The Llanhilleth Junior Mixed County Primary, Board Schools, the Old School – Llanhilleth

The Llanhilleth Junior Mixed County Primary, Board Schools, the Old School – Llanhilleth

Llanhilleth Board Schools the Old School.
A report from the South Wales Argus on Friday 25th of November 1892 stated that the previous day, Thursday 24th November 1892, Mr W. Thomas presided over a meeting of the Llanhilleth School Board, comprising the following gentlemen – Mr W. Thomas; Mr G. Harris (Vice-Chairman); Mr W. Lewis; Mr W. Evans and Mr C. W. Carpenter (Clerk) met at Aberbeeg. The meeting discussed the need and construction of a new school at Llanhilleth.

Tenders were invited for its construction in July 1893, though many problems were encountered in connection with the tenders that in September of that year planning was put on hold and it was stated that the education authority was to wait five months before inviting new tenders.

In February 1894 the school project recommenced and tenders were once again invited. Plans were available to be seen at the offices of the architects Alfred Swash M.S.A., and John Bain A.R.I.B.A. of 3 Friars Chambers, Newport, Monmouthshire. To be sent into Mr C. W. Carpenter, the clerk of the Llanhilleth School Board.

Miss Beddoe.
In October 1894 Miss Beddoe of Crumlin was head mistress.

The Official Opening of the Llanhilleth Board Schools.
On Friday 26th of July 1895, the Llanhilleth Board Schools (as seen in the upper center of the main featured image above) were officially opened. Councillor Mr W. Thomas (Chairman of the Llanhilleth School Board) officiated at the opening ceremony Others who attended were as follows – Mr G. Harris (Vice-Chairman); Mr C. W. Carpenter (Clerk); Mr , Mrs and Miss Jones; Miss Essex; Mr W. Davies (Manager of the Llanhilleth Colliery); Mrs and Miss Yendoll; Mrs and Miss Stanfield; Mrs W. Davies; Rev J. Lloyd; Dr Frost; Mr Partridge Jnr; Mrs and Miss Monks; Mr and Mrs J. Rowlands (Head Teachers); Miss Beddoe; Miss Williams; Miss Dacre; Miss E. P. Carpenter; Messrs Davies and Williams (Assistant Teachers):

Description of the Building.
The school was built in a style with the various rooms running off a corridor, each are fitted with up with every modern requisite for proper teaching. The cost of construction was £2,800 and it was capable of accommodating 220 children. There was not much information on the description of the school building other than the fact that the school, when built was full, plans for an additional wing had been prepared for an extra 120 children, this was owing to the rapid growth in population.

The Contractor and Architect.
Mr Firbank of Newport was the contractor and Messrs Swash of Newport was the architect.

The Infants School.
In March 1896 tenders were invited for the construction of an infant’s school and the post of headmistress was advertised. The school would be capable of accommodating 184 children. Architects Messrs Swash and Bain of Newport.

An Example of the Teaching Staff Wages in 1898.
While researching the history of the school I found many advertisements for teachers’ vacancies etc. The salaries stated were as follows – Assistant mistress salary was £40 per annum for the first year, rising by £5 per year for three years i.e., £45 per annum for the second year and £50 per annum for the third year. Assistant master’s salary was – £70 per annum, paid monthly. Teachers’ salaries were – £68 per annum, paid monthly. The attendance officer’s salary was £30 per annum.

The Infants School.
By the late 1890’s the infants’ school had been built. An updated report on the school showed the following statistics – The Llanhilleth Mixed School, there were 277 pupils on the register. The Llanhilleth Infants School there were 271 pupils on the register. Mr Harris was listed as being the attendance officer and fines for non-attendance were 5s for repeat offenders and 2s. 6d. for others. As a price comparison, the wages of the assistant master in 1898 of £70 per annum is equivalent to £9,588.69p and the wages of an assistant mistress of £40 per annum is equivalent to £5,479.25p in today’s money. The non-attendance fine of 5s is equivalent to £34,25p in today’s money.

(More information to come).

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