The Old Tyleryans Association.
The Old Tyleryans Association was formed in February 1901. It began as an association to keep a bond of union amongst the old pupils of the Intermediate School, County School. Mr W. D. Lewis Evans (Headmaster) was the President, Miss Tongue of Blaina as Treasurer and Mr A. W. Box of Oak Street, Abertillery, was Honorary Secretary of the new society.
The First Meeting.
Wednesday 27th March 1901 the first meeting of the Old Tyleryans association was held at the Intermediate School, Abertillery. Over 60 members attended, Mr W. D. Lewis Evans presided, he gave the opening address and welcomed all those present. Miss Louise Thomas gave a pianoforte solo after which various games were indulged in. Refreshments were handed round followed by two songs – “Spring is Coming” by Miss Louise Thomas and “Lakes of Killarney” by Miss E. Bundred. After more games and dancing the meeting was brought to a close by the singing of “Old Lang Syne”. It was announced that the next meeting was to be held in a months time.
On Wednesday June 5th cycling members of the Old Tyleryans Society journeyed to Gilwern for a day outing, the Dressmakers of the Pontlottyn Shop, Abertillery went on the same outing though travelled by brake.
On Wednesday 30th October 1901 the Old Tyleryan Society met at the Intermediate School and held a debate on “Is War Justifiable”, Mr W. Harrison was for and Mr A. E. Richards was against. A vote showed the majority for.
On Wednesday 30th April 1902 a debate on the motion of “Abolishment of Capital Punishment” took place, Mr C. Mason for the idea and Mr S. Thomas against, the motion was carried. At the conclusion of the debate, Mr Lewis Evans, President of the Society set up a Magic Lantern and showed photographs by lime-light of pupils of the County School, past and present and ended the show with images of foreign lands.
Over the following years the Old Tyleryans Society met at the Intermediate School on the evening of the last Wednesday of each month. The programmes were varied, they staged performances, sang, dancing played games including cards and ping-pong and also debated various subjects relevant at the time. These meetings were held at the School as stated and closed at midnight.
The Tyleryan Magazine.
At some point in time the Old Tyleryans Association started publication of their own Society’s magazine, known as “The Tyleryan” it contained stories, news and other bits of information relevant to the Society.
Election of Officers.
On Thursday 12th February 1903 a meeting was held at the County School Abertillery for the purpose of electing officers for the Old Tyleryans Society. The election results were as follows – President Mr W. D. Lewis Evans (re-elected); Vice-Presidents Miss John; Miss Dally; Mrs Hobkirk; Mr Roberts; Mr Thomas and Mr W. Harrison: Secretary Mr A. W. Box (re-elected): Treasurer Mr W. Harrison: Committee Mr A. W. Bowen of Crumlin; Miss A. Davies of Llanhilleth; Miss A. Jones, Messrs L. Lewis and C. Mason of Abertillery; Miss A. Lewis and Miss E. Tongue of Blaina:
On Saturday 18th June 1903 a Ladies Cricket match took place at Abertillery Park between the girls of Abertillery County School and the Ebbw Vale County School girls. The total score was – Abertillery 79, Ebbw Vale 45, Abertillery won by 34 runs. It was reported that a great feature of the second innings was Miss D. Phillips of Abertillery who had batted 21 not out at the end of the game, Miss Phillips who was an Old Tyleryan had batted for Abertillery by permission of the Captain of Ebbw Vale as she had played in place of an absent member of the team.
The Abertillery County School Ladies Team – Misses C. Prosser; A. Davies; M. Roberts; S. Pearce; W. Nicholas (Captain); D. Phillips; F. Thomas; E. Lewis; F. Wallen; B. Thomas; and E. Williams:
A Debate on the Society’s Conduct.
In 1904 it seems that the Board of School Governors heard rumours of ill-doing at the Old Tyleryan Society meetings and had become unhappy with the meetings held at the school.
In February 1904 the South Wales Gazette reporters attended a Governors meeting to gauge the feeling of unease amongst the School Governors. Miss Johns, a member of the Society re-applied for permission to use the Intermediate School for meetings, Mr A. E. Box had written on behalf of the Committee of the Old Tyleryan Society for a deputation to attend the meeting and put their case before the Governors, Miss Johns, Mr W. Harrison and Mr A. E. Box attended the meeting to await an invitation to enter the room and put their case forth. Rev T. T. Evans was against any such action and wanted the idea to be dropped. Rev Evans was overruled and the deputation were invited into the meeting.
The Rev T. T. Evans would only allow use of the school to the Old Tyleryan Society if the person in charge would put an end to “promiscuous dancing” card playing and see that all pupils leave in time for the last train to Nantyglo. Miss Johns put her case to the Board, denied any wrong doings and had full support of the Headmaster Mr W. D. Lewis Evans and suggested that if the Governors put conditions on the meetings it would suggest the meetings were immoral. Rev T. T. Evans stated he “would wash his hands with the whole affair”, to which Mr Thomas replied “are you insinuating all our hands are dirty?” Rev Evans retracted and the meeting was called to an end, the Clerk of the Governors put the subject into the Headmaster’s hands to make sure there was no so-called “promiscuous dancing”, card playing and that the Society’s meetings ended in time for the last train.
On Tuesday 5th May 1908 the Old Tyleryans Association held its closing meeting of the year at the Market Hall, Abertillery. I am not sure if the Society folded until a later date?
The Old Tyleryans Tennis Team.
In April 1920 the Old Tyleryans Society had a team playing in the Tennis League which was active from the May through to the begining of August. Other teams involved in the league were as follows – Blaina, Brynmawr, Risca, Tredegar, Abergavenny and Abertillery. The Secretary was Mr Worthy Preece, Hillsborough, Pantypwdyn Road, Abertillery.
The Reformed Old Tyleryans Association.
On Friday 18th November 1921 it was decided to reform the Old Tyleryans Association on improved lines, which ensured a more regular working of the Association. Mr W. D. Lewis Evans pointed out it was an opportune time to revive the Association as their support was urgently needed in raising funds for the school memorial to the old boys who had fallen in the Great War. Captain Towy Evans an old pupil, son of Rev T. Towy Evans, spoke and other members of staff and old pupils addressed the meeting giving full support to the War Memorial Fund. A Committee was appointed as follows – Misses S. Wilcox; Doris Allen; Jennie Hall; Capt Towy Evans; Messrs Arthur Evans and Eurfryn Richards: Miss S Wilcox was appointed Secretary.
The County School War Memorial.
On Wednesday 24th October 1923 the County School Memorial for those teachers and pupils who had fallen in the Great War was unveiled at the school. It was to commemorate the three Masters and 24 Boys who had sacrificed their lives during the Great War 1914-1918. It was reported to have been a plain but dignified tablet, at the head was a the representation of a wreath encircling the words “Our Glorious Dead” and underneath was the inscription “In honoured memory of the Masters and Boys of this school who fell in the Great War” followed by their names and the quotation “Their name liveth for evermore”.
The names were as follows – Owen Jenkins; Rene M. Gardeur; C. Sydney Reed; George Adney; A. Reginald Bevan; Gwyn A. H. Davies; John H. Davies; Frank Emanuel; John Gregson; Grenville Hobby; Edgar Hunt; Douglas James; William M. Keyse; J. Victor Marston; Ieuan Phillips; Walter Prosser; Emrys Roberts; C. Gordon Rumsey; Cyril Salt; Bertie O. P. Short; Albert Simmonds; William H. Sutton; Eris R. Thomas; Austin Werrett; E. Gordon Williams; Frank Williams and Norman Williams:
The unveiling ceremony took place in the main school hall, the parents of pupils past and present with the parents of the fallen attending. The opening hymn was “O God our help in ages past” was sung by the school choir under the conductorship of Mr W. J. Osborne B.A., the opening prayer by Rev Ivor Evans and scriptural reading by the Rev T. Reeves and the singing of the hymn “Led by a kindlier hand than ours”. The memorial tablet was unveiled by Mrs Lewis, after which she recited the poem by Rupert Brooke which began with the words “If I should die, think only this of me – That there is some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England”. A dedicatory prayer was pronounced by Rev H. S. Rees, Vicar of Abertillery and the ceremony was completed with the sounding of the “Last Post” and the “Reveille” by Bugler H. Price of the British Legion and Ptes. Arthur Smith (1st S.W.B.) and Hayes (D. Coy. 3rd Batt. Mon. and Breck. Territorials).
Later Capt Towy Evans M.C., representing the Old Tyleryans addressed the hall and recalled many stories of the fallen, after which the hymn “Come Holy Ghost in love” sung by the choir and the ceremony was closed with prayer and the pronunciation of the benediction by Rev. T. Madog Williams the Vicar of Cwmtillery.
The Old Tyleryans Association’s Officers 1920s..
On Friday 23rd November 1923 a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Old Tyleryans took place, the officers mentioned in the report were as follows – Mr W. D. Lewis Evans M.A., (President); Mr W. B. Harrison J.P., and Mr T. H. Prichard (representing the School Governors); Messrs T. L. Davies and J. Lewellyn Jones (representing the County School Staff); Dr Lillian Griffiths and Miss Cissie Evans B.A., (Cardiff); Mrs Ivor Evans B.A., (Abertillery); Miss Myfanwy Roberts (Nantyglo); Cat D. Brunt M.A., B.Sc. (London); Messrs T. Lewellyn Hughes (Pontypool); A. W. Box and William Harrison: Messrs L. F. Thomas and Harold Powell of Abertillery were elected Auditors.
The following were appointed correspondents for the district – Miss Doris Allen (Nantyglo); Miss N. Silk (Blaina); Miss G. Solloway (Cwmtillery); Mr Arthur Evans (Abertillery); Mr Aubrey Curthoys (Six Bells); Mr Percy Williams B.A., (Aberbeeg); Mr Trevor Elkins B.Sc. (Llanhilleth); Miss Blodwen Hume (Crumlin) and Mr Eurfryn Richards (Newbridge and Abercarn): Mr Bert Price was appointed correspondent in respect of Old Tyleryans residing outside the school district. The Joint-Secretaries for the Association were – Miss S. Wilcox, “Bryn Ithel” House, Grosvenor Road, Abertillery and Mr Arthur Llewellyn, No25 Portland Street, Abertillery.
In March 1923 the revival of The Tyleryan magazine.
Throughout the 1920s annual re-unions consisted of taking part in Rugby, Table Tennis matches, Hockey matches, dancing and card games.
Ladies Hockey Club.
In January 1927 membership of the Old Tylyeryans Association had risen to 127, an increase of 25 per cent. A ladies Hockey Club had been formed and an Rugby and Hockey matches were being played at the park extension. It was stated that the March issue of The Tyleryan magazine was the first to contain a supplement. Mr Lorenzo F. Thomas was appointed Treasurer.
The Operatic Society.
In January 1927 the Old Tyleryans Association formed an Operatic Society.
Towards the late 1920s publication of The Tyleryan magazine ceased.
The Operatic Society Mikado.
In April 1927 the Old Tyleryans Operatic Society performed the opera The Mikado at the County School. The Society put on two shows, one on Wednesday 27th April for the School and one on Friday 29th April for the general public. Admission – 1/10d.
Ladies Hockey Members.
On Saturday 25th February 1928 the Old Tyleryans “Ladies” Hockey team played Raglan at Abertillery Park. The Old Tyleryans team won 5-2, the scorers for the home team were G. Seeley (3), D. Athay and E. Jenkins. The Old Tyleryans team members were – F. Phillips; T. Reade; F. Stevens; M. Davies; N. Abraham; D. Athay; E. Collett; E. Jenkins; B. Seeley; G. Seeley; F. Berryman and P. Reeves:
The Tyleryan Magazine.
In January 1930 The Tyleryan magazine was revived under the editorship of Mr Albert Lovesy. The magazine was being printed at the Gazette Offices, Abertillery.
Mr W. D. Lewis Evans Retirement.
In March 1930 after 34 years as Headmaster of Intermediate School education in Abertillery and President of the Old Tyleryans Association, Mr W. D. Lewis Evans announced he intended to retire.
The Old Tyleryans Photographic Society.
In April 1931 the formation of a Photographic Society.
The Old Tyleryans Literary Society.
In April 1931 at the same time as the Photographic Society was formed, the Old Tyleryans alo formed a Literary Society under the leadership of Mr Cyril Thomas and Miss Gladys Marson.
British Drama League Community Festival.
In March 1934 the Old Tyleryans Amateur Dramatic Society competed in the British Drama League Community Festival held at Blackwood. It was the first competition the Society had entered. They performed the Play “Outward Bound”. The parts were played by Messrs Ken Lloyd; F. R. Carpenter; P. A. Jones; Phyllis Bevan; Gertrude Morgan; Peggy Newall-Lewis and Rees Long:
The Old Tyleryans Association Officers 1930s.
In the mid 1930s there was a change in the Executive Committee of the Old Tyleryans Association. The members at this time were as follows – Mr Martin R. Lewis B.A., (President); Mr Trevor Elkins B.A., and Mr Lorenzo Thomas were made life Vice-Presidents. The officers elected were – Mr M. R. Lewis B.A., (President); Mrs E. Hoskins (Vice-President); Mr J. L. Jones B.A.; Miss H. Abraham; Mr H. Hill; Mr F. Carpenter (Llanhilleth); Mr J. Thomas; Mr S. Bosher; Miss P. Bevan; Miss G. Morgan; Miss E. Jenkins; Miss Cochrane; Mr K. Lloyd; Mrs R. Lawley and Mr L. F. Thomas and Mr T. Elkins (life Vice-Presidents); Mr M. R. Lewis B.A.,(Chairman); Mr G. R. Jenkins L.L.B., (Blaina); Miss M. Jenkins (Correspondence); Miss Gladys Marson (Meetings); Mr T. W. Rogers B.A., (Socials); Mr G. Parry (Sports) Honorary Secretaries: Mr A. Handy (Treasurer): Mr S. Solloway and Mr H. Powell (Auditors): Dr W. Edwards; Mr E. Griffiths B. Sc.; Miss Frowen B.A.; Miss Wyatt B.A. (Executive Committee): Mr R. Long (Dramatics); Miss A. Davies; Miss P. Price (Badminton) Representatives:
The Badminton Team.
In 1936 the Old Tyleryans Association had a Badminton Team.
Miss Marjorie Vaughan Thomas.
In May 1936 Miss Marjorie Vaughan Thomas of Wychwood House, Eastville Road, Six Bells an English Teacher at the Bryngwyn Central School, Six Bells and a member of the Old Tyleryans Operatic Society, sailed to Rangoon, Burma to marry Capt F. G. Tizzard, who was in service with the Irrawaddy Flotilla. Miss Thomas was the daughter of Rev W. J. Thomas and Mrs Thomas.
Miss Marjorie Vaughan Thomas had won a reputation as a writer and a number of her plays and stories had been broadcast by the B.B.C. She had previously broadcasted her own stories on the West Regional Children’s Hour and achieved success with the fairy stories “A Shop To Let” and “There Was An Old Woman”, some of her best known plays that she had written were “Song Of Sixpence”, “The Dragon Who Had A Toothache” and a series entitled “Over A Welsh Hillside”. She was responsible for the dramatisation of a series of sports talks for boys. Her plays which had been broadcast in the ordinary B.B.C. included “A Long Time Ago”, “Upon The Midnight Clear” and “Picnic”. Miss Thomas was also a member of the Old Tyleryan Dramatic Society with her brother Mr Jack Thomas.
Miss Marjorie Vaughan Thomas, on her mothers side, was said to have been a descendant of the Vaughans of Tretower Court, Breconshire.
Past versus Present Sports Tournament.
Throughout the week beginning Monday 19th July 1937 to Thursday 22nd July 1937 the first annual Old Tyleryans “Past v Present” pupils Sports Week took place at the County School, Abertillery.
The events and members are as follows –
Tennis Tournament – Messrs H. Wilson; Miss O. Stevens; J. Powell; Miss O. Baldwin; B. Taylor; Miss M. Evans; H. Williams; Miss G. Freegard; C. Llewellyn; Miss M. Davies; Tom Jones; Miss F. Stevens:
Netball Tournament – Only the goal scorers were named – Messrs Miss J. Edwards; Miss T. Davies; W. Griffiths and C. Griffiths:
Hockey Tournament (mixed). The Old Tyleryans Team – D. L. Moore; Miss G. Freegard; Mrs J. R. Taylor; M. Davies; J. Evans; D. C. Williams; Arthur Hill; Ken Lloyd; Miss B. Harvey; Miss M. Morgan; Miss E. Dawes; P. A. Jones and Miss I Thayer: The School Team – Nora Buck; Olga Stevens; T. Carter; N. Ralph; Esther Greenough; M. Davies; John Evans; Tom Smith; Arthur Jones; M. Longhurst and H. Wilson:
Ladies Badminton Tournament – Miss Mary Lloyd; Morfydd Williams; Miss P. T. Price; Miss A. E. Dawe; E. Bevan; D. Buck; M; Powell; P. Lloyd; M. Williams; E. Rosser; L. Rogers; I. Baker; Miss G. Richards and M. Jenkins:
The American Tennis Tournament – as of the vast amount of entries the tournament was called off until the following Saturday.
The Cricket Match – A spell of bad weather forced the organisers to postpone the cricket match until a later date.
The Death of Mr W. D. Lewis Evans.
On Monday 7th November 1938 Mr W. D. Lewis Evans sadly passed away from heart failure at his home in Sketty, Swansea.
The Old Tyleryans Club.
In December 1938, at an Annual Dance held at the Drill Hall, Abertillery, it was suggested by the Association that they were looking for a place as a new club, a place that they could have as their own to hold functions. They had in the past been holding meetings and functions in various places such as the County School building, the Bush Hotel, the Waverley Hotel, Abertillery, The Market Hall and the Drill Hall, Abertillery. The association wanted a place, a club that they could call their own.
Notes of Interest – During research I found the name Tyleryan was spelt “Tyleryan” with a “y” and also “Tylerian” with an “i”. The Association took its name from the ancient name Ty-lery or Ty-leri, the name of the stream through the Cwmtillery Valley, Cwmtylery or Cwmtilery, again spelt with a “y” or an “i”, the consensus seems to be that it can be spelt both ways. Whilst researching this story of the Association the name Tyleryan cropped up more often that the name Tylerian, so I have used the spelling with the “y” for consistency.
(Later information to come).