The Technical Annex School.
The need for a local Technical School at Abertillery came up in an Educational Meeting as early as May 1928, up until this date the Mechanical, Engineering, Civil, Motor Engineering and Mining part of education was all based in Crumlin or Pontllanfraith.
The Proposal of the Technical Mining School at Abertillery.
On Tuesday 15th May 1928 a meeting of the Abertillery Trades and Labour Council was held at Abertillery with Mr Arthur Powell presiding. The Officers who attended were as follows – Mr Bert Moore (Secretary); Mr J. Kingston (Treasurer) and Mr Len Hill (Assistant Secretary): At this meeting Councillor H. V. Phinnemore stated that the new Mining School at Abertillery was to be built at Clynmawr on land purchased at £300 from the Ebbw Vale Company/Messrs J. Lancaster Co. The total cost was estimated at £5,500 and they hoped that it would also be used as a Day School.
In September 1928 it was announced that the building of the Technical School was to go ahead, planning was to be applied for and the site at Spring Bank, Clynmawr, Abertillery was secured.
The Official Opening.
On Wednesday 16th April 1930 The Technical School, Spring Bank, Abertillery was completed. Its official name was The Abertillery Technical Institute and Mining School. It was officially opened by Alderman Levi Harris J.P. Chairman of the Sites and Buildings Committee of the Monmouthshire County Council. Situated on a commanding view at Spring Bank, Clynmawr, Blaenau Gwent, the new building was erected at a cost of £5,500 with the assistance of financial aid from the Miners Welfare Scheme. The Architect was Mr John Bain F.R.I.B.A. County Architect. The Contractors were Messrs Weaver and Co, Abertillery and the Clerk of the Works was Mr D. W. Price.
It comprised of a Chemist Laboratory, Drawing Room, Physics Laboratory, Lecture Rooms. Developing Room, Store Room, Masters Room, Cloak Room etc. In the basement were the Metal Working Room, Smithy and Workshops, Boiler Room and Stores. The grounds were fenced off with pathways and shrubberies.
The Educational Committee advertised for Lecturer’s for the new Technical and Mining Institute at Abertillery. The following gentlemen applied for the post – Mr T. Elkins of Aberbeeg; Mr B. I. Evans of Rhymney and Mr W. J. Robins B.Sc. of Sirhowy: The Sub-Committee recommend that Mr W. J. Robins B.Sc. be appointed Lecturer-in Charge of the Technical and Mining Institute, his appointment was full time and he was required to teach day and evening classes as directed and would be responsible for the supervision and general organisation of the Institute.
The First Staff.
The first Staff were as follows – Mr W. J. Robins B.Sc. Hons London (Lecturer-in-Charge); Mr R. H. Hanney A.M. Inst. C.E. Dips Mech and Civil Engineer and Mr A. S. Harding B.Sc. F.G.S Assistants.
The Later Years.
In the early 1970s the Intermediate County School was turned into a Junior Comprehensive School, pupils attending ranging from 11 to 13 years of age before attending the Nantyglo Comprehensive School 14 to 16 years of age. The Roseheyworth Comprehensive (late County School) closed in about 1988 and was demolished. The Technical School building closed as a school at the same time and was turned into a Magistrates Court but eventually closed in about 2010 and was demolished. To this day nothing has been built on either sites.