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Agnes Maud Pitt-Williams


Pupils from Glascoed school through the mid 20th century will probably have their own memories of “Miss Pitt-Williams”. Agnes was my Grandfather’s first cousin.

Putting two and two together I assume that the Williams moniker probably came from Alfred (who I assume may have unofficially adopted Agnes to ease the parenting burden on William and Emily, who had 12 other children!) They were certainly both living at Rose Cottage, Glascoed, in 1929, according to the Register of Electors. On this document, Agnes is known simply as Agnes Maud Williams. Alfred and his wife Elizabeth also appeared on the 1922 Register of Electors – at this point Agnes would have been too young to vote, but it’s fair to assume that she was living at Rose Cottage with them, and quite possibly working at the school. I imagine that they came to Rose Cottage in 1913, when Alfred is recorded as having purchased the property from John Lewis.

The other alternative is that the Pitt-Williams name came from her mother Emily’s maiden name, although I consider this less likely.

I’d be interested to hear from former pupils’ memories of their teachers and school days at Glascoed: see the Glascoed School page for other memories of the school.

One pupil (from a Friends Reunited discussion) remembers: “She was in charge of the Infants and when I was there the class was only 7 pupils.”

Gwyneth Spadaro-Dutturi recalls:

When I started school, there were 7 children in the Infants and 14 in the Juniors (just 2 rooms). Miss Williams was a very kind lady and very strict. I remember once, when we were lining up to go in from “play”, a little girl commented on Miss W’s new hair cut. She was told off in no uncertain terms “Dont be personal”  As an ex-teacher myself, I would love to have said that as kids were always commenting (nicely) on your clothes, hair, earrings etc.

I think she was quite a prim and proper lady, had a twitchy mouth, but a caring person who did her best for us. One awful memory I have of the class was the fact that you had to collect toilet paper from the inside of the cupboard (toilets outside of course) and you were only allowed one sheet!!!!

Olwen Hughes wrote: “On browsing the Glascoed site today, I was interested to read about the school and in particular Miss Agnes- Pitt Williams. I was four or five when I started school, but Miss Williams only taught me for a short time before she retired, either in 1960 or 1961. She had taught my mother, so had been a feature of the school for a very long time. On her retirement, I was selected to present her with flowers, as I was the youngest child in the school.

The photograph was taken in the playground, even though I was obviously wearing my "Sunday best" dress, the state of my hair and lopsided bow make me look though I'd been dragged through one of the hedges in the background! After her retirement Miss Williams went to live in the Tower block in Cwmbran town centre, then the height of luxury living and a sought after residence. Eventually she went into a nursing home, my mother used to go and see her until she passed away (in 1995)”.


Records


Census:

1901 – at Canal Bank, Sebastopol, Monmouthshire

1911 – at 2 Cross Street, Graig, Pontypridd, Glamorgan


Register of Electors:

1929 – at Rose Cottage, Glascoed.




Agnes was born on 16th March 1900 to William John Pitt and Emily Ada Williams at Sebastopol, near Pontypool and at this point was named Agnes Pitt. The Williams suffix I believe came later. Agnes was christened at Panteg Parish Church as a baby, on 24th April 1900.

She was living with her parents at the time of the 1901 census, but in 1911 was living with Alfred Williams, her father’s half brother.

For the record, William Pitt and Alfred Williams were half-brothers - their mother was Sarah Davies. William’s father was John Pitt and Alfred’s father was James Williams.


Here is Miss Pitt-Williams on the occasion of her retirement from Glascoed School in approx 1960/61. The photo was kindly provided by Olwen Hughes (nee Robinson) who is seen presenting the flowers, as the youngest child at the school.