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Glascoed Board School

Glascoed Board School was established in the late 1870s. Its establishment was discussed at a public meeting in 1876 and the school was certainly in place by the time of the 1891 census.

The BBC website “Domesday reloaded” stated: “Glascoed Infant and Junior School opened in 1892 and closed in 1985.It was attended by children from Glascoed, Coed-y-paen, Monkswood and Little Mill. Until 1971 there were just two classes in the school - Juniors were taught by the Headmaster and Infants by a lady teacher. During the following ten years three demountable classrooms were erected to cope with the growing number of pupils, and two more teachers joined the staff.           

End of term concerts and sports days were always well attended by parents. The P.T.A. organised social events, and raised funds to buy extra equipment, school computer, video and T.V. etc. In 1984/5 a new school was built in Usk and the Education Authority decided to close down Glascoed school and transport the children to Usk.”

The teacher in 1891 was a certificated school teacher, William Burton. His 27 year old sister, Emma Louisa Webb was his housekeeper and a teacher of sewing. His brother, Andrew Charles Webb was 17 years old and a pupil teacher.

By 1901 the school had a new Master - William Burton, aged 50. William was originally from Warrington in Lancashire and his wife Elizabeth (7 years his junior) was from Shropshire. They had 3 children living at the school with them: Harry (aged 20 born at Leeds), Gertrude (aged 11) and Leonard (aged 4). Both Leonard and Gertrude were born in Shropshire, so it appears that this was their previous location and that they had not been at Glascoed before 1897 at the earliest. Annie Williams of Pentwyn, daughter of William Williams (born Beech Farm), was a pupil teacher I assume at Glascoed school in 1901.

William Burton apparently later became estranged from his family and was found dead at Newport in 1907, according to this newspaper article.

In 1911, Harry Rouse was the School Master. He was born in approx 1862 at Derby. His wife, Emma (3 years his junior) was from Manchester and their daughter Doris was born c 1890 in Essex.

Glascoed school over the years

(memories and photos from Pat Morris)

Glascoed School Infants 1925/26

Miss A Pitt Williams is on the right with a class of 31 pupils. My mother Florrie Morgan is the first pupil on the left standing in the second row. I am told that there would have been a similar number of pupils in the top class  making a total around 70.

When I attended in the 1950’s there was approximately 30 pupils in total and when the school closed in 1985 there were 48 pupils.

Glascoed School 1957 Top Class: Headmaster Mr Jones

Back Row

Richard Williams, Russel Lawrence (Bryn Farm) , Peter Edwards , ?,

Tony Lawrence (Tynycaeau) , John Lewis (Prescoed) , Howard ? ,

Front Row

Menna Williams, Megan Williams , Patricia Simons (Hill Farm) , Mary Jenkins,

Kay Williams, Pat Evans (Oakfield Bungalow),Teresa Edwards.

Within this top class were 3 year bands taught by one teacher, Mr Jones. He was an inspirational teacher who had the patience of Job. As a former teacher I can now appreciate the work he had to prepare , not only for 3 different year groups, but for mixed ability within each year , though counterbalancing that he had no discipline problems with a class of 14!!Two of us Megan Williams and myself used to take it in turns to play the piano for the hymn in morning assembly.


The following memories were shared on the Friends Reunited site (the site is now defunct): I have replaced the posters’ names with initials, but if you would prefer that your comments are not used here, please let me know.

Miss Agnes Pitt-Williams

She was in charge of the Infants and when I was there the class was only 7 pupils. (By GSD (Nee GJ)

Mr W.R.Jones

He was the Head and was a very kind patient man. He must have had a hard job teaching pupils aged from 7 to 11 in the same class. (By GSD (Nee GJ)

Mr Reg Williams

I can remember Mr Williams watching over us eating our dinners no-one was allowed out until your plate was clean. All that changed when my Nana (Mrs Lawrence) went there to work as a dinner lady. She used to take the unfinished plates back to the kitchen without Mr Williams seeing. I also remember having to listen to the pin dropping before we could go out to play, and having to show him our hands to make sure they were clean before we had dinner. He was a very strict and hard man but I think most of the kids liked him, after all it didn't do us any harm. (By JW nee JL).

I well remember how Reg Williams used to stand in the doorway of the dining room. There were two eyebolts screwed into the reveal above the door, and he'd stand in the doorway with his index fingers through them. It was a bit of a stretch for him - so much so that you could see the shirt sleeve bands he used to wear just below his elbows ! I also remember on a couple of occasions, he held up a plate when someone (usually one of the girls) had used their bread to wipe it clean.

I also remember the day Gary Williams was given a tour of the school by Reg, just before Reg Williams retired. I remember his retirement presentation - they gave him a television set as a present.

Other teachers I remember in something like chronological order were (and please correct me if I get anything wrong) Mrs. Jay (?), reception class and first year IIRC - she had loads of fillings, and took a long time of work when she had them removed. Her supply teacher was Miss Pocock. The Mrs. Jay left, and was replaced by Mrs. Evans (I remember her slapping my calves with a rule when I got caught talking once - didn't hurt !). I can't remember the name of the transition class teacher at the time - anyone know ? Anyway, she left at the same time as Mrs. Jay and was replaced by Miss Everson, who got married and became Mrs. Harris. She in turn was replaced by Miss Thomas, who got married and became Mrs. McGowan. When she left, another Mrs. Harris (who used to play trumpet in a local brass band) took over the transition class. In the meantime, there was also Noel Scrivens ("Touch your toes"... and wait for the whack !) who came in as deputy head, but I don't remember who he took over from. When he moved on, his place was taken by the lovely Mrs. Wadsworth. After that, it gets a little hazy. The school began to wind down a little, as the two senior classes ended up being taught in what had been the transition classroom, by Byron Webster.

Gary Williams left at the end of the school year (1980 ?... his leaving present was a painting (or a print) of a Spitfire) before Byron Webster joined the school, and was replaced by the school's final headteacher, Mrs Morgan. I left in 1982.

Of the dinner ladies, I remember Mrs. Davies (and her daughter Mandy), Mrs. Caitlin, Mrs. Lawrence (who I once heard say to one of the others, "I wish I could shout !" - she was a softy), and Mrs. Williams (whose son, John taught me to drive) - she was my fave. Oh, and Mrs. Dicken, who lived around the corner form the school.

One more thing, I remember the presentation we put on in a "This Is Your Life" type stylee for Mrs. Panting at her retirement. Noel Scrivens organised it, and shot some cine film on the school camera. He got one of the big blackboards from his classroom and wrote a message on it in big fat colourful letters, sating something like "This Is Your Life, Mrs. Brenda Panting", and he filmed a shot of the class crowded around it, waving. He also did a sound recording of it to give to her afterwards.

Mrs. Potter took over as head cook afterwards.

Anyway that's enough from me ! (From DS).

Here are some memories from Gwyneth Spadaro-Dutturi:

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!!!!

The school was just like a big family. We had lunch in the canteen which was in the original Headteachers house , attached. There was Mrs Panting and Mrs Williams who made the meals and when they dished up, they would say “so-and so doesnt like cabbage or put more peas on that one”  We had spam, mashed potato and beans and then for pudding it would be semolina and jam or cake and custard. Sometimes there would be some disaster like burnt custard and we would have to eat it regardless. School milk (pre-Maggie Thatcher-milk snatcher) would be put to warm on the radiator, I used to beg to have it cold but was told it would chill my stomach! I was a farmers daughter and quite capable of drinking cold milk.

Some names I remember: Sonia and Roger Morgan, Christopher, Simon and Lesley Carbury, Menna Williams, Olwen and John Robinson,Megan and her brother ? Williams from the Manse in Glascoed, Pamela, Brian and ? Stone from Pettingale Farm, Julie Sainsbury, Theresa Edwards (from a little house near Beech farm, Michael Bradley (Beech farm), Marian Parry, Owen Panting and there will be more.

John Robinson added the following:

“I can add a little more information about the teaching staff during my time there 1960 - 1966

After the retirement off Miss Pitt Williams we had a temporary infants teacher called Miss Lewis - she was in fact Mrs Bailey. Her husband was part of  W Bailey coal merchants and hauliers from Pontypool.

Miss Lewis was then replaced permanently by Mrs Dora Kennard who lived at Llansoy.

The head teacher who succeeded Mr Jones was Mr Derrick Hynam, he then transferred to Victoria Village School, Abersychan and was replaced by Mr Williams.

Pat Morris also shared this article regarding the final days of the school. She states: Article taken from a local paper dated May 16th 1986. This was sent to me by an elderly aunt, she did not state which paper but it was probably either the Free Press or The Argus.

Many thanks to all who have provided information. I’m happy to publish any other information that others have and wish to add.