Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

19 articles on this Page

Old Aberdare.

News
Cite
Share

Old Aberdare. Some Recollections of 70 Years Ago b) Mr. John Morgan, Cwmbach. ARTICLE III. Last week we left off near Aberdare National Schools, having traced the most prominent buildings in the main thoroughfare. Taking the respective periods of 1840 and 1913, no portion of the district presents such a striking contrast as Aberaman, Godreaman, and Cwmaman. In the present day there are streets almost in one continuous line all the way from Aberdare to the ex- treme end of Cwmaman. Hundreds of these have only recently been built, var- nous societies and clubs being responsi- ble for them. But in 1830-1840, Mr. Morgan informs me that there were only a few farmhouses and cottages dotted here and there. A wayfarer on his way down the valley in those days would, after passing the National Schools, have an open country, and the first house he would come to was one standing on the site of Ty'r Heol, Car- diff Road, Aberaman. It was a stone- roofed building, and near by was the Aberaman turn-pike gate. Proceeding Mountain Ash-ward the next house he would encounter would be Abergwawr Farm, where now the Plough Inn stands. There was no kind of street, long or short, on the main road. Where Dr. Finney now resides there was a farm —Aberaman Uchaf, which has long since disappeared to make room for the more modern building that now adorns the ground. A little lower, near the level crossing, there was a house belonging to the Aberaman Mill. It was here that the Vicar of Llanwonno resided in those days. At present the Vicarage is situated in Hopkinstown, near Ponty- pridd. The Vicar of Llanwonno, in those far off days referred to by Mr. Morgan was a Mr. Jones, father of Mi Whitson Jones, auctioneer, Aberdare. Cwmaman again was composed of a few simple farms—Fforchneol, Cwm neol, Blaenaman Fawr, Blaenaman Fach, Fforchaman, Y Llaethdy, Bed- lwyn, Pwllbach, etc. Nor was there a Capcoch in those davs, to say nothing of Abercwmboi Tillage. Abercwmboi Farm, now in the occupation of the Cwmbach Co-op. Society, and Abercwm- boi Isaf Farm, however, had withstood a good many winters in those days. There was also a white house on the main road, and the lodge belonging to Mr. Bruce, afterwards :fi¡st Lord Aberdare. The Duffryn, of course, was there, but the next building after leaving the lodge on the main road was the Mountain Ash Inn. Turning back to Cwmbach, Mr. Mor- gan says that a few houses were in course of erection back 60 or 70 years ago. He remembers four houses being built in Pit Place, and four in Chapel Road. There was a school kept in Cwm- bach back in those days by one Morgan Lewis, a Baptist minister. It was the same school that Dafydd Llewelyn (Pio Mingo) referred to in a previous article; subsequently conducted. Mr. Morgan himself attended this school during two winter sessions, and informs me that it was held in the Long Room of the Lifeboat Inn, Cwmbach. "What is the meaning of Pio Min- go," I asked Mr. Morgan. And his reply led to an interesting story. "I can't say," responded the veteran; "what they stand for at all, and it's my own fault that I do not know. I re member very well that when I was a small boy at Scuborwen Dafydd Llewlyn used to visit my father very frequent- ly. In those days there were gates on the Gadlys with the usual woras, "Nc thoroughfare this way; anyone found trespassing will be prosecuted." And beneath this notice were the words in small letters "Pio Mingo." The very next time I saw Dafydd Llewelyn I asked him what they were, and he re- plied: "It is my nom-de-plume, and I drew up the sign on the gates." It never occurred to me at the time tc ask him what his ffugenw (nom-de- plume) meant." It is a far cry in the world of educa- tion from 1835 to 1913, and such revolu- tionary progress in this department was never dreamed even as recent as 5C years ago. Consequently it is of deep interest to those interested in educa- tion these days to know as much as there is to be known about this Aber- dare schoolmaster of the beginning of the 19th century. For further particulars concerning him Mr. John Morgan referred me to Wenallt, Aberdare, where, as my read- ers are aware, there are innumerable historical treasures, collected by the late lamented Myfyr Dar. Before Cymrodorion Aberdar last session but one, Mrs. D. M. Richards read a very valuable paper on "Dafydd Llewelyn," and to Mrs. Richards am I indebted for all the particulars which make up the remainder of this week's instalment. He was called Deuws Dafydd Llew- elyn, his father's name being also Dafydd Llewelyn. The son was known among his friends, as I I have already stated, as 1 Pio mingo. A native or -aoeraare he was born in 1790 in High Street, just where (appropriate enough) the Educa- tion Offices now stand. Pio Mingo re- ceived his education in a Grammar School at Cowbridge, and one of his schoolmates was Mr. John Jones (Ceffyl Gwyn), father of Mr. D. W. Jones, J.P. It was to this school that well-to-dc parents sent their children in those days. Dafydd became a first-class scholar, and amazed Mr. Bruce Pryce, the Duffryn, with a particular piece oi copying work. It isn't certain where he first opened a school at Aberdare, but for a time, at any rate, he had a class in the White Lion Hotel, Gadlys, and afterwards at the Parish Church. Two at least ofthis pupils are alive to- day, and they are Mr. Thomas Dawkin Williams, Trecynon, and (as I have al- ready stated) Mr. John Morgan, Aber- nantygroes. He also kept a school in Green Fach, and in a schoolroom given by Lord Bute to the inhabitants of Aberdare in 1824. Mr. Bruce Pryce (father of the first Lord Aberdare), Mr. Evan Giiffiths (father of Messrs. Evan. Lewis and Daniel Griffiths) were the governors of the school at that time. Subsequently we find Pio Mingo con- ducting a school in Cwmbach in a build- ing which was then a Baptist Chapel, but which is now the Abernantygroes Unitarian Church. Two of his pupils in those days were lads, one of whom became Home Secretary and the other County Court Judge. They were the I late Lord Aberdare and Judge Gwilym Williams.

Died in the Workhouse.

Musical Successes.

—————— » Wrestling Match.

Forthcoming Carnival at'I…

Aberdare District Council.

The Water Scheme.

IRobertstown Bridge.

Children in Tramcars.

!The Silence Blocks.

To Climb or Not to Climb.

A Shallow Grave.

Forthcoming Carnival. I

Ladies and Swimming.

Redistribution of Wards.

Advertising

Educational Notes and Comments.

Colbren Eisteddfod.

Advertising