Fwd: For Biography: “Pant y Bedw” and the Grammar School

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Subject: For Biography: “Pant y Bedw” and the Grammar School
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 07:57:43 EDT

The top photograph is about the only photograph remaining of ny father’s smallholding “Pant y Bedw” as it was in the sixties. I took it in a heavy snowstorm and the smallholding consisted of about one and a half acres, with a hay shed (right), cow shed (left) and a few other buildings. I lived and worked here from 1954 to 1972 or so, when it was sold by my parents. I left home about 18 for Aberystwyth, but still worked there in the vacations until it was sold. During the undergraduate summer vacations I also worked in BP Baglan Bay as a lab technician. The lower photograph is of my friend Peter Harris walking down from Craigcefnparc towards the bus stop around 7.30 am on a cold winter’s morning. He attended Pontardawe Technical School next door to the Grammar School. Pontardawe Tech was also attended by the scrum half Gareth Edwards, who was coached in the Grammar School gymnasium by Will Samuel (Will Sam) from this village of Craigcefnparc as Mr Samuel records in his autobiography. Gethin Edwards joined the the Grammar School in the mid sixties, and I played rugby against Gethin’s team on one occasion as a reluctant number seven (flank forward). I could never catch him at all. Both brothers were excellent gymnasts and athletes. At Aberystwyth I played one or two games of rugby as a full back, once for the EDCL team, and often played cricket for the EDCL team. I did not do this too much because of my daily athletics training, which was rigorous but made just to keep fit. In the Grammar School my training consisted of a leisurely stroll up to Llangiwg Church and a trot back downhill, being careful to arrive out of breath for the gym master. He was also the physics and geometry master, and gave me 100% on two occasions in physics and geometry. Others just went around the corner for a fag, but luckily I have never smoked or drank. This double 100 was most certainly the origin of ECE theory (in humour). I averaged over ninety as the number one in the form for many terms to get the School Prize in 1966 for best O level results. That was a tough, disciplined regime, much tougher even than the University as undergraduate. I took six arts and literature subjects and three science subjects, chem, phys, maths. That formative influence has stayed with me all my life, and the teachers of Pontardawe Grammar School (Gymnasium) are certainly to be thanked.


Attachment: album13.pdf

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