PHOTO GALLERY           see also   Trelewis   Bedlinog (both were originally in Gelligaer but are now in Merthyr Borough)

Early TrelewisTrelewis-1890s small

A photograph of Trelewis taken some time in the 1890s. The only parts of Trelewis then built are the lower part of Bontnewydd Terrace, that part of High Street behind it, and Railway Street (not visible in this photo). The big house on the middle right is Glyn Bargoed House, and above it can be seen the farm Ty Bach. Towards the left can be seen St Marys Church which was built in 1887. It would not be possible to see it if the Bontnewydd Hotel and that part of  High Street to the north had been built. The 1900 OS map does show this part of High Street indicating the photograph must have been taken some time in the 1890s.  Despite what is said on the plaque attatched to its wall, the Bontnewydd Hotel was not built untill 1900. The house at the bottom right is also still there, but its chimneys have gone and it appears to have been extended to the left.

Trelewis-early-20th-Century smallThis Photograph taken from a similar position shows Trelewis at a later date but probably prior to 1925, in this photo can be seen the upper part of Bontnewydd Terrace and the back of the Bontnewydd hotel, but the church can now no longer be seen. [Photo Courtesy of Merthyr Borough Library]


Text The writing on the board held by the two girls at the front says "Trelewis Group 4", and the picture is possibly of the infants at Trelewis School. The exact date of the picture is not known, but the man on the left is John Davies who was headmaster of the school from 1883 until his retirement in 1913. Comparison with other similar pictures sugests it might be as early as the late 1890s. Can anyone recognize their grandmother or even great-grandmother in the picture?

Again a picture of pupils at Trelewis Infants School. In this photo the young girl with ringlets in the middle of the back row is Mary Price who was born in 1908, which suggests the photo must be from some time around the First World War  [Photo Courtesy of Pat Hancock of Nelson]

The second picture is taken in the same spot, and the teachers have on the same dresses, but the children have been shuffled round or they are not the same children?

This photo again has John Davies in it, but appears to be of an earlier date than the first picture. But surely the picture isn't earlier than 1883? So it is likely that it is again Trelewis School. The photo on the left shows only the boys. This photo, obviously taken at the same time as the photo on the left, shows the girls with an unknown Mistress.
This is a picture of the school itself, again with John Davies, taken some time early in the 20th Century.

The first entry in the school log book reads "The Pontnewydd Board School was opened in the afternoon of the first day of January 1878 on which day 50 children were admitted". The name Trelewis was not adopted until later. The number of pupils quickly rose to around 75 although the dimensions of the school are given as 35ft by 20ft. A new school (the one in the photograph) was opened on 1st November 1881. It looks little different today.

Following John Davies' retirement 31 March 1913,  a new head master filled in the School Log. His opening entry reads "After completing ten yrs service as a Certificated Assistant I was app(ointed) Head Teacher at the last meeting of the Glam education committee & commenced my duties as Head Teacher of this school this morning John Bedford Thomas". He continued as head teacher for 20 years until his death in 1933. He is shown standing in the back yard of the old school house, no doubt there are still some pupils who remember him. (Photo Courtesy of Kerry Porter (great granddaughter)
This is a rather later picture - Trelewis Junior School in the early 1960s Another 'School Photo', this time some scholars at Lewis School, Pengam around 1888.
Hengoed Infants School, believed to be from  about 1916. Holding the blackboard is Jack Oliver who was born in 1911. One of the children beside him might be his brother, brought to the school for the ocassion. (Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Ruthven) The photographs of Trelewis and Hengoed infants school from about the First World War may have been taken at the same date. There are similar Photos from Merthyr schools. It is possible that all the infants schools in the area were photographed at this time. Does anyone know of any other surving Photos?
Victorian Gelligaer

David Williams as John Bull. Possibly Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1897? David Williams was born in Mynyddislwyn in 1833 but moved to Gelligaer when very young, living on the farms of Gwerthonor Isaf and Gilvach Fargoed fach. The gateway in the picture looks very distinctive - does anyone recognise it? [picture courtesy of Judith Greenman, Cardiff]  

  A slightly more modern picture this time, early 1930s,  Idris Jones, third from the left in the middle row was born in 1918. Furthest right in the top row is Billy Williams, he had the draper's shop in Trelewis and later took over the Post Office. It is a young sports team, probably from the Trelewis area - but what team and why the large shield? Contact us if you have any futher information.[picture courtesy of Mary McCarthy, Gilfach]  This is a photo of either Gilfach or Bargoed Soccer Team, Championship winners in about 1926. The owner would like to know if anyone knows anything more about this team [picture courtesy of Terry Dipple, USA]

  Although coal mining was the mainstay of the local economy for the past two centuries, Gelligaer was previously completely dependent on agriculture, and farms continued on the surface while the coal was extracted from below. On the left there is a picture of  haymaking at Cwrtycelyn farm before the second world war - horses continued to be used on the farm until the early 1960s.  However old wills show that prior the the nineteenth century horses were not common in Gelligaer, the working animals would have been oxen. On the right is a picture of a horse ploughing match at Llancaiach - it shows Mrs Enid Williams, who lived in Llancaiach Fawr until she sold the house and it was restored.

The last cattle drive to Nelson market - they were driven from Llwyn Goleu Farm Gelligaer - the photo shows them passing Llancaiach Fawr. The date of photo about mid 1980s. Motorist will no doubt feel relieved!

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