The following extracts are transcribed from the Log Books of Penycae Council School from it’s opening in 1909 to 1984.
These entries demonstrate how times were very difficult and different to today’s modern schools.
The 0fficial opening ceremony at 3pm
Opened this fine new school with an attendance of 270 in the morning and 294 in the afternoon. Rev. W. B. Jones, who has done so much for free education, was present and many parents. We are above accommodation and the staff is too small for the number of scholars.
I am seriously short of desks. This makes it awkward for the teachers. All the school furniture has not yet arrived.
Hung up 4 pictures thereby completing the furnishing of Class 1. These pictures were bought with money raised by the children themselves at Penny Concerts.
Mr. Thomas Smith, Shoemaker, presented the school with three pictures and two frames and have hung these in the hall.
Mr. Huw Arwel Thomas called to inform me that he had been appointed as student teacher at the rate of £15 per annum to commence 1st August, 1909.
Mr. J. 0. Jones, F.R.C.O., Cardiff, called and heard the children sing. He thoroughly enjoyed their performance and said they are taught to ‘sing’ and not to ‘shout’.
Snow 12″ deep. Very small attendance. Registers not marked. Great poverty in the district, many children have no shoes.
Dr. Ll. Williams, M.O.H., visited and ordered the closing of the school. Diphtheria, Whooping Cough, Measles and Scarlet Fever are the complaints. School to re-open 7th March.
EXTRACT FROM SCHOOL REPORT:
This new Council School was opened at the beginning of last year. It is well built and equipped and provides spacious playgrounds and covered sheds.
Some of the classrooms are over-crowded. In one, which had accommodation for 50 there were 89 scholars. The discipline is kind, but it should be firmer so as to procure obedience and attention during the whole lesson.
School closed for the day – Rhos Eisteddfod.
Examinations interfered with by the Methodists ‘Big Meeting’ at Penycae.
School Library commenced, the Library cupboard arrived and 45 books were received. It promises to be a success.
Two days of wet weather and potato rising have damaged the attendance.
Eight children selected for next year’s scholarship.
In School today – only absent one day, although not fit, I struggled to school in order to keep the school teaching etc. up to boiling point.
Commenced distributing tickets for good attendance.
Big meeting at Penycae. Closed for the afternoon by order of the Rev. W. B. Jones.
Re-open school after the Coronation.
Investiture of the Prince of Wales in Caernarvon. School closed in honour of the occasion.
Trip to Caergwrle organised by places of worship, seriously affected the attendance.
The “Coal War” is responsible for the small attendance, as many of the children are sent by their parents to pick coal on the banks. Many children have no boots and several get hardly any food. Penycae is in a most pitiful state in the “poor man’s cottage”.
The poorer children have breakfast and dinner at the Baptist schoolroom.
The building of the new Infants school commenced last Monday.
Many children taken down to Ruabon to see Miss William Wynn’s wedding, thereby bringing our numbers down and spoiling our percentage.
Received an invitation from Sir Watkin to bring the school children up to tea at Wynnstay on Friday, 2nd August 1912.
Formal opening of the new Infants school. School dismissed at little earlier than usual on account thereof.
Few attended school yesterday the first of May; the biggest part of the children followed the usual custom of “Queen of May”.
I asked the Attendance Officer to give more time to this school. It seems to be the practice among parents here to keep their children at home once or twice a week to do the scrubbing.
The following is an extract from a report: A piano would greatly assist the singing. It is noted also that during the initial years, six to eight pupils were entered for scholarship examinations which would provide them with free places in the grammar school. Success in scholarship examination would be tremendous achievement and asset to the school.
Mrs. X. mother of Y. came to school and bullied the teacher.
A vote of censure should be passed on the clerical staff at Ruthin because the forms arrived a day late.
Sir Watkin sent 6 shillings to buy sweets for the children on their breaking up day.
Mr. W. J. Edwards left Penycae Council School to enlist as a Soldier during war-time.
Sent 100 flags by twenty children to be sold in aid of the Russians.
The girls did their best with the Russian flags, but this is only a small place.
Received a letter from Mrs. David Lloyd George re Soldiers’ efforts for the winter. I am replying saying we are quite willing to do our best.
Mr. W. J. Edwards who is serving with the Army paid us a visit and we could not help noticing how well he looked.
Scholarship examination at the Grammar School, Ruabon. We sent 5 from this school, two sitting for PT (Pupil Teacher) and three for scholarship.
Attendance has not been good this week owing to cases of poverty and the picking of whinberries on the mountain.
A note of delight and satisfaction struck this morning by the receipt of the list of scholarships in the Ruabon district on which it was shown that Penycae Council School had two scholarships.
Yesterday afternoon we came in at one and went out at three to oblige the English Baptists to have their Harvest Thanksgiving Service.
I took Stds. IV., V., VI and VII together, as there was a summons for “no blinds” issued against the Caretaker, Mr. Grounds at which some of the teachers had to appear as witnesses.
This was the last day at Penycae School for the first Headmaster. The following note is recorded in the log book:
50 years today I commenced to teach at Ruabon School being appointed a monitor by the then Headmaster, Mr. Allott. Since then – 1866 I have had not a fortnight’s break. In leaving Penycae I feel obliged to all the members of staff and the scholars for their universal kindness and wish my successor everything that pertains to happiness at Penycae.
Mr. Bassett, a Certified Teacher already on the staff was directed to continue as temporary Headteacher in the school until such time as a new Headmaster was appointed. (It is noted that many male teachers were serving in the forces during the First World War. This may account for the deferring of this appointment).
School closed for the distribution of ration books.
Miss Williams (of King Edward 7th National Memorial Association) gave a lecture to the upper classes on “Consumption”.
W. J. Edwards, having been demobilised from the forces resumed work.
Closed for summer holidays (1 month) and one week’s holiday to commemorate peace.
(It is surprising that there is no further mention of the termination of war and throughout the period of the first world war, so little mention was made of its effects).
Mr. E. T. Williams commenced his period as Headmaster in the school. The following note recorded in the log book:
I commenced duties as Headmaster this morning, having been appointed by the Education Committee on 17. 10. 1919.
Half day holiday this afternoon sanctioned by the School Managers on the occasion of “Sasiwn y Plant”.
The examinations for scholarship to be held on Friday and Saturday.
The first recorded information about school trip in Penycae: 30 children from Std. VI and VII under the charge of W. J. Edwards pay an educational visit to Chester. The children lined up at 11.45 a.m. and marched to Ruabon to catch the 12.30 train.
School journey, Class 5 in the charge of the Headmaster. The class marched to Acrefair station at 2 p.m.
Attendances deplorably low. The charabanc drives arranged by the various churches are responsible.
The first recorded mention of an inter-school soccer match:
Having arranged a football match between the Rhos NP School team and our own school team, the afternoon session commenced at 1 p.m. and finished at 3.30 p.m. (no mention made of the results).
Another first mention:
Several parents have been heavily fined for not causing their children to attend school regularly.
It would seem that Mr. E. T. Williams, the Headmaster, was very keen on furthering the teaching of Welsh in Penycae and a note is recorded in the log book as follows:
I am satisfied that a marked progress is evident, especially in the oral subjects. Welsh is steadily, if slowly finding its way into the children’s hearts.
(Punctuality was considered to be of prime importance in school. This note illustrates the extent of feelings):
By the instruction of Rhos District Group Managers, the school doors are locked in the mornings and afternoons, at 9 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. respectively. The carrying out of the above regulation is a distinct advantage, although one regrets to find the attendance suffers to some extent.
During the 1920s, many strikes “happened” and the effects were felt by the children as illustrated below:
A considerable fall in attendance owing to the continuance of the coal strike. Many children are kept from school in order to pick coal in the dirt banks of Plas yn Wern and Wynnstay.
(Noted here that certain provisions were made for School Managers to make their own arrangements for holiday dates).
The attendance on Wednesday and Thursday is usually very low and after consultation with the School Correspondent, it was decided to close for the Christmas holidays on Thursday afternoon.
The School Managers who met on the 25th inst., decided to close on 27th inst. for the summer holidays and to re-open on Monday, 28th August.
Mr. T. W. Jones, Ponkey, commences temporary duties this afternoon. (It is noted that T. W. Jones was later elevated to the peerage and known as Lord Maelor). He was never appointed to a permanent post in Penycae, but fulfilled many extended periods as supply teacher in the school.
A H.M.I. report on the school received, notes the following:
It was gratifying to note that the Welsh Language is being sensibly used in the teaching generally. The majority of scholars should be able to write a Welsh letter with ease and accuracy before they leave the school.
Mr. W. J. Edwards, Certified Assistant Teacher leaves this afternoon to become Headteacher of Gwynfryn Council School. He was presented with a silver mounted walking stick.
(It is noted that Mr. W. J. Edwards had been teaching in Penycae School since the school was first opened and without doubt been a very prominent person in the whole area. He was particularly known for his keen interest in Sports and Music. An interesting and very important mention is made of Mr. W. J. Edwards bringing Gwynfryn School Choir to compete against Penycae School Choir in Tainant Eisteddfod in October 1923. There was great delight when Penycae (conducted by the Headmaster) defeated Mr. Edwards’ Choir. Mr. Edwards was later appointed Headmaster of Rhos Boys Council School and served there until his retirement in 1947. One of the pupils taught by Mr. Edwards during this period was Mr. Gwynne Thomas, who would later become Headmaster of Ysgol Penycae.
Mr. Lawrence Mitchell who was on the staff of Ruabon Council School has been transferred to this school in lieu of Mr. W. J. Edwards.
(It is noted that Mr. Lawrence Mitchell was another of the outstanding personalities who taught in Penycae School for a considerable period.)
The Headteachers of the two Ruabon Schools and the two Penycae Schools met at Ruabon School for Girls, to confer with a view to making arrangements for sending girls over 11 years of age to Ruabon for Domestic Science.
(This is the first record of inter-school liaison and combined courses).
Parents of three scholars fined 11 each at Ruabon Petty Sessions for neglecting to send their children to school.
Mr. James Idwal Jones, Ponkey, has been appointed Assistant Teacher of this school.
Mr. Jones served as teacher on the staff of Penycae School for a period of 5 years, moving on to Grango School, Rhos on the 28. 7. 1928. Mr. Jones was highly thought of in Penycae especially as Geography and Art teacher. He later became Headmaster of Grango School, Rhos and M.P. for Wrexham.
It is interesting to note that he was brother to Lord Maelor and that his son Mr. James Owain Jones, Assistant Director of Education for Clwyd played a very prominent part in the planning of the new school in Penycae.
Our First School Concert was held on the evening of the 17th September with the object of providing funds to pay our quota of 123 for the School Piano recently purchased from Cranes & Son, Wrexham (the L.E.A. granted 120).
A central committee having been formed to put into force the Education (Provision of Meals) Act arrangements have been made to give necessitous children a mid-day meal in this school building. The children attending all the Penycae Schools are being fed in these premises – a kitchen having been set up in Bryn y Barcut farm. Volunteers from the various places of worship undertake to prepare the meals, while the teachers serve them out.
The menu will be varied and will include pea and potato soup, sandwiches with tea or cocoa. Puddings and fruit. Eggs. The average number of children fed during the week ending 5th June was 136.
A fall in attendance to 84%, chiefly on account of the whinberry picking on the mountain.
School feeding has not yet been started after the holidays. Parents have been granted relief in respect of children not receiving meals. Many families now earn money by selling outcrop coal and it is anticipated an early settlement of the strike is probable.
Three pairs of boots received from the Teacher’s County Fund have been distributed, and a promise of a few more pairs is given.
Half day holiday in the afternoon on the occasion of the Wesleyan Preaching Meeting and the Charabanc trip from Plasbennion. The number absent would interfere seriously with the work of the school.
Mid-term holiday (Friday and Monday) given to enable cleaners to clean out the school buildings.
At the request for information in respect of necessitous children the head-teacher informed the L.E.A. that approximately 30% of the children had their fathers unemployed. Further the Managers, after investigation at the school arrived at the conclusion that there were in the mixed and Infants Department, 144 cases in need of boots alone.
Following upon the above report the Headteacher received a circular from the L.E.A. intimating that arrangements were being made for supplying urgent cases with boots without delay.
In this department about fifty pairs were supplied to the most urgent cases (by the Cefn Co-op Society). A consignment of boots of various sizes was brought by motor van to school and supplied to the children. A number of application forms have also been submitted by parents to be considered by the school managers.
A half day holiday was given in the afternoon on the occasion of the ‘Salem’ Preaching Festival and the C.M. Children’s Singing Festival at Llangollen.
A school concert was held in the evenings with a view to securing a Gramophone Fund.
Fresh cases of Scarlet Fever are reported and as the Wrexham Fever Hospital is full of patients, the new cases cannot be isolated and the other children of the family of school age are therefore excluded from school attendance.
Nine children obtained prizes for a year’s full attendance – sixteen children received books for good attendance (under 9 absences).
The school held its first Eisteddfod this afternoon. The adjudicators were Mr. J. C. Powell (Music), Mr. Bleddyn Jones Roberts, B.A. (Literary).
General Holiday to celebrate the Royal Wedding – Prince George and Princess Marina.
The Milk Scheme put into operation.
According to instructions received from the L.E.A. the school closes until the 11th inst. in order to receive evacuees from Liverpool schools.
School Meetings abandoned through insufficient numbers attending. The heavy air raid of the previous evening caused the children to be awake all night – and unfit to attend school.
In conformity with the other schools in the district, the morning session begins at 10 a.m. – to enable children who have been staying up all night to have some sleep before coming to school. A number of children make the air raids an excuse for not attending school at all.
Terminal Examinations completed. In the afternoon indoor games were arranged for the children. The party was unfortunately broken up by an Air Raid warning. The children were all marched into the main hall until the ‘all clear’ after 20 minutes. In the meantime chocolates and mince-pies were distributed.
Miss Elsie Williams (Coedpoeth) Certified Teacher, recently appointed to this school commences duties this morning.
Christmas Treat given to the children in the afternoon. Both local and Liverpool children thoroughly enjoyed their tea. The treat was made possible this Christmas through special permits for rationed goods by the W.R.D.C. and the generosity of the parents.
To facilitate Tea and Sports arrangements by the Parish Council to celebrate victory, the Morning session closed at 11.30 a.m. The afternoon session commences at 1 p.m. and closes at 2.45 p.m. The tea is given at this school.
TERMINATION OF SERVICE OF HEADTEACHER – MR. E. T. WILLIAMS.
After exactly 27 years of service at this school I today terminate my duties as Headmaster and go into retirement. I wish to place on record that my tenure of office has been a happy one, and that in the main I attribute this to the loyalty and friendly co-operation of my colleagues on the Teaching Staff, all aiming at the development along happy and fruitful lines the whole personality of the child.
I take my leave, and wish the dear school and my successor all the best in the future.
Mr. E. D. Parry commenced duties as Headteacher today.
During the mid-term holiday, the chairman of the Managers, Mr. T. Jones Roberts passed away. He had maintained a lively and practical interest in the welfare of the school. His loss will be greatly felt.
Electricians have begun on installing electric heating – classes will have to be moved from room to room.
The electric heaters have been on for the first time and there is a considerable difference in the temperatures of the rooms. The children have discarded their heavy coats which were necessary previously.
Mr. Noel Miles commenced duties today.
At the close of the Music and Movement lesson this morning, the broadcast announcement of the death of King George VI was heard.
All the children listened to the broadcast of the Proclamation of Princess Elizabeth as Queen Elizabeth II.
The provision of a new dining room was discussed. The committee were not convinced that the circumstances justified a new dining room.
A very sad day for the Penycae Council School. Miss Gwenfron Roberts – headmistress of the Infants Department, died during the holidays, and is being buried today.
Miss Gladys Aylward, a naturalised Chinese lady addressed the children this afternoon – a most interesting account of life in China was much enjoyed.
The Coronation Tea Party was held this afternoon. 243 children were fed, including those of Penycae Parish attending other schools, viz. Ruabon Grammar, Rhos Modern, Rhos Church Junior, Rhos Junior, Grove Park Grammar and The Convent. The arrangements were quite good and worked out satisfactorily.
Headteacher took Std. V. to visit the new building site at Cristionydd permission having been obtained from Mr. Gittins.
School re-opened after the Summer Holidays. The hall has been beautifully re-blocked with Beech wood. Two new wash bowls have been fitted in each of the porches.
An application made to the L.E.A. for an extra lady teacher – trained to teach Welsh and in the techniques of Bilingual Teaching – reasons specified were -increase of numbers on roll to 174 – several children from Rhos and Ponciau schools have come to live in the new housing estate in the Parish. N.B. The new estate of course was Afoneitha.
Particular reference made today to the 100th Anniversary of the death of Rev. John Williams who lies buried in ‘Salem’ cemetery. Children of the various classes were taken to see the Memorial Stone, unveiled by David Lloyd George in 1898.
Headteacher left at 2.35 to attend the opening of a New Filter House at Penycae Waterworks by Mr. Enoch Powell, M.P. and under-Secretary of the Ministry of Health.
A collection for the Hungarian Relief Fund realised £7. 10s. 6d. (Several Hungarian Refugees settled in the area).
Headteacher left to attend the funeral of the late Mrs. Minton, formerly Headteacher at the Controlled Infants’ School.
School closed – 23 children sat the Entrance Examination for the first time ever at their own school. The Headteacher was in attendance and the children were supervised by Mr. L. Charlton and Mrs. M. Hughes, both of the Controlled School, Rhos. Everything seemed to proceed satisfactorily.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the school in January 1909, a public meeting is to be held on Wednesday, 10th June, to be followed by the School Sports.
The 50th Anniversary of the opening of this school was held this afternoon. By the very kind permission of Miss Elsie Williams, the Headmistress of the Infants’ Department, the meeting was held at the Infants School, as our `Hall’ was too small.
The proceedings commenced with a service when the Rev. J. R. Roberts read a portion of Scripture and Prayers were conducted by the Vicar – Rev. Elwyn Jones. The Headteacher gave an account of the history of the school. Special reference was made to the ‘pioneers’ whose efforts had resulted in obtaining a McKenna Grant to build a ‘Council’ school in the area. Among them were the Rev. W. B. Jones, Messrs. John Thomas, T. Jones Roberts, Thomas Hughes. Later others, who were keenly interested in Education, continued with their help and influence – these were Ald. Mrs. Deborah Jones, Mrs. Mary Hughes, Messrs. Jonathan Valentine, David Roberts, Edmund Wright.
The assembly then proceeded to the school yard where the ‘Sports’ were held.
An Innovation – during the afternoon the school was open to parents who had been invited to visit to see children’s work and to discuss their progress. The large number present was most encouraging and I think the experiment was very worthwhile.
15 girls (9 yrs) were taken for an audition to Rhos Junior School today by Miss Thomas to select dancers for the Floral Dance (National Eisteddfod).
Six girls attended Floral Dance Practice at Rhos, Miss Thomas was in charge.
East Denbighshire Schools Festival Concert at Rhos. 90 children from Stds. IVa, IVb, Ma and 14 (IIIb) attended during afternoon.
Medical Inspection: Std. IIIb worked in Std. I room, while classroom used by Doctor. Arrangements most unsatisfactory – inspection to be continued for four consecutive mornings. Desks have to be removed and general disorganisation follows.
The cupboards to house the Library to mark the 50th anniversary of the school, has been placed in the Hall.
The School Football Team played New Broughton School at the Youth Club Field, they lost 5 – 1, but considering the circumstances – this was the second time the school team had played. I think they did quite creditably. The proceeds towards the Old Age Pensioners amounted to 120. The lack of a School Playing Field is a crippling handicap.
The Royal National Eisteddfod for Wales was held at Maelor during August. 30 children from this school took part in the children’s concert on 9th August. 6 girls were among the Dancers in the Floral Dance during the Gorsedd activities. It was a memorable occasion.
Headteacher attended a school meals committee at Ruthin during afternoon. Following upon the visit of the Canteen Committee on 19th February, one of the resolutions passed was that a “New Kitchen/Dining Room” be provided at Penycae C.P. School and “immediate steps” be taken to do so”.
A Managers’ Meeting was held at the school last night, when Mr. Lewis, the Deputy County Architect explained and discussed the plans for the Canteen and Dining room. Any major improvements of this Department are tied up in the suggested remodelling of the school as an Infants School – a new school will be provided for the juniors, (D.V.) at some future date.
FROM 26th February 1963 to 10th April 1978, DETAILS RECORDED IN THE LOG BOOK IN WELSH LANGUAGE. (Translated by Mr Gwynne Thomas).
New Innovation County Tests in Maths and verbal reasoning given to children in their first year in the Junior School, this being part of a County Assessment to supplement the 11+ examination.
A Red Letter day. Workmen commenced the work of building a new canteen in the school.
Very important day in the school. The new Canteen is completed and used for the first time. The building is indeed splendid and all the indications are that it will be very useful in the school.
Last day in school for Mrs. Blodwen Davies, who has been Cook in Penycae since School Meals first started in 1943. Mrs. Davies was highly thought of for her kindness and the splendid service she had given.
Telephone was installed in Penycae School for the first time.
Mrs. Megan Powell Parry of Plasbennion brought Miss Gladys Aylward to school for a return visit. She had previously visited in 1953. Children were intrigued to listen to her. She had a 4 year old Chinese boy (Gordon).
News arrived of the terrible disaster at Aberfan. Great sympathy and concern felt throughout the school.
The Fair people visited Penycae on the annual visit and some children attended the school for a short period.
Mr. Gruffydd 0. Jones, Philadelphia, U.S.A. visited the school. Mr. Jones is the son of the late Rev. W. B. Jones, one of the school founders. Mr. Jones presented a book “Americans from Wales” to the school.
The children arrived at school, whilst it was still dark as tests with “British Standard Time” were being conducted.
The barn at Bryn y Barcut farm was destroyed by fire.
Notification received from the office that the school was to have a new television set.
The ferrograph tape-recorder was used for the first time in the school to supplement teaching Welsh as a second language to classes 1, 2 and 3. This ferrograph was purchased with a special grant presented to schools on the occasion of the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in July 1969.
Special mention made today of a historical occasion, Apollo 12 landed on the Moon.
The older children were taken on a visit to Wynn hall. They were met by Mrs. Kendrick who gave an interesting talk on the background of Wynn hall and the Kendrick family. The Kendrick family are moving from the area soon.
15 children from the school taken to Wrexham Baths for swimming instruction. It was the first time ever for the children of Penycae to be taken from school to the baths.
Penycae Junior School Football Team won the cup in a Football competition arranged between the Junior schools of Rhos and District. N.B. This was a special cup presented by Mr. E. D. Parry, Headmaster of Penycae School, to promote soccer in the Junior schools in the area.
Mr. Gwynne Thomas, newly appointed Headmaster for the school visited during the afternoon.
A very important day not only in the school, but throughout the Kingdom, this being the day on which the new decimal money was used for the first time. The arrangements for paying and accepting dinner money proceeded very well without a hitch.
Special day and a special meeting in the school during the afternoon to mark the occasion of my retirement as Headmaster of Penycae School. Many close friends attended the meeting and many very kind references were made to me by the speakers, one of whom was the Director of Education.
Mr. Gwynne Thomas, Headmaster Designate, Mr. Robert Thomas, Correspondent to the Managers, met me in the school to conduct an examination of the premises. I wish to place on record my sincere appreciation for the generous support I have received in Penycae throughout. I wish success and the blessings of heaven on the workings of the school to the future. I offer my sincere thanks to all.
Today, I Gwynne Thomas commenced duties as Headmaster of Penycae Junior C.F. School. During the morning session, Mr. Oswald Jones and Mr. Robert Thomas, Chairman and Secretary of the Board of Managers visited the school to convey good wishes.
Miss Elsie Williams, Infants Headmistress and the Rev. John Roberts also visited the school to wish the new Headmaster well. Staff were cordial and genuine in their welcome. It was decided that the first term be used in observation and evaluation of the school.
Instrumental tuition introduced in the school for the first time. Second year children receiving violin lessons, third year children cornet lessons.
Letter sent to the authority on behalf of the Managers and the Headteachers of Infants and Junior Schools requesting that provision be made in Penycae for the children to have Nursery Education.
Day’s holiday in lieu of the Silver Wedding Celebration of the Queen.
Two long term members of staff terminating their appointment:
- Miss Ruby Ellis – member of staff for 28 years, from Plasbennion. Miss Ellis’s contribution and service was outstanding.
- Mrs. Blodwen Jenkins – 16 years, a long period of dedicated and genuine service.
Beginning of a new school year and a new era in the school. Three additional teachers were now on full time employment on the staff: Mrs. Janet Williams, Mrs. E. E. Morris, Mr. J. E. Evans. These, together with Mr. J. N. Miles, Mrs. Susan Rowley and the Headmaster, made a staff of six.
Day’s holiday for the Wedding of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips.
An evening meeting to establish Parents and Teachers Association in Penycae School.
Mill stone from the old Pentre Mill, Penycae, was found in the rockery of Mrs. Heaton’s garden in Fron Heulog. Arrangements made to have this brought to the school yard.
An important day in Penycae. After several years of campaigning, workmen eventually commenced the work of building a Nursery on the campus of Penycae school.
- An important day to note, this being the day when Mr. Robert Thomas terminated his work as Correspondent to the School Managers. Mr. Thomas had served in this capacity for a period of 32 years. The extent of his contribution cannot be measured. He was presented with a watch as a small token of recognition of his splendid work.
- It is noted that the former counties of Denbighshire and Flintshire were now amalgamated to form Clwyd.
Interesting to note that a family of Chinese children “The Wong Family” attended the school.
Parents Open Day – parents attended the school during the day to discuss children’s work with teachers.
Notification received from the office informing that at last a small part of land adjacent to the school was to be made available for use by the children for sports.
Notification received that at last a new staff room was to be made available for Penycae School.
Sad day in Penycae. News received that Miss Elsie Williams, Headmistress of the Infants School had died. A greatly loved, admired and gentle lady.
New Nursery in Penycae School opened for the first time.
Work commenced on the building of indoor toilets in the school. Pinboards and display shelves arranged in every class.
Arrangements made for Penycae school children to take part in fund raising activities to finance the National Eisteddfod of Wales 1977 to be held in Wrexham.
Grand concert in the Miner’s Institute, Rhos. Each of the local schools invited to provide items extending over a period of 20 minutes. Penycae provided a bi-lingual programme.
£100 presented as contribution towards the National Eisteddfod of Wales, to be held in Wrexham. This money was raised as a result of a spelling sponsor held in the school.
Work commenced for the presentation of the first school Magazine in Penycae. This to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1952-77).
New shelving delivered for the School Library, bought with money raised from the sponsored spelling.
To celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Queen, street parties were arranged throughout the village of Penycae. A polished hardwood shield was presented to the school to commemorate the occasion. The shield had been brought by the Organisers of the street parties extending from Tainant to Plasbennion and including Penycae village.
School closed for the summer holidays. During the summer holidays, the National Eisteddfod of Wales was to be held in Wrexham.
During the afternoon, children from 3rd and 4th years were taken to Capel Mawr, Rhos, to attend for a rehearsal for the Music Festival arranged in Rhos to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Dr. Caradog Roberts.
Mr. Derek Duckett, J. P. visited school and presented the school with 3 gifts. He had recently been on a visit to the Holy Land and brought:
- Stones – collected on the “Road to Emmaus”
- Bottle of Holy Water from River Jordan
- Pebbles from the Brook from which David collected the Pebbles to throw at Goliath.
During the evening, the 4th year children entertained the village O. A. Pensioners in the Community Centre. Show included Songs and Recitations and a play – “Cinderella”.
An annual Edition of Penycae School Magazine was on sale. It is interesting to note that the new school badge is displayed on the cover of the Magazine for the first time. The badge was designed by Mr. Thomas Hunt a member of the P.T.A. (father of Amanda Hunt – Class 6). The badge is divided into three sections each one depicting relevant features from the history of the village:
- Agriculture – illustrated by Plough
- Religion – illustrated by Cross
- Industry – illustrated by Colliery Winding Wheels.
The motto chosen by the Headmaster is NID DA LLE GELLID GWELL -A GOOD STANDARD IS NOT ACCEPTABLE IF IT CAN BE IMPROVED.
Arrangements were made for Mr. Dwain Hughes, B.Sc. to spend the afternoon in the school. He met and spoke to the children due for transfer to Grango in September.
Mrs. Janet Williams appointed Deputy Headteacher of Penycae Junior C.P. School.
Mr. Noel Miles was retiring from his post as Deputy Headteacher. He had served in Penycae School for a period of 29½ years and will be sadly missed.
Party of 50 children from 3rd and 4th years taken to Bethlehem Chapel – Rhos, for rehearsal for “Cymanfa Ganu” – shortly to be televised.
At a meeting of the P.T.A. it was decided that the school should have an OFFICIAL SCHOOL UNIFORM, viz.
(i) Shirts/Blouses – Grey/White/Blue
(ii) Cardigans/Pullovers – Navy Blue
(iii) Skirts/Trousers – Navy or Dark Grey
(iv) Ties – striped – Diagonal – Navy and Light Blue
It was decided that PARENTS WORKSHOPS be arranged. This is a very significant innovation. The purpose is to invite small groups of parents to school of an evening to discuss work in particular classes.
Special meeting of County Councillors held in school to discuss proposed intention of closing Penycae Controlled School and the likely repercussions in the village and particularly in the C.P. Schools.
The plan for the New Junior School was received. Headteacher summoned to Shire hall on Friday, 15th May 1981, to meet representatives of the Education and Architects Department to discuss the plan.
Headteacher in Shire hall, during afternoon to discuss the plan for the new School. The plan is acceptable to Headteacher.
During the afternoon, the Headteacher and a party of 35 former pupils of Penycae Infants Controlled School attended a special service at St. Thomas’ Church, Penycae. This was a thanksgiving service to acknowledge and give thanks for the school – for all the splendid work done in the school and the happy times spent there. The school is to be permanently closed at the end of the present term.
News received in school in the morning of the death of former colleague, Mr. J. E. Evans. After a period of illness, Mr. Evans had died 5 months after retiring.
Mrs. Stella Roberts terminated her period of office as Headmistress of Penycae Infants School.
Mrs. Gwenfair Price Jones commenced duties as Infants Headmistress.
IT IS NOTED THAT 1983 is an important period in Penycae School, viz.
(i) It marks the 75th Birthday of the present Junior School building.
(ii) The Junior School children are shortly to be transferred to a new school building situated near Afoneitha Estate. Accordingly, it was decided to relate to changes which have taken place during the 75 years. Parents and local people were involved in the exercise and invited to offer items of interest to form a display or exhibition. The response of the public was excellent and the items of school work made a very impressive exhibition. Several school Governors attended the function. It is estimated that 200 people attended the school during Open Day. The exhibition is also to be available for villagers to see.
During lunch time there was a change in arrangements in the School Canteen -this being part of County policy to convert to Cafeteria System.
Mr. Alan Jones (Chief Caretaker Supervisor) and Mr. Bill Millhouse, (Area Supervisor) attended the school and presented Headteacher with Master Key for new school. They noted that main contractors had finished work on the structure and responsibility for the building was transferred to Headteacher.
Headteacher and Staff heavily involved in process of transferring to new school. It was necessary for Headteacher to commute between the two buildings to supervise delivery and setting up of furniture and equipment. All books and equipment needing to be moved were packed into boxes.
Special arrangements made to have a Religious Service in the “Old School Building” to mark the occasion of transferring to the new school. Governors and parents invited to attend at 9.15 a.m. The hall was filled to capacity.
WEEK ENDING 6th APRIL 1984 – THE TRANSFER TO YSGOL PENYCAE.
Parents had been notified that school was closed for children for 3 days – 2nd, 3rd and 4th April. During these three days Headteacher and Staff, together with Mr. Ken Roberts (Shire hall) and a “Removals Firm” from Mold affected the transfer. All cupboards and storage areas in the new building had been labelled previously by the staff. The process of moving books and equipment was completed on Monday, 2nd April. The entire teaching staff spent 3rd and 4th April sorting and arranging the equipment in readiness for Thursday, 5th April, when children were to attend for the first day. Information letters had been circulated to parents advising them of the procedures – points of entrance etc. for 5th April.
Arrangements made for parents to visit new school from 9.15 – 11.15 a.m.
THE OFFICIAL DAY OF OPENING OF YSGOL PENYCAE
Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher invited to attend a meeting of the Popmobility in the school and to receive a gift for the school – a microwave oven with the necessary tools and utensils for use with it.
This gift reflects great credit on the kindness of the ladies of the Popmobility group.
Source: History of Ysgol Penycae; Gwynne Thomas (former Headmaster); Graham Lloyd (transcribe).
Welsh translation by Gwynne Thomas.