IN JANUARY 1898 the West Monmouthshire School for Boys in Pontypool was opened by Lord Tredegar.

The first headmaster was James Henry Priestley (headteacher until 1912) and he had four ‘masters’ (or qualified teachers) to assist him with the initial 70 boarding boys and 30 day-only boys.

After Mr Priestley’s retirement, the new headmaster was Mr R Ivor Jones, who remained for the next 30 years and saw the school grow during the First World War to the largest in South Wales with 283 boys.

1935 saw the school updated in status to that of a public school. During 1949, Sir Anthony Hopkins was a pupil.

The school status changed again in 1954 when it became the West Mon Boys Grammar School and the last boarders left in 1958.

In 1981/82 the school became a Comprehensive School and welcomed its first female students.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.