WE HAVE received some lovely memories and photographs from people who attended 13 local schools for our School Memories Project during lockdown. Thanks to everyone who took part.

The memories range from earliest school days at Infants Schools, where a mile plus walk to school was common to William Hughes’ recollections of Upper Cwmbran Board School through to John Stiles remembering the boys swimming pool at West Mon School in the 1950s where swimming costumes were forbidden.

Remember those draughty Victorian buildings with cast iron coke stoves for heating and high windows so that no child could look out? These were part of Mary Barnett’s memories of Pontnewydd Church School.

Free Press Series:

A photograph of Abersychan Nursery School in the 1950s donated by Bryan Cooke. Picture: Torfaen Museum.

Most people remember good teachers who did their best in poor conditions and with little resources. However, not all teachers are remembered fondly – one recollection is of a woodwork instruction class at St Dial’s School in Cwmbran where the practical skills at making a model were examined by the teacher and the teacher threw the model at his head.

At least two participants had the old blackboard ‘rubbers’ thrown at them too.

However, many of our respondents became teachers themselves – so it was not all bad.

If you are inspired by these memories – why not write your own – we are still collecting.

Send them to the museum via email TorfaenMuseum@outlook.com or pop them in an envelope and take in to the Museum's reception.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.