Photographs taken inside West Mon School, Pontypool in 2010


I have visited West Mon several times over the last ten years and the last time I was there I took a few photographs. Some things had hardly changed a lot whereas there has been great changes in other places. As I know there are some old Westmonians living far away from Pontypool, some in lands far away, I thought they, and possibly others, might like to see what West Mon looks like on the inside today.

This is the main hall, and, what luxury, chairs to sit on! In the 1940s every day 400 boys would stand in the hall for assembly, and not a word from anyone. We kept a narrow aisle down the centre ready for the entry of the headmaster R.S.Harrison when we were all assembled. The one thing that old boys will notice is the absence of the stage which has now been completely removed. That was where all the staff, suitably gowned, would sit during assembly. Incidentally, those peculiar creatures with the long hair are called “girls” and are now allowed into this hallowed place !!

This is the Memorial Window that all old Westmonians will certainly remember. This is one of the things that has not changed.

And exactly opposite the Memorial Window is the Roll of Honour. This has not changed either, nor have the matching door frames and panelling.

 I took this photograph standing in the doorway to the hall. You can see the main doors in the front of the school. A door to the right of those doors used to house the school library. Opposite that was a small room where my Six Arts form was housed. There was just about enough room for eight boys and a master.

 This is the room which is now the waiting room of the reception office which is to the left. My desk was to the right of the window and there were three rows of desks with very little space in between.

In this photo the main door is to the right and the hall door is to the left. The large notice board blocking the door on the right is where the new Form One was established and which I refer to in a much earlier posting about the drowning tragedy in 1947. This might bring back memories for Peter Jeffereys of Ilfracombe. Opposite that door is the extra entrance into what was Form 3A in 1943. The blue fire-doors are a modern addition.

That’s all the photographs I took on that day. I hope they are of interest to some visitors. Any comments will be welcome and, if there is any old West Mon boy living far away and would like to see some other part of the school, please contact me and, when I next visit, I can take some more photographs.

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3 Responses to “Photographs taken inside West Mon School, Pontypool in 2010”

  1. clive barnby Says:

    By my day (early-mid 60s) in West Mon, 6 Arts had expanded to about 33 pupils, we used the (then) library (former dormitory) for registration under Graham (Drip or Quilp) Harris, Latin & the School Librarian, had lockers in the old headmaster’s quarters, & had history & economics (possibly also English) in rooms in the Attic. Geography we had in a room near the lockers. The room you had, David, for 6A, I think, was a modern languages room. By 7 Arts, we’d shrunk to about 27 & the classroom (where we kept our books, &c., had registration – the former master was Mr Roderick) was the old boarders’ bathroom tho’ we still used rooms in the Attic for classes.

  2. clive barnby Says:

    Wondered whether some of the houses in Blaendare road opposite the school were owned by the school? Geoff refers to Jack Haig living there in the 50s, & a no. of contributors have referred to masters living there. In my day, Fred Hagger (French) lived in one of the houses, & also Roy Wiltshire who became Head in 1958.

    Like Jeff I did geography in 6Arts but Jack Haig had left and the senior geography master was Siwni Price. We occupied a room in the old headmaster’s quarters. Roy Wiltshire still had his study there but it was a room to the left (coming from the assembly hall) near to the stairs leading to the old dormitory which later became the library (later was IT room).

    There were 12 of us who did A level geography, including two who were in 6 Science (Chris Saunders & Dave Winston). The majority of the remaining 10 did geography, economics & history. Think I remember the names of all of them, & remember many hours of taking notes on geomorphology!

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