I lived across the road in Kenry Street and primary studied at my local school between 1965-1973. I also spent many a happy hour in the yard playing football outside of educational hours!
There are the other indelible thoughts of:
*Early years in the sand pit,
*The prehistoric heating system driven by coal from Boiler room. …
*Climbing the wall in the gap between the infants and the Kenry Street wall.
*Getting on the roof to retrieve random soccer balls and getting that non dry paint on one’s hands.
*Straddling the boys and the girls yard.
*Rites of passage fights in the cloakroom.
*Going swimming at Hendrecafn and doing a mile because you could not get out of the pool until you had achieved that goal!
*Scoring my first goal.
*A clip across the ear for any nonsense.
*Discipline and total respect for the teachers.
*The despair of the power cut, the snow and electricity going off at 17.45 every day – although we did have some time off school!*
*The traditional taking of the imaginary bus around the school with one of the kids who thought he was a double decker driver.
*A severe nosebleed after running in to a chair
*Mate being concussed running as fast as he could straight in to a wall plus much more is in my head forever – whether I like it or not!
Innocence, that will never return at a school that will never return!
The opportunity to go on to Tonypandy Grammar School also came from attending Pandy Juniors – although that meant a final judgement via a half day of drama at Bronllwyn (weighing self raising flour – and, that has come in handy! Ha!).
There were the teachers who formed our values and the names of: Mrs. Pearce, Mrs, Cable, Mr Ryan, Mr Parry, Mrs Jones, Miss Vaughan and Miss Lloyd trip off the tongue with head teachers such as Mr Deere and Mrs Davies also in the mix.
In 1972 we were lucky enough to have a four day trip though England and France before staying in Belgium and Holland prior to a return. This was a major adventure for a school at the time and it is fondly remembered.
There were the sessions up The Mid with Mr Ryan and as well as round ball activity there was the athletics and memories of the despatch i.e. bucket race (and that 3rd place certificate). Meanwhile, in the hall the BAGA award gymnastics award for doing a forward roll or two was another coup!
We were triers at sport and I recall beating Alaw 7-0 but losing 8-0 to Williamstown, winning comfortably against Gelli by 6-1 and going down 4-0 to Penygraig. That was us! We adapted the Chelsea FC tune and sang ‘Amber is the Colour’ as our football theme tune.
I also played Ali Baba in a school concert and it was a shortlived acting career but those curled up shoes shaped my feet for the rest of my days! Ha!
This famous Tonypandy outlet was in my life all day every day as when I was not in school I was looking straight at it from my childhood home.
Then in 2009 I actually worked at Pandy as part of the Only Boys Allowed boys literacy programme that preceded www.worldofwords.education and I was given a full tour off all my od haunts from many years previously and that was amazing.
I am very, very sorry to see the school closing and the ramifications of this decision are not good for Tonypandy or the kids of the area. It is a fond farewell from yours truly – Tonypandy Primary School – you will never be forgotten and I am not alone as regards that sincere sentiment.
A legendary part of Pandy folklore will cease to exist in July. Goodbye – you will always be part of me…….