Old Colwyn National School opened in 1849.
The original school was built beside St Catherine’s Church, along with a Church House – ‘Tynddol’ and the first recorded head teacher was William John Jones who held the position until 1864. It was a mixed school.
By 1862 the pupil numbers had increased and a new infant classroom was added. The most important subject was religion followed by the English language. However, the non-conformist children attending the school staged a protest in 1866 when they refused to attend church on Sundays resulting in 20 of the children being dismissed from the school. Some local residents decided to establish a non-conformist school and the British School – later the Old Colwyn Board school was established in 1866.
The school’s longest serving head teacher, Daniel Owen, began his appointment in 1869 and served until 1911when he retired.
Increased population and prosperity led to the need for more school accommodation (In 1887 there were 155 pupils on roll) and in 1888 a new school with 4 classrooms, was built at Greenhill. It was further enlarged in 1896. The old school buildings were used for a Sunday school and village meeting hall.
Like most schools of this time it suffered from high absenteeism due to diseases and epidemics – one being from July to November in 1896 of scarlet fever.
In 1908 the HMI was still criticising the size of pupil numbers and inadequate accommodation. Standards 2, 3, and 4 were taught together as were Infants and Standard 1 with over 150 on roll.
In April 1911 the new head teacher was William Hughes and again in 1912 HMI declared the school accommodation as unsatisfactory. After he retired in 1937 the new head teacher J Hayward appointed a new teacher and reorganised the school into 4 more evenly sized age groups. By June 1939 there were 111 pupils on roll, increased over the war years with evacuees from all parts of UK.
The school finally closed in 1981. The building was bought by Colwyn Borough Council in 1982 and was converted and opened in May 1984 as a village community centre.
The old school house ‘Tynddol’ was bought by the County Council and was demolished in the 1970s to make way for a larger playground for Ysgol Hen Golwyn (old board/council school).
This collection includes log books, admission registers, managers minutes, plans and photographs.
Greenhill, Old Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, LL29 9RR
OS Sheet 111- 8 1875 Ed. (National School – Boys and Girls)
OS Sheet 111- 8 1913 Ed. (School – Chapel Street)
Dilys Thomas, ‘Memories of Old Colwyn’ Bridge Books, Wrexham, 2000 ( Searchroom library shelf 3.11)
http://colwynbayheritage.org.uk/former-national-school-old-colwyn/ [last accessed 22/09/2017]