header Cymraeg English
High Street, Aberdare  
Doctor Bank's House - Ty Mawr during the Civic Sunday March circa 1930

When Ty Mawr was demolished in the early 1970's, to clear the site for the Aberdare Health Centre, a link to the history of Aberdare stretching back 200 years was severed. Ty Mawr was constructed in the last quarter of the Eighteenth Century and would have been the largest residence in the town at the time. Originally the home of the Richards family, by the 1820's the house had become a shop ran by Evan Griffiths. In the Twentieth Century the house was best known as being the residence of a number of well respected local doctors, including Dr Evan Jones and Dr Harry Banks.

Left: Doctor Bank's House - Ty Mawr during the Civic Sunday March circa 1930

A Rock Brewery dray stands in the middle foreground of this photograph of the Southeastern end of High Street, taken in the late Nineteenth Century.

Right: Rock Brewery Dray in High Street

Rock Brewery Dray in High Street
Halewood's Boot Factory - High Street

Alongside the main coal and iron industries a plethora of smaller industries emerged throughout the Aberdare area, to supply the needs of the expanding population. One such industry was Halewood's Boot Factory at the rear of Canon Street and High Street. The building was originally the Glandare Woolen Mill, but in 1862 the Boot Factory was opened. The factory supplied a chain of shops in Aberdare and throughout South Wales until its closure some time after the First World War.

Left: Halewood's Boot Factory - High Street

When the Rex Cinema opened in April 1939 the resident organist was Walford James. Three organ recitals were given daily, the Compton Organ would rise from beneath the floor of the stage and the glass surround contained strip lights that would change colour automatically. Find out what happened to the Rex organ. The Rex was amongst the most luxurious of the many cinemas of the South Wales Valleys, with seating for 1700 and decorated throughout in an art deco style. The last public performance at the cinema was held in 1981, although it had been in decline for several years before that. The building was demolished in August 1990 to make way for a new car park.

Right: Tom Joseph pictured at the Compton organ at the Rex Cinema

Tom Joseph pictured at the Compton organ at the Rex Cinema
 
© 2011 Rhondda Cynon Taf Library Service