Gough Buildings 5
|Oddfellows Street takes its name from the Independent Order of Oddfellows, a nationwide organisation created as part of the great movement toward friendly and benevelent societies during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
|This 1877 map shows the street stretching from the canal (left) to the edge of the river Tawe (right). These workmen's cottages housed the workers in the mining and iron industries and their families, and were the focus for a rich community life where families supported each other in difficult times.
|The map shows two schools in Oddfellows Street. The school on the bottom side of the street was a church school established about the middle of the 19th century. The older children of the school also occupied part of the Temperance buildings. In many industrial areas of Wales the Church of England was seen to be very much the church of the employers and landowners and the largely nonconformist working people were anxious to set up a school which allowed their children to be educated in a nonconformist or nondenominational way. (For more information see the pages on the development of education by the school societies). The school on the top side was just such a school. By the time of the 1918 edition of the above it had become divided into seperate private houses and was no longer a school. The church school was also later closed and the schoolroom has today gone altogether.
This photograph of Oddfellows Street from Graigfach was taken in the 1950's and reveals some of the traces of the 19th century Ystradgynlais.
The canal runs behind the trees in the foreground. The buildings set back on the left of the street are the houses which once formed the nonconformist school while the long roof line on the right (at right angles to the street) is the old schoolroom which later became a Sunday school and has since been demolished.
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