Written by Thomas John Jones (12) published in the South Wales Echo in 1899.
“Dear Uncle Joe,
I am going to write you a description of Blaengarw. First of all it is the shape of a triangle. It is situated at about 8 miles from Bridgend. In the centre of the town is a triangular park, with some lovely trees growing in it. There are four large chapels and one church, and two more denominations without chapels. There are two large steam coal collieries in Blaengarw. They are called the International and the Ocean. The International is managed by Mr James Picton and the Ocean by Mr D Matthews. The International raises about 1,000 tons a day. The population of Blaengarw is about 3,000 people, Blaengarw was started about 15 years ago.
There is a large school here as well. The headmaster is Mr Hargest; the headmistress is Miss H. Gelder. There is a large Workmen’s Hall and Institute, all built by the workmen of Blaengarw. The Library consists of 1,400 to 1,500 books of both languages, and a good number of magazines for the young men to read in their spare time. The only drawback to Blaengarw is that there is no railway station here. We have to walk all the way to Pontycymmer which is about a mile away.”