They weren’t allowed to speak Welsh, sign language was banned in class and the Tourist Board warned their presence would deter holidaymakers - the lives of deaf schoolchildren in Wales in the 1950s and 1960s are laid bare in a new book.
A History of the Royal Cambrian and Llandrindod Well s Residential Schools for the Deaf 1846-1973 details shocking testimony from former pupils, now aged in their sixties and seventies. Author Cedric Moon, from Cardiff , attended the school in Llandrindod for three months aged 11 in 1959. The father of three doesn’t recall his school days but his interviews with former pupils from the 1950s and 1960s, reveals many were unhappy at the school which shut in 1973.
The school, which opened in Aberystwyth in 1847 before moving to Swansea as the Cambrian Institute in 1850 and then on to Llandrindod Wells in 1950, was taken over by the Welsh Joint Education Committee in 1949. It decreed English only should be used.