Cathays High School Alumni

Ali Abdi

Alumni - Ali Abdi

“I want to say thank you very much for everything that Cathays High School has done for me. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the school and will always have many happy memories. Cathays has some truly outstanding and dedicated teachers. I was given many opportunities at the school to develop aside from academically and I believe this contributed to my development and achievements later in life. That’s why I continue to support Cathays now almost 20 years later (feels like yesterday) when I left following my GCSEs. I went on to complete my A-levels, a degree and a Master’s degree and to now actively trying to make the world a better place by inspiring future generations in the city and particularly in my local community to follow in my footsteps and take full advantage of Cathays High School and the ‘opportunities For All.’ Thank you for all of your guidance and help over the years.”


– Class of 2001 (1996-2001)







Ali Abdi BEM

Greg Johnson


My name is Greg Johnson and I was a Pupil at Cathays High from 1981 to 1986.

I left school before taking my exams and joined the British Rail Youth Training Scheme based in Cardiff. I worked in various places on the scheme and learnt different aspects of the rail industry (I had a head start as my dad was a Train Driver based in Canton).

In May 1988 I was lucky enough to be offered a full-time position as a Station Porter based at Newport and remained there after gaining promotion to a Station shunter/Supervisor/Train Announcer until June 1990 when I gained promotion again to the Signalling Grade.

I worked various Signalboxes throughout the South Wales area during the 90’s and I then progressed to the dizzy heights of the Regional Control office at Swindon where I was employed as a Wales Area Production Controller responsible for managing incidents that affected the running of the railway.

In 2009 I was lucky enough to be transferred to the Network Rail Wales Railway Operations centre which is based in Canton and my current role is to log Infrastructure faults on the railway and arrange response teams to attend and return the railway to operational running. It is a complex and sometimes hectic job as the recent weather events make it very challenging especially when you do not have enough staff to respond to incidents.

For two and a half years between 1991 and 1994 I was a Special Constable (Volunteer Police Officer) working out of Rumney and Roath Police Stations in Cardiff but sadly had to give it up due to shiftwork. It was an interesting time and brought me out of my shell as I was pretty quiet in school.

I met my Wife Rachael on a blind date in 1994 and we married in 1995. Rachael and I have now been married for 26 years and currently live in Newport. We have two children Rebecca who was born in 1997 and Luke who was born 2003. Rebecca is now married to Mike who is a serving soldier with the Welsh Guards, and we have been blessed to have two beautiful grandchildren. Oliver is approaching 4 and Mya-grace has just turned 1 and they certainly keep up busy.

I recently celebrated 33 years in the rail industry and I’m now looking forward to retiring in around three years.

Out of work we are keen caravanners and we own a static caravan in Pembrokeshire which we visit every time I have a group of days off from work.


Greg Johnson

Lauranne Cullen

1995- 2002

Lauranne Cullen
International Charity Director for The Salvation Army

Shahzad Hamid

1998 – 2005

Shahzad Hamid

Robert Martinson

1989 – 1993

Robert Martinson
Permanent Staff Instructor (Army)