We are indebted to colleagues at Bonvilston for permission to share the above image with you. It is thought that it is a photograph of the Glamorgan Hunt XI taken at Cowbridge in 1927. It was displayed for many years in the Red Lion, Bonvilston and a copy can also be seen on the Bonvilston village website, http://www.Bonvilstonvillage.co.uk.
As noted on the site, the only individuals that have been identified to date are the gentleman, centre front row, who is R.H “Bob” Williams. He was Master of the Hunt living in Bonvilston House and directly in front of him is his daughter Mary ‘Winks’ Rodger, well known in the village, who would have been six years old.
Volunteers at the Museum of Welsh Cricket have been researching the photograph with the aim of finding out a little more about the players, the venue and the match. During the 1920s the Glamorgan Hunt XI played an annual match at Cowbridge with the game against the local club taking place on the Bank Holiday Monday during the first week of August. The annual game was part of what was known as the Cowbridge cricket week and was often followed by a further match between LEW Williams’ XI and the Cowbridge club.
Preceded by a luncheon, hosted by the Hunt XI, the match was described in the local press as “…one of the happiest events of the Cowbridge Club’s fixture list”. There was some dismay, therefore, when it was announced that the match would not be held in 1926 and that further fixtures were in doubt due to a clash with dates set for meetings at the new racecourse at Chepstow in the grounds of Piercefield Park – the home of the Clay family.
If this is a photograph of the 1927 side, then it was a very welcome occasion that marked the resumption of the annual fixture. The Glamorgan Hunt XI which played Cowbridge CC on 1 August 1927 contained a number of well-known local figures, including GL (“Peter”) Clay who was the brother of Glamorgan stalwart Johnnie Clay, as well as LEW (“Tip”) Williams who also played for the Welsh county and was one of the founding members of the South Wales Hunts CC.
Therefore we believe that the cricketers in the photograph are Back Row – left to right: “Peter” Clay, Evan David, “Tip” Williams, Rupert Byass, Geoffrey Byass and EH Phillips. Front Row – left to right: Percy Hill, Fred Williams, “Bob” Williams, Tom Crabb and H Gethin Lewis.
Tom Crabb was a late replacement in the side when another gentleman withdrew. A talented bowler, Tom was a key player in the pre- 1914 Bonvilston team, captained by Jack Brain, the former Glamorgan and Gloucestershire player. Tom worked as a groom for the Mackintosh of Mackintosh on the Cottrell estate and would have been 62 years of age when the photograph was taken in 1927.
For the record, despite an heroic performance by “Tip” Williams, who took six wickets and top scored for his side with 17 runs, the Glamorgan Hunt XI were dismissed for 70, 38 runs short of the Cowbridge total. As for Tom Crabb, as might be expected given his age, he did not figure amongst the wicket takers. However, he shared in a respectable last wicket stand with Fred Williams and was last man out as the Hunt XI attempted to chase down the Cowbridge score.
There is a chance that this might not be the 1927 side, or that we have incorrectly identified the players. Therefore, if you can help us or provide further information, please get in touch by sending an email to email@example.com. We will then update the information and re-publish the photograph on this website.
Many thanks in anticipation of your kind assistance!
CC4 Museum of Welsh Cricket