Barry Athletic Cricket Club’s ground at Barry Island, some 9 miles south-west from Cardiff, staged a number of Glamorgan’s friendlies during ,as well as after, the Second World War as well as a number of 2nd XI and Under 25 matches during the 1960s and 1970s.

The ground is situated at the western end of the Island, close to the popular promenade along Whitmore Bay. The ground is leased from the Earl of Plymouth at a peppercorn rent – the Plymouth Estate having bought the island in 1878 from the Traherne family – with the lease stipulating that the land can only be used for recreation.

Players plus their families and friends gather in front of the pavilion at Barry CC in 1914. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

The development of cricket in Barry stems from the growth of the town’s docks from the 1870s onwards. It prompted an influx of people, and the earliest games on record in the town involved engineers and labourers employed at the Docks. In 1890 Barry Cricket Club was formed, with their earliest games taking place at Porthkerry Park, on land owned by the Romilly family. In 1904 they acquired the area of land on Barry Island, on which they laid out their own wicket and developed a permanent base.

By the inter-war period the Barry club had become a successful club, with several of their players, including Ronnie Boon, Harold Dickinson and Frank Pinch, turning out for Glamorgan. The 1930s saw Club and Ground games at the Island ground, followed by Minor County Championship matches against Berkshire in 1936 and 1937, plus the two-day friendly with the Phoenix Club of Ireland in 1938.

Players practising on the outfield at Barry Island ahead of a game . Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

With the Arms Park and St. Helen`s being used by the military authorities during the Second World War, Glamorgan staged a number of special exhibition and fund raising contests at Barry, including games in 1943 against the Anti-Aircraft Command and the RAF, followed in 1944 by matches against Learie Constantine’s XI and the West of England. In 1945 Learie Constantine’s XI were the visitors again, and when county cricket resumed in the late 1940`s, the ground continued to stage 2nd XI and Minor County fixtures, plus the two-day friendly in July 1950 against the RAF.