A view of the Llandarcy ground in 1985. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

In  1921 National Oil Refineries Ltd built a refinery at Llandarcy, a small village some two miles south-west of Neath, close to the mouth of the River Neath on the Bristol Channel.  The company also acquired an area of adjoining farmland upon which they provided recreational facilities for their employees.  Amongst the facilities provided was a cricket club, and during the 1930`s the company (later to be taken over by British Petroleum) oversaw ground improvements, the construction of changing rooms and a pavilion, as well as the creation of a decent wicket.

The reputation of the Llandarcy wicket had grown sufficiently by the late 1940`s for Glamorgan to consider it for some of their second team games. After a visit in May 1949 by the county`s Club and Ground XI against the BP club, the ground was allocated the Minor County fixture with Gloucestershire 2nd XI in 1950. Rain interrupted play, but the Glamorgan officials were suitably impressed with the Llandarcy facilities, and it continued to host second eleven matches, as well as Glamorgan’s two-day match against the Pakistani Eaglets in 1958.  

By this time Len Pitchford, the former Glamorgan batsman, was acting  as the groundsman, and under his supervision, further improvements took place to the wicket.  His efforts were rewarded in 1971 as the ground staged Glamorgan’s match on 7, 8 and 9 July against Oxford University, as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations at the refinery complex. Llandarcy continued to host second eleven games until 1992. During the late 1980’s it was also the home venue for the Glamorgan Colts side when they participated in the South Wales Cricket Association.