Llandudno

A view of The Oval, Llandudno taken in 2007. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

The first record of cricket being played in Llandudno dates from 1849 and since 1891 the town’s cricket club have played at Gloddaeth Avenue, just half a mile away from the famous seafront, and the Great Orme. Their ground, known as The Oval, was laid out on land they leased from the Mostyn Family of Gloddaeth Hall.  The Hon. Henry Mostyn was captain of the club at the time, and together with his family, he did much to develop and popularise the North Wales resort.

After the Great War, various ground improvements were made, including a pavilion, which was opened on 8 September 1924 by Lord Mostyn before the start of a two-day game between the touring South Africans and a North Wales XI. Indeed, the developments at The Oval were part of an attempt by Gwilym Rowland, a wealthy local businessman, to bring first-class cricket to the North Wales coast, and to create a Welsh team. 

The 1928 West Indians at Llandudno. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

In 1925 Wales met the Gentlemen of Ireland in the inaugural first-class contest at Llandudno, followed by matches against the 1927 New Zealanders and 1928 West Indians. The Llandudno club hosted matches either side of the Second World War against a number of touring teams and clubs , especially from Northern England. In  1949 the ground was purchased by Llandudno Urban District Council, and despite the change of ownership, it continued to stage the matches staged by Caernarvonshire and North Wales.

Following the inauguration of the John Player Sunday League, the ground hosted a televised 40-overs match on 22 June 1969 against Leicestershire. There were hopes that more county games might follow but disaster hit the club in 1973 when fire destroyed the pavilion. It was subsequently rebuilt and in 1978 the ground hosted an exhibition match in 1978 between a North Wales Invitation XI and the Pakistan International Airways side.