Llanelli (1)

Stradey Park, Llanelli, as seen during a Sunday League match involving Glamorgan in the 1990s. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

The Stradey Park cricket ground in Llanelli staged 23 County Championship matches between 1933 and 1965, as well as five of Glamorgan’s List A matches between 1988 and 1993. Cricket in Llanelli dates back to 1837 when a club started to play in a field in the centre of the town.  By the mid-1850s they were also using the grounds of Llanelli House, the home of the Mansel Lewis family, and during August 1856 it hosted a three day game between a XXII from the local area and the All-England Eleven.

In 1872 the Mansel  Lewis family provided a permanent home for the town’s  rugby and cricket club in the grounds of their home on the flat meadowland alongside the River Dulais. The Mansel  Lewis family also oversaw the construction of a small pavilion for the use of the cricket club in the northern part of the  Park, as well as a grandstand for the rugby ground to the south.

In January 1887, the cricket ground  was also used for the Wales-England rugby international when it was discovered  shortly before kick-off that the turf on the rugby ground was frozen. A crowd of 8,000 had turned up so, in an attempt to quell their frustration, a last minute decision was taken to switch to the cricket ground.

A photo of the teams who played at Stradey Park in 1906 in a special fund-raising game. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

During the early 1900s CP Lewis, the Oxford cricket Blue and former Welsh rugby international, who was a solicitor in Llandovery began a campaign to create a Carmarthenshire team which might take part in the Minor County Championship. In 1906 the Welsh Rugby Union gave the county club a loan of £100 for fund-raising games, including matches at Stradey Park against the Gentlemen of Essex. In 1908 Carmarthenshire were admitted into the Minor County competition, and until 1912, they played their home fixtures at Stradey Park.

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