Llanelli (2)

Several Llanelli players started to make a name for themselves with Glamorgan during the 1920s and 1930s, including batsman Dai Davies, all-rounder Emrys Davies and wicket-keeper Trevor Every. With the Welsh county looking to strengthen their membership  and boost their finances, Maurice Turnbull, the Glamorgan secretary, approached the Stradey Park club about staging county cricket at Stradey Park.  At the same time, Tom Jeffreys, a butcher in the town, drummed up financial support from the town’s business community, and in 1933 the match with Worcestershire was allocated to Llanelli.

As Wisden`s correspondent observed, “the match against Worcestershire proved a very successful venture, for apart from the win for Glamorgan by an innings,  Carmarthenshire folk showed so much appreciation of being given the chance to see first-class cricket that on the first day the attendance exceeded 4,000, whilst gate receipts amounted to exactly £200.” The success of this fixture led to an annual Championship game being allocated to Stradey Park. Further ground improvements also took place, with a new pavilion being opened in 1939, and after the War, a local brewery gave financial support so that additional seating  could be provided.

The Glamorgan team, with Haydn Davies (with pads), sitting in front of the Stradey Park pavilion ahead of their Championship match against Nottinghamshire in 1956. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Glamorgan`s annual appearance at Stradey Park therefore had the feel of a Festival match, with 7,500 people watching the second day of the Championship match with Surrey in 1952. One newspaper correspondent also wrote how “the annual county match is something more than a cricket match.  It reminds me of a fair, for  the  whole town seems to pour in to watch the cricket and  enjoy  themselves. One might compare it to the music hall, where folk used to eat and drink as they watched the entertainment.”

Click on the link below to see the ground records at Stradey Park