Swansea – 1948

Glamorgan’s matches during their Championship-winning summer of 1948 saw massive crowds turn up to cheer on Wilf Wooller and his men. Indeed, over 25,000 people were at St. Helen’s for the visit of Don Bradman and the 1948 Australians.

As the photograph below show, the ropes were brought in to allow people to sit and lie on the grass in front of the tiered enclosures, which had also been created during the 1920s, although they had largely been installed to provide extra areas from which people could watch the Welsh rugby internationals which also took place on the rugby field.

An image of the spectators watching the match at Swansea between Glamorgan and the 1948 Australians. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives

The image below shows how a massive marquee selling beer and food had been erected on the rugby field for the visit of the 1948 Australians, whilst many hundreds also watched from the rugby grandstand adjoining the Mumbles Road End.

The packed enclosures, plus the refreshment facilities on the rugby field as Glamorgan meet the 1948 Australians at St.Helen’s. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Whilst the match with the Australians ended in a  draw, Glamorgan won all four of their Championship matches at Swansea during 1948, defeating Somerset by an innings, Kent by 278 runs, Nottinghamshire by 221 runs, as well as Sussex by six wickets. The image below shows Wilf Wooller leading out his team for the match against Sussex, and there are stories that watching high up on the pavilion rooftop was Swansea poet Dylan Thomas – a great friend of BBC broadcaster John Arlott – with the pair cheering on the efforts of the Welsh county and, in the process, quaffing a few bottles of red wine!

Wilf Wooller (third right) leads out the Glamorgan team at Swansea in 1948. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.