Alun James, who died in
March 2021 aged 88, was born and brought up in Llwynhendy and educated in the
village school and Llanelli Grammar School. He was called up for National
Service, spending 2 years in the RAF before returning to embark on a teacher
training course at Carmarthen.
He moved to Llangennech when he married Betty, a marriage that was to last 64 years. His teaching career took him to Bristol for a brief period before he returned as a Geography teacher at Llansamlet and Cefn Hengoed schools until his retirement.
Alun had played rugby for Bynea in his younger days but cricket was his main interest when he moved to the village, especially having Albert Wooldridge, a SWCA umpire, as his father-in-law. His 1st XI career lasted 19 years, three of which were as captain. He was mainly an opening batsman and very occasional off-spin bowler scoring 2,279 runs and taking 29 wickets.
While still playing cricket, he developed an interest in golf and joined Morriston Golf Club, of which he served a term as captain. He later joined Ashburnham Golf Club with Betty who was honoured with being elected Ladies’ Captain.
During all this, Alun was on the Llangennech committee serving five years as chairman and being awarded life-membership on stepping down. He later served a 10 year period as the club’s auditor where he would always scrutinise closely the club’s finances, asking pertinent questions and offering sound advice.
He was also involved in other aspects of life in the village where he served a period as a Parish Councillor. Well into his eighties he was always amused to occasionally being referred to as ‘Betty Wooldridge’s husband’ despite having been in the village for over 65 years.
David Lloyd, the Cowbridge Cricket Club’s 1st XI scorer from 2009 to 2016 died in early October aged 82.
A native of Pontypridd David came to Cowbridge to teach English at the Grammar School in 1964. He became Head of Department in due course. At the Grammar School and later at the successor school David achieved excellent results in a quiet but thorough manner. Teaching in Cowbridge was to be his vocation.
When son Michael became 1st XI regular in 2009 David was delighted to take the opportunity to take over the scorer’s mantle. David was popular amongst his fellow scorers for his knowledge of the game and his professionalism in the way he set about his duties. David also wrote the reports for The Gem newspaper and his attention to detail gave his readers a comprehensive report as to what had occurred.David was a familiar figure in the High Street and the community will miss his presence. He was always ready to chat with the townsfolk, many of whom he had taught. Cowbridge will be an emptier place without David.
The sudden death of Jon Smart aged 46 robbed Cowbridge of one the club’s most significant personalities. Jon, like his twin brother Matthew was educated at Malvern College and began playing at Cowbridge when the club joined the SWCA.
Jon held many roles in the club, he was the league leading wicket taker in 1995, the youngest Captain of Cowbridge in memory and he led the side for six seasons. He was the secretary, treasurer and junior coach and was currently Manager of the 1st XI. He was hugely popular within the club and was relishing the successes that had taken them to the SWPCL.
As Jon’s funeral cortege passed quietly through the streets of Cowbridge an overwhelming mass of friends lined the route.
The club’s condolences were extended to Jon’s partner Claire and her girls, parents Richard and Gaynor and bother Matthew and his family Angharad, Ben and Imogen.
Port Talbot Town C.C.
Alan joined Margam CC in 1958 before moving across town to join
Port Talbot in 1971.
He eventually retired from playing in 1985 and became an umpire within the SWCA, a position for which he was better known within the SWCA circles and was an umpire for 29 years within the league before hanging up his coat in 2014.
One of Alan’s highlights as an umpire, aside from a number of finals he officiated in, was his involvement as an umpire on the 2005 SWCA tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Up to his death, Alan always remained a loyal supporter of Port Talbot CC and during his time with the club, held the position of Chairman on two separate occasions and was proud of his life membership of the club he loved. He is succeeded in the cricket sense by his sons Ian, Phillip & Gareth, and their association with Port Talbot.
It was fitting that the last game he saw, he witnessed Gareth wrap up the Cardiff 1st XI tail to record a remarkable one run victory for his club.
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