South Wales Cricket Association
Llangennech Cricket Club
Apart from a two year period doing National Service with the RAF in Egypt, Alun Davies spent the whole of his 87 years living in the village of Llangennech.
He contributed a great deal to the life of the village, especially the cricket club. He was a medium-fast opening bowler who was the mainstay of the club’s 2nd XI in the 60s and 70s. He was the side’s captain for five seasons and was instrumental in nurturing talent and encouraging younger players to improve their game and aim to be the best.
Alun had only a handful of 1st XI experiences, being drafted in when the regulars were unavailable or injured. He made 108 appearances for the seconds but only 13 for the firsts. He never let the side down and was fully supportive of his captain and fellow players.
On the administrative side Alun was Hon. Secretary for a period in the 60s and also served a term as the club’s vice-chairman. On retirement he was awarded life membership, an honour which he cherished.
During his time in Egypt, Alun developed a keen interest in photography and on returning to the village began documenting the inevitable changes which were occurring. Initially on film, and later on video when it became available, he chronicled Llangennech’s history, past and present, for future generations.
He was able to provide the junior school with pictures of the ‘Old Llangennech’ to include in their annual calendars and often spoke at meetings of various local organisations, in Welsh or English, illustrating the enormous changes witnessed in half a century. Alun also produced a DVD containing film and photos, the proceeds of which were donated to charity.
Alun was the third life-member of Llangennech Cricket Club to die within a six months period, when he passed away in March 2023.
Llangennech C.C. Life Member
Former Treasurer South Wales Junior Cricket League
Former Umpire South Wales Cricket Association
Brinley John, who died in November 2022 at the age of 94, was best known as a founder member of the South Wales Junior Cricket League.
It was his idea in the autumn of 1972 to establish an organised league structure for junior cricketers and at an inaugural meeting he was elected treasurer of the league, a role he performed for 44 years.
In his role as Treasurer Brinley ensured that the finances of the league remained extremely healthy by maximising all opportunities for grant aid, sponsorship and council support. He was vigorous in the chasing of any of these when they were slow responding to his letters of appeal and he was equally tenacious in chasing clubs who were late in paying subscriptions or fines.
Brinley John played for Llangennech after returning from National Service. He was known as a solid opening batsman who never gave his wicket away and was exceptionally quick between the wickets. He boasted that his fellow players could only scored the runs they did because of him at the other end pulling them along. He was also an excellent fielder in the deep and some bowlers would insist that only he should field in a particular position for them.
While still involved in coaching youngsters and his work with SWJCL Brin did a 4 year stint on the SWCA umpires panel 30 years ago. He always said that he enjoyed officiating division 5 matches as much, if not more, than division 1.
Over the years Brinley’s contribution to cricket was recognised locally and nationally. He received numerous awards at sporting functions in Llanelli but his proudest moment was the receipt of an OSCA from Cricket Wales in 2015 under the ‘Leagues’ category.
He was delighted to attend their presentation at Sophia Gardens and enjoy the hospitality offered to the award winners and their nominees. Following this came the invitation to the national NatWest OSCA ceremony at Lord’s and being wined and dined at the home of cricket.
Brinley had many other interests. He was heavily involved with social activities for his own club, helped to form a youth club in the village and supported the new Community Hall’s varied activities, playing short-mat bowls there. Always a keen gardener, he had a large plot next to his house and he grew vegetables which he exhibited, and won prizes for, at the Pontarddulais show.
Well into his eighties he was given the opportunity to be an extra in a Welsh language, gangster style dark movie, based in Carmarthenshire, called ‘Y Pris’.
During 2022 the club lost a second life member when Ieuan Jenkins passed away in September, just over a month after his 101st birthday.
Ieuan never played for the club, but his contribution was vast, enabling others to play and enjoy the game.
Ieuan was born in Newcastle Emlyn and qualified as an engineer. During and after the war, in both Royal and Merchant Navies he travelled extensively to all parts of the world.
He contracted TB and was a patient at Mynydd Mawr Hospital in Tumble, where he met his wife Beryl, one of the nurses who co-incidentally was from the same village. They married in 1959 and moved to St Clears when Ieuan began work at the MoD in Pendine.
A move to LR Industries in Bynea saw the family settle in Llangennech and Ieuan, with an interest in rugby, cricket and fishing, soon got involved with our club. He was very adept at solving problems and overcoming difficulties using his engineering skills and could turn his hand to most things.
After retirement and into his 70s, he volunteered to climb the pavilion roof to repair the front of the scoreboard. While others were getting a ladder ready to rest on the steep slope for him to use, he unhesitatingly climbed the first ladder before walking up the tiles in a pair of daps.
Ieuan, for many, many years took on the role of the person in charge of the 1st XI, being with them in all their matches, home and away, supporting and encouraging.
For a period in the 90s the club organised a Noson Lawen on St David’s Day, as a social event in the village and a fund raising exercise. Well known faces from the world of Welsh Language entertainment were invited to perform and during the interval everyone enjoyed a bread roll and a bowl of cawl, prepared by Ieuan, usually in the urn used for making tea in the summer.
Ieuan was a passionate Scarlets supporter, rarely missing a match, and he loved his fishing. A small family caravan was on site at Cenarth every summer, where Ieuan could spend a few days each week in retirement fishing his beloved Teifi.
Increasing frailty led to Ieuan becoming a resident in a care home in Llanelli for over a year. After 63 years of marriage Beryl, who by this time was in a different care home, pre-deceased him by 3 months.
Roy Davies, who died in January 2022 at the age of 88, was a talented, highly competitive all round sportsman who played cricket and rugby for the village teams. This was at the time when the two sports did not overlap and there was no football club in existence. Most of the cricket players swapped their whites and rugby jerseys back and forth seamlessly. Roy and his opening bowler partner Alwyn John were the full-back and wing for the rugby team, Roy also undertaking the place-kicking duties.
When Llangennech were finally dismissed for 161 the time was 6.10pm and 74.1 overs had been bowled, Wat Jones having taken 4 for 36 in 29 of them. Clydach made a valiant attempt at the impossible and in the 22 overs received in 80 minutes reached 122 for 5.
Inevitably Roy Davies came in for criticism. But he was a tough, uncompromising captain. He argued that Clydach would have done exactly the same were the roles reversed and that after a season-long battle there was no way he was giving his opponents a chance of victory if he could.
Since WW2 a
Llangennech bowler has taken all 10 wickets in an innings on four occasions.
Outside his sporting achievements, Roy was a successful businessman who was also a chapel elder and a parish councillor.
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.