Junior practice - ooh it's manic, with parents arriving and kids running about, but that's what it's all about Sarah Bunting - Spondon CC
Project supported by MCC Lord's and University of Glamorgan

Marylebone Cricket Club, Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London, NW8 8QN | Project enquiries: Neil Robinson | 020 7616 8559

Blaina is a small town in the Welsh valleys, close to Abergavenny and Ebbw Vale. It’s an old mining town, through the 19th Century thousands flocked there to work in the pits and the nearby steelworks. All the heavy industry has gone now, but what’s left is a proud, close-knit Welsh community. Blaina CC are a small club but one with a long history and a long tradition of playing hard – both on and off the pitch!

Brief club history 

Blaina CC played their first match in 1853 against nearby Ebbw Vale and made a good start – a convincing 81 run win. There were many local cricket clubs in the thriving mining town during the early 20th Century, but thanks to the efforts of mining engineer Evans Watkins these smaller clubs were amalgamated to create Blaina CC, with good sponsorship and strong enough to become founder members of the South Wales and Monmouthshire League in 1926. The club were very successful and were promoted to the premier division in the first season.

Unfortunately the league fell apart soon after due to economic difficulties, but Blaina CC continued to thrive before and after the Second World War. Strong links with the local collieries were developed as many players also turned out for the local pit teams. Another great period for the club was the economically turbulent 1980s, as a batch of talented youngsters helped the club rise up three divisions in the space of four years and dominate the local indoor league during the winter. The club also gained new facilities in the shape of a new pavilion. Today, the club remains strong with a committed group of players and volunteers whose only interest is in playing cricket and keeping the club going.
 

The club and Taking the Field 

Blaina CC was the first club to be featured in Taking the Field in Autumn 2010. The guys had been researching their history for several years with the help of Andrew Hignell at Glamorgan CCC, after being inspired by a mysterious photograph of a match in Blaina in the 1920s. Although they knew that this photograph must have been taken on Central Park, due to the distinctive pavilion in the photograph, they had no idea about the match or the club's presitgious history in the 1920s. From there on they began to collaborate with TTF to collect more recent stories, and are hoping to publish a book on the club.

'Glamorgan County Cricket Club in Blaina'

'Glamorgan County Cricket Club in Blaina'

Blaina Cricket Club players remember the visits of their heroes from Glamorgan CCC to Central Park

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'Keeping the Club going'

'Keeping the Club going'

The members of Blaina Cricket Club discuss fundraising and the difficulties of raising money for the club 

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'The Hidden Costs of Cricket'

'The Hidden Costs of Cricket'

David Cobourne of Blaina Cricket Club remembers one match at St Fagans in the 1990s

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'Playing on the Central'

'Playing on the Central'

The guys at Blaina tell us about their ground and the hard work of former groundsman Alan Williams

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'Playing for the Pits'

'Playing for the Pits'

Members of Blaina CC discuss the club's links with local mines and the pit teams they also played for

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'Blaina Cricket Club: Phoenix From the Ashes'

'Blaina Cricket Club: Phoenix From the Ashes'

Club member Chris Despres tells us how Blaina Cricket Club turned their fortunes around from the 1970s to become an extremely successful side in the 1980s

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'A Special Celebration'

'A Special Celebration'

A look at how the boys in Blaina marked a wonderful success in a 1980s mining community  

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'Collecting Our History'

'Collecting Our History'

Members of Blaina share how they became interested in their club's history

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