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Brief history of the Rhos Ground, Colwyn Bay
by Dr.A.K.Hignell - Hon Statistician and Historian to Glamorgan CCC


Ground:Penrhyn Avenue, Rhos-on-Sea, Colwyn Bay

 

The Rhos ground and the Wooller family are closely linked as it was Wilf Wooller who was instrumental in taking first-class cricket to the ground his father helped to found in 1924. Indeed, it was the actions of Wilf Wooller senior that led to the ground being laid out in a field off Penrhyn Avenue, near the seafront at Rhos-on-Sea , and within many decent club cricketers having moved to the area from Manchester and Liverpool, it wasn't long before the Colwyn club became successful. The legendary Sydney Barnes also lived in the area, and he acted as a coach in the nets in the 1920's.

 

The Colwyn club therefore soon became successful. In 1930 Denbighshire entered the Minor County Championship and they used the Rhos ground for their home fixtures. During the Second World War, the Club also hosted a number of fund raising games for the War Effort, and with a further influx of good players from the cities of North-West England, the Colwyn club went from strength to strength.

 

These wartime friendlies were well attended, so when Wilf Wooller became Glamorgan captain in 1947 he organised a short tour to North Wales which would help to boost the club's support and fly the flag in the North. The tour, at the end of August, included two day games against Sir Learie Constantine's XI and a North Wales XI. During the next few years, another series of exhibition and Benefit games were held at the ground, including a match in 1955 between R.W.V.Robin's XI and Vinoo Mankad's Indian XI and as a result of the success of these games, the club spend money on various ground improvements, including an extended pavilion and dressing room area.

 

By the 1960's, the Rhos club were holding a Cricket Festival, attracting top playerts from the Lancashire Leagues, during the peak holiday period in August. The success of these games led Wilf Wooller into considering the viability of county games at the seaside ground, and in 1966 the Rhos ground staged Glamorgan's Championship match with Derbyshire. Over 4,000 people attended the game, so in the period up until 1974 the ground staged either an Annual Champioship game, or a Sunday League fixture.

 

Taking cricket to the North was quite expensive, so when the club's finances started to shrink during the mid 1970's, Colwyn Bay was deleted from the county's calendar, although it continued to host Benefit and exhibition games, including the 1984 West Indians match against the League Cricket Conference. These games continued to be well attended, so when a sponsorship package was offered to the county, they agreed to return to the North in 1990 for their Champioship and Sunday League fixture with Lancashire. This became a regular fixture until 1995, as Glamorgan began investing in a club base at Cardiff, and it now seems likely that the Colwyn Bay ground will alterante with Abergavenny on the county's calendar. In the past few years, the ground has also hosted several of Wales Minor Counties' fixtures, and in 1996 a new extended Pavilion was opened by a game involving a Glamorgan Past and Present XI.

 


(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dr.A.K.Hignell)



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