Miskin Manor Cricket Club
The year 1882 is regarded as the year in which cricket was first played at Miskin Manor. The same field (then named Ynys Pare and later to be changed to Glyn Pare) has been the venue for matches ever since and must surely rank amongst the most picturesque of cricket grounds in South Wales.
The manor was purchased by David Williams, Esq. during the mid-nineteenth century and he did much to develop the grounds and gardens. He was followed by his son, Gwilym, later to become His Honour Judge Gwilym Williams, who used Miskin Manor as his family home. It was his sons, Rhys and Justin who constructed the ground out of a hayfield.
During the 1914-18 World War cricket was discontinued at Miskin and it is believed the game was not resumed there until 1927-28. In the meantime, the manor house itself was almost totally destroyed by fire in 1922 and all the early cricket records were lost.
By the early 1930’s records show that the Miskin Club had developed considerably. The ‘Miskin team’ had gained a formidable reputation but facilities were limited; changing and catering were accommodated in temporary tenting, while the scorers toiled in an old toll-house purchased by Sir Rhys.
No cricket was played on the ground between the end of the 1939 season and the latter half of the 1946 season because most of the members were enlisted into H. M. Forces. Five of these members lost their lives while on active service.
With the cessation of hostilities and the return to near normal conditions in 1946 came the return of many members from active service plus an influx of newcomers. The Club was reformed with Mr. Rhys Jenkins as Club Chairman and Mr. W. Gurnos Jones as Secretary, resuming posts they had held with distinction for some years before the War. Changing and refreshment facilities were again provided for in a marquee and somewhat primitive equipment was used for the maintenance and up-keep of the ground.
The Club’s finances were extremely limited. However, enthusiastically led by their Chairman, the members were united in their efforts to erect a fitting memorial to their fallen friends. Sufficient funds were raised to build a pavilion which was in keeping with the picturesque setting of Miskin Manor and its immediate surroundings. This pavilion is still in use.
On the field of play the considerable reputation in earlier years was being quickly restored. With the improved facilities, the players were able to pit their strength against stronger clubs who were being encouraged to play at Glyn Parc. Viv Williams registered the Club’s first post-war century in 1948.
In 1948 the Club became affiliated to the Glamorgan County C. C. which led to the resumption of home fixtures with a representative County XI, an arrangement which continued well into the 1950’s.
In 1953 Miskin won the Coronation Year Knock-Out Competition sponsored by Llantrisant and Llantwit Fardre R D. C. and, in the same year, the Pontyclun Cricket Knock-Out Cup Competition (the Cup donated by Trevor Williams) was launched and ran for 15 consecutive seasons. Miskin won the Cup more times than any other club which took part in the Competition.
In the late 1950’s three young members of the Club were selected to play for the Welsh Secondary Schools and in 1958 the First XI enjoyed its best season in the recorded history of the Club up to that time. Under the captaincy of T. M. (Trevor) Thomas the premier side finished the season undefeated and won the Pontyclun Knock-Out Cup for the fourth year in succession.
With the Club’s greatly improved financial status by 1961, and expensive mechanical equipment was purchased and additional considerable sums of money were outlayed on ground maintenance and repairs to the pavilion.
In 1962 the first tour of South Devon over the August Bank Holiday period was made and such tours have continued without interruption ever since. Initially, four games were played but were increased to six following the opening of the Severn Bridge.
The 1970’s opened with the Club making considerable financial outlay on extensions and modifications to the pavilion and general improvements to the ground.
After his death, Trevor Thomas’s family very generously donated £500 to boost the Club’s funds and for special use towards the maintenance and general upkeep of Glyn Parc as a tribute to his services for the Club and with ‘T M’s’ expressed wishes in mind, an appeal fund was launched which led to the erection of a permanent score-box on the field. It was officially opened in August 1977 when Miskin entertained a team headed by Tony Lewis (former captain of both England and Glamorgan County CC.)
Whatever achievements had taken place in the past, 1977 must surely rank as the most illustrious season in the history of the Club. Both the First XI and Second XI won their respective Divisions in the Gwent C.C.AL. – two players, viz Gabe Treharne and John Barnes, scored centuries and Reggie Shah became the first Miskin bowler to take 100 wickets in a season. In the Village Championship, Miskin won their way into the last 16 teams which remained out of 835 entries and having accounted for Brithdir, Hills Plymouth, St. Fagans and Sully Centurions, went on to beat Dafen in the South Wales Zone final. Fired with enthusiasm, the Club’s following went from strength to strength and some 300 supporters travelled to Coalpit Heath, near Bristol. to cheer them to victory but in the next round they were beaten by Cookley, who went on to win the Championship.
In 1978 Miskin joined the more formidable Welsh Cup Cricket Conference. In this first season the First XI failed to distinguish itself though John Gabe finished top scorer in the league. The Second XI however, won their division at the first time of asking.
In the Spring of 1981, heavy rain caused severe flooding of the cricket field and emergency action was necessary to salvage the field maintenance equipment.