“The most glorious time I have ever spent”

The first boys’ club was opened in Treharris in 1922 – a response to the need to provide a productive and positive occupation for boys in coalfield communities.

Floor Plan for the Boys Clubs at Wattstown, 1932 (DX446/29/1)

Other clubs soon opened at Nantymoel, Treorchy, Wattstown, Ton Pentre, Crosskeys, and Blaengwynfi, providing boys with the opportunity to take part in recreational and educational activities including sports and drama.

Reminiscences of St Athan's Camp from the Ocean and National Magazine (D1400/9/1/8)

St Athan’s camp was established in 1923. Alongside camp duties, boys would have a week of outdoor games, swimming, talks and entertainments. By 1935, 19,645 boys from across the south Wales coalfield had passed through the camp.

St Athan Boys' Village leaflet (Lieut/S/X/39/3)

Provision of activities for girls from the coalfield was also addressed, with Boverton Girls Camp being established in 1932. Activities included swimming, games, folk dancing, rambles, competitions, singing and picnics.

Girls playing football at Boverton Girls Camp, 1948 (DNCB/14/4/154/195)

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