Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Meet the Readers

Minding my own business in Builth High Street , a reader sidles up and tells me the blog has got too political, too much Wcrain.
"You need more Radnorshire stuff" I'm advised. 
"What do you suggest?"
"How about the Radnorshire Cobdens?"

The friendly critic soon filled-me-in on the exploits of one Frank Cobden in the 1870 Varsity cricket match.  Oxford needed three runs to win with three wickets in hand when Cobden stepped-up and took his famous hat-trick.  If it happened today you'd suspect the involvement of far-eastern bookmakers.  Instead they  called it Cobden's match and although he was an Englishman there was said to be some Radnorshire connection along the way.

Cobden turned up in Knighton at the end of the 1870s. Heir to a small fortune and with a much older wife he rented The Cottage and took an interest in the market town's sporting activities, football and cricket.  An early initiative was to restart the county cricket side, something that came to pass in 1884 - partial records of the team which flourished until 1889, when Cobden moved away, can be found here.

Playing its games at Bryn-y-Castell in Knighton - the town organised an annual August Cricket week  - this reformed Radnorshire side was clearly dominated by a county elite educated in the virtues of the English public school.  The Evelyn brothers of Kinsham Court, one an Oxford cricket blue, another a Welsh soccer international, were prominent in the batting line-up.  We also find a host of Green-Prices from Norton Manor and the inevitable Cobden dominating the bowling.

With Cobden's departure from Radnorshire the county side folded.  The cricketer moved to Capel Curig, where he is remembered in the name of the Cobden Hotel, formerly Tan-y-Bwlch.  There's a photograph of him here.


Jac o' the North, said...

Your reader was absolutely right. Far too much Wcrain. Snap out of it!

Llew Buallt said...

Rapid response Radnorian. Well done though it was more of a confident strut than a sidle. Keep the blog going.

Anonymous said...

Radnorian is Radnor Pennsylvania ashamed of its origins.I recently added to the entry for this upscale Philly suburb detail about Radnor Wales and it's connection only to have them edited out.

radnorian said...

My guess is that someone thought that the Radnorian origins were covered in the entry for Radnor Township.

On the whole I'd say that Americans are quite positive about Wales and you even hear Welsh origins mentioned by characters in popular TV shows. No doubt this is because the 19C migrants had a good reputation for hardwork and sobriety. Murray the Hump being the exception.

The earlier migrations which accounted for all the Welsh surnames you find in the South has largely been forgotten.

In my experience you're more come likely to come across anti-Welsh attitudes amongst the "liberal" London crowd.

Llew Buallt said...

Rapid response Radnorian, well done. Just like to point out it was more of a confident strut than a sidle. Keep the blog going.

Ian Woosnam said...

Isn't Merion close by? The US open was hosted there last year. Waste of a good walk I know, but still...