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Report - St Athan boy's holiday village, West Aberthaw, Wales Aug 2014

Discussion in 'Leisure Sites' started by Icecoldkitten, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Icecoldkitten

    Icecoldkitten Hooked on curiosity
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    Whilst on a trip to Wales recently we found that this was along our route and called in. St Athan Boys' Village was a village-style holiday camp located in West Aberthaw, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.

    Philanthropist David Davies, 1st Baron Davies of Llandinam and president of the Ocean Coal Company and his Welfare Officer Captain J. Glynn Jones, co-founders of the Boys' Clubs of Wales were first inspired to build a holiday camp for the sons of miners from the South Wales Coalfield in the early 1920s after attending a youth camp in Kent. Opened on August 8, 1925, the camp offered them an escape from the polluted and unhealthy atmosphere of Valleys industrial towns and a place to play and be free, as well as being close to the nearby beach. The buildings included a dining hall, dormitories, a gym, swimming pool, workshops and a church. There was also a full-sized cricket pitch, putting green, tennis courts, football and rugby grounds and a pavilion. A War Memorial in the centre of the complex commemorated men from the coalfields who had lost their lives in the two World Wars.

    The camp was requisitioned in 1940 for military use but returned to civilian use in 1946. In 1962, the centre was refurbished as a youth hostel and facilities for teaching work-related skills such as mechanical engineering. In 1990 the company running the club went into administration and the site was forced to close.

    After closure, the site was used for residential Bible courses by various church groups. Sold in 2000 to a new owner, it was rented to a family who lived in the former caretaker's cottage and used the yard for farm storage. When they moved out in 2008 it was taken over by airsoft enthusiasts but with no on-site security it soon became a target for metal theft, vandalism and arson. Various buildings on site were subsequently demolished from 2008 due to extensive fire damage, including the Sir Maynard Jenour and the recreation buildings. The swimming pool roof which collapsed some years after the site's closure was also removed.

    In 2013 the site was split into 6 plots with planning permission for the existing buildings to be rebuilt for residential use. Three of those were SSTC at the end of 2013. Some of the graffiti appears to have been covered up with new paint but nothing else suggests any development is starting any time soon. The war memorial will remain after development

    Main entrance

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    Inside corridor

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    Inside floor

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    Memorial

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    Church view

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    Boiler house

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    Accommodation

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    Lodge

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    Graffiti

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    Freddie

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    Outside the church

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    Inside the church

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    Swimming Pool

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    Sports Hall

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    Outside

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    Amazing how quickly a place can go to ruin!
     
    girtrood likes this.

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  2. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Good to see that the pool is still in working order.
     
  3. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Surprised its still there, apartments should be going up shortly
     
  4. Res0nanc3

    Res0nanc3 28DL Full Member
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    The 'Private' and 'Keep Out' scrawl is new... I was there back in April and it wasn't there then. Its also dried out a bit since then as well!! Shame to see the creepy mask is no longer in the swimming pool.
     
  5. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Bugger.....went here myself a couple of months back and never put the report up.......quite a relaxed explore, graff seems to have changed a bit already :rolleyes:

    Nice report and pics there.......thanks for postin' :thumb
     
  6. 1nk4

    1nk4 28DL Regular User
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    looks pretty interesting!!
     
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