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Boy's Village

By achieverswales
Thank you all for your excellent comments votes and awards yesterday. Today I am uploading some images that are from my past, these are photos of Boy's Village in St Athan South Wales, I was about ten and had my first ever holiday here without my family, there were many tears the first night but soon forgotten the next day that was full of fun! Below some info on this place that is now due for development hence going with Geoff Baker on Saturday, we were thrown out by the owner before we could finish our shoot.

Philanthropist David Davies, 1st Baron Davies of Llandinam and president of the Ocean Coal Company was first inspired to build a holiday camp for the sons of miners from the South Wales Coalfield in the early 1920s. 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. Over the years its usage developed to include the teaching of apprenticeships and new skills and a youth hostel was opened on site.

The buildings included a dining hall, dormitories, a gym, swimming pool, workshops, a church and even a war memorial. There was also a full-sized cricket pitch, putting green, tennis courts, football and rugby grounds and a pavilion.

The camp was requisitioned in 1940 for military use but returned to civilian use in 1945. With the nationalisation of the coal industry ownership passed to the National Association of Boys’ Clubs, an organisation that supported working boys from the ages of 10 to 18.

The site declined with the growth of cheap holidays abroad and the decline in coal mining in the Welsh valleys and subsequently closed in 1991

After closure, the site was used for residential Bible courses by various church groups. Sold in 2000 to a new owner, it was stripped of its equipment and rented to a family. When they moved out in 2008 it was taken over by airsoft enthusiasts, graffiti artists and vandals. Various buildings were demolished from 2008 due to extensive fire damage, including the Sir Maynard Jenour building, which was built in the 1980s, the recreation building and a few residential and administrative buildings. The swimming pool roof which collapsed some years after the site's closure was also removed. Much of the debris that littered the remaining buildings was cleared.

In 2010, the owner placed the site on the market. Unprotected by any form of conservation order, the site could be cleared for redevelopment.

In June 2011 the area was secured with gates and fences, as well as large boulders and rubble to deter vehicles from parking near the site.

As of February 2012 there is little security on site, and most of the area is easily accessible.
In popular culture

In 2010 the Welsh post-hardcore band Funeral For A Friend shot the video to their song "Serpents in Solitude" from their EP Young and Defenceless there.

In 2011 the English band Deaf Havana filmed the video to their song "I'm A Bore, Mostly" there. The graffiti featured in this video is genuine.

In 2011 the BBC aired a short film "Boys' Village" starring students of Stagecoach Theatre Arts and Cardiff High School on BBC2 (Wales).[2]

In 2011 The Welsh pop-punk band Save Your Breath shot the video to their song "Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy"

Popular rumours persist about the village being haunted or plagued by a troubled past. To date, no evidence has been found to support these claims.

Tags: Architecture Big stopper Abandon Grafiti Boys Village

Voters: Jocelia, Irishkate, buxton and 31 more

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Jocelia Plus
5 2 1 Australia
6 May 2013 12:38AM
Great captures Trev. Such a shame that it has not been re-developed into something
other than this waste ground….GrinGrinGrin

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Irishkate Plus
6 38 100 United Kingdom
6 May 2013 1:03AM
What a fantastic place - no wonder it has been used by so many bands for videos.
I love V1 which could be used as an album sleeve if they were needed these days!.
The little church is a lovely shape.
V8 shows all that wonderful space which could be put to great use for artists and all sorts of people.
Why did the owner throw you guys out? All publicity must surely be good if the owner intends developing it.
debu 6 India
6 May 2013 1:06AM
Lovely set of images.
6 May 2013 1:18AM
Lovely work Trev, it's a fascinating place that's crying out to be photographed, the owner doesn't realise just what he's got there, he could be charging people to photograph his place until such time as he demolishes the buildings, I can imaging wedding photographers there with the bride and groom in that old church, would make unique wedding photos I reckon.

taggart Plus
12 47 13 United States
6 May 2013 1:50AM
The church is what grabs my attention--- especially the inside--- All sorts of ideas come, let us hope it becomes a useful and fun place again!
Hermanus 4 4 South Africa
6 May 2013 4:23AM
Excellent photos and write up Trev !! Pity that such a place had to go to ruin !!
AnnChown Plus
6 199 1 United Kingdom
6 May 2013 7:53AM
This is so interesting Trev and an excellent piece of reportage. I particularly like the inside of the church.
CaroleS Plus
6 423 3 United Kingdom
6 May 2013 8:23AM
A very good reportage set Trev. Some artistic people have been visiting too - love all those colours and I like the shot in V8Smile
A super set of images Trev,
6 May 2013 8:33AM
shame you got hoofed off Trevor the place has quite a history a good documentary set and narrative thanks

netta1234 Plus
4 371 2 Wales
6 May 2013 8:40AM
This is a great set
with a great story but what a shame you had to go before you finished
7 10 10 England
6 May 2013 9:00AM
Excellent set Trev - thought we were on another planet when I saw the thumbnail!
franken Plus
14 4.0k 4 Wales
6 May 2013 9:07AM
Excellent set here Trev and an interesting write up.

6 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
6 May 2013 10:01AM
An interesting and clearly well researched and compiled foreword supported with a great documentary set of high quality images, each wonderfully cross referenced making for a better understanding.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
Chinga Plus
5 3 1 United Kingdom
6 May 2013 1:15PM
V1 and V8 are my favorites! Very interesting images Trev!
Lillian Plus
7 22 17 United Kingdom
6 May 2013 1:35PM
Great shots and memories for you Trev
and well done on going back, shame about being
thrown out though
A fascinating and not very happy story, in the end. A very interesting write up and a terrific set of images. The lack of impetus for preservation is a shame.

User_Removed 6 48 1 United Kingdom
6 May 2013 5:13PM
A super set of images, and a great write up Trev, thank you.
Regards, Alf.
6 May 2013 5:55PM
torn between V3 & V8....
a really interestingset and write up
6 May 2013 6:26PM
You are featured e2 piccy at the moment.
annettep38 Plus
5 218 40 Costa Rica
6 May 2013 8:00PM
1 , 2 and 5 for me Smile the toning is eerie Smile
A set worth keeping , especially as probably one day it will get demolished or badly vandalised..

7 May 2013 10:42AM
Superb set of interesting images Trev.
zapar40 6 66 5 Wales
7 May 2013 6:02PM
Nice work Trev,
my neighbor was telling me only last night about this place and how it was used for some bands, and about the lovely graffiti for grunge shots.
if you get thrown out thou, i may give it a miss Smile
LexEquine 10 19 United States
7 May 2013 7:51PM
'Superlative Image Set {A++++}' ~ LEx Wink

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