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).
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.
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