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Barry Golf Club, The Leys, Gileston, St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan.

Founded in 1897/8, initially as a 9 hole course, Barry Golf Club was extended to 18 holes in the mid 1920s. It was situated on the Leys, near the coast bordering the Bristol Channel, close to the village of Gileston. The clubhouse was the old Ship Inn. The club was formed in controversial circumstances, being built illegally on common land. In the early years it was a thriving club with an Artisans Section, who were only allowed in the clubhouse once a year. Exclusive use of the clubhouse was for “Officers and Gentlemen”. The Artisans were only allowed to play on Sundays. Members who did not have the luxury of motor cars in the early days were met at the nearby Gileston railway station by pony and trap.

In 1917 a new professional arrived, by the name of David James Rees. His four year old son, Dai, learned the game there. Dai Rees went on to become a legend in world golf, captaining the British Ryder Cup team which beat America in 1957. David Rees senior remained as professional with the club until 1927, when he was succeeded by F Bailey. In the later years of its life the course was kept in first class condition by greenkeeper Harry Bassett who used a mixture of marl and sand to enhance the wonderful greens.

  Secretaries Professional/greenkeeper
1898/99   J Burns (p)
1899-1902   J Chitty (p)
1902 - 1914   H Prosser (p&g)
1906 F N Jones, 14 Parade, Barry  
1923 R F Illingworth, St Athan F Bailey (g)
1925 T B Whitehead, 29 The Parade, Barry  
1940 J Andrews, 2 The Grove, Barry F Bailey (p), G Bassett (g)
1947 E E Clarke, 25 Park Road, Barry W C Hotton (p), H Bassett (g)
1951 A T Brown, Caxton House, Cowbridge A G Lloyd (p)
1956 J D Campion, The Cottage, Croes Farm, Pontyclun C Evans (p), H Bassett (g)

 

Course Records Amateur Professional Membership
1906 Reverend H H Stewart 79 J Chitty  75  
1923 A Jackson & G S N Carne 68 W Park 62 280
1940   K Williams 68  
1951   A G Lloyd 66 280
1956   D Smalldon 63 300

It was announced in early October 1899 that the autumn meeting would be held on the Saturdays of the 14th and 28th. On Saturday 14th October there would be club events only, the Bailey Cup, currently held by Mr H E Tilston and the Junior cup, for members with a handicap of 15 and over and currently held by Mr P R Warren, entrance fee for both competitions was a hefty two shillings. On Saturday 28th (open events), gentlemen’s medal, first prize £3/2s/0, second prize £1/1s/0 (entrance fee 2/-). A foursome bogey was also arranged. Entries were to be forwarded to the match secretary, Mr D Sibbering Jones, Pen Rhiw, Barry.  

Mr P R Warren won both the Bailey and Junior cups at the autumn meeting in October 1899.

Result of the ladies’ monthly medal played on Saturday 5th May 1900; Mrs G T Sibbering, 132-46-86; Mrs A Jackson, 127-36-91; Mrs W Waddell, 133-40-93; Miss Williams, 140-40-100; Mrs Price Jones, 146-44-102; Miss Savours, 172-50-122.

Below is the result of a one sided club match which was played at the Leys on Saturday 7th April 1900, Glamorganshire Golf Club ending up runaway winners. It was also announced that the Barry course had now been extended to 18 holes. There was also a new club professional by the name of J Chitty who had joined the club from Lewes, he was reputed to be an excellent groundsman and coach and played a “first class” game.

Barry   Glamorganshire  
H H Stewart 3 T W Hall 0
H M Mortimer 0 C E Morel 3
R F Pennyworth 0 C C Thomas 0
W J Darling 0 A P Thomas 1
H H Powell 0 W Sessions 1
L W Jones 0 J G Wilson 7
H J C Kirke 0 L Guttwaltz 1
R O Jenkins 0 J T Phoenix 9
W Waddell 0 J O Alexander 0
D Sibbering 0 F J Howell 7
  3   29

Result of the Ladies’ Challenge Bracelet played in October 1900; Mrs J C Pardoe, 120-30-90; Mrs W Waddell, 129-27-102; Mrs W Price Jones, 128-26-102; Mrs Alfred Jackson, 130-23-107; Miss Mabel Stewart, 128-20-108.  Also in October a Ladies’ Bogey Competition, result as follows; Miss Mabel Stewart (15), 3up; Mrs W Waddell (20), 3up; Miss Stewart (30), 1up; Mrs J C Pardoe (20), all square; Mrs G T Sibbering (20), 6down; Mrs W Price Jones (20), 6down; Mrs Alfred Jackson (17), 6down; Mrs Powell (29), 9down.

Below are the results of competitions held on Saturday 3rd November 1900. 

Foursomes.

J G Wilson & Parker Hagarty 8 all square
John Hunter & R O Jenkins 8 1down
H H Powell & C M Stewart 10 2down
W S Vivian & H Irvine 6 2down
Rev H H Stewart & J G Walliker 12 2down
H J Simpson & J G Thomas 5 3down
A Jackson & T H Anderson 13 5down
W J Darling & T Keen 17 6down
R F Illingworth & F E Aitken 11 6down
T W Hall & C Carey Thomas 10 8down

Medal.

C Carey Thomas 88 16 72 H Lashmore 97 12 85
D Sibbering Jones 97 22 75 T H Anderson 99 14 85
Parker Hagarty 82 4 78 J G Thomas 91 5 86
John Hunter 84 4 80 T W Hall 97 11 86
R O Jenkins 99 18 81 H H Powell 103 16 87
T Keen 105 24 81 A Jackson 108 20 88
L W Jones 93 12 81 J A Hughes 118 30 88
H J Taylor 113 30 83 W J Darling 111 22 89
H J Simpson 92 7 85 C M Stewart 99 10 89
J G Wilson 101 16 85        

Below is the result of a club match played on Saturday 8th December 1900 against Porthcawl at the Leys. 

Barry   Porthcawl  
Rev H H Stewart 0 W S Vivian (capt) 3
C M Stewart 3 Captain Wilkins 0
H H Powell 4 H O Irvine 0
Lewis Jones 2 J Fergus 0
R F Illingworth 0 G A Woods 1
D Sibbering Jones (capt) 0 Lewis Thomas 4
W Waddell 0 J G Wilson 1
W J Darling 3 R Eaton 0
F E Aitken 0 Wyndham Jenkins 6
J P Edmunds 0 G F C Woods 0
  12   15

 

The early clubhouse.

Early 1900s postcard of the Gileston Clubhouse.

 

In 1914 there was no entry fee and subs were £2/2/0. Visitors’ fees were 2/- a day, 10/- a week, 20/- a month. By 1956, fees had risen to 3/6d per day, 5/- a day at weekends and Bank Holidays, 21/- a week and 42/- a month.

1923 Visitors’ fees were now 2/6d a day, weekends 5/- a day, 10/- a week, 30/- a month. Ladies 2/-, 3/6d, 7/6d, 20/- respectively.

 

Card of the Course pre 1930.

Hole 1 – 375yds Bogey 4    Hole 10 – 285yds Bogey 4

Hole 2 – 165yds Bogey 3    Hole 11 – 425yds Bogey 5

Hole 3 – 300yds Bogey 4    Hole 12 – 375yds Bogey 4

Hole 4 – 315yds Bogey 4    Hole 13 – 135yds Bogey 3

Hole 5 – 295yds Bogey 4    Hole 14 – 415yds Bogey 4

Hole 6 – 470yds Bogey 5    Hole 15 – 140yds Bogey 3

Hole 7 – 310yds Bogey 4    Hole 16 – 425yds Bogey 5

Hole 8 – 310yds Bogey 4    Hole 17 – 385yds Bogey 4

Hole 9 – 165yds Bogey 3    Hole 18 – 430yds Bogey 5

Out         2705yds Bogey 35               In             3015yds Bogey 37               Total 5720yds Bogey 72

 

View across the course.

Looking across the Leys and the former Barry golf course and clubhouse. This area has now been completely taken over by the Aberthaw Power Station.

 

1940 the course had a SSS and Par of 72. Visitors’ fees for weekdays, gents 2/6d a day (1/6d after 5pm), weekends 3/6d a day, 10/6d a week, 30/- a month, ladies 2/- a day (1/6d after 5pm), weekends 3/6d, 7/6d a week, 20/- a month.

1947 Visitors’ fees 3/6d a day, 5/- a day at weekends and Bank Holiday, 21/- a week and 42/- a month.

Thanks to Mrs Dilys Thomas, who recalls that, during World War II, flares were lit on the golf course by airmen from the nearby RAF camp at St Athan to mislead the enemy away from the RAF camp.

1956 The 18 hole course now had a SSS of 69. Old habits were still hanging on to the bitter end, as the residential club was for men only.

In 1957 the club was wound up in somewhat controversial circumstances, and a sum of £27,500 was paid by Central Electric Authority for the course and buildings. An unsuccessful attempt was made to re-establish the club at Summerhouse point.

The money from the Electricity Authority was used to pay redundancies to club employees, and the remainder divided between members, each of the 133 full playing male members and 80 full playing lady members receiving £133.16s, and other membership levels receiving pro rata payments, even the child members.

It was originally envisaged that the power station would be a relatively short term project and that the site would eventually revert to an area of outstanding natural beauty. The power station still survives after over fifty years.

Although this was the end for Barry Golf Club the Barry Artisans carried on for several more years.

 

Course location.

Location of Barry Golf Course. Grid reference ST02720,65920, co-ordinates 302720,165920.