Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Remove the O'Halloran Clique

The context :  Previously exiled Barry Town, playing under the guise of 'Barri' at Worcester in the Beazer Homes League, have controversially returned to Wales to play in the Abacus Welsh League - one of the feeder leagues for the new Konica League of Wales.  Jenner Park was still playing host to Barry Town in the Barry & District League. The Linnets, playing in the BDL, was mostly made up of local 'boys'. The Dragons, on its return from Worcester, wasn't.  Barry Town fanzine, The Nomad, performed a supporter survey.  Here were the results from November 1993.

The Nomad, Vol. 2 Issue 2

Survey Results

1. Were Barri Dragons right to leave the Beazer Homes League back in June?

Yes 10%, No 85%, Don't care 5%

2. Should the club have met with supporter reps before the decision was announced?

Yes 100%

3. Do you think that the supporters exert any influence over club policy?

Yes 10%, No 80%, What policy? 10%

4. After the events of the last two years, do you think that Barry should've joined the Konica when it was originally formed, rather than spend a season in exile?

Yes 10%, No 90%

5. Now that Barri have re-merged with The Linnets, will you be watching the new team in;
a) all games, home and away (28%)
b) all home games only (21%)
c) some home and away games (33%)
d) some home games only (11%)
e) none, or very few of either (7%)

6. If none, which teams will you watch instead?

Answers varied from the Barry Town Reserves, Cardiff City, Inter Cardiff, rugby, and 'anybody bar this Barry Town'

7. Do you think that Barry Town are nowe playing in a lower standard of football than they experienced in the Beazer Homes League last season?

Yes 97%, No 2%, Same 1%

8. Do you think that the standard of Konica League football is higher than the Beazer League?

Yes 5%, No 95%

9. Do you expect the standard of the Konica to improve over the next three years?

Yes 65%, No 35%

10. Where do you expect Barry Town to finish in this season's Abacus League

Top - 100%

11. Are you satisfied by the way the Club is being run at the moment?

Yes 14%, No 84%

12. If your answer was 'No', what improvements would you like to see being made?

Answers included;

Removal of the O'Halloran clique
New members on the Board
Bring in more ex-players to help with team development
Reduce prices for pensioners
Get a tea stall
Transfer majoriy of the Club's shares to the supporters
Sack the General and Commercial Managers
Make the Club wholly run by the supporters
Be more accountable to the few fans you have left.

13. Would you like to receive more info on the Club and players?

Yes 95%, No 5%

14. How would you to see the club better publicise itself?

Answers varied from better and more regular press releases to the Press, and a better programme.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Jenner Park, pre-season, 1938.

We recently inducted Ernie Carless into the Barry Town Hall of Fame, and coincidentally enough, here is little Ernie in a Barry & District News photograph from 26th August 1938 I discovered while rummaging around my garage looking for the pre-season photo from 1937.   

There he is, front row, 2nd in from the right, next to the player in the striped shirt.  The player in the striped shirt looks all the world to be a fellah named Chris Mason.  His 1950 testamonial match programme is on this website somewhere.  Anyway, Mason was due to spend a few years as a P.O.W. during World War 2 a few years after this snap was taken, but happily returned to the fold in time for the 1946-47 season.  Good work, Chris!  What a fine looking bunch of lads they all are too - and they were destined to defeat Swansea in the South Wales Senior Cup later that season as well.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Dan Bradley - safe hands, hands off

Following the dramatic 2-1 victory over fellow Welsh Leaguers, Cardiff Corinthians, at Jenner Park yesterday, the Barry Town Supporters' Committee honoured long-standing goalkeeper Dan Bradley for his 200 appearances between the sticks. 

Dan played another pivotal role in yesterday's game, pulling off a stunning second half save that would mean the goal we scored afterwards would be the winner.  Dan came to Barry Town in time for the 2006-07 season, and since then, only the misfortune of being abroad when the Icelandic ash cloud was disrupting the airlines did he miss a pair of games. 

Other than that, he's been an ever-present for 5 seasons - a remarkable achievement at any level, but particularly at this club which has seen so many ups and downs.  A quarter of Dan's appearances have resulted in clean sheets.  Dan is extremely popular amongst the fans, and has won the Supporters' Player of the Year Award several times since his time here.

Supporters' Chairman Eric Thomas and Manager Gavin Chesterfield
award Dan Bradley his trophy for 200 appearances for Barry Town

In truth, Dan has also had the luxury of having pretty decent defenders in front of him but he is certainly one of the very best goalkeepers in our league, if not the best.  He has to be the most consistent, certainly.  We would prefer Dan to remain with us for as long as possible, but would obviously be proud if he went on to bigger and better things.  Well, bigger things anyway.  I doubt they'd be better!  Come on, we're Barry Town.  Dan IS for sale, though.  £250,000 (coincidentally the value of the club) made payable to 'Barry Town Supporters' Committee' should suffice.  If you don't have that much money on you, well, nice hearing from you, but see you around.

Congratulations, Dan.  It's been a pleasure to watch you in goals for us for the past 5 seasons, and we hope you'll be with us for another 200 more appearances.

And for those saying we concentrate too much on the history and not the present.  Here's two fingers and a loud raspberry.


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Barry Town's first ever silverware

ASRS Cup Final, 1914
Barry 'A' 2-1 Cadoxton Old Boys
At Jenner Park, Barry
Keen rivalry existed between these two sides and when they met on Saturday in connection with the Final of the ASRS Cup there was a large attendance.  The proceeds of these games are devoted to the widows and orphans of the railwaymen.  The teams have met previously in other competitions and are about evenly matched.  In the first half, Farmer opened the scoring, and from a penalty Green also scored.  Cadoxton tried hard to decrease the lead in the second half and 'Nin' Jones, one of their forwards, landed a fine goal.  After the match, Councillor Felix-Williams presented the cup to the winning side in the presence of a large crowd, who congregated in front of the band-stand.

The ASRS was the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, a union which played a big part in the emergence of the Labour Party.  By 1913, the ASRS had merged with other railway unions to form today's National Union of Railwaymen.  However, the ASRS Cup is still played for in the town, and the 2011-12 season is the Cup's Cententary.  1911 saw the ASRS honour Barry's fund-raising activities for the union by holding its AGM in the town.  Later, a short-lived football team, Barry ASRS FC (!), competed in the Cardiff & District League.  Not that the Vale of Glamorgan League will be interested in all of course, oh no.  I have previously contacted them about centenaries and official programmes for the various cup finals and had received such a bad case of 'cold shoulder' I was treated for frostbite.  Never again.

The first ever Barry Cup fixtures

I am informed by Mr. A. C. Morrish, the energetic Secretary of the League, that he has been able to arrange with the Directors of Barry AFC for the first round of the Barry Cup Competition to be played at Jenner Park, Barry, on Saturday next when Barry Bohemians will meet Barry Centrals.  Some good football will no doubt result from the meeting of these teams, who proved themselves strong combinations so far this season.

Barry Dock News, Friday 5th November, 1920 

That 1st Round Draw in full was;

A. Cadoxton Old Boys v Cardiff Corinthians Reserves
B. Aberthaw & Rhoose v Splott Amateurs
C. Barry West End v Barry Y.M.C.A.
D. Barry United Churches v Penarth Y.M.C.A.
E. Penarth Parish Church v Barry Y.M.C.A. Athletic
F. Barry Bohemians v Barry Centrals

Byes : Penmark Rovers to play Winner of F, Sully to play Winner of D.

Ties played 1st November, 1920.

As it turned out, the eventual first ever Barry Cup Final, between Cadoxton Old Boys and the Barry YMCA, had to be replayed the following season following accusations of ineligible players on both sides.  Cadoxton O.B. won the original Final 3-2, at Jenner Park, and the re-match in September 1921 resulted in a more emphatic 3-0 win for Cadoxton. 

By then, Cadoxton Old Boys had changed their name to simply Cadoxton AFC and managed to get to the Barry Cup Final again in April 1922, this time swamping Barry Island's Whitmore Albion 7-1. 

This was the only time that, technically, two Barry Cups were played for in the same season.  Cadoxton AFC then went on to join the embryonic South Wales Amateur League.  So there.

Referee as an ornament

What might be called an excentric match was that played on Barry Island between the Island team (ed: Barry Island United) and Cardiff Riverside (ed: later Cardiff City).  The ground of the home team is not perfection, there being, besides many kopjes (ed: mounds of earth), a telegraph pole in the centre of the field.  It's not exactly in the centre, but is often in the way of the ball, as are the telegraph wires. 

The referee on Saturday's match was also an ornament, being a gentleman on crutches.  However, a man on crutches may be a good referee  The home team had it all their own way on Saturday, scoring seven goals to one.  The scorers were R & J. Flint, W. Brown, and J. Sharp.

Barry Herald, Friday 19th, January 1900

Get off my land - bloody footballers!

The Barry Milltonians v Barry Dock match - played at the Intermediate Ground - came to a rather abrupt conclusion just before half-time.  Through an oversight, permission had not been asked to play on the ground, and in the middle of the game the owner of the field put in a rather unwelcome appearance, and ordered referee, players, umpires, and spectators off his ground.  The Barry Dock XI had scored once to their opponents nil, when they had to leave the game unfinished.

(Barry Herald, Friday 5th March, 1897)

The Barry Dock News, Friday 27 January, 1922

Dear "Criticus",

A good deal of feeling is being caused at Barry Football Ground in consequence of the policy of the directors in persisting in giving Barry supporters the results of Cardiff City matches each Saturday.

Why is this?

Have we not a football team as well as Cardiff? Last Saturday for instance, the Reserves were playing at home, and although our first team were fighting for their lives at Mid Rhondda, no board was brought around giving the results of their efforts, but the City score was brought around twice. It is not necessary.

All the people who follow the City are at Cardiff, and the Barryites are not interested. Let's have Barry results please, when either the first or second teams are playing away.

And, by the way, what's happened to the band?


From the letters page, Barry Dock News, 27/01/22


This letter from Criticus struck a chord some 90 years later, when the Twitter accounts @BarryTownSC and @StandUpForBarry were created by like-minded fans. Thanks for the heads up, Criticus. Town fans now get almost instantaneous match updates from all over south Wales.