Staff and students from the Department of History and Classics at Swansea University are working closely with Llandovery Rugby Club to produce a unique and path-breaking oral history.
Students from the department are conducting a programme of recorded interviews in English and Welsh with players, officials, and supporters of 'The Drovers', and this will produce a wealth of rich historic material for the benefit of the club and future generations.
Professor Huw Bowen, who is leading the project on behalf of Swansea University, said: 'We are delighted to be working so closely with a great club that has a proud history and very close links with its local community. Llandovery RFC was one of the eleven clubs that founded the Welsh Rugby Union in 1881, and in recent years it has firmly established itself as one of the top three clubs in the Welsh Premiership. In many ways it provides a model of how a club should be run in the semi-professional era, and our students will derive enormous benefit from immersing themselves in the history of this wonderful rugby community.'
Handel Davies, Chairman of The Drovers, said: ‘We are both proud and privileged to be involved with SwanseaUniversity on such an exciting initiative and we extend our grateful thanks to Professor Huw Bowen for coordinating this project alongside Robin Barlow. It is particularly appropriate and timely that it provides the opportunity to record the dramatic rise in the Club's fortunes over the past 35 years or so through the personal accounts and memories of some of those individuals who have been involved over that period and before.’
Secretary of the club and a graduate of Swansea University, Dr Robin Barlow, commented: ‘We are very pleased to be involved with this project, ensuring that important aspects of the history of Llandovery RFC are not neglected. Working in partnership with Swansea University is a marvellous new development for the club and the town of Llandovery.’
Second-year History student Richard Davies, who has participated in the Welsh Rugby Union’s ‘Rugby Enterprise Academy’ scheme, has been busy conducting interviews with supporters and former players. He said: ‘I am thrilled to be taking part in the Llandovery RFC oral history project. This is a fantastic opportunity to immerse myself in the culture of what is a very special and tight-knit club. I am impressed with the club's professional attitude to documenting its history and the oral history project will add another dimension to that history. The off-field professional attitude to running the club is certainly reflected in its on-field performances. I will be closely following The Drovers in the new season. Ymlaen Borthmyn!’
Any other rugby clubs seeking advice on how to set up and manage an oral history project should contact Professor Bowen at email@example.com
- Friday 11 July 2014 15.43 BST
- Friday 11 July 2014 15.53 BST
- RIAH, Swansea University