‘I very much enjoyed my visit to the Club in 2016. I was particularly impressed by the very evident sense of cheerful friendship between the members ... The journey to a 150th anniversary is inevitably going to be a rich story full of interesting characters, dramatic incidents and amusing anecdotes, but it will also reflect many changes within local society and the business community. Quite evidently, as this publication shows, the 150 years of the Cardiff and County Club have been no different and I am delighted to have this opportunity to offer my congratulations and best wishes to all present members, and to wish the Club every success in the years to come.’
H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh
Since its establishment in 1866 by prominent businessmen and the gentry of south Wales, the Cardiff and County Club has played a central role in the commercial, political and sporting life of Cardiff, as it developed from a burgeoning Victorian coal metropolis into the dynamic Welsh capital city of today.
Expertly led by local solicitor Henry Heard, the Club’s founders had moved to Cardiff to work in the rapidly expanding town and, as the trade of the docks, businesses and shops all flourished, the men of influence, high social standing and growing wealth were looking for somewhere to gather, relax, dine and socialise in a convivial atmosphere with their friends and acquaintances. Initially located within, and then alongside, the Royal Hotel on St. Mary Street, the Club’s growing popularity, and its close association with the Bute Estate, saw the members decide to construct the landmark Clubhouse on Westgate Street, which still remains Wales’ leading private members’ club.
Extensively researched and lavishly illustrated, Always Amongst Friends not only traces the fascinating 150-year history of the Club through a scholarly study of the social and economic history of Cardiff, but also celebrates the Cardiff and County Club’s colourful characters, their mischievous humour and exudes the warmth and camaraderie so treasured by its members.
Dr. Andrew Hignell is the Heritage and Education Co-ordinator to Glamorgan County Cricket Club, and Curator of the CC4 Museum of Welsh Cricket, having previously taught Geography at Blundell’s School in Devon, and Wells Cathedral School in Somerset. A prolific writer and broadcaster, Andrew is the editor of the Cricket in Wales series published by St. David’s Press.