Derelict holiday camp St Athan’s Boys Village goes to auction

st athan boys village - photo David Lutwyche

St Athan Boys

A former boys club holiday camp in the Vale of Glamorgan is being sold at auction this evening.

St Athan Boys’ Village was originally built as a holiday camp for young miners in the 1920s but has been left derelict since the 1990s – the victim of arson, vandalism and graffiti.

The Village site, next to Aberthaw power station, is home to an unusual war memorial dedicated to “the youth of all nations who fell so that war might end, by the boys of the south Wales coalfield”

warmemorial - photo david lutwyche

The memorial reads “to the youth of all nations who fell so that war might end, by the boys of the south Wales coalfield” (Photo David Lutwyche)

Philanthropist Lord Davies of Llandinam was inspired to build the retreat after visiting a camp set up by the Duke of York in Romsey, Kent in 1923. The Boys Village first opened for an experimental two weeks in 1925 but additional facilities were needed before it could open for longer periods. In 1926 a donation was made for a sanitation block and water supply at the site on provision that the camp be known as ‘The Miner’s Welfare Fund District Committee Seaside Camp’.

However the site was not used regularly as a retreat for the sons of mining families until the a few years later as the General Strike meant it was almost impossible to arrange travel to the site.

Derelict building at Boys village (photo David Lutwyche)

The site has been derelict since the 1990s (Photo David Lutwyche)

Requisitioned for military use during the Second World War the Boys Village as it became known enjoyed a chequered history over the 20th Century – including a visit from the Queen in 1962 – until it closed when its parent association the Boy’s clubs of Wales ceased to be in 1991.

The Boys Village goes on sale with Paul Fosch auctioneers in Cardiff this evening with a guide price of £625,000 plus.

Boys village - david lutwyche

The site goes to auction witha guide price of £625,000 plus (photo David Lutwyche)