Thursday, 5 November 2009

When Wales wiped the smile off All Black faces

A commemorative napkin celebrating the first ever Welsh win over the All Blacks in 1905 isn't necessary an item you would expect to find in the Glamorgan Archives, but amongst the thousands of council, school, family and personal records there are many unique items to be discovered.

What makes the napkin extra special is that not only did Wales win the match it was the first time both teams had ever played each other.

The napkin was first unearthed by the
Glamorgan team while getting ready to move into their new building.

The napkin was found amongst sporting ephemera including 1979 cup final editions of the Pontypridd Observer and the
Glamorgan Gazette, when Pontypridd RFC played Bridgend RFC.

Susan Edwards,
Glamorgan Archivist explains: "We were looking through the sporting items donated, when we saw the napkin.

"This is just one of the unique items we house in the
Glamorgan Archive, and I would encourage people to get in touch with us if they feel they have any items they would like to donate."

The napkin features an illustration of the 1905 touring New Zealand team and details their vital statistics including height and weight.

The game is widely regarded as the most significant game in Welsh rugby history and began the special sporting relationship between the two countries.

Executive Member for Finance and Service Delivery, Cllr Mark Stephens, said: "The napkin is a exciting and surprising discovery, and is a great example of how the
Glamorgan Archives holds a variety of items that documents key historical events."

Cllr. A.D.Hampton, Vale of
Glamorgan, Chair of the Glamorgan Archives Joint Committee, said:"I am delighted that the move into this splendid new repository has begun; this discovery
is typical of how archives can connect the past with the present and I hope that many people will visit the new building when it opens next year to find out for themselves."


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