Talking Drovers, the Llandovery RFC Oral History Project, began as a groundbreaking collaboration between Llandovery RFC and the Department of History and Classics at Swansea University.
To date there have been two sets of interviews conducted, in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
To hear any interview check in the lists below which batch of interviews it is in, and then go to that batch using the page headings in the left hand margin of this page.
2014: Les Adams, David George Davies, Doug Davies, Handel Davies (in Welsh), Handel Davies (in English), Phil Davies, Martin Davies, Eifion Evans, Roland Griffiths, Andrew Bryn Jones, Derek Jones, Rusty Jones, Eifion Morgan, Neville Morgan, Towyn Morgan, Wyn Morgan, Idris Morton, Huw S Thomas, Bryan Weaver, Alun Williams (in Welsh), Carwyn Williams, Geraint Williams, Iestyn Thomas
2016: Nigel Clarke, Justin Davies, Gina Deering, Ivor Jackson, Peter Rees, Gareth Salt, Rob Salt, Dai Thomas, Rob Walters
Richard Davies has conducted all interviews within the project
Timetable of the Project
Sept 2014 – First batch of recordings made – see 2014 Press Release below
Feb 2015 – First batch of recordings begin to be uploaded to this website – see the left hand margin link
Oct/Nov 2016 – Second batch of recordings made and uploaded – see 2016 Press Release below, and the left hand margin link
September 2014 Press Release
The Department of History and Classics at Swansea University has completed the first phase of a path-breaking oral history project with leading Welsh Premiership rugby club Llandovery RFC.
Over the summer, third-year undergraduate student Richard Davies recorded over thirty interviews with key people in Llandovery. The interviews will provide a unique resource which members of the community can use to explore and represent the club’s rich history and heritage.
Richard said: “Carrying out the Oral History Project at Llandovery RFC was a fantastic experience. Practising oral history was a new challenge but what better way than to do it in a rugby environment. I enjoyed every minute of it and admit to being star-struck at meeting the great men of The Drovers. I thank everyone for such a warm welcome and I wish the club good luck in this new season. Ymlaen Borthmyn!”
Bryan Weaver who conceived and developed the idea for the project is very pleased with the way things have gone so far. He said: “There has been a really good response from Club members to this project. We are very grateful to the members who have been interviewed to date, for giving their time and sharing their knowledge and anecdotes. We are now looking at ways to give even more members the chance to contribute.”
The Chairman of the club, Handel Davies, said “This exciting new initiative has been enthusiastically received by all those who have contributed and we look forward to hearing what are sure to be some very interesting, enlightening, and no doubt entertaining stories.”
Club Secretary and Swansea graduate Robin Barlow added: “Llandovery RFC is delighted with the outcome of its collaborative project with Swansea University to record personal memories of the history of the Club over the past 50 years. Richard Davies did a superb job interviewing past-players and committee members, all of which will be made available on the Club’s website.”
Professor of Modern History Huw Bowen said: “Richard Davies’s excellent work provides us with a model and a methodology which can be applied to other rugby clubs in Wales. We are about to embark on a major collaborative oral history project with Swansea RFC to throw new light on that great club’s distinguished past, and there is no reason why our students cannot work with other clubs in a similar way. We would be delighted to hear from those who might be interested. Meanwhile, we will be following Llandovery’s Premiership campaign with great interest, hopefully to witness history in the making as the Drovers go in search of their first title.
November 2016 Press Release
Interviews have recently begun in Phase 2 of Talking Drovers, the Llandovery RFC Oral History Project. The interviews will provide a unique resource which members of the community can use to explore and represent the club’s rich history and heritage.
Phase 1 took place in the summer of 2014, when Richard Davies, a third-year undergraduate student at Swansea University, interviewed over 20 key people in the club. These interviews can be accessed on our Club website (within the History section).
We have been delighted that Richard – now a secondary school History teacher – has agreed to continue working with us on this project, and he has recently recorded a further 9 interviews,.
Bryan Weaver, the originator of the project, said, “We have had another excellent response from our Club members to take part in this project. It’s a time consuming activity for Richard, and we are very grateful that he has managed to fit us in to his extensive workload as a teacher. As an ex-teacher myself I know that it’s sometimes hard at this time of the year just to find the time to breathe, so Richard’s commitment to us is greatly appreciated.”
Richard Davies, who specialises as a historian in research into heavy industry, particularly in Wales, stated, “I found the first phase of this project, in 2014, a fantastic experience. As I said at the time, practising oral history was a new challenge but what better way than to do it in a rugby environment. I was delighted to be invited to participate again, and am looking forward to meeting yet more interesting interviewees.”
Llandovery RFC President Handel Davies added, “Our thanks go to Richard and especially to Bryan Weaver as the originator of this unique, ground-breaking idea. As far as we are aware this is the first such project to be undertaken by any rugby club – or any other sporting organisation for that matter – in Wales, perhaps even a world first!”
Chairman Peter Rees – one of the recent interviewees – commented, “Through this project we are building up a valuable and extensive store of information about the club, both during its earlier days and the present, and I’m delighted that we have been able to start on Phase 2. We have a list of volunteers for interviews to take place during this phase, but would also love to hear from any Llandovery players or officials from any era of our history who would like to participate.”
Volunteers to take part in interviews should email Gina Deering at the Llandovery RFC Club office on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01550-721110