Nadolig Llawen!

Untitled-2 copy

With Christmas fast approaching I wanted to delve into our stores and see what festive cheer I could find. Hidden amongst team photographs and aerial shots of the stadium I found this Christmas postcard:

Sent on Christmas Eve 1903 to Miss Alice Roberts from Newport, South Wales, it depicts a traditionally dressed Welsh woman kicking a rugby ball whilst being chased down by two opposing rugby teams.

The Welsh love affair with rugby began early in the sports history. Wales have competed at international level from 1881 and have been strong competitors ever since. They are joint home/five/six nations record holders with England, both winning 26 tournaments outright. Wales also have the unique claim to being the only British team to have beaten ‘The Originals’, the first All Blacks side to tour the UK in 1905.

Newport also has strong links with the history of the game. Newport RFC was founded in 1874 and it was one of the founder clubs of the Welsh Rugby Union in 1889.

Christmas cards as we know them today have been sent in Britain from as early as 1843. The first ever example was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole – the first director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.  A 1945 reproduction of this card can be viewed on the V&A website here:

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O819463/greetings-card-horsley-john-callcott/

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One Response to Nadolig Llawen!

  1. rhymboy1 says:

    This is a lovely example of the characteristic cartoon and caricature style of J M Staniforth, long-serving cartoonist of Cardiff’s Western Mail in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A sharp political eye was tempered with some colourful (money-making?) post card images of his character here – ‘Dame Wales’, representing the Principality a la John Bull – and of Welsh rugby club players in kit and action in a set of at least six. He was also strongly on the Welsh side of the Gould Affair, when the Welsh Union stood up to the International Board over their trying (vainly) to prevent the public testimonial presentation of the deeds of a house in Newport to the retiring hero A J (J A) ‘Monkey’ Gould: the paper published his cartoons of ‘Wales’ throwing down the gauntlet to the Board on the matter. Google him and them!

    Liked by 1 person

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