Powell’s Tillery Institute Gymnastics Teams

Powell’s Tillery Institute Gymnastics Teams

Powell’s Tillery Institute Gymnastics Teams
On Wednesday March 1903 the first Gymnastics display took place at the Institute by members of the Powell’s Tillery Collieries Gymnastic Class at the Gymnasium Hall. Dr Powell of Guildford Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tillery Company was on the platform supported by Mr and Mrs Stewart J.P. The Gymnastics team were accompanied by the Tillery Band and the Abertillery Mozart Glee Society under the leadership of Mr Tom Stephens. The display was performed by the Senior and Junior teams, the seniors with a pyramids exercise and the juniors did an exhibition on the dumb-bells. The Gwent Choir sang “We will never bow down” a rendition of which they had previously won a medal for at London. Mr Powell said it had been a real pleasure to have witnessed their first display and that was the reason they had the Institute built. He also said he was the President of the Guildford team. He hoped that the team would go onto great success.

The Tillery team did actually go onto great achievement and many team and individual success followed.

1904
In April 1904 the team consisted of the following members – Mr G. Wheeler; Mr T. Hill; Mr H. Gill; Mr W. Conley; Mr W. Cowhig; Mr A. Hawkins; Mr H. Bird; Mr W. Moore; Mr W. Baker; Mr L. Parsons; Mr C. Jones; Mr J. Mayled; Mr C. Dean; Mr H. Thomas; Mr A. Bryant; Mr E. Watkins; Mr W. Talbot; Mr S. Jones; Mr G. Mead; Mr A. Williams; Mr O. Curley; Mr H. Carter; Mr A. Coles; Mr G. Howells; Mr A. Britton; Mr E. Gill; Mr H. Gill; Mr J. Court; Mr G. Jones and Mr J. Rich: they were under the supervision of the instructor Mr C. W. Spalding with Mr G. Hoskins the accompanist on the piano.

On Saturday 3rd December 1904 the Powells Tillery Gymnastics team took part in their first ever competition when they entertained the St Marks team from Newport. The team consisted of – Mr H. Gill; Mr W. Conley; Mr E. Watkins; Mr G. Wheeler; Mr W. Moore; Mr G. Howells; Mr W. Chapman (Captain); Mr H. Bird (Vice Captain):  The disciplines were as follows – Indian Club swinging, Rope Climbing, Horizontal Bars and High Jump. Abertillery won 185 and a quarter points to Newport’s 170 and three quarter points…. Mr Bird of Abertillery had the highest jump at 4′ foot 10 inches.

1906
On Saturday 10th March 1906 the final of the Welsh Amateur Gymnastics Shield took place at the Powells Tillery Institute. The Tilleryites a comparatively young side and in only their second year in competitions took on the shield holders St Saviours of Cardiff. The Tillery team members were as follows – Mr W. Talbot; Mr T. Hill; Mr E. L. Watkins;  Mr W. Moore; Mr G. Mead; Mr G. Howells; Mr H. Gill (Captain) and Mr W. Cowhig (Vice Captain): The disciplines were as follows – Indian Club swinging, Rope Climbing, Horizontal Bars and High Jump. The Powells Tillery team won 412 points to 402 and a half. The teams were given tea before the contest and after at Messrs Buckley’s Temperance Hotel, Oak Street, Abertillery. The Cardiffians were escorted to the train station for their journey home by a group of over 80 supporters. It was later reported that it was hoped the Tilleryites could enter into the Adams Shield next year, the winners of this competition were deemed to be the champions of Great Britain.

On Saturday 24th March 1906 Mr G. Howells; Mr G. Mead and Mr William Cowhig, three members of the Tillery team that recently won the Welsh Championship, took part in a trial tournament at Newport on Saturday which took the form of an individual championship competition. Messrs Howells and Mead scores secured places in the Welsh team to meet Ireland at Dublin on April 14th in an international competition while Mr William Cowhig’s performance got him a place in the reserves.

On Monday 15th October 1906 a Gymnasium was opened at Cwmtillery at the Colliers Hall. The need for such a building for the Cwmtillery area had been discussed and the Colliers Hall had been considered. Alterations were done for the installation of the apparatus for a gymnasium, the building was completely renovated and a new floor put down. There were also two dressing rooms provided. To celebrate the opening the Abertillery Gymnastic team gave a display and a capital programme was arranged. The senior Tillery Team that attended were Mr H. Gill (Captain); Mr W. Cowhig (Vice Captain);  Mr W. Moore; Mr W. Talbot; Mr  W. Conley; Mr A. Hawkins; Mr H. Bryant; Mr P. Howells; Mr D. Corbett; Mr H. Palmer and Mr E. Corburn:  The juniors who appeared were – Masters C. Evans; J. Williams; P. Winmill; J. Llewellyn; A. Davies; E. Auckland; M. Yeates; A. Davies and F. Hudd.
The Chairman was Mr George Purnell J.P. Councillor Mr William Barrow Harrison J.P. was also present at the official opening.

On Saturday 3rd November 1906 the Tillery Institute team visited Abercarn and did a Gymnastics display in the Public Hall. The performers were as follows – Senior team Mr H. Gill (Captain); Mr W. Cowhig (Vice Captain); Mr W. Moore; Mr W. Talbot; Mr G. Howells; Mr G. Watkins; Mr G. Mead; Mr G. Wheeler; Mr W. Baker; Mr W. Conley; Mr A. Chaplin Mr A. Hawkins; Mr H. Bryant; Mr J. Palmer; Mr P. Howells and Mr D. Corbett: Juniors Masters P. G. Winmill; E. Auckland; J. Williams; W. Llewellyn; A. Davies; S. Davies; F. Hudd and C. Evans; they were under the supervision of the instructor Mr C. W. Spalding with Miss Gladys Harpur and Mr G. Hoskins the accompanists on the piano.

1907
On Saturday 2nd February 1907 a competition was held at the Newport Athletic Club between the teams of the Athletic Club of Newport, St Saviours of Cardiff and the Powells Tillery, Abertillery for the purpose of deciding which team would represent Wales against Scotland at Leith in the semi-final of the Adams Shield. The disciplines were Horizontal and Parallel Bars, Dumb-Bells, Rope Climbing and the High Jump. The Tillery team members were as follows – Mr W. Talbot; Mr E. L. Watkins;  Mr W. Moore; Mr A. Hawkins; Mr G. Howells; and Mr G. Mead: The Powells Tillery team won with 110 points. Newport came second with 105 points and Cardiff third with 97 points.

On Monday 25th February 1907 Powells Tillery hosted the Athletic Club of Newport in the semi-final of the Welsh Amateur Championships three weeks after the Tilleryites lost in Scotland they put in a poor first performance though came back strongly and beat Newport 511 and a half points to Newport’s 506 points.  The Tillery team members were as follows – Mr W. Talbot; Mr A. E. Hawkins; Mr E. L. Watkins;  Mr W. Moore; Mr G. Mead; Mr G. Howells; Mr H. Gill (Captain) and Mr W. Cowhig (Vice Captain):

On Saturday 2nd March 1907 the Powells Tillery team travelled to Scotland to represent Wales against Scotland in the semi-final of the Adams Shield. The Tilleryites were captained by Mr William Cowhig, instructed by Mr Spalding and accompanied on the piano by Mr G. Hoskins. The team left Abertillery on the Thursday and the competition was held on the Saturday. The Tillery team fell short and the Scottish champions won by 374 and a half points to 305 and a half points.

On Saturday 6th April 1907 the final of the Welsh Amateur Gymnastics Shield, the 50 Guinea Challenge Shield and medals, between Cardiff and Powells Tillery Institute took place at the University Settlement Hall, Cardiff. The Tilleryites were the holders having won the contest last year.  The Tillery team members were as follows – Mr W. Talbot; Mr A. Hawkins; Mr E. L. Watkins;  Mr W. Moore; Mr G. Mead; Mr G. Howells; Mr H. Gill (Captain) and Mr W. Cowhig (Vice Captain): The disciplines were as follows – Squad Drill, Rope Climbing, Horizontal and Parallel Bars and High Jump. The Powells Tillery team won 519 points to 511 and a half. The Lord Mayor of Cardiff Mr W. S. Crossman presided over the competition and awarded a Gold Medal to Mr E. Pugh of the Cardiff team and Silver to Mr G. Mead of the Tillery team, Mr Mead loosing out on the Gold medal by a half of a point.

On Friday 12th April 1907 a Gymnastics competition for medals valued at £3. 10s was held at the Colliers Hall, Cwmtillery. The senior competitors listed in the place they finished – Mr Thomas Atkins (1st); Mr Lloyd Evans (2nd) ; Mr Sidney Higgins (3rd); Mr F. Hurley (4th); Mr A. Edwards (5th) and Mr W. Hopkins (6th);  Juniors in order, Masters A. Howells (1st); B. Cecil (2nd) and A. Purnell (3rd): Instructor Mr H. Gill.

On Saturday 20th April 1907 the International Gymnastics Team Championships were held at the Athletic Institute, Birmingham. England won for the second successive year with 307 and one sixth points, Scotland second with 280 and one sixth points and Wales third with 280 and one third points. The Powells Tillery team had the honour to have 3 men in the Welsh team – Mr G. G. Howells; Mr G. Mead and Mr W. Cowhig: The fact that the local Tillery team had three men in the Welsh squad speaks volumes for the young team and their instructor Mr C. W. Spalding.

1908
On Saturday 1st February 1908 Powells Tillery Gymnastic team travelled to Cardiff to contest the Adams Shield and the winners will again represent Wales against Ireland for the International Shield.  The Tillery team members were as follows – Mr A. Hawkins; Mr E. L. Watkins;  Mr W. Moore; Mr G. Mead; Mr G. Howells and Mr W. Cowhig: The disciplines had changed and were as follows – Pommel Horse, Flying Rings, Horizontal and Parallel Bars, Rope Climbing and High Jump, the latter two being optional. The Powells Tillery team won 446 and a half points to 445 and a half.

On Monday 17th February 1908 a Gymnastics Competition was held at Cwmtillery between Cwmtillery Colliers Hall and St Mary’s Gymnastic Club, Victoria.  Mr C. W. Spalding (Judge); Mr W. Cowhig (Timekeeper) and Mr G. Purnell (Chairman):  The Cwmtillery team consisted of the following – Mr W. Atkins; Mr H. Dixon; Mr R. Sheen; Mr J. Jones; Mr L. Evans; Mr A. Edwards; Mr S. Higgins; Mr T. Atkins (Captain): Cwmtillery won 683 points to Victoria’s 604 points.

On Monday 2nd March 1908 Powell’s Tillery youngsters met the Colliers Hall Cwmtillery boys in the Welsh Juvenile Gymnastics Championships held at the Abertillery Institute. The teams in this contest had to be under 13 years of age and they met in the first round of the competition. The teams were as follows  – Cwmtillery – Masters B. Hammond; F. Urch; B. Smith; W. Davies; W. Howells; D. Meredith; A. Howells and C. Richards: Powell’s Tillery – Masters J. Hale; E Ackland; A. Davies; W. Conley; F. Hudd; W. Powell; P. Winmill and T. Brickell: Powell’s Tillery team won 343 and a half points to Cwmtillery’s 338 and a half points. The following week the Cwmtillery boys beat Ebbw Vale in the second round 363 points to Ebbw Vale’s 335 points.

On Friday 24th July 1908 it was announced that the Powells Tillery Institute Gymnastics team were honoured by the inclusion of 3 of its athletes into the Olympic Games contest at London, Mr Edgar Watkins; Mr William Cowhig; and Mr A. Hawkins, Mr G. Mead also took part and all four were included in the list of Stewards of the Olympic contest.

1909
On Wednesday 3rd March 1909 the Colliers Hall, Cwmtillery Juniors hosted the Powell’s Tillery Juniors in the first round of the Welsh Juvenile Gymnastics Championships. The team members were as follows – Cwmtillery, Masters B. Davies; R. Rogers; F. Mock; B. Hammond; W. Davies; B. Smith; W. Howells and C. Richards: Abertillery, Masters J. Morris; A. Morgan; A. Davies; G. Turner; J. Horler; A. Carter; B. Meredith and T. Brittle: Powell’s Tillery won 318 points to Cwmtillery’s 314 points.

On Saturday 6th March 1909 Powell’s Tillery Gymnastic team hosted the St Saviours team of Cardiff in the Adams Shield Competition. At this years contest the number of competitors in each team was raised from 6 members to eight. Abertillery introduced new gymnasts with Mr Pryce Howells; Mr Sam Horler and Harry Bryant: The team members were as follows – Mr H. Bryant; Mr P. Howells; Mr G. Howells; Mr S. Horler; Mr G. Mead; Mr E. L. Watkins; Mr W. Cowhig and  Mr A. Hawkins (Captain); Powell’s Tillery won 520 points to Cardiff’s 516 and a half points.

On Saturday 17th April 1909 Powell’s Tillery Gymnastic team once again met St Saviours Club Cardiff, at Cardiff, this time in the final of the 50 Guinea Welsh Championship Shield. The two clubs had met in March in the Adams Shield when Abertillery won the contest, though this time Cardiff were the victors winning by just 3 points. Scores were Cardiff 487 points to Abertillery’s 484 points. After the competition the Welsh Gymnastics Committee selected the Welsh team for the forthcoming International against England and Scotland which will take place at the Powell’s Institute Gymnasium, Abertillery a week Saturday. Mr William Cowhig was chosen from the Powell’s Tillery team.

On Wednesday 28th April 1909 at the Colliers Hall, the Cwmtillery junior team took on St Saviours club, Cardiff in the final of the Welsh Juniors Championships. The disciplines were Horizontal Bar, Bar Bells, Rings, Rope Climb and High Jump. The Cwmtillery team members were as follows – Masters, A. Howells; W. Atkins; L. Evans; A. Edwards; R. Sheen; H. Dixon; J. Jones and T. Atkins: The Colliers Hall Juniors won 350 points to Cardiff’s 318 and a half points.On May 1st 1909 a special display was held at the Powell’s Tillery Gymnasium Hall.

On Wednesday 26th May 1909 a Gymnastics event took place at the Powell’s Tillery Institute Gymnasium. It was for the Abertillery individual contest for the Mr P. K. Stothert Bowl and many Gold medals were to be issued. Mr Stothert was the landowner of the Powell’s Tillery Collieries. Messrs A. E. Hawkins (Captain); William Cowhig (Vice Captain) and G. Mead in order of achievements on the day won the Senior Gold Medals. Mr G. Mead and Mr W. Cowhig contested the Bowl and Mr Cowhig being victorious. In the Junior contest Masters P. Winmill; W. Edwards and A. Davies in order of achievements won the competition. Records were broken in both Juniors and Seniors contest with Master A. Davies clearing the High Jump at 4′ feet 5″ inches, which was very commendable considering he was only 14 years of age and Mr G. Mead climbing to a height of 16 and a half yards.

On Saturday 1st May 1909 for the first time in history the International Gymnastics Tournament was held at Powell’s Tillery Gymnasium, Abertillery. The contests was between England, Scotland and Wales. Mr C. V. Sederman (Wales) cleared the highest jump of the contest by clearing 5′ feet 2″ inches. The highest rope climb was by Mr W. Fergus (Scotland) at 18 yards. England won the competition easily with a score of 282 points, Scotland second with 253 and one sixth points, Wales third with 214 points.

1911
On Saturday 25th March 1911 the Colliers Hall Cwmtillery Juniors hosted Penarth Juvenile Club for the Welsh Juvenile Competition. The Cwmtillery team members were as follows – Masters T. Rogers; E. Jarrett; A. Hammond; B. Hammond; B, Davies; W. Davies; C. Richards; W. Howells and T. Urch: The Chairman was Mr B. T. Williams,  Judges were Mr T. White and Mr J. R. Lloyd of Newport. The Colliers Hall boys won 434 points to Penarth’s 409 points.

On Wednesday 29th March 1911 a Welsh Individual Competition was held at Powell’s Tillery Gymnasium in connection with the Welsh Amateur Gymnastic, Boxing and Wrestling Association. Gymnasts came from Newport, Cardiff and Abertillery. At this contest Indian Club Swinging was featured along with Parallel Bars, Rope, High Jump, Rings, Pommel Horse and Horizontal Bars. Mr C. V. Sederman (Cardiff) and Mr C. W. Spalding (Abertillery) were the Judges. Mr William Cowhig (Abertillery) took the contest, Mr Pryce Howells (Abertillery) came second with Mr A. E. Hawkins (Abertillery) coming third. Mr H. Bryant (Abertillery) came fifth and secured a place in the Welsh International squad, his inclusion insured Abertillery had 4 gymnasts in the International team.

On Saturday 1st April 1911 the Colliers Hall, Cwmtillery Juniors hosted Barry Juniors Gymnastic Club, Glamorgan in the final of the Juvenile Competition. A few new members had joined – Masters A. Coombstock and A. Paul and they put in a good performance though Colliers Hall boys lost with 451 points to Barry’s 462 points.

On Tuesday 11th April 1911 the Powell’s Tillery held a home championship and display with the Abertillery Individual Gymnastic Competition and the same 3 men winning the contest with Mr William Cowhig retaining the Stothert Bowl. It was at this competition that the Ladies team performed in a sequence called the “Running Maze”. The juniors did a Pyramid and French Exercise display.

1912
On Saturday 2nd March 1912 the Welsh Amateur Association Junior Championships took place at the Powells Tillery. The Powell’s Tillery Juniors met Penarth Gymnastic Club Juniors. For the Tilleryites A. Davies excelled in the High Jump and cleared 5′ feet 4″ inches, E. Horler did well in the Rope Climb and A. Edwards gave an excellent show on the Parallel Bars. Powell’s Tillery Club won with 373 points to Penarth’s 365 points.

On Saturday 16th March 1912 a National Competition was held at the German Gymnasium, London. The contest was to chose the Gymnastic team to represent Great Britain in the Olympic Games to be held in Stockholm, Sweden. The Powell’s Tillery gymnast Mr William Cowhig came sixth and secured a place in the team, Mr Pryce Howells another member of the Tillery team came eleventh and just missed out on a place to travel to Stockholm.

On Friday 2nd May 1912 the final of the Juvenile Gymnastics was held at the Powell’s Tillery Gymnastics Hall. Powells Tillery met Colliers Hall, Cwmtillery. Mr C. W. Spalding was the Instructor for the Tilleryites and Mr H. Gill was the Instructor for the Cwmtillerians.  The Abertillery boys won 342 points to 333 points.

On Wednesday May 1912 the Colliers Hall, Cwmtillery Juniors hosted Barry, Glamorgan Club and Pontypridd Y.M.C.A. Club in the final of the South Wales Juvenile Championships. The Judges were Mr P. Baker (Cardiff) and Mr C. W. Spalding (Abertillery). The Colliers Hall Boys were as follows – Masters, A. Phillips; B. Cullis; E. Jarrett; A. Hammond; B. Davies; B. Hammond; C. Richards and W. Howells: The Colliers Hall team won with 402 points, Barry came second with 362 and a quarter points and Pontypridd coming third on 326 points.

1913
On Thursday 20th March 1913 the Powell’s Tillery Gymnasium Juniors hosted and entertained the Colliers Hall Juniors, Cwmtillery in the Welsh Junior Championships and Medals Competition. The Powell’s Tillery team were as follows – Masters L. Fry; Alban Davies; R. Powell; S. Hatton; D. Meredith; C. Evans; A. Conley and F. Davies: Colliers Hall, Masters A. Purnell; B. Davies; R. Squires; W. Davies; F. Bryant; W. Howells; A. Paul and C. Richards: The Judges were Mr F. Jeans and Mr P. Baker of Cardiff.  During this competition Master Alban Davies set a new Welsh Jumping record, he started off with a height of 4′ feet 9″ inches and went on to jump 5′ feet 6″ inches, with roars of encouragement from the many friend and spectators he asked for the lath to be raised to 5′ feet 7″ inches, he set off on the run and cleared it by a clear 2″ inches setting a new Welsh Amateur record.

On Saturday 29th March 1913 the Powell’s Tillery gymnasts were home to Newport in the final of the Welsh Amateur Gymnastics Fifty Guinea Shield. At this contest a new discipline, the “Vaulting Horse” was added. There was no additions to the Tillery team and the Tilleryites won yet again with 474 and a third points to Newport’s 420 and a half points.

On Wednesday 7th May 1913 The Powell’s Tillery Ladies Gymnasts travelled to the Y.M.C.A. Gymnasium Hall at Barry and challenged the Barry Ladies in the Welsh Amateur Gymnastic Association Final. The Chairman was Mr Vivian Rees; Mr F. Jeans (Cardiff) and Mr H. Gill (Abertillery) were the Judges. Mr C. W. Spalding was the Instructor with Miss Olive Brown on the piano. The disciplines were Tableaux, Indian Club Swinging and Squad Drill. The Powell’s Tillery Ladies won 401 points to Barry’s 388 and a half points. In October 1913 Mr and Mrs C. W. Spalding were congratulated upon their recent marriage by the members of the Abertillery Co-operative Society and they were the recipients of two chairs and a Marble Clock, Mr Spalding was also commended for his outstanding contribution to gymnastics in the area and his many successes while instructing the Powell’s Tillery team.

1914
On Wednesday 29th April 1914 the Powell’s Tillery Juniors team visited St Saviours Club, Cardiff in the final of the Welsh Junior Gymnastics Competition. A few new boys joined the club and the team members were as follows – Masters H. James; J. Hoskins; G. Weeks; J. Short; E. Lloyd; L. Lewis; G. Turner and T. Brickell:  The Cardiff team won with 397 and a half points to Powell’s Tillery’s 346 and a half points.

On Wednesday 6th  May 1914 Powell’s Tillery Gymnastics team visited St Saviours Club, Cardiff in the final of the Welsh Amateur Gymnastics Fifty Guinea Shield and were once again victorious winning with 525 points to Cardiff’s 492 points.

1920
During the great war period 1914 – 1918 gymnastics practically came to a standstill and it took a while after to get back to the glory days prior to the conflict. In 1920 Mr William Cowhig (Abertillery) was chosen to represent Great Britain at the Stockholm Olympia 1920. At this time Mr Cowhig had moved to Cwmfelinfach and had joined their gymnastic squad.

On Tuesday 4th May 1920 Powell’s Tillery met Cwmfelinfach in the final of the Welsh Amateur Gymnastics Association Shield held at Abertillery. Mr Henry Gill who had been previously in the Powell’s team in the early days though had left to train the Colliers Hall team came back and Captained the Tilleryites in this year taking over from Mr Cowhig. The Powell’s Tillery team beat Cwmfelinfach with 423 points to Cwmfelinfach’s  361 points.

1921
The Gymnastics successful days seemed to be on the wane, there was not a lot of reporting on the teams in the early 1920s. There is an article on the Powell’s Tillery Gymnastics Team entering into the Cricket League and there was a new list of team members. The new squad members were as folows – Mr J. Jones; Mr G. Pittaway; Mr W. Davies; Mr W. Harvey; Mr P. Jones; Mr G. Coles; Mr H. Jenkins; Mr J. Jones; Mr D. Page; Mr H. Thomas and Mr S. Cook: The games were played on the Arrael Pitch.

1922
On Saturday 4th March 1922 the Powell’s Tillery Ladies Gymnastics team took part in their first contest since their re-formation (the must have disbanded during the war?)

On Saturday 4th March 1922 the Tillery Ladies took on Swansea Y.M.C.A. at the institute. The disciplines in the ladies contest were – Free Exercises, Vaulting Horse, Front Vault (left), Front Vault (right), Front Leap kneel on – jump off. Single Wolf Vault (left), Single Wolf Vault (right), Upward Jump off Horse to ground, Pyramids (1 & 2) Voluntary Drill and Handkerchief Game.  The Powell’s Tillery Ladies team members were as follows – Miss H. Norris; Miss A. M. Bath; Miss M. M. Berryman? Miss D. M. Lamb; Miss G. M. Pollard; Miss G. M. Padfield; Miss S. A. Rogers and Miss E. M. Norris: Instructor Mr Harry Gill. The Judges were Mr W. Cowhig (Cwmfelinfach) and Mr W. Waite (Tredegar). The Powell’s Ladies team won with 363 points to Swansea’s 263 and a half points.On Thursday 27th April 1922 displays were given by the Powell’s Tillery Gymnastics teams of both sexes. The Ladies team displaying their skills with the Indian Club drill.

1923
On Wednesday 9th May 1923 at the Powell’s Tillery Institute the Ladies team competed against St Saviours Club, Cardiff for the Welsh Amateur Gymnastics Association. The disciplines in this contest were Callisthenic Rings, Vaulting Horse, Pyramids, Indian Clubs and  Relay Race. The Powell’s Ladies team members were as follows – Miss E. M. Norris; Miss D. M. Lamb (Captain); Miss G. M. Padfield; Miss G. M. Pollard; Miss M. M. Berryman; Miss L. M. Berryman and Miss L. M. Rees: The Instructor was Mr H. Gill and the accompanist Mr W. Hurling on the piano. Mr H. A. Oberholzer  M.B.A.P.T.  was the Judge. The Powell’s Tillery Ladies won with 483 and a quarter points to Cardiff’s 479 and a quarter points.

The Gymnastics situation in Abertillery in 1922 was – the Senior team was undefeated and Cup and Shield holders (as no other team had contested them). The Junior team were Welsh Amateur Champions. Mr H. Gill was the Institute Secretary and Instructor of the senior teams and Mr Wyndham Edwards of the junior team.

1928
In March 1928 the Powell’s Tillery Ladies team were in the semi-final of the Welsh Amateur Gymnastics Association held at Ebbw Vale. The were competing against the Ebbw Vale. The Powell’s Tillery  Ladies team members were as follows – Miss L. M. Berryman (Captain); Miss B. Price; Miss D. Curthoys; Miss E. Reed; Miss E. Powell; Miss F. L. Stephens; Miss L. M. Reed and Miss D. M. Seabourn: The Powell’s Tillery Ladies won and will meet the St Saviours Club Ladies in the final. In the final held at the Institute on Wednesday 2nd May 1928 Abertillery lost to St Saviours 575 to 567 and a half.

1929
In May 1929 the Powell’s Tillery Ladies became Welsh Champions. The Tillery Ladies Team competed against the Ebbw Vale Club in the first round of the competition and then against the Trafalgar Hall, Barry in the final in the Tillery Institute on Saturday …… The Powell’s Tillery Ladies team members were as follows – Miss  J. Catley; Miss G. E. Jenkins; Miss K F. Vines; Miss L. M. Berryman (Captain); Miss E. Powell; Miss H. Jones; Miss F. L. Stephens; Miss L. M. Reed:  also holds the individual Club Swinging Championship through the success of Miss Ethel Sutton. The Instructors were Mr H. Gill and Mr W. Edwards.

In a report dated June 1934 made by Mr Harry Gill the Secretary of the Abertillery Gymnastic Club to the Commissioner, Mr Gill wrote – “The Powell’s Tillery Club was recognised as one of the leading gymnastics clubs in Great Britain. Their record would show that the teams were composed wholly of Coal Miners and had held all Welsh Championships from 1905 up to the War. From 1932 there had been a gradual falling off in the standard of pupils attending the classes. During the war I had been Physical Instructor to the locally raised battalion and can definitely say that the physical condition of Abertillery today is much inferior to the men who served in the war. During the past two years I had under observation for physical training the boys attending the junior instruction centre and hundreds of boys had passed through my centre. I have no hesitation in saying that not more than 30 per cent of the boys would compare physically with the boys in the preceding years of 1920. The same condition applies to the Swimming Club, 30 per cent of the members were miners or belonged to miners families, they trained good swimmers but very few had the stamina to play a hard game of Water Polo, The Institute is attended by thousands of unemployed and it’s easy to see that the morale and standard is not the same as formerly”.

 

Olympic Games and appearances by Powell’s Tillery Gymnasts.
London Olympia 1908 – Mr Edgar Watkins; Mr William Cowhig; Mr A. Hawkins and Mr G. Mead:
 
Stockholm Olympia 1912 – Mr William Cowhig:
 
Antwerp Olympia 1920 – Mr W. Edwards and Mr William Cowhig:
 
There were a few Gymnastics teams through the years, The Cwmtillery Team, Colliers Hall, Powell’s Tillery and The Newall Street Boy’s and Girls Life Brigade Gymnastics Team in the 1920s.
 

Mr William Cowhig, (his parents lived at No27 Glandwr Street, Abertillery)

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