Tug of War Tradition in Aldbourne

Tug of War winners mystery 2014 – copy photo thanks to Alan Watson

Tug of war was contested as a team event in the Summer Olympics at every Olympiad from 1900 to 1920. It’s been a popular event in Aldbourne for decades. The earliest mention I’ve seen (so far) is in the North Wilts Herald 1 August 1919: that year, the competition at the Feast Sports was won by a team from Upham.

Years ago, this copy photograph of a victorious team was given to me for the Aldbourne Archive. Only very recently have the names and date been added to my file. Thanks to research by Graham Palmer.

There have been some fabulous reports on sports in the local press over the years. I would love to see photos of the pillow fights, and ‘musical chairs on cycles’ must have been a thing of beauty to behold back in 1927!

The tug of war team in the photo took part in the Coronation Celebrations on 12 May 1937 (King George VI). Graham spotted that ‘Eatwell’s team’ were the winners listed in a newspaper report after the events of the day.

Names for faces – thanks Graham
Standing: left to right: Tommy Cowles, Sid Mildenhall, ? , Percy Swash
Seated: left to right: ? , Charlie Cox, Ernest Eatwell, Harry Aldridge.
The gent holding the cup seated at the front of the group is the Judge, Mr Walter Liddiard. Is that Wilfred Jerram behind the fence (in the hat) holding a coil of rope?

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