1920-1921 ANECDOTES

by BRIAN JENKINS

 

ANECDOTES 1920-1921
CHRONICLE 28/8/1920
BATH SCHOOLS RUGBY UNION
Arrangements were made for the coming season. Twelve Schools would be participating:- Bathwick, Oldfield, Walcot Council, Walcot Central, Weymouth House, Somerset Boys’ Home, Twerton Parochial, St Saviour’s, Widcombe and Bathforum, and new schools joining – St Stephen’s and Sutcliffe.
Middle Common (Victoria Park) would not be available and suitable venues would have to be found. Application to the Bath Club for permission to play inter-town matches on the Recreation Ground.
The Committee would be comprised of one representative from each affiliated school, five representatives of the Bath Football Club, also Messrs. Holbrook, Butt, Anstey, Dolman, F Smith, W Stevens and W Salmon.

Adapted from CHRONICLE 28/8/1920
“Flower Pot Stand to be Erected”
Following a meeting with the Recreation Ground Company, there was agreement to immediately proceed with construction of flower-pot stands on the popular side. Agreement to extend the present covered stand, but because of shortage of material, a start would be postponed until the following Spring. A large number of extra standing boards were already in position.

CHRONICLE REPORT 4/9/1920
Detail of Bathampton v Stothert and Pitt’s Trial game, on the Hampton ground. Actually, Stothert’s new ground was in the same parish – on the other side of the G.W.R. railway line. Noticeably, Bathampton fielded three sets of brothers – the Blanchards, the Coles and the Goodings.
Stothert’s (nickname the ‘Cranes’), fielded a player named – Crane.
Apart from the obvious “Crane” connection, it is appropriate to pause, and identify this player as Harold Crane (Who was to become an important Bath Club and District personality). He began his rugby at St. Stephen’s School in 1907-08, and divided his allegiance between St. Stephen’s R.F.C. and Stothert and Pitt’s. During the War he was stationed in Ireland and played for the Irish Army XV; he rejoined Stothert’s in 1920-21 and switched to finish his playing days, again with St. Stephens. He captained Bath Combination against its Bristol counterparts on two occasions. He was a keen member of the Combination Committee and an untiring worker for the Ex Schools Union. He also gave long and meritorious service to the Bath Club Committee.
His other sporting interest was boxing and he was an instructor at the YMCA at Bath

CHRONICLE 20/10/1920
A unanimous decision to disband the Bath Rugby Referees Society, with members being free to join the Somerset Society. The Bath Society had been in existence for nearly 20 years, and had done much to foster local rugby. Th Society had always been affiliated to the County, and it was felt that there would be benefits from a centrally organised body.

CHRONICLE 30/10/1920
RUGBY CAUSERIE
The Spirit of the Game. [By “An Old Player.”]
A few exemplifications of what is not ‘cricket’ by which term is meant not sportsmanlike tactics,
1. Playing the man not the ball,
2. Collaring with intent to maim,
3. Putting the knee up in the face of a tackler,
4. “Scragging” and wilful kicking of an opponent,
5. Breaking the rules when on the blind side of the referee,
6. Deliberate tripping,
7. Obstruction of all kinds,
8. Fouling generally,
9. Pushing a rival when running after the ball,
10. Deliberately knocking over a player when the whistle has gone,
11. Putting the ball in the scrum unfairly,
12. Tackling a player when it is seen he has parted with the leather,
13. Booting the ball when an opponent is lying close to it,
14. Thwarting an opponent by unnecessary appealing,
15. “Nagging” at the referee,
16. Kneeling on a player unnecessarily after bringing him down,
17. Tackling a player after he has gone into touch, and throwing him against the barrier,
18. Ignoring the whistle, so as to hustle an opponent,
19. Resorting to brute force,
20. All fighting in general,
21. Disregard of the spirit of the laws,
22. Consistently keeping offside.
Legitimate tactics can be summed up in very few words as follows: “Keeping the spirit as well as the letter of the rules.” Players who do that need never fear that they will offend against what is right, fair, and “sporty.”

Bathonians were pleased to learn that Greenslade, the Cross Keys player had recovered sufficiently to have a game with ‘Keys 2nds the previous week.
Greenslade, was the unfortunate player who collided with Bath’s Cliff Walwin on the Rec. on 27th December 1919, with fatal result.

FOOTBALL NIGHT AT BATH PANTO
BATH HERALD 17/1/1921
Reported on revival of the pre-war custom of an annual team visit to the Pantomime. No less than 98 were in attendance, including members of the 1st and ‘A’ XV’s, Committee, Members and their Ladies, and the visiting Bridgwater side. At one point Abanazar gained loud applause as he appeared on stage attired in a Bath rugby jersey. Within his repetiore, there were quips such as: “It’s a dirty night for Bridgwater,” which was taken sportingly by the team’s guests. A little later, the visitors responded with the Bridgwater Club song: “Bridgwater’s on the ball, dribbling on.” There followed a rousing rendition of the old favourite “Bubbles” and Widow Twanky added the following verse to ‘his’ topical song:

“It fills my heart with joy to see you Rugger boys tonight;
Good sportsmen all, who in each match do play the game a-right.
There’s Considine and Captain Hope and ‘Chumpy’ to the fore;
And Dilly never dallies, but does his best to score.
So here’s good luck to all the team in the new year begun,
And may they never lack success in Nineteen-Twenty-One.

At the end of the show, the whole party gather in the vestibule to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne.’

BATH’S TRIBUTE
Chaplet Placed on Whitehall Cenotaph.
“THE CROSSED THE LINE.”
“The visit of Bath Rugby team to London to play the London Welsh on Saturday was made the occasion of a tribute to the memory of the gallant men of the Bath Rugby club who gave up their lives on the field of battle, a handsome laurel chaplet being placed on the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
From Paddington Station the Bath team motored to Westminster, and the chaplet was deposited by Alby Hatherill, the old half-back and present trainer, who lost a brother Loo Hatherill, one of the Bath forwards at Cambrai. The chaplet was tied with the blue, white and black colours of the club. Among those present were Mr. Arthur Taylor, Mr. C C Wills, Mr. Harry Bowen, Mr Harold Burt, an old Bath player. Mr G A Roberts, Mr Alf Richardson, and several friends.
All the party dismounted from the charabanc and stood with heads bared while the trophy was being laid among the many others at the base of the Cenotaph. They remained standing for a few minutes before re-entering their charabanc. The little ceremony was witnessed with great interest by a large number of spectators.
On the chaplet was a card bearing the following inscription:-
“In proud memory of those members of the Bath Rugby Football Club who laid down their lives in the Great War. They played the game-they crossed the line.”
(Bath Chronicle 31st January 1921

Bath make it a Picnic! RAG DOLL GAME 2ND APRIL 1921
“The first half had been a great one and the players must have been pleased when the interval arrived, during which they sat round in groups in picnic fashion. The sun was bringing out the best from them and the referee looked as if he had gone through a proper Turkish bath.”

In the second spell, Russell and Sheppard did well with their feet. A scrum followed, and when Woodward was checked, he fed Vowles: “who dropped over another 4 pointer.” Then it was Pitman’s turn to score as he shook off Thomas. “……and then Considine got a real great try off his own boot. He raced through the centre and when opposed by Evans punted. Following up at great speed he took the ball nicely on the bounce and romped over. Vowles hit the upright with the kick.
Bath were rubbing it in, for within a minute Vowles had put over another 4 pointer, making the score 24-6.” Bath’s amazing tally was 3 drop goals, 4 tries to Llanelly’s 1 goal. Amid ecstatic cheers, Vowles was shoulder-carried off – and deservedly so.
The Rag Doll’s regalia was changed to Blue White and Black! 7TH 04 1921
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This page was added on 30/01/2018.

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