Impossible to hold a Public Holiday without some form of public entertainment

Sports took centre stage at the Wargrave peace celebrations.

The Peace Holiday

July 19th, 1919, was proclaimed as the Peace Holiday with very short notice for the necessary arrangements. The first suggestion was that Wargrave Regatta should be held on that day, but after very careful going into the matter the Amusements Sub-Committee reported that it was impossible. The Committee therefore abandoned the attempt and fixed August 9th for the Regatta.

It was, however clearly impossible to hold a Public Holiday without some form of public entertainment, but there was no time to summon a public meeting to discuss what should be done. So it was suggested that there should be a Tea and Sports for everyone and it was ultimately decided that the Recreation Ground would be the most suitable place. It was understood that upon such an occasion all parishioners would like to have an opportunity to contribute, so it was decided that a circular letter should be issued, inviting subscriptions, and that a box for contributions should be set at the gate; but it was necessary to enter upon the expenditure at once, if arrangements were to be made in time, so Sir William Cain and Mr Henry Bond very kindly acted as guarantors.

All arrangements were made by the Committees, which enrolled about seventy-five people, all of whom worked hard for the success of the day.

The Sports Committee was fortunate in having Captain Lindemere as Secretary and the whole of the Cricket Club Committee kindly joined forces with them.

Mr. P. H. Stringer was elected Master of Ceremonies for the Sports with the task of arranging the order of events. This was not an easy matter, because there was no opportunity to make out a time-table beforehand and the events had to be so arranged as to leave the outer course free when the rope was let down at tea time. But all difficulties were overcome and the programme went with a swing from start to finish. All the competitors ran well (including the PIG), no obstacle proved insuperable, and those who did not win the first prizes will have another opportunity at the Victory Flower Show, on Wednesday, September 3rd.

The Wargrave Lads’ Club gave a very good gymnastic display which was most appreciated by everyone.

The weather was not all that could be desired, but it might have been very much worse and the rain in the morning was a warning to everyone to come prepared for heavy showers. At all events there were some bright intervals and some quite long periods without rain.

The Children

There must be a special paragraph for the children, because they have a special place in everyone’s thoughts when there is a Public Holiday on an historic occasion and we want them to remember it in after years.

There is no doubt they had a first rate time on July 19th. The day began with a parade at the Piggott School when every child was presented with a half-crown and a bag of chocolates from Sir William and Lady Cain. These were presented by Miss Cain and every coin was fresh from the mint dated with 1919.

Then there were races at the Recreation Ground, where Major Kenneth Nicholl and others kindly worked off some forty heats to relieve the programme for the afternoon.

The fun began again at half-past one, in spite of the rain, with special treats for children under seven. A Ladies’ Committee had taken entire charge of these infants and provided all sorts of pleasures ending up with a Bran Pie and a present for every one.

Then came tea, and afterwards a victory medal for each child presented by Mr. Bond. And all the afternoon there were the sports to watch, and a wonderfully caparisoned steed to ride, led by an oriental gentleman beautifully attired and a hurdy gurdy which played whenever the Band was at rest, and dancing in the tent to finish the day, altogether a very happy time.

Crazies Hill Notes

The Peace Day Celebrations were duly held at Crazies Hill on July 19th, and many appear to have thoroughly enjoyed the day, in spite of the inclemency of the weather. Over three hundred people, old and young, were entertained to dinner and tea. A Cricket match, Married Versus Single, resulted in a close victory for the Single eleven. Then followed sports, for which there were many entries, and a tug-of-war. In the evening, a firework display brought to a close a memorable occasion.

The congratulations of all are due to the Committee on having organised a most successful day’s proceedings, which will long be remembered by those who took part in the festivities.

Wargrave parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

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