Broadway Fete and Sports Day Organised by the Broadway Branch of the Comrades of the Great War Association
On Monday 2nd August 1920, the Broadway Branch of the Comrades of the Great War1 held their annual Fete and Sports Day at Broad Close. A committee, chaired by Donald Russell (owner of the Lygon Arms) with sports secretaries, W. Benfield. A. Ingram and M. Bates, organised the afternoon’s activities. The sporting events included; flat and hurdle racing, pony racing, bowling for a pig (which was won by Mr Sandals of West End) and a greasy pole. There was also a costume parade – the prize for the best dressed was awarded to Charles Savage who dressed up as a female land worker.
A tent was erected at Broad Close and refreshments were supplied by Mrs Nicholls, Mrs Warren, Mrs Jacques, Mrs Austin Davies, Mrs H. Collins and Mrs C. Jordan and the Broadway Brass Band played during the afternoon. The prizes were awarded to the winning competitors by Antonio de Navarro of Court Farm.
The Evesham Standard & West Midland Observer reported the following results on 7th August:
100 yards handicap for boys under 14: 1 R. Burrows2, 2 G. Lloyd 3. F. Dyer
Ladies egg and spoon race: 1 Elsie Steward3, 2. N. Lloyd, 3. C. Savage
120 yards flat handicap: 1 Augustus Cotterell4, 2 P.G. Biles5, 3 A. Hardwick
220 years hurdle race: 1 Charles Steward 2 J. Harrison 3 J.C. Biggs
Half mile handicap: 1 J. Cotterell, 2 C. Barnett, 3 Charles Steward
One mile flat handicap: 1 J. Cotterell, 2 W. Hartwell 3 P.G. Biles
100 yards veteran race (over 50): 1 W. Gilder6, 2 Fred Hill, 3 W.H. Biles
300 yards flat handicap: 1 H. Sandals, 2 D. Holland, 3 J.C. Biggs
440 yards obstacle race: 1 J. Cotterell, 2 Charles Steward, 3 J.C. Biggs
One mile walking race: This proved very exciting with Robinson and Folkes making a dead heat for first place with Steward well up.
Three teams entered for the tug of war, the visitors’ team obtaining the verdict rather easily. In the pony racing:
Ponies 13 hands and up: 1 Mr F.C. Cotterell’s ‘Blue Bell’, 2 Mr A. Proctor’s ‘Jenny’
Ponies up to 13.2h: 1 ‘Lightning’ 2 ‘Jenny’
Ponies up to 14h: ‘Lightning’ won easily, 2 ‘Jenny’
Horses of any height: 1 Mr F.C. Cotterell’s ‘Never Mind’, 2 Mr J. Atkin’s ‘Paddy’
Following its success, the fete and sports day was repeated the following year at Broad Close. It was held on the August Bank Holiday 1921 but following the amalgamation of the Comrades Association to form The British Legion the event was not held again.
In 1935, the North Cotswold Athletic Association organised an afternoon of sports on Broad Close, part of the village’s celebrations of the Silver Jubilee of HM King George V.
Broadway History Society
1. The Comrades of the Great War was formed in 1917 as an association to represent the rights of ex-servicemen and women who had served or been discharged from service during the First World War. It was one of the original four ex-service associations that amalgamated on Sunday 15th May 1921 to form The British Legion.
2. Reginald Harry Burrows (1906-1957)
3. Elsie Horne Steward (1909-1999), daughter of Charles E. Steward.
4. Augustine Cotterell (1901-1965)
5. Percy George Biles (1898-1996)
6. William Gilder (1859-1930)