Broadway’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations 6th May 1935

How Broadway Celebrated the Silver Jubilee
of HM King George V

In March 1935, a Broadway Jubilee Committee of 50 villagers, chaired by Clement Parsons (of Luggershill, Springfield Lane), was appointed to organise a number of events across the village to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of HM King George V. Under Treasurer, Alexander Lomas1, a Jubilee Fund was set up which raised a total of £148 2s to fund the village’s celebrations.

On Monday 6th May 1935, Broadway celebrated the King’s Jubilee in style. The day started at 9am with a peal of church bells at St Eadburgha’s Church. Members of the Broadway branch of the British Legion, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides accompanied by a number of schoolchildren processed down the High Street to the War Memorial on the green, where a Service of Thanksgiving was held at 10.15am. The service, officiated by the Rev. Vincent H. Patrick, Vicar of St Michael’s, and the Congregational Minister, Rev. S.T. Butler, was attended by hundreds of villagers gathered on the village green.

Silver Jubilee, Broadway War Memorial 1935
Thanksgiving Service at Broadway War Memorial 6th May 1935. Photo ©P. Hutchinson Photographer, Broadway

Open Gardens and an Afternoon of Sports on Broad Close

During the afternoon, various sporting events, organised by the North Cotswold Athletic Club were held at Broad Close including events for the younger children and a men’s cross country race from Broad Close up to Broadway Tower and back – the race was won by J. Stokes2.

Broad Close, Broadway 6 May 1935
Broad Close, Broadway 6 May 1935

The athletic events, conducted under the rules of the Amateur Athletic Association, were organised by a Committee headed by Brigadier-General Napier assisted by; Frank A. Folkes (Secretary and Treasurer), Captain C.M. Napier, Dr William G. Alexander, Dr M.C. Beatty, Reginald Y.T. Kendall3 (of Abbot’s Grange), Charles Steward, Mr Harvey, A. Beard, C. Ingram, G.F. Knott, Archibald J. Bridgeman (Headmaster of Broadway Council School), Miss Tilley, Miss Ingles, R. Rawlings, R. Stokes, R. Holland, Rex Morris, and L.J. Smith.

Silver Jubilee Celebrations, Broadway, 6th May 1935
Silver Jubilee Celebrations, Broadway, 6th May 1935. Photo ©P. Hutchinson Photographer, Broadway

Music for the event was provided by L. Hensley and the prizes were awarded by two of the village’s oldest residents, Thomas and Elizabeth Figgitt4. The couple were driven to Broad Close from their home at Swan Cottage along the High Street in an open-top waggon provided by Don G.S. Russell (owner of the Lygon Arms). After the sports, a tea party for children and parishioners was held in a marquee erected on the Recreation Ground. 

From 12 noon until 4pm, gardens across the village were opened to the public. The open gardens were organised by the Jubilee Gardens Committee headed by Miss Pemberton and Miss Webb. The gardens, which were open free of charge, included: Orchard Farm (Lady Maud Bowes Lyon), Court Farm (Mary Anderson de Navarro, garden designed by Alfred Parsons), Lygon Arms (Don G.S. Russell), Bannits (Mrs Rees Price, garden designed by Alfred Parsons), Farncombe House (Frank Burges OBE), Abbot’s Grange (Reginald Y.T. and Evelyn H. Kendall), Austin House (Stratford C. and Eva A. Saunders) and Luggershill (Clement Parsons).

Torchlight Procession to the Beacon at Broadway Tower

After dark, a torchlight procession of villagers made its way up to Broadway Tower where a beacon bonfire had been built by the Boy Scouts with wood provided by George Foster. The bonfire at the Tower formed part of a chain of beacons across the country. HM King George lit the first of the beacons in Hyde Park, and at 10pm the chain of beacons around the country were lit. As the Broadway Beacon was lit, a red, green and yellow rockets, symbolising the colours of the Scouts, were fired. It was reported that thousands of people made their way up to Broadway Tower to see the beacon and firework display.

 

Broadway Tower 6 May 1935
Broadway Tower 6 May 1935

Jubilee Dance and Jubilee Trees

The following Thursday evening, a Jubilee Dance , organised by Joan Warren, Violet Folkes, Mabel Figgitt, J. Keyte and P. Derrick, was held in the Lifford Memorial Hall. Villagers danced the night away to Eddie Mace and his Super Band, and prizes to the best dancers were awarded to Mr & Mrs Ken Riley and May Keyte.

After the celebrations, two commemoration oak seats set on staddlestones were installed on the High Street. The remainder of the Jubilee Fund5 was used to purchase a number of horse chestnut and lime trees, the ‘Jubilee Trees’, were planted along the Cheltenham Road and High Street, many of which can still be seen today.

Debbie Williamson

 

Notes:

  1. Alexander Fred Lomas (1896-1965) was Manager of the Broadway branch of the Midland Bank.
  2. The results of the cross-country race: 1st: J. Stokes, 2nd: Les Arnold, 3rd: Victor Dudley Tittensor (1916-1989), 4th: W. Payne.
  3. Reginald Young Turnbull Kendall (1897-1963)
  4. See Thomas F. Figgitt (1863-1936)
  5. It had been hoped initially that sufficient funds would be raised to add to the fund set up in the 1920s to build a community swimming pool in the village.

 

Sports Day August 1920

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.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Notes:

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)