Hockey and Hunting
This column is turning into a results page for the successful Ashwell Hockey team. In February 1914they beat Emanuel College10-1 at home then went on to beat Letchworth 1-0 at their ground. They did lose to Clare College 7-4 but despite sleet and snow crushed Biggleswade 7-1. Other news under the sport banner concerned The Cambridgeshire Hounds who met at The Fox, which was a pub about half way to the station. There were nearly 60 riders and lots of spectators. The first fox was killed in Mr E O Fordham’s garden and the second ‘toured Ashwell streets and churchyards’ until it was finally killed in Bassingbourn.
Entertainments in the month included the Snowdrop Minstrels, St Mary’s Church Sunday School had tea and entertainment and later there was a public tea and evening entertainment under auspices of Rev SWP Webb. Both were at the ‘Club Room’ which was presumably what we now call the Parish Rooms next to the museum. The Cricket Club sponsored a Smoking Concert at the Bushel & Strike and the Literary Society held two meetings.
A more serious event at the Bushel was the AGM one of the ‘clubs’ or insurance societies that pre-dated the National Insurance scheme and the NHS. The Ashwell Accidental Aid Friendly Society paid out £35 6s in benefits during year and a bonus of 8s 6d (42p) to each member.
There were details of the funeral of Mrs James Bennett and also of Mrs Millsom, who was widow of the late Rev J B Millsom former pastor of Congregational Church. Two weddings were mentioned. At St Saviours, Alexandra Park, London, Miss Mary Christy 3rd daughter of Mr A H and Mrs Christy of Ashwell Post Office married Mr Herbert John Ludbrook of Leytonstone. And at St Mary’s, Miss Amtman married Mr C H Andrews of London.
The Ashwell District Council discussed two items that were perhaps early examples of what we might now call social housing. They agreed to build a house for a policeman when suitable plot became available however plans for roadmen’s houses were shelved. The County Council promoted a lecture on Poultry Keeping by Mr R R Allen. This sort of homely advice and encouragement seems a far cry from the remit of the county council today.
Mr Chote, the headmaster at Merchant Taylors school had forwarded a letter from Percy Bryant, an Ashwell man now living in Victoria, British Columbia telling of his life and work as a builder.