Local History Society

 Memories - Sports at Newlands, 1922

Newlands Estate Auction document, 1947

John Simonds

Major John Hayes Simonds

From the 'Reading Mercury', July 15th 1922:



Successful Meeting

Considerable success attended the first sports meeting arranged by the Arborfield and Newland Branch of the British Legion, which was held at Newland [sic] on Wednesday. The gathering was favoured by fine weather, and in picturesque grounds thrown open by the kindness of Mr. John Simonds, an excellent course had been prepared.

During the afternoon and evening a very large number of spectators were present, and under the supervision of capable officials and an energetic committee the programme was well carried out.

The officials were: Referees, Major M. Simonds and Mr. E. M. Sturges; judges, Col. Churcher and Major Bayley; starter, Major J. Simonds; clerk of the course, Mr. W. J. Verrall; hon. handicapper, Mr. D. Goddard, Reading A.C.; hon. secretary, Mr. J. Watts; hon. treasurer, Mr. W. Hatton, and the committee responsible for the arrangements were Major J. Simonds (commandant), Messrs. F. Clarke (chairman), C. H. Kent, Bush, A. Lyford, R. Gibberd, A. Parsons, W. White, A. Dicker, White, S. Nash, R. Rogers and L. Cotterell.

The events throughout were well contested, entries, especially in the local races, being good, whilst the number of ladies participating in races arranged for them was quite a feature of the meeting. Amongst the individual successes, C. W. Darville, of the Remount Depot, Arborfield, was prominent; he carried off the high jump with a height of 4 ft. 10 in., but cleared five feet in an exhibition, and it is stated that in his day he has reached 5 ft. 6 in. Darville also possesses a good hurdling style, and won the open event from A. E. Potter in a close finish, whilst he carried off the 800 yards Legion members’ race with ease. There was a good number of starters for the mile race, which was won by G. Manning of the Reading A.C. from the 40 yards mark, beating L. C. Clark with a fine sprint down the straight.

Variety in plenty was provided in the programme, and such items as the reveille race and pillow fight instilled pleasant relief from the more orthodox events.

Results are as follows: -

80 Yards (schoolboys) – Heat 1: 1, W. Welch (3 yd); 2: H. A. Smith (18); 3, C. E. Thomas (4). Heat 2: 1, H. Bentley (2); 2, H. Watts (10); 3, N. G. Stokes (6). Final: 1, Welch; 2, Bentley; 3, Watts. Time, 10. 3/5 sec.

100 Yards (boys under 17) – 1, G. Clark; 2, R. Barnes; 3, J. Clark. Time, 12. 4-5 sec.

Ladies’ Thread and Needle Race – 1, Miss Clark; 2, Miss Valentine; 3, Miss Nash.

80 Yards (school girls) – Heat 1: 1, N. Wernham; 2, C. Salisbury; 3, R. Salisbury. Heat 2: 1, K. Clements; 2, M. Hughes; 3, L. Wernham. Final: 1, K. Clements; 2, R. Salisbury; 3, N. Wernham.

440 Yards Open Handicap – 1, S. Barrett; unattached (10); 2, G. Manning, Reading A.C.; 3, A. E. Potter, Reading A.C. Time, 1 min. 0. 3/5 sec.

50 Yards (Ladies) – 1, Miss M. Sargeant; 2, Miss J. Valentine; 3, Miss N. Smith.

High Jump (open) – Heat 1: 1, C. W. Darville, M.C..A.C; 2, O. R. C. Sale, R.A.C.; 3, R. Barnes, unattached. Height, 4 ft 10 in.

Reveille Race – 1, E. Silver; 2, K. Barnes; 3, E. G. Miles.

100 Yards (open) - Heat 1: 1, R. Williams, R.A.C (5); 2, S. Barrett, unattached, (2); 3, J. Beck, unattached (10). Heat 2: 1, W. White, unattached (8); 2, S. Crook, R.A.C., (scr); 3, F. May, unattached (12). Final: 1, R. Williams; 2, W. White; 3, S. Barrett. Time, 11 sec.

Pillow Fight – 1, C. Thomas; 2, J. Black.

50 Yards (veterans over 45). – 1, C. Parsons; 2, J. Pither.

Sack Race (under 17) – 1, Stokes; 2, J. Beck; 3, J. Clark.

880 Yards (Legion members). – 1, C. W. Darville; 2, Rixon; 3, C. Parsons.

Ladies’ Slow Cycle Race – 1, Miss B. Lyford; 2, Miss N. Hayward.

120 Yards Hurdles – Heat 1: 1, C. W. Darville, M.C.A.C.; 2, G. Clark, unattached.

Heat 2: 1, A. E. Potter, R.A.C.; 2, S. Barrett, unattached. Final: 1, C. W. Darville; 2, A. E. Potter; 3, S. Barrett.

Egg and Spoon Race: 1, Miss Hayward; 2, Miss N. Smith; 3, Miss J. Valentine.

Musical Chairs: Gentlemen: R. Hayward. Ladies: Daisy Middleton.

One Mile (open): 1, G. Manning, R.A.C. (45); 2, L. G. Clark, unattached (40); 3, E. H. Titcomb, R.A.C. (25).

At the conclusion of the last race prizes were gracefully presented to the successful competitors by Mrs. John Simonds, and the remainder of the evening was devoted to dancing, music being provided by the Wokingham Town Band, who also rendered a pleasant programme of music throughout the afternoon.

The committee desire to express their thanks to all who assisted them in the organisation of the meeting and to subscribers towards their prize fund.

With acknowledgements to Berkshire Newspapers

Back to Memories Page


Any Feedback or comments on this website?  Please e-mail the webmaster