7th Sep 1918. Grand Fete at Clifton Manor


One of the most successful fetes held in the Rugby district for some years took place on Saturday in the charming grounds of Clifton Manor, kindly lent by Mr T S Townsend, J.P, C.C, in aid of the Red Cross Society, Rugby Prisoners of War Fund, and the Clifton Comforts Fund. Upwards of 4,500 people paid for admission, visitors attending from Rugby and the whole of the surrounding district ; and, in view of the fact that practically all the attractions were “ extras,” and were all well patronised, the deserving objects above mentioned will benefit by well over £350. The arrangements were made by an able committee, of which Mr T S Townsend was the energetic chairman. This office is generally regarded as a sinecure, and is more often treated as such ; but Mr Townsend threw his whole energy and enthusiasm into the task, and the great success achieved was largely due to his efforts, which were loyally supported by Mrs Townsend and the Rev C E Morton (hon secretaries), and Mr M R Trower (hon treasurer), and officers and men of the Royal Air Force. From start to finish everything worked smoothly, and the only complaint heard was that one of the attractions were so many and varied that it was impossible for anyone to witness the whole of them.


The principal attraction during the afternoon was the athletic sports, which were keenly contested. The officials were : Referee, Mr A G Cannon, A.A.A ; judges, Capt Miller (horse racing, Chief Master Mechanic Booker, R.A.F, Mr Gilks, and Mr T Ewart ; starter, Lieut C Clayden, R.A.F ; clerks of course, Messrs A S Kettle and J T Rees ; stewards, Sergt-Major Edwards, and Mr W H Hoflin.

The Tug-o’-War Competition provided some strenuous tussles, one of the best of which was produced by the meeting of the R.A.F and the Rugby Police. The latter was the heavier team, but the R.A.F were masters of their craft, and won by two clear pulls. Willans & Robinson’s Foundry Department proved too much for Mr Buck’s team, and Clifton gained a fairly easy victory over Hillmorton. In the second round the RA.F defeated Willans & Robinson’s, and in the final Clifton, who had drawn a bye in the second round, gained a popular victory over the RAF.

The Ladies’ Tug-o’-War was won easily by the B.T.H Testing Department Team, which had no difficulty in pulling over the W.R.A.F and Clifton Land Girls. In the first round the Land Girls quickly accounted for the B.T.H Girls’ Club.

During the progress of the tug-o’-war competition an officer of the RAF gave a thrilling display of “ stunt ” flying, which was followed with breathless interest. Loops, spirals, spins and dives, and other intricate evolutions followed each other with bewildering rapidity, and time after time it seemed to the uninitiated as though the display must end in disaster. After a particularly daring evolution, in which he gave a representation of a falling machine and a wonderful recovery, the intrepid pilot landed in an adjoining field, where he was given a popular ovation. The aeroplane was visited by hundreds of spectators, and standing on the seat of the machine, the pilot offered a walking stick—made from the propellor of an aeroplane—for sale on behalf of the funds. This was secured by Mr T S Townsend for seven guineas.


The B.T.H Fire Brigade kindly consented to hold the annual competitions for the Churchill Shield and the Garner Cup in connection with the fete, and the smartness of the display from start to finish was very favourably commented upon by the visitors. The first event, for the Churchill Shield, “ the escape drill,” took place at the works ; but the hose cart drill and the horse steamer drill (wet) were contested at Clifton.

At the conclusion of the display Mr Townsend heartily thanked the B T H Co for all they had done to make the fete a success.

A pony race at varying paces—first round walking, second round trotting, third round galloping, excited a great deal of interest. After a good race and an exciting finish, Mr Alfred Sleath (Clifton) was declared the winner.

Upwards of 900 people paid for admission to witness the football match between the B.T.H Testing Department and the R.A.F. The match was very evenly contested, and resulted in a win for the B.T.H by two goals to one. Teams :—R.A.F : Taylor, goal ; Breamis and Walker, backs ; Dean, Seddon, and Smith, half-backs ; Stevens. Ford, Webb, Archibald, and Coles, forwards. B.T.H : Woodward, goal ; Mansell and Sturgess, backs ; Addison, Jones, and Cashin, half-backs ; Arthur Buckley, Albert Buckley, Slater, Gibson, and Roxburgh, forwards. The referee was 1st A.M Ritchie, R.A.F.

During the progress of the match P.C Lovell made a collection on behalf of the funds, and this amounted to £4 16s.


During the afternoon Arnold, the well-known Worcestershire cricketer, batted at the nets, and for the modest outlay of 1d all and sundry were invited to try to take his middle stump. As was expected, a large number of the male visitors availed themselves of this privilege.

Bran pie, hoop-la, Kaiser Bill and Little Willie, and other side shows were elected at various points, and these were under the charge of Mrs Russell, Mrs Sugden, Miss Ewing, Miss Roscoe, &c, whose blandishments succeeded in charming a goodly sum in hard cash from the pockets of the visitors to the coffers of the fund.

A miniature museum, “ Olde Cliptone,” contained the old village stocks, an ancient public-house signboard, swords and other weapons used at the Battle of Naseby, a leaden casket (date probably 1120), and many other interesting relics of the past. These were all lent by Mr T S Townsend, who acted as a guide to many of the visitors.

For those to whom outdoor sports make no appeal a delightful drawing room concert was arranged by Mrs E G Roscoe and Lieut R T Langdon, R.A.F. . . . . .

A variety entertainment, arranged by Mr E Flowers, was given on the lawn in front of the house. The programme, which was a good one, was sustained by Mrs Weekes, Messrs A Woodhams, W Lofthouse, G Owen, Professor Sladen (concertina), and the Band. A clever conjuring turn was put on by Martini, the men of mystery. The accompanists were Miss D Flowers and Mrs G Owen.

A maypole had been erected on the lawn, and several maypole dances were performed by the village children, who had been carefully trained by Mrs Townsend. The incidental songs were rendered by the members of the Girls’ Friendly Society.

Mrs Twells, Mr H A Kettle, and the employees of the B.T.H Company kindly provided tea for the wounded soldiers.

In the evening Mr Victor Russell sold by auction several sheep and pigs, which had been kindly given by residents in the parish. Mr Russell also conducted a jumble sale and white elephant sale, which had been arranged by Miss Carruthers and the Work Committee—Mrs Morton, Mrs V Russell, and Mrs Spencer. Mrs Mulliner and Mrs Trower, who were away from home and unable to assist in the management of this sale, sent consignments of articles for disposal. After deducting out-of-pocket expenses, the proceeds from the sale of teas and refreshments were handed over to the funds. Mr T Spencer provided the teas, Mr G Hipwell the mineral waters, and Lieuts C H Holcombe and H Blofeld were in charge of the American bar, where iced drinks were dispensed.

Upwards of 470 persons entered for the cake guessing competition, which was won by Miss Garratt, of Rugby.

During the afternoon the B.T.H Band (under the conductorship of Mr Harry Saxon) played selections of music, and in the evening they played for dancing, which was kept up until about 10.30.


For several years past a committee of working-men has arranged a fruit and vegetable show to raise funds for sending comforts to the Clifton men at the front. This year in consideration of the Fete Committee guaranteeing them a sum equal to that raised by the show last year, it was decided to join forces with the Fete Committee, and to hold the show on Saturday. The exhibits, which were on view in a small marquee, were quite up to the standard of past shows, and the collections of vegetables were especially good. The judges were : Messrs W Wilson (gardener at Dunsmore) and F George (gardener to Mrs Twells). . . . . . .

Several prizes were awarded to Mrs Carney for a fine display of pastry and fancy bread, cheese cakes, baked beans, and a wholemeal loaf. Mr W Atkins was awarded the prize for hens’ eggs. The first prize for the best plot on the school gardens was won by J Lintern, jun, and G Dean, and they were also awarded first prizes for cabbage lettuce and turnips at the show.

A pretty collection of flowers marked “ Not for competition,” was sent by Mr W Wilson, gardener at Dunsmore.

The arrangements were made by the following committee :—Messrs Rolls, Carney, Hipwell, Lintern, Ewington, Morris, Shaw, Clarke, Dean, Attwood, and Sheridan (secretary).


Owing to the pronounced shortage of other fruits, it is of the utmost importance that special efforts be made to fully utilise the abundant blackberry crop.

The Warwickshire and county schools generally are responding well to the appeal to pick blackberries to be made into jam for the Army and Navy. They specially recommended for that purpose on account of their medicinal properties.

Feelings of gratitude to our heroes on land and sea—who have so long faced the dangers and borne the hardships and stress of war—should prompt all who can to render willing help. All who wish to pick blackberries to provide jam for the Army and Navy should get into touch with the nearest school, and arrange with the head teacher to accept and pay for any berries taken to the school at specified times. Close co-operation is required to secure results worthy of the county.

Head teachers have been instructed to obtain the consent of farmers to allow reasonable facilities for picking to children in charge of a teacher. Farmers and, landowners are earnestly requested to give this consent and also to refrain from cutting hedges where blackberries are growing until the crop has been gathered.

Further particulars may be obtained from the County Organizer, 12 Northgate Street, Warwick, Mr WA Brockington, 33 Bowling Green Street, Leicester, or from any local Food Office.


ON & AFTER the 28th August, 1918, the provisions of the Plums (Sales) Order, 1918 (hereinafter called the Principal Order) shall apply to Damsons in the same way as such Order applies to Plums of the variety “ Blaisdon,” and so that the Schedule price for Damsons shall be £40 per ton, and in the application of Clauses 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, and 12 the date 28th August, 1918, shall be substituted for the date 29th July, 1918.

Infringements of this Order are summary offences against the Defence of the Realm Regulations,

Divisional Commissioner for Food (North Midland Division).
29th August, 1918.


Captain Wratislaw, being of military age and passed Grade 1, has accepted military service, and resigned his position as National Service representative.

Lance-Corpl C F Jordan, Machine Gun Corps, of 35 James Street, has been wounded in the right leg, and is now in hospital in Kent.

Pte G T Boyson, Tank Corps, son of Mrs Boyson, 7 Temple Street, Rugby, been been awarded the Military Medal.

On Tuesday Mr George Souster, ticket collector, 73 Cambridge Street, received the news that his son, Gunner Albert George Souster, of the Tanks Battalion, had been killed by a shell on August 29th. Gunner Souster, who was 20 years of age, enlisted in the R.F.A in March, 1917, and was subsequently transferred to the Tank Battalion and drafted to France in January last. Before joining up he was a clerk in the L& N.-W Railway Goods office at Coventry. He was a teacher in the Primitive Methodist Sunday School.

The Rev R J B Irwin D.S.O, M.C, Assistant Chaplain-General to the Fourth Army in France, has been awarded by the French Authorities the “ Croix de Guerre.” The general order in which the award was notified states that “ On 18th May, 1918, when an attack by hostile aircraft caused an explosion at an ammunition dump, the above-named officer immediately made his way to the scene of the disaster and worked for several hours, in spite of continued explosions, with absolute disregard for his own safety to organise the saving of the civilians, whose lives were endangered owing to the collapse of houses shattered by the force of the explosion.”

Pte C Curtis, Royal Warwicks, who was reported wounded and missing on October 8th 1ast has now been officially reported killed on or about that date. Before joining up in August, 1916, he was employed by Mr H Cox. He leaves a widow and two children.

As arranged, the Vicar has paid out of the proceeds of the recent sale on the Vicarage Lawn to the War Working Depot and to the Soldiers Parcel Fund, £24 each; to the District Nursing Association, £10 10s. The remaining £9 odd will be retained as a reserve fund for parochial affairs.

ON Sunday evening the B.T.H Band gave a sacred concert in the Caldecott Park. Owing to the bitterly cold weather the attendance was not so large as usual. The collection was in aid of the Prisoners of War Fund.



SIR,—May I ask the courtesy of your columns for an appeal in reference to a matter of general interest.

Many people think that a collection of portraits of the local men who have laid down their lives in the present war might well be made in Rugby, and on behalf of the Library Committee I desire to ask Relatives to contribute photographs of those who have died in the cause of freedom and justice. The photographs, preferably of postcard or cabinet size, should be sent to the Librarian, St Matthew’s Street, and should bear on the back the name, rank and regiment, date of death, and any other fact of special interest. The photographs received will be suitably arranged and framed for permanent exhibition in the Museum, and should form a striking record of the brave men who have made the supreme sacrifice. I shall be grateful to all who can help if they will kindly send in photographs and particulars at the earliest possible date.

Yours faithfully,
Chairman of the Rugby Public Library Committee, Rugby, September 3, 1918.


SIR,—Will you kindly insert this in your columns as I should like it to catch the eye of those people who will persist in the dangerous practice of walking along in the middle of a country road at night, no matter how dark the night is, and especially where there is a side path. The idea that such a practice should prove a source of danger to themselves or others never seems to enter their minds.

Late last Sunday night a gentleman met with what might easily have proved a fatal accident while cycling down a steep hill in this district. No less than six or seven people were walking along in a row (in the roadway, of course), and, although he rang his bell violently, they did not move sufficiently for him to pass. The result was that he was thrown heavily, and sustained severe injuries to his head and shoulders, to say nothing of the damage done to his bicycle.

Personally, I should feel inclined to find out those people and call upon them to help pay expenses, though, to the best of my belief, they hardly stayed to ascertain what was wrong, but left that to other cyclists and residents near the scene of the accident.

I have reason to believe that the above is not an exceptional case by any means, and I think it is quite time something was done in the matter.

Yours, etc. INDIGNANT.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.

SIR,—Will you allow us a small space in your columns to refer to the remarks passed by some of the people residing on Clifton Road as to the conduct of the night workers employed by the Lodge Sparking Plug when leaving work at 6.30 a.m. After being shut up twelve hours, surely a little harmless laughing can be indulged in, and, moreover, 6.30 am is not such an unearthly hour to be aroused if the people are on work of national importance. The ordinary bustle of everyday life is not stopped for our convenience when we are trying to get a well-earned rest.

Yours, Night Workers,

A Critical Decision Revealed
Britain’s Sacrifice for Liberty

It was a moment of grave peril. The British Army was in danger of being driven into the sea. The Germans had almost separated the British and French Armies. The French coalfields were overrun. Would the next push get through? Could the Allied Armies stand the strain till American help arrived?

The supreme Army Commanders saw the only way to save the situation. They had to take the men. They had to take the coal. 75,000 more Miners were called to the colours. Our winter coal reserves were sacrificed to save the Armies and to bring the Americans to the front.

That decision, grave as it was, has been splendidly justified. A dangerous retreat has been turned into a glorious advance. The Americans are pouring over. Victory is on the way.

The saving of the Armies has meant a shortage of coal.

Still more coal is required. Discomfort is inevitable. Everyone must use less coal. The more coal saved the greater our power to defeat the enemy.

Issued by the Coal Mines Dept. of the Board of Trade, Holborn Viaduct, E.C.1.


BACON.—In ever-loving memory of my dear son, SAMUEL ALGERNON BACON, who died from wounds received in France, August 25th, 1918.
Not dead to us, we love him still ;
Not lost, but gone before ;
He lives with us in memory still,
And will for evermore.
—Mother, Sister and Brothers.

CURTIS.—In affectionate remembrance of my dear husband, Ptc C. CURTIS (Bilton), 16th Warwicks, (previously missing, now reported killed), aged 36 years.
No one knows the silent heartache,
Only those can tell,
Who have lost their dear ones,
Without one last “ Farewell.”
—From his loving Wife and Children.

PLANT.—On August 27th, Lance-Corporal GEORGE JOHN PLANT, M.M., Coldstream Guards, died of wounds in France.—In loving memory, from his Wife and Children.

SOUSTER.—Killed in action on August 28th, Gunner ALBERT GEORGE SPOUSTER, Tank Battalion, son of Mr. George Souster, 73 Cambridge Street, Rugby, aged 20 years.

WOOTTON.—In loving memory of my dear husband, Lance-Corpl. G. W. Wootton, 4th Bedfordshire Regt., killed in action in France on August 23rd, 1918, aged 34 years.
“ God has taken our loved one from a world of
sorrow to sweet rest in Heaven, where he awaits us.”
—From his sorrowing wife & child, mother, sisters and brothers.


COLLEDGE.—In ever loving memory of ARCHER COLLEDGE, killed in action on September 3, 1917.
“ We pictured your safe returning,
And longed to clasp your hand,
But God postponed that meeting
Till we meet in that better land.
Some may think that we forget him,
When at times they see us smile,
But they little know the sorrow
Which is hid behind the smile.”
—Never forgotten by his wife and daughter Edna.

GREEN.—In ever loving and affectionate remembrance of FREDERICK JOHN, the dearly loved son of Frederick and the late Louisa Greenfield Green, Gladstone St., New Bilton, who died of wounds in France on September 7, 1916.
—Sadly mourned and missed by his loving Father, Sisters, and Brothers.

MEADOWS.—In loving memory of our dear son, Gunner C. H. Meadows, R.F.A., who died on September 4th at 11th Stationary Hospital, Rouen, of wounds received in action on July 17, 1917. Buried at St. Severn’s Cemetery, Rouen.
“ Days of sadness still come o’er us,
Tears in silence often flow,
Thinking of the day we lost him,
Just one year ago.
Could I have raised your dying head.
Or heard your last farewell.
Our grief would not have been so hard,
For one we loved so dear.”
—From his sorrowing Mother & Father, Brothers & Sister, & Fiancée.

RUDDLE.—In loving memory of Pte. GEORGE RUDDLE, of the 26th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who fell in action, September 3, 1917.
“ Oh ! noble was our dear one death.
His previous life he gave,
He faithfully did his duty,
His native land to save,
—Lou and George.

WARD.—In ever loving memory of Rifleman C. WARD, of Brandon, killed in action in France on September 3, 1916.—A day of remembrance sad to all.
—Ever remembered by his Father, Mother, Sisters, and Brothers.

WARD.—In loving memory of my dear husband, GEORGE WARD, died September 3, 1916.
“ There’s a link death cannot sever—
Love and remembrance last for ever.”

1 thought on “7th Sep 1918. Grand Fete at Clifton Manor

  1. Pingback: Souster, Albert George. Died 29th Aug 1918 | Rugby Remembers

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