As we eagerly look forward to another Hey Day, and thank the committee for resurrecting this event so successfully, we wondered what the village may have been doing 100 years ago.
In the summer of 1919, the country enjoyed the “Peace Celebrations”; celebrating the end of “The Great War” and the homecoming of the troops. Thanks to The Dorset History Centre we have a copy of the poster advertising such event for Child Okeford.
Things did not go entirely to plan as inevitably the weather intervened and we have this report from the Western Gazette on the 25th July 1919:
“Early on Saturday morning merry peals were rung on the church bells. At 10am a procession was formed at the Union Arms, headed by the Childe Oxford Brass Band, and then followed the demobilised soldiers, the 1st Childe Okeford Troop of Girl Guides with their banner, the members of the Slate and Loan Club with their banner, and the villagers. A parade of the village took place, and subsequently, at the Parish Church, a united service was held, conducted by the Rector (Rev. C.H.S. Bower), who also gave an appropriate address. A programme of sports and other amusements had been arranged by the Committee, but owing to the rain these could not be carried out, and they will take place at a later date, probably on August 4th. During the afternoon the parishioners were entertained to tea by the Committee at the Manor House. A dance was arranged in the Village Hall, which was well attended. Music was supplied by the Childe Okeford Brass Band. A huge bonfire was lighted on Hambledon Hill at 11 pm. The arrangements were carried out by a Committee, with Captain Learmonth (chairman) and Mr. H. Clench (secretary).”
In the event it appears that it was rained off again on the 4th August because the next report we have is from the Western Gazette of the 15th August 1919. That it was written by a different reporter is evident from the use of “Childe” in the first report and “Child” in the second – or perhaps they were just covering all options.
Western Gazette 15th August 1919
The postponed Peace day Sports were held on Bank Holiday in a field, Bandy Bottom, lent by Mr. V. Hiscock, and proved a complete success. Three prizes of 30s, 20s, and 10s, kindly given by Lieutenant-Colonel Curme for the best decorated milk floats attracted a large entry, the competitors being Mrs M. Rose, Messrs. H. Watts, E. H. Woolfrey, S. Adams, T. Oliver, V. Hiscock, and B. Francis. The prizes were won by the following:
1. Mr. B. Francis; 2. Mrs. M. Rose; 3. Mr. E. H. Woolfrey
Prizes were also offered for the best decorated bicycle, the gent’s prize being won by Mr. A. Wareham and the lady’s prize being won by Miss B. Woolfrey and Miss Alner.
The Child Okeford Brass Band (conductor Mr. F. Voyce) was in attendance, playing various selections during the afternoon, and assisted with dance music in the evening.
The Committee, of which the Rev. C. H. S. Bower was chairman, Mr. A. Knight treasurer and Dr. Richardson as starter, did their utmost to make the affair a success. Mr. Harry Clench was secretary, and he worked extremely hard at a difficult task, much of the success which attended the event being due to his efforts.
The results of the race are appended:
Children under l0 (girls): 1. M. Fudge; 2. B. Moore; 3. E. Crew
Ditto (boys): 1. R. Douch; 2. P. Price; 3. P. Wilcox
Children under 12 (girls): 1. P. Harris; 2. G. Voyce; 3. N. White
Ditto (boys): 1. C. Moore; 2. R. Pride; 3.W. Goddard
Under 14 (girls): l. A. Voyce; 2. L Wallbridge; 3. P.Harris
Ditto (boys): 1. F. Arnold; 2.C. Masters; 3.G.Diffey
100 yards (girls): 1. K. Cobbold; 2. L.Wallbridge; 3. A. Voyce
Ditto (boys): 1. G. Diffey; 2. F. Arnold; 3. V. Voyce
100 yards, thread-needle race (girls): 1. E. Dibben; 2. D. Fudge; 3. L. Wallbridge
50 yards, sack race: 1. E. Gillingham; 2. J. Masters; 3. E. Bollom
100 yards, boot race: 1. A. Wareham; 2. J. Mockridge; 3. J.Davies
100 yards, flat race: 1. A. Barr; 2. R. Cobbold; 3. F. Price
Three-legged race, lady and gentleman: 1. G. Fudge and Miss Young
2. Miss K. Hutchings and R. Hine
3. A. Chambers and Mrs B. Cooper
Half-mile race, flat: 1. G. Fudge; 2. R. Cobbold; 3. B. Goddard
100 yards, men over 50 years: 1. R. Cobbold; 2. J. Hart; 3. J. Douch
Married ladies race: 1. Mrs C. Moore; 2. Mrs Price; 3. Mrs Fox
Quarter mile flat race: 1. B. Chambers; 2. A. Barr; 3. A. Chambers
Ex-service men: 1. F. Goddard; 2. H. Coombs; 3. B. Chambers
High Jump: 1. H. Coombs; 2. A. Barr and G. Fudge (a tie)
200 yards walking race: 1. A. Alner; 2. J. Wareham; 3. Harry Jeanes
Marathon: 1. R. Cobbold; 2. C. Chambers; 3. C. Long
Tug-of-War, Married v Single: Won by married
Pony race: 1. Mr. V. Hiscock’s “All There”
2. Mr. J. J. Hall’s “As Good”
3. Mr G. Rose’s “Quiet”
Jumping competition: 1: Mr. T. Oliver’s “Parade”
A dance in the Village Hall from 10.30 to 2.30 brought a good company together, and was thoroughly enjoyed, music being provided by the Child Okeford Quadrille Band.”