Aug 062015

The June meeting of our Holywell-cum-Needingworth Local History Group was a guided walk round Holywell led by me (Peter Cooper). I used information gleaned from various places in my researches, but mostly from Joe Newell’s book Holywell and Needingworth. As ever I am very grateful to him for all the work he did in putting together the memories of the village he grew up in, and other researches, and making them available to us in his three books.

I plan eventually to include my notes and pictures for this walk on the website, to act as a self-guided tour. However if anyone would like further information, or to request another guided walk, you can use this Contact form. I also hope to develop a similar walk around historic Needingworth, maybe for next year.

As in previous meetings of our group I learnt several things, and one I would like to share here. I showed the illustrated poster for the Holywell Regatta in 1900, and pointed out some interesting aspects. . The Trilby race I imagine involves swimming with a Trilby (hat) on? But the Smoking race? Could it be a race while smoking? I asked if anyone knew about this on Quora (where you can ask any question and stand a good chance of getting sensible answers).

Thanks are due to Aurelio Germes (curious about history) who pointed me to a book about a big Canadian sugar company, Redpath: The History of a Sugar House by By Richard Feltoe. There are descriptions of staff days out in the 1920s and in one of them they have a Smoking Race (50 yds), for which it says competitors must light their pipes after starting and must be smoking when finishing. So presumably ours was similar?

As always, if anyone has other information please let us know. And thanks to those of you who have given me information in the past.

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