The Llandudno Connection
Section 1 - Introduction
Section 2 - Press Reports and details of the 1865 and 1866 Olympic Festivals at Llandudno
Section 3 - Correspondence concerning the award of “The champIon for 1866 of the gentlemen athletes of Great Britain” at the 1866 Llandudno Olympic Festival
Section 1 - Introduction
Llandudno was an amalgamation of the towns of Y Gogarth, Y Cyngreawdr and Yn Wyddfid and was founded in the 1800s. The name comes from the word “Llan” meaning “church to the saint” and St. Tudno(or Dudno).
In Victorian times there was a great need for resorts where people could escape their everyday working lives, not just the white collar workers and upper classes of the day but the factory, mill and pottery workers who for a week or two could feel the sun on their faces and breathe in the clean air without city or chimney fumes.
In 1848 the local landowner, Lord Mostyn, was presented with visionary plans for a resort on the site by Liverpool architect Owen Williams.
The 1849 Act of Enclosure gave the Mostyn family the authority required to change the area with the Great Orme at one end and Little Orme
at the other from a mining and fishing village and develop the marsh lands behind Llandudno Bay into a holiday resort.The layout of the new town
was settled in that same year. In 1857 another architect, George Felton, took on the project, his hand particularly seen in the architecture in
Llandudno’s centre. The work in building the resort, and catering for its visitors, came at the right time, as three years later the copper mines
were closed, no longer economically viable. The railway arrived in Llandudno in 1858 with the opening of a branch line, from Llandudno
Junction, on the Chester and Holyhead Railway. A pier opened in tne same year, though it was soon destroyed in a huge storm.
John Hulley developed his ideas for Olympic Festivals in Liverpool in the early 1860s and he organised them there in 1862, 1863 and 1864. Liverpool was a working town and the need for a break away from the drudgery of working life of the population – not only the upper classes and white collar workers, but the factory, mill and dock workers – became more pressing as the Victorian age progressed. The success of the Olympic Festivals was obvious with the thousands attending the festivals each day and John Hulley probably searched for other locations where to hold similar events. The Chester – Holyhead railway line hadbrought many more visitors to Llandudno and it became a popular venue for holidays for thousands of Liverpudlians, Mancunians and from other northwest towns.
Hulley was fully aware of the attractions of Llandudno and was staying at the St George’s Hotel on the 21st June1864 when he wrote to the Liverpool Mercury promoting the idea of a more suitable bathing dress for both sexes. His letter was also sent to The Times and was published on 9th August 1864. In his letter he referred to the advantages of his proposition and suggested that “in any watering place in which it is commenced will immediately become a favourite resort, and after a little while we shall find the practice emulated in every sea-bathing place in the kingdom.” He ended by pointing out the great advantage of a revised bathing dress to public decorum, and to the greatly increased delight of the thousands to whom a few weeks of seaside life is the only relief from a dreary, humdrum, and laborious town existence.
The last paragraph probably struck a chord with the local town council, who could envisage greatly increased numbers of visitors to Llandudno as a result of the town adopting Hulley’s ideas and being the leader in modern bathing practices. It is likely that this was the embryo of an idea to invite Hulley to hold the next Olympic Festival at the town in 1865. Section 2 reproduces in full all the press reports on the above subject as well as full details of the 1865 and 1866 Llandudno Olympic Festivals. It ends with correspondence relating to the Champion for 1866 of the Gentlemen Athletes of Great Britain at the 1866 Llandudno Olympic Festival.
Section 2 - Press Reports and details of the 1865 and 1866 Olympic Festivals at Llandudno
1864 Jun 22 Liverpool Mercury
MR HULLEY ON SEA BATHING AT LLANDUDNO & BIARRITZ
My attention has long been very much attracted by the anomalies, and I must say indecencies, of the English system of seabathing; and after some hesitation I have resolved to do what I can through the press, or by means of any other influence I can bring to bear, to introduce a reform, which will add considerably to the pleasure and seemliness of what has become a universal fashion and what, rightly practised, must be a universal benefit. I beg those who are fond of bathing, those who enjoy the seaside, and those who value whatever tends to the enjoyment or coneerves the propriety of mankind, to give a few moments’ consideration to a contrast which I will set before
I am aware that the inconveniences attendant upon public bathing at our watering places have been frequently noticed by correspondents of the newspapers, but it has only been in a casual way, and, moreover, in a hopeless tone, as if nothing effectual could be done to cure the evil. Indeed, unless the plan I shall before I conclude propose, be adopted I confess I see little prospect of any reform. Police regulations have been tried over and over again, and invariably found comparatively useless, What else could be expected? If people go to a place to bathe, bathe they will. They cannot bathe in their clothes. They cannot be compelled to bathe at unreasonable hours; and
when they bathe a concourse must necessarily assemble. Families sojourn at these places in great numbers, and the family element introduces at once an idea of community which contributes to the freedom and publicity of the whole affair. The result is that the whole community bathe virtually in public.
There would be nothing in this had we revived with the practices of the ancients their manners also. Public baths are no novelty—even the meeting of men and women at baths has been ere now an ordinary custom; and the fact of the bathing taking place in the open air instead of in buidings is manifestly adapted rather to encourage than to hinder the revival of this habitude—firstly, because do what you will your cannot make open air bathing strictly private or keep the sexes entirely out of each other’s sight; and, secondly, because open-air bathing is favourable to, and seems naturally to suggest, attire such as would enable the men and women to mix as freely with each other as when in their ordinary dress. But what a contrast to this does one present fashion present!
Every one has been at some watering place, and it is not necessary therefore for me to enter into very elaborate particulars. Were it so my pen would have to be laid down, for the scenes which are daily complained of by men to men and by women to women, while living at seaside watering places, are practically indescribable in print. But I may sketch the scene here sufficiently to point the contrast to which I am desirous of calling attention. Every one knows the situation of this watering place, and what occurs here is an improvement on what is seen at less fashionable towm. Llandudno resembles almost all other bathing places in the fact that along the beach there are rows of houses from which, without the aid of an opera glass, the bathing operations are freely visible. There are some houses from which bathers may be very easily recognised, and there are many from which it is unsafe for a lady to look at bathing time lest her delicacy should be outraged. Then the beach is largely frequented by flaneurs of both sexes, who must be either very much shocked by the free and easy spectacle affordcd them, or prove, by not being shocked at it, that they have already sustained a little decrease of sensitiveness through witnessing it.
The costume considered necessary at this celebrated watering place Is, for the male, a covering of water, say about to the height of the knees. Nothing can be more natural. There is even something picturesque and poetic about this manner of veiling nudity, but its insufficiency is obvious wben we reflect what a small proportion it bears to the amount of covering exacted in ordinary life by recognised notions of propriety, and remember that numbers of ladies are always promenading the beech and sitting in the dwelling houses close to the bathing places. The extent of a man’s difficulties in bathing under these circumstances, if he retains any of the modesty which is born with him, and which he cannot with advantage dispense with, is really something awful, and diminishes to no small extent the pleasures of bathing. Perhaps a man never feels smaller or more ridiculous than when paddling about in
shallow water, as be must do at least in leaving and coming back to the bathing van, painfully conscious of nudity and all its discomforts, and knowing too well that he cannot save himself from the real grief of offending the delicacy of the ladies in whose sight he is dabbling in the water, even by exhibiting in his actions that he is
miserably sensible of Ins embarrasbing situation.
The female Briton when bathing has a alight advantage over the male, so far as civilised notions of propriety go, inasnuch as she generally wears chemise, or shirt of blue flannel, open at the chest, and tied round the neck. It reaches a little below the knee, and is just long enough to make swimming impossible, but by no means adapted
either in size or shape to effectually answer the requirements of decency. On this point I will not dwell, however, further than to say that if ladies believe that their system of bathing renders them greatly less than men objects for the inspection of the improperly curious they are much mistaken. I do not care to notice the argument that if people
behaved properly they would not stare. It suffices that people do stare, and that a certain proportion of people always will stare. What is required, therefore is a system by which the temptation to gaze can be removed, or by which gazing can be rendered innocuous, or even invited by tasteful dressing, without any reproach whatever.
Contrast with all this the scene that may be witnessed any day at Biarritz, and you will be possessed with my plan, for I desire nothing better than the substitution of the pleasant and comme ii faut bathing habits which I have seen so much admired at St. Malo and that place—the favourite resort of the Emperor and Empress of the French. To my intense surprise I saw, when I first visited St. Malo, gentlemen walking down to the water with their wives on their arms and their daughters following them. All were dressed in a seemly yet convenient fahion. The men wore simply loose baggy trousera and a skirted Garibaldi of the same or corresponding material. The ladies wore what may be described asa simple Bloomer costume, consisting of jackets shaped variously, according to taste, and loose trousers reaching some distance below the knee and drawn tightly round the ankle with elastic. The dress was cornpleted by list slippers, to protect the feet from the shingle, and a straw hat neatly trimmed to protect the fair wearer’s complexion. The complete decency of the costume was sufficiently evidenced by the fact that ladies and gentlemen walked about together in it, and still more by the fact that, on the part of the ladies, the dresses were
trimmed in such a way as to add materially to their comeliness, and to prove beyond doubt that they were meant to be looked at just as bonnets and paletots are. The prettiness of the sight varied of course with the form of the wearer, but the ingenuity of woman, aided by French sartotial genius, had been so effectively employed that, except in case of vey elderly or bulky ladies, grace and loveliness of outline had been well preserved. These dresses are made of a material which does not cling to the form, and dressmakers have every opportunity to display their taste.
Dressed in this sensible manner, all the nervousness and awkwardness of English bathers were lost by the St Malo visitors of both sexes. The men did not look as if they were going to be hanged, the women did not glance furtively about or carry themselves in constrained and miserable attitudes. All was buoyancy and ease. The simplicity and convenience of the method of bathing influenced the manners of the beach, and instead of the mixture of leering and mock modesty which offends the critic on manners, however gentle and charitable, at an English watering-
place, the extreme social felicity of seeing and being seen was enjoyed each day with as much gusto as If every day had been a fete, and as if the company on the sands had constituted one continuous conversatione. The usual accompaniments of a bathing place, as bands of music, punchinello, archery, &c., were multiplied and enlivencd by the general freedom. There were numerous vendors of ample refreshments to afford an ever acceptable diversion, and there were men with hot water to enable people to bathe their feet after walking across the sands, a very delightful and healthful operation after a sea bath, which perhaps may have induced a chill. There was a place where persons unprovided with costumes could hire them, and there was the usual French orderly numbering of candidates for machines, so as to prevent confusion or unfairness. it is worth while to add that the machines are of
canvas, and fitted up with every convenince, and that, being stationed at some 20 or 30 yards from the water, bathing is much more agreeable to children and nervous people, as all the bathers walk into the water. Under these conditions, and with the beech thronged by all the visitors at the place, some in bathing some in ordinary dresses, I assure you the pleaure of sea-bathing is greatly heightened.
People walked about amongst their friends before bathing and after bathing with the greatest ease and freedom engaging in conversation, lounging, refreshing themselves, reading—in short, doing everything that people do at our watering places, with this grand difference that it could all be done In the bathing dress, and that the bathing, Instead of an unpleasant furtive parenthesis in the day, when nobody likes to be seen and everybody hopes
not to be missed, was freely partaken of in company, and became the means of much enjoyment and social pleasure. I maintain that if once the difficulty of novelty was surmounted, the introduction of this elegant, cheerful, and sensible French custom would greatly increase the pleasure taken in bathing, and would vastly increase the
number of bathers and the frequency with which they can bathe. The present system is bad enough, as we all know, for a man; and it must be much worse for a woman— so much worse that most ladies must have some difficulty in overcoming their diffidence sufficiently to bathe, and many of the more timid order must be entirely prevented from doing so. Could families bathe together here as, under this system which I am advocating, they do in France, I am sure they would find it a great addition to the delight dcrivable from a seaside holiday; they would avoid that miserable separation in the early morning which makes such a hiatus In the day and turns what ought to be a pleasure into a chilling and odious necessity; and they would cease to make spectacles of themselves for the
random or systematic curiosity of gazers from the beach or from the neighbouring houses. The difficulty of adopting the new styIe would be only momentary, for the feeling of strangeness, even at its height, could not be worse than that which every morning comes over the wretched British bather on the present system, and it would be promptly succeeded by a sensation of ease, gaiety, and sociableness that would render bathing an entirely new pleasure.
Many ladies will be surprised if I tell them that in order to enjoy this happy manner of life at the seaside they have only to return to the habits of their great grandmammas, but that is the fact. At Bath—when Bath was fashionable—ladies used to bathe in dresses very similar, to those I advocate, and such as I would be very glad to see adopted They need to converse, when in the water, with gentlemen, and decorum was never violated in the least iota. Indeed as a matter of decorum, there can be no comparison between the manner of bathing I am anxious to see got rid of and that which I long to see introduced. There is another strong argument in favour of the latter. Much has lately been said of the advisableness of ladies learning to swim. I think there can be no doubt of this, for it may often save their lives; it will always give them presence of mind in the water; it will enable them to enjoy bathing much more rationally, and it will add to the healthliness of bathing the advantages both to health and suppleness of body derived from a graceful and strenuous exercise.
English ladies, as a general rule, on leaving their van or wooden box are rather timid in the water, not having the advantage of a male protector. They cling frantically to the rope attached to the van, and disport themselves in a most extraordinary fashion. The height of perfection seems to be the possession of a sufficient amount of courage to give the greatest number of very low curtseys in the water so as to immerse entirely the head and body. It is very seldom we find these ladies go into water more than 24 inches in depth, whilst those who go to that depth are generally considered to be good bathers and possessed of remarkable courage. The majority stay about the wheels of the van, in say about six inches of waters or a little above the ankles. On Monday last I saw a young lady in the water making frantic attempts to immerse her head, without success, for at least a quarter of an hour; not having a sufficient amount of courage to go into water two feet in depth, she stood close to the edge, and, when a wave came, down she went with the vain hope that it would flow over her. I do not hesitate to say that all this absurdity would be got rid of if ladies had proper batbing.dresses and if the manners of our bathing places were so modified as to permit them to avail themselves of the help and aid of their busbande, fathers, and brothers. Nor
Is it a small consideration that the new system would put an end to the mIseries which children endure at bathing-places.
On every ground of health, convenience, pleasure, and propriety, I advocate this change and I am sure the community will owe a good deal to any one who will agitate the question and assIst me to set the new and wholesome fashion, and get rid of habits which are a disgrace to the boasted civiilisation of the nineteenth century, and produce sights which are oniy equalled amongst savage tribes. Depend upon it, any watering place in which it is commenced will immediately become a favourite resort, and after a little while we shall find the practice emulated in every sea-bathing place in the kingdom, to the great advantage of public decorum, and to the greatly increased delight of the thousands to whom a few weeks of seaside life is the only relief from a dreary, humdrum, and
laborious town existence. JOHN HULLEY,
Gymnasiarcb and Vice-president of the Athletic Society.
St. George’s Hotel, Llandudno, June 21.
. (see copy in The Times, also copy in the Caledonian Mercury dated Aug 9 1864)
1864 Aug 06 The TImes
SEA-BATHING in ENGLAND and FRANCE
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Sir, - I have just been reading a letter published in your columns on bathing at Weymouth. My attention has been very much attracted by the anomalies, and I must say indecencies, of the English system of bathing, and, after some hesitation, I have resolved to address you, requesting you to bring your powerful influence to bear to introduce a reform which will add considerably to the pleasure and seemliness of what has become a universal fashion, and what, rightly practised, must be a universal benefit. I beg those who are fond of bathing, those who enjoy the seaside, and those who value whatever tends to the enjoyment or conserves the propriety of mankind, to give a few moments’ consideration to a contract which I will set before them. I am aware that the inconveniences attendant upon public bathing at our watering-places has been frequently noticed by correspondents of the newspapers, but it has only been in a casual way, and moreover in a hopeless tone, as if nothing effectual could be done to cure the evil. Indeed, unless the plan I shall before I conclude, propose be adopted, I confess I see little prospect of any reform.
Police regulations have been tried over and over again, and invariably found comparatively useless. What also could be expected? If people go to a place to bathe, bathe they will. They cannot bathe in their ordinary clothes. They cannot be compelled to bathe at unreasonable hours, and when they bathe a concourse must necessarily assemble. Families sojourn at these places in great numbers, and the family element introduces at once an idea of community, which contributes to the freedom and publicity of the whole affair. The result is that the whole community bathe virtually in public. There would be nothing in this had we revived, with the practices of the ancients, their manners also. Public baths are no novelty; even the meeting of men and women at baths has been ere now an ordinary custom, and the fact of the bathing taking place in the open air, instead of in buildings, is manifestly adapted rather to encourage than hinder the revival of this custom, - firstly, because do what you will you cannot make open-air bathing strictly private, or keep the sexes entirely out of each other’s sight; and, secondly, because open-air bathing is favourable to, and seems naturally to suggest attire such as would enable the men and women to mix as freely with each other as when in their ordinary dress. But what a contrast to this does our present fashion present!
Everyone has been at some watering-places, and it is not necessary, therefore, for me to enter into very elaborate particulars. Were it so, my pen would have to be laid down, for the scenes which are daily complained of by men to men, and by women to women, while living at seaside watering-places, are practically indescribable in print. Almost all English bathing-places resemble each other in the fact that there are rows of houses along the beach from which, without the aid of an opera-glass, the bathing operations are freely visible, some houses from which bathers may be very easily recognised, and some from which it is unsafe for a lady to look at bathing time lest her delicacy be outraged. Then the beach is largely frequented by flaneurs of both sexes, who must either be very much shocked by the free and easy spectacle afforded them, or prove, by not being shocked at it, that they have already sustained a degree of sensitiveness through witnessing it. The costume considered necessary is, for the men, a covering of water, say about to the height to the knees. Nothing can be more natural. There is even something picturesque and poetic about this manner of veiling nudity, but its insufficiency is obvious when we reflect what a small proportion it bears to the amount of covering exacted in ordinary life by recognised notions of propriety, and remember that numbers of ladies are also promenading the beach and sitting in the dwellinghouses close to the bathing–places.
The female Briton when bathing has a slight advantage over the male so far as civilised notions of propriety go, inasmuch as she generally wears a chemise or shirt of blue flannel, open at the chest and tied round the neck. It reaches a little below the knee and is just long enough to make swimming impossible, but by no means adapted, either in size or shape, to effectively answer the requirements of decency. On this point I will not dwell, however, further than to say that if ladies believe that their system of bathing renders them greatly less than men objects for the inspection of the improperly curious, they are much mistaken. I do not care to notice the argument that if people behaved properly they would not stare. It suffices that people do stare, and that a certain proportion of people always will stare. What is required, therefore, is a system by which the temptation to gaze can be removed, or by which gazing can be rendered innocuous, or even invited by tasteful dressing, without any reproach whatever.
Contrast with all this the scene that may be witnessed here any day, and you will be possessed with my plan, for I desire better than the substitution of the pleasant and comme il faut bathing habits worn at this place, the favourite resort of the Emperor and Empress.
To my intense surprise, when I first visited Biarritz gentlemen walking down to the water with their wives on their arms, and their daughters following them. All were dressed in a seemly yet convenient fashion. The men wear simply loose, baggy trousers, and a skirted Garibaldi of the same or corresponding material.
The ladies wear what may be described as a simple Bloomer costume, consisting of jackets, shaped variously according to taste, and loose trousers reaching to the ankle. The dress is completed by list slippers, to protect the feet from the shingle, and a straw hat, neatly trimmed to protect the fair wearer’s complexion.
The complete decency of the costume was sufficiently evidenced by the fact that ladies and gentlemen walked about together in it, and still more by the fact that on the part of the ladies the dresses were trimmed in such a way to add materially to their comeliness and to prove beyond doubt they were meant to be looked at just as bonnets and paletots are.
Dressed in this sensible manner, all the nervousness and awkwardness of English bathers are lost. All is buoyancy and ease. The simplicity and convenience of the method of bathing influence the manners of the beach, and instead of the mixture of leering and mock modesty which offends the critic on manners at an English watering-place, the extreme social felicity of seeing and being seen is enjoyed each day with as much gusto as if every day were a fete, and as if the company on the sands constituted one continuous conversazione.
People walk about among their friends before bathing and after bathing with the greatest ease and freedom, engaging in conversation, laughing, refreshing themselves, reading – in short, doing everything that people do at our watering-places, with this grand difference, that it can all be done in the bathing dress, and that the bathing, instead of an unpleasant furtive parenthesis in the day, when nobody likes to be seen, and everyone hopes not to be missed, is freely partaken of in company, and becomes the means of much enjoyment and social pleasure. I maintain that, if once the difficulty of novelty was surmounted, the introduction of this elegant, cheerful, and sensible French custom would greatly increase the pleasure taken in bathing, and would vastly increase the number of bathers and the frequency with which they can bathe. The present system is bad enough, for a man, and it must be much worse for a woman, - so much worse that most ladies must have some difficulty in overcoming their diffidence sufficiently to bathe, and many of the more timid order must be entirely prevented from doing so.
Could families bathe together in England as under this system which I am advocating they do here, I am sure that they would find it a great addition to the delight derivable from a sea-side holyday; they would avoid that miserable separation in the early morning which makes such a hiatus in the day, and turns what ought to be a pleasure into a chilling and odious necessity, and they would cease to make spectacles of themselves for the random or systematic curiosity of gazers from the beach or from the neighbouring houses. The difficulty of adopting the new style would be only momentary, for the feeling of strangeness, even at its height, could not be worse than that which every morning comes over the wretched British bather on the present system, and it would be promptly succeeded by a sensation of ease, gaiety, and sociableness that would render bathing an entirely new pleasure.
Indeed, as a matter of decorum there can be no comparison between the manner of bathing I am anxious to see got rid of and that which I long to see introduced. There is another strong argument in favour of the latter. Much has lately been said of the advantage of ladies learning to swim. I think that there can be no doubt of this, for it may often save their lives; it will always give them presence of mind in the water; it will enable them to enjoy bathing much more rationally, and it will add to the healthiness of bathing both to health and suppleness of body derived from a graceful and strenuous exercise.
English ladies, as a general rule, on leaving their van are rather timid in the water, not having the advantages of a male protector. They cling frantically to the rope attached to the van, and disport themselves in a most extraordinary fashion. The height of perfection seems to be the possession of a sufficient amount of courage to give the greatest number of very low curtseys in the water, so as to immerse entirely the head and body. It is very seldom that we see them go into water more than 24 inches in depth, while those who go into that depth are generally considered to be good bathers and possessed of remarkable courage. The majority stay about the wheels of the van in, say, about six inches of water, or a little above the ankles. Now, I do not hesitate to say that all this absurdity would be got rid of if ladies had proper bathing dresses, and if the manner of our bathing-places were so modified as to permit them to avail themselves of the help and aid of their husbands, fathers, a brothers.
On every ground of health, convenience, pleasure, and propriety, I advocate this change. I am sure the community will owe a great deal to anyone agitating this question, and assisting to set the new and wholesome fashion and get rids of habits which are a disgrace to the boasted civilisation of the 19th century, producing sights which are only equalled among savage tribes.
Depend on it, in any watering-place in which it is commenced will immediately become a favourite resort, and after a little while, we shall find the practice emulated in every sea-bathing place in the kingdom, to the great advantage of public decorum and to the greatly increased delight of the thousands to whom a few weeks of sea-side life is the only relief from a dreary humdrum and laborious town existence. Yours, &c.
JOHN HULLEY, Vice-President of the Athletic Society of Great Britain.
Biarritz, Aug. 2.
1865 Jul 29 North Wales Chronicle
LLANDUDNO – THE OLYMPIC FESTIVAL
Saturday, the 22nd will be a memorial day to many a boy who years hence, perhaps in far away is lands across the deep sea with think of his triumph and failures that day, when the glorious July sun streamed in a flood of brightness over of the rocky sides of sea-girt Orme.
On Saturday last a festival was held on the Croquet Ground above the Baths. A programme had been issued -- Judges had been appointed -- several gentlemen had accepted the post of Stewards -- and, as usual, the ladies of the place had lent time and good taste in adorning the bleak hillside and rendering the fete as attractive as possible. The organiser of the games, Mr Hulley, of Liverpool, spared neither personal exertion, time, nor trouble, to perfect his arrangements. The day was a glorious July day, and at half-past 2 o’clock a procession mounted the hill side, composed of the Stewards, the Referee, Starter, and the boys who purposed to compete for the various prizes. The hills sloping down on either side of the Croquet Ground were covered with holiday folk; flags and bunches of evergreens waved in the air. The ground itself, where the racers were to.contend for the prizes, was carefully marked out, and the gay dresses of the ladies, the party coloured clothing of the boys, the waving flags and bunches of evergreens, with the bright July sun streaming over all, rnade the sight presented on the rugged side of the old Orme one of the moat beautiful possible to be looked upon. Far below spread the blue sea, scarcely ruffled by the summer air, a speck of black smoke in the distance shewing the far away steamer, a few white sails
and the long hull of the Rowena schooner yacht, as she rode at single anchor —breaking the monotony of the
And now the lively strains of Wallace’s brass band are heard—the Judges step into their places —the Stewards clear the course—and a buzz is heard all up the hill sides as the boys are marshalled by Mr. Hulley for the first effort. This time it is a race of a 100 yards for youths under Iô years of age.
3 0. FLAT RACE, 100 yards. For youths under 15 years.
1 14 E A Hughes,grey
2 13 F Brown, pur., gr., & rd, hoop
3 13 C Scott, white, red hoop
4 13 E Arblaster, pur, orange trim.
5 14 W Neilson, white, grn., hoop
6 14 J Lee, white, pink hoop
7 14 T Williams, wh., blue & bl. hoop
8 13 W Herringham, white
9 12 A H Thompson, wh , yel. hoop
10 14 G Duff wh., red and blk. Ioup
11 12 C Heard, blue, white spots
12 W A Byrne, white, blue hoop
13 13 H Massey, red and brown
14 12 C R Byrne, white, green, and yellow
15 13 G Ingram, blue. yellow sash
16 13 W lngram, pink, blue sash
Stoutly is the race contested—more than one of the starters measuring their Iength on the slippery turf, but the pink and blue sash, worn by W. Ingram, passes first the winning post, closely followed by the red and brown colours, worn by H. Massey.
Next comes a
3 5. FLAT RACE, 100 yds. For youths under 12 years
1 11 D Scott, white, black hoop
2 11 J Brown, grey, purple hoop
3 10 J Day, white, rd & gr hup
4 8 F Watkin, red and black
5 11 W E Williams, white
6 11 G McCorquodale, white, orange and blue hoop
8 9 H Wilson, wh, rd, bl and yel hoop
9 11 W Andrews, white, blue hoop
10 10 H Blacklock, black and yellow
10 11 F Roylance, pink and black
12 8 W A Lewis, blue and red
13 9 J Nicol, green and black
14 9 E Dobson, ye!. awl purple
16 11 W Heard, wh, blk and wh hoop
And here the white and black, worn by D. Scott, came well to the front, followed by the white, orange, & blue
of young McCorquodaIe, son of the gallant owner of the Rowena, and whose father was one of the two Judges. Next, the—
3 15. WIDE JUMP, Running and Standing. For youths under 15 years of age.
1 14 E A Hughes, grey, rd & bI hoop
2 13 F rown, pur, gm and rd hoop
3 13 W Ingram, pink, blue sash
4 14 W A Byrne, white, blue hoop
5 J Marcy, red, black and blue
6 13 G Ingram, blue, yellow ash
Won by two brothers, W. and G. Ingram. Then followed a most amusing couple of
3 30. HOPPING RACE 100 yards. For youths under 15 years of age.
1 14 E A hughes, grey, rd and bi hoop
2 13 E A Hall, white, bik and bi hoop
3 13 F Brown, purple, gm and rd hoop
4 12 E Arbiaster, purple, or4tlge trim.
5 14 W Neileou, white, greeti hoop
6 14 0 Duff, white, rd and bik hoop
3. 45 HOPPING RACE, 100 yards. For youths under 12 years of age.
1 8 J Twist, white
2 9 J Nicol, green and black
3 9 G E Wragge, purple and green
The first was won by Brown and Harris, and the second by W. A. and C. R. Byrne. Our space will not allow us to particularise each race; suffice it to say theywere each and all hotly contested, and though the winners might feel proud of their victory. those vanquished haveno need to mourn over their defeat.
One of the most keenly contested races of the day was the
4 0. POLE LEAPING, High and Wide. For youths under 15 years of age.
1 14 W Byrne, white, blue hoop
2 13 E A Hall, white, blk.and bi hoop
3 13 F Brown, purple, gn and rd hoop
4 12 C Scott, white, rd hoop
5 13 E Arblaster, purple, orange trim.
6 12 A H Thompson, white, yellow hoop
7 12 C H Byrne, white and yellow
8 14 C.R.Marcy, red, black, and blue
9 13 G Ingram, blue, yellow sash
10 13 W Ingram, pink, blue sash
And in this contest Mr. Hulley had made the only mistake of the day. The leaping bar had to be held by two of the Stewards, it never having been imagined that boys of the age of those contending could have leaped so high as was done on this occasion,—the prize, after a severe contest, falling to the lot of G. Ingram—Byrne obtaining the second place.
Several Flat Races followed—throwing the cricket ball—putting the stone—and climbing the poll; but one of the races which had the greatest interest for the spectors was the
6 45. GRAND STEEPLECHASE, one quarter mile, over 16 flights of hurdles. For youths under 15 years of age. First, second, and third a prize.
1 14 E A Hughes, grey rd. and blk. hoop
2 14 W A Byrne, wh., bl. hoop
3 13 F Brown, purple, gr. and rd. hoop
4 13 C Scott, white, red hoop
5 13 E Arblaster, purple, orange trim
6 14 W Neilson, white, green hoop
7 14 E Williams, wh., bl. and blk. hoop
8 12 A H Thompson. wh., yl. hoop
9 14 G Duff., wh, red and blk hoop
!O 13 C, Day, white, brown hoop
11 12 C Heard, blue, white spots
12 13 J Dobson, orange and purple
13 13 C Harrris. wh bl,. and gr. hoop
14 12 H Williams, pink, blue sash
13 13 G Ingrarn; blue yellow sash
14 13 W lngram, pink, blue sash
17 12 CR Byrne, white, green and yellow
Won by .E. A. Hughes, Master J. Dobson coming in a good second.
During the whole of the sports, which lasted from half.past two until six o’cLock, the greatest order and
decorum prevailed. Indeed, thanks to the personal exertions of the ever-present Mr. Hulley, and the activity
of the stewards, time was kept most exactly, and not a single contretemps occurred. One individual, indeed, had to be turned out, but he was the bellman, who seeing so large a crowd wishful to utilize it, and prompted by the fumes of what must have been very copious libations, would persist in plying his calling in the very centre of the games. Cries of “turn him out “ were raised; some more daring individuals proposing to hang the bell round his neck, and roll him down the hill; but no one being found to “Bell the Cat,” Sargeant Jones charged gallantly through the crowd, and escaping almost by a miracle from the dangers of crinoIine, fairly carried all the refractory bellman, and placed him beyond the precincts of the crowd. Singularly enough the Eblana steamer, having on board the numbers of the Mersey Dock Trust ran into the Bay, and a message being sent to them by CoIonel
McQuorquodaIe, they joined the throng and seemed heartily to enjoy the day’s proceedings.
9 0 GRAND SWIMMING RACE of 100 yards.
1 14 E A Hughes 4 13 E Arblaster
2 12 E Lewis 5 14 A Baker.
3 12 H Williiams. 6 13 E A Hall
At shortly after six o'clock (on the first day) the crowd dispersed, streaming down the hill-sides towards the town, but long before nine o'clock, that evening, all Llandudno was astir to witness the promised Grand Procession of Illuminated Boats on the Bay, together with a Grand Swimming Race of 100 yards. And here are some disappointment was felt, caused by the cupidity of the Llandudno boatmen. Seven boats had been engaged by Mr Hulley, coloured lanterns provided for them, and music prepared. It was proposed to have the swimming-match, and that over a procession of boats, with the coloured lights and music on board. The boatmen, however, after having hired themselves to Mr Hulley, again let their boats for a higher sum, so that when that gentleman appeared, he was unable to fulfil his programme, and the swimming had to be adjourned to the following Monday. Surely the Commissioners of Llandudno will look into this matter. Mr Hulley had laboured hard to cater for the public amusement; and the miserable show on the water, which followed, was a grievous disappointment to him. It was a most unmerited requital of his great and philanthropic exertions. We will say no more; but once more express the whole that the municipal authorities of the town will put themselves in communication with Mr Hulley, and mete out justice to the offenders.
Colonel Walmsley, then rose and said inter alia “The thanks of company were due to Mr Hulley – the thanks of the people of Llandudno were due to him, and he begged that Mr Hulley would accept these thanks through his medium. And he further asked for three cheers for Mr Hulley. The cheers were heartily given, and a cheer for more being added, Mr Hulley addressed a few words to the meeting.
1865 July 29 Cheshire Observer and Chester, Birkenhead, Crewe and North Wales Times
OLYMPIC FESTIVAL AT LLANDUDNO
Mr. Hulley seems to propagate the great idea of his life, physical education wherever he is placed. Last Saturday every inhabitant of and visitor to Llandudno visted the croquet ground to witness an olympic festivaI which had been arranged by Mr. HuIley, and in which the youths staying and residing at the watering place took part. Colonel Walmsley and Colonel M’Corquodale were the judges on the occasion. The Rev. W. Cambell acted as starter, and Mr. Hulley took upon himself the part of referee. A number of gentlemen had placed their names on the reward list, which included the Hon. and Rev. Atherton Powys, the Hon. and Rev. Orlando Forester, Signor Gavazzi, and our townsman Maurice Williams. The sports of Saturday embraced those usually adopted at these meetings, and the festivaI was brought to a close on Monday by a grand swimming match in the bay. After this last ceremony the prizes were delivered and several speeches made, Colonel Walmsley being one of the chief orators. He dwelt upon the advantages of gymnastic exercise, thanked Mr. Hulley for originating the festival, and summed up his address by thanking that gentleman for the brave manner in which he had saved the life of a lady who was bathing in the bay a few days back.
1865 Jul 29 North Wales Chronicle
Correspondence -To the Editor of the North Wales Chronicle
Dear Sir, For the last two or three years Mr Hulley has written much on the question of bathing at Llandudno, and has, otherwise, interested himself very greatly in the welfare of the town, and it would be ingratitude indeed, if such efforts, prompted by no personal motives, were not handsomely recognized. Arise you dons in the place!, Llandudno never was insensible of honour! Let the great Gymnasiarch see that we can admire his gratuitous efforts, if we can do no more!. Mr H. must pardon, if the writer hereof has offended.
I enclose my name, ARGUS
1865 Aug 05 North Wales Chronicle
LLANDUDNO – THE OLYMPIC FESTIVAL
This athletic meeting held on the side of the Great Orme is still a favourite topic of conversation in Llandudno and its neighbourhood. It is still remembered with pleasure. Associated with this pleasant recollection are the names of Colonel McCorquodale, Mr Hulley, and Colonel Walmsley. Could not these gentlemen, assisted by any of the visitors or residents now at Llandudno, organise one more such a gathering. They would be doing a kindness to the town, and giving great gratification to both residents and visitors. The former gathering was a numerous one,
but a second one would be far more so. We trust Mr Hulley will answer to our appeal.
1865 Aug 12 The Porcupine
MR HULLEY AND THE ABYSSINIAN CAPTIVES
It is now definitely settled that the Gymnasiarch of Liverpool is to proceed to Abyssinia, and demand from King Theodorus the release of the captives at present in his dominions. We understand that Mr Hulley will proceed at once, in the bathing costume that he made so popular at New Brighton and Llandudno. He will make his first appearance before Theodorus going up a rope feet foremost, from the top of which he will bound into the presence of the King and demand satisfaction. The King, it is supposed, would instantly have Mr Hulley seized, and order his right foot and left hand to be cut off and placed in the National Museum of the country. This has been stated to the Gymnasiarch, but he does not display the slightest symptoms of fear. When asked how he would fix the rope on which he proposed performing, he answered - “Anywhere, anywhere!" and it was supposed that he had been reading the “Bridge of Sighs." We trust that Mr Hulley will be successful in this his new undertaking, and that he will not meet with a similar fate to Mr Bassam's messenger.
1865 Aug 22 Morning Post
NOVEL FETE AT LLANDUDNO
A novel water fete, organised by Mr Hulley of Liverpool, took place at Llandudno on Saturday evening. The whole of the houses facing the sea were lit up, and numbers of boat elegantly decorated, and filled with ladies bearing coloured lampions formed a procession and sailed round the bay. The rocks surrounding the town were brilliantly illuminated, and a carnival was held on the sands by thousands of visitors carrying variegated lanterns of every possible hue. During the procession, Mr and Mrs Howard Paul, who were in a boat displaying a Union Jack ingeniously composed of French lampions to represent the colours, sang "Rule Britannia,” the chorus being taken up by thousands of voices. The night being favourable, the effect on the shore was brilliant in the extreme, resembling the mimic Venetian fetes in the Bois-de-Boulogne, or the feasts of lanterns we read of in Chinese fables.
1865 Aug 26 The Porcupine
MR HULLEY AND THE ABYSSINIAN CAPTIVES
(From our own Correspondent) Llandudno, Friday evening
As announced in the periodical which I have the honour to represent, Mr Hulley started on his mission to King Theodorus last Monday, and, after much fatiguing travel has halted at the above place prior to proceeding on his journey. The great Gymnasiarch, though somewhat harassed-looking, is apparently hopeful of success in the difficult task he has undertaken. His costume is simple in the extreme, consisting of the bathing-dress in use at continental watering-places. He is undergoing an immense course of training, passing his time in walking up and down the mountains in the district, or swimming out to sea with nothing on, but a cigar in his mouth. He has, at an enormous cost, and after great difficulty, secured a piece of the Atlantic cable, on which he will make his first appearance before King Theodorus.The little town of Llandudno has been one scene of revelry since the arrival of the Gymnasiarch: torch-light processions, feasts of lanterns, and tourneys have taken place in his honour. Despite the enthusiasm that has been displayed around him, the hero of the time is in no wise affected, walking about with a calm dignity he ever displays -, just as he appeared in playing with the sawdust on the stage of the Theatre Royal. Truly great men always have detractors, and there are people who call the Gymnasiarch a perambulating advertisement. It is also asserted that St. Paul went mad with over study, and that Mr John Hulley, the Gymnasiarch, displays symptoms of insanity, although produced from quite a different cause. He has lately issued a circular respecting certain sports that are about to take place at Llandudno, which displays symptoms of ingenious insanity that would give to qualified physicians every right to cause him to be placed in a lunatic asylum.
I will send you further particulars of progress next week.
1865 Sep 02 The Porcupine
MR HULLEY AND THE ABYSSINIAN CAPTIVES
(From our own Correspondent) Llandudno, Friday evening
Still here! The bracing area of North Wales seems to have a fascination for the Gymnasiarch. Having just written the word “gymnasiarch" brings to mind a very characteristic anecdote of the great man, whose fortunes I am following and whose exploits I have to chronicle for you. He was wandering in a secluded mountain fastness, in his bathing-dress, when he was suddenly accosted by a mercantile-looking person, in drab inexpressibles, who said, “pardon me; but are you not the Gymnasiarch of Liverpool?" “I," said the great man, whose deeds I am watching, “am the Gymnasiarch of the world.” How like him, you will say when I tell you that, after thus replying, he rushed down the mountainside, which is almost perpendicular, and plunged into the sea, where he wallowed for some hours. Was it not grand, and like the man? The life of the English resident here is very monotonous, eating, drinking, sleeping, and bathing form the chief amusement of my countrymen. The natives have, as I told you in my last letter, been keeping the town in a constant state of illumination since the arrival of the Gymnasiarch. Colonel Walmsley, the governor of the island, has shown everyone connected with the mission every courtesy and has
been instrumental in getting up a “Feast of Lanterns” in honour of our arrival. We are all anxiously waiting to be once more on the march, and inwardly praying that the Gymnasiarch may soon take it into his head to proceed with the difficult task he has undertaken.
1865 Sep 06 Derby Mercury
NOVEL FETE AT LLANDUDNO
A novel water fete, organised by Mr Hulley, of Liverpool, took place at Llandudno, on Saturday evening. The whole of the houses facing the sea were lit up, and numbers of boats, elegantly decorated, and filled with ladies bearing coloured lampions, formed a procession and sailed around the bay. The rocks surrounding the town were brilliantly illuminated, and a carnival was held on the sands by thousands of visitors carrying variegated lanterns of every possible hue. During the procession, Mr and Mrs Howard Paul, who were in a boat, displayed a union jack, ingeniously composed of French lampions to represent the colours, sang “Rule Britannia” the chorus being taken up by thousands of voices. The night being favourable, the effect from the shore was brilliant in the extreme, resembling the mimic Venetian fetes in the Bois de Bologne, or the feasts of lanterns we read in Chinese fables.
The Festival of Lanterns at Llandudno September 1865
(Image by kind permission of the Llandudno Record Office)
1865 Sep 14 Bradford Observer
THE MERMAIDS QUADRILLE
Llandudno, a now famous watering-place on the Welsh coast, has distinguished itself of late by a succession of
outdoor fetes, torch-light dances al fresco, fancy balls, Olympic festivals, carnivals, bay illuminations, croquet matches, etc, all of which have been improvised by the visitors, with Mr Hulley (the gymnasiarch of Liverpool,) as their guiding spirit, and carried out with remarkable spirit and success. But the season will be chiefly remembered for the reform which has been effected in the same agency, in the system of bathing in the open sea. By the introduction and almost general adoption of the Zonave costume, ladies and gentlemen of the same family or friendly circle are enabled to mingle as freely in the ocean, as when upon the parade. The art of swimming and diving has been acquired with remarkable proficiency by a large number of ladies, and the crowds who watched the evolutions from the beach readily concede its strict propriety, and even gracefulness, compared with the clumsy and often indelicate exhibition presented by the ladies "jumping in sacks," so long tolerated at English watering-places. On Saturday morning last, while a large party of ladies were thus disporting in the sea, with fathers, brothers, and trends, Mr Hulley proposed "a quadrille." "Oh, by all means," was the reply, and in less than five
minutes the whole party had arranged themselves in a double set with top and side-couples and the quadrille was actually swum through successfully -- the ladies’ chains being especially graceful. – Globe. (also in the York Herald Sep 14 1865 and the Hull Packet and East Riding Times, Friday, September 15, 1865;
1865 Sep 20 Morning Post
BATHING AT LLANDUDNO
Mr John Hulley, of this town, has effected a complete revolution in the system of bathing at Llandudno. The exhibition which frequently take place at various sea-bathing towns in this country have long been considered a disgrace to the age, but at Llandudno these have now altogether been suppressed, and the man who broke through a now established rule was summoned before the magistrates, at Mr Hulley's instance, on Friday last. The
offence was that of obtruding in a state of nudity into the vicinity of the ladies’ bathing district, and it was visited with a penalty of 40s. costs, which the public will no doubt think not too much for the offence itself, nor too light to act as a warning to deter others. Mr Hulley, in introducing his system, met with considerable opposition at first, but the advantages have been shown to be so undoubted that visitors to Llandudno now almost universally adopt his view.
1866 Jun 16 The Porcupine
Mr HULLEY AT LLANDUDNO
From our Special Special
You will no doubt have heard that Mr John Hulley, the working man's friend, otherwise known to himself as the Gymnasiarch of Liverpool, has purchased Llandudno as a summer residence. He has taken possession of his new purchase, and can be seen parading himself on the shore in the costume of a Field Marshal. He allows that the
present occupiers of the place to remain in the vicinity during the summer months, but will turn them all out of house and home as soon as the weather becomes implement, so as to allow the poet, who wrote Nathan and Co.’s circular to compose a second "Deserted Village." This party has already commenced his poem, and succeeded in
producing the following:
Llandudno, loveliest village of the plane,
The pride of nations and the azure main;
I think I'll be wherever I may go –
Here, he has stopped, having come to a standstill for a rhyme to go. He has written to his late employers, and they have suggested –
For Hulley-sea-garments to Nathan and Co.
Colonel Walmsley, objects to this, and wishes the following to be inserted: -
‘Twill never do to give thee up so, oh!
This has reference to Mr Hulley's purchase of the place, the gallant Colonel feeling himself aggrieved at having to give up his rights to the Gymnasiarch. How the affair will end, we are at a loss to imagine: all we know at present is, that the despoiler walks about the shore, gnashing his teeth and glaring at the little boys building sand castles. Previous to the destruction of the place, certain sports, as our readers are aware, are to take place, and already five millions of visitors have arrived to witness the proceedings. Indeed, so great is the immigration that Mr Hulley has ordered the great Ormeshead to be excavated, and a cave for the accommodation of the people. The Isle of Man expanding steamer, however, has been put on the station, so as to meet the exigencies of the occasion, and everyone is wondering where passengers will be put on their arrival. "Such is life," said the brave Gymnasiarch, when he heard the intelligence: “What is life? ‘tis a beautiful flower, even as one of those I can purchase at St John’s Market for twopence. I saw men - bronzed, bearded men – moved to tears when they heard these simple but impressive words.
The exertions of this great man - meaning the Gymnasiarch - are truly astounding. The feats he intends in accomplishing at the Festival are truly surprising. He purposes swimming a mile with his hands and feet tied, propelling himself with his upper jaw; he will run a hundred miles in a similar number of minutes; and will crack a boulder with his front teeth, and tie himself into a "Tom fool’s knot.” These are only a few of the feats he
promises: what he will do on the day in question, time only will show.There is one great feature about the Gymnasiarch all would do well to imitate, and that is his modesty. All the time he's toiling and moiling for the benefit of the human race, he never for one moment seems to give a single thought to himself. He sees around
him men pushing and striving to gain a bubble reputation; but he follows not in their track, being satisfied with the thought that he is doing good to his fellow-beings, and trying to get the working man into the Gymnasium, while the gentlemen are working.
I must not forget to mention, before I close this communication, a very pretty and novel idea Mr Hulley purposes carrying out. He intends to carve the lesser Ormeshead into a likeness of himself, with movable eyes, composed of crimson lights. He very naturally says it will be useful to the "travellers by the sea" in that neighbourhood. The fishermen object, and say that such an object will frighten the fish; but who ever heard of fishermen being satisfied?
1866 Jun 23 The Porcupine
Mr HULLEY "IN THE MIDDLE OF A GERMAN BAND"
We read in the Llandudno Herald that a party of Germans chartered a steamer from Liverpool, and proceeded to Llandudno a few Sundays ago. Mr Hulley, although he is not a German, was one of the party, and no sooner did he land on the coast, and he raised a banner, and joined in the popular ditty "A Life on the Ocean Wave," which the
young German gentleman indulged in. In addition to this the party, we hear, dined at the Adelphi Hotel, and waked the town from its propriety by shouting and singing. We see no reason why Mr Hulley should plant a standard on the shores of any watering-place he may visit because he wears a field-marshal’s sash; or join in Sabbath-
breaking with young gentlemen, who are celebrated for exuberance of spirits, because he is a Gymnasiarch. The editor of the Herald condemned this Germanic invasion, and Mr Hulley resented the reproof in language more remarkable for muscularity than delicacy. And further to show how much Mr Hulley respects liberty of the press, the Herald is not permitted to have a reporter at the meetings connected with the Festival.
1866 Jun 30 The Porcupine - THE FESTIVAL AT LLANDUDNO
From our Special Special
"Hulley is the man that we do admire,” worth of chant the dwellers at Llandudno, in their native guttral, as night after night, they serenade him, led by the Welsh editor (Tydian,) who is known to be so partial German music; but the great man heeds them not, although he always treats them with the greatest respect. I saw him the other night, after the fatigues of the day and indulging in German sacred music after dinner, step into the balcony of his hotel, and bow to the multitude who had assembled below to do homage to him. He simply bowed. It was a fine sight to see the great man standing humbly in the pale moonlight, bowing his mute acknowledgement of the enthusiasm he had created. They call him here Ap Gal Llan Rilbaldi, or of the Garibaldi of the North.I must confess that I, like the natives here, am so lost in admiration of the Gymnasiarch's greatness and simplicity that I neglected my legitimate business to gaze upon him. I am forgetting to speak of the band of gallant youths who had gathered round his banner to struggle for their leader.It is a charming sight to see the hero, surrounded by his followers, walking up and down the Ormes: His dress is gorgeous, being one mass of gold and crimson. But I have already described it, and have only to add that, in addition to the articles of clothing already enumerated, he wears an antique Roman sword.The sports, from first to last, have truly rivalled anything that ever took place in the ages when men thought wild beasts no unworthy adversaries, and objected to dance around a prize-ring. The youths have struggled with a will that would have excited enthusiasm in the breasts of the poorest. Dozens have succumbed to the exertions, and have had to be carried off the field in a fainting condition or had to stay in the final heat, and sit in the brook to cool themselves. The noble Gymnasiarch says nothing as he sees his champions carried away before him. "’Twas so at Rome," I heard him mutter, as he calmly sheathed his sword, - "when we are there, we must do as they do. Palmam qui Meruit ferat.” The great-hearted creature forgot for the moment that he was not at Rome.
The sports are now over and the prizes have been given, and I shall return from the Gymnasiarch's head-quarters today, a wiser and a better man. Wiser, for I have seen exercises that I never dreamt of, and better, for I have listened to the Rev. Nevison Loraine's sermon on the mount. I have seen dumbbells of gigantic size raised above
the heads of the operators, - I have seen Indian clubs whirled around with the rapidity of lightning, - I have seen the champion of England put on the gloves with an amateur, - the expert diver, sink himself below the azure main and remain below till the grapnells of the Humane Society had to be sent for, - I have seen the friend of Havelock surrounded by the fairest of the fair, adjudicating on the heights of Llandudno, - and last, but not least, I have seen the Gymnasiarch flashing his antique Roman sword in the sunshine.All these things have I seen and more, for I have seen the distribution of prizes, and the gallant Drinkwater receiving a prize he hadn't won and offering to return it. I saw him take the chalice from the friend of Havelock, and also saw the thousands of anxious eyes that were cast upon it, looking as if they could drink water or any other beverage out of it, the sun had parched them so. It was a gratifying sight to see the commodore raise the cup to his lips and exclaim, "Here's your good health and your family's good health, may they live long and prosper -- this don't count." All these things and more have I seen faithfully chronicle for your pages, in the hope that your readers may thoroughly appreciate the festival, which is now numbered amongst the things that have been.
1866 30 Jun The North Wales Chronicle
THE OLYMPIC FESTIVAL
The members of the Amusement Committee have been actively at work during the past week perfecting the arrangements for the Grand Athletic Festival of Monday and Tuesday next, which if the weather is only favourable cannot be otherwise than a great success. The number of entries for the various contests is no less than 73,
being 28 more than at any of the previous annual meetings of the Athletic Society, the competitors coming from all parts of the United Kingdom, and ranking among them the names of some of the best champion gymnasts of England and Wales.
Notwithstanding the unfavourable weather of the past week the building of the Grand Stand has progressed at a rapid rate, and the manner in which it has been put up reflects the highest credit on the builder, the strength and solidity of the timbers being especially worthy of notice. The ground is being railed in, and, the wet not withstanding, it will be in good condition for the Fetes.
The First class Restaurant, under the Grand Stand is being nicely fitted up for Mr. Robert Hughes, 5, Mostyn-street, who will also have another refreshment tent on the ground, as will also Mrs. Parr, of the Birmingham Arms. That the lovers of the weed may not miss their accustomed enjoyment, a stand has been let to Mr Henry Parr, who intends supplying Havanas and Regalias at something less than what might be expected at such a gathering as this is likely to be.
To make the fetes as attractive as possible a large number of flags and banners have been promised and in that respect the picturesqueness of the scene wiil be all that can be desired.
To secure good order several gentlemen have offered their services, and an application has been made for a body of the county constabulary, while the light fingered gentry will be under the Special care of detectives from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, and Liverpool.
The editor of the Illustrated London News has engaged the talented Mr. Hayes, Trefiw, to take sketches of the principal events of the two days, not forgetting the grand scene of the arrival of the yachts from Liverpool in their contest for the thirty guinea cup.
A new collector has been chosen by the committee in the person of Mr. E. A. Lees, of Liverpool, a gentleman, who comes with very high testimonials from magistrates and gentlemen of the Liver town.
A full report of tho whole week’s festivals will appear in our next number, to secure copies of which orders should be left with the newsagents as early as possible.
1866 30 Jun The North Wales Chronicle
LLANDUDNO – NOTES OF THE WEEK
Monday began with trips and excursions, by steam boat and rail, and the influx of a large number of strangers, mostly of the peculiar class to be always seen with an excursion train from the. large towns.. The procession from St George’s Hall to the Olympic Festival Ground was picturesque and puzzling; picturesque from the variety of .strange dresses, amusing from the land and its times, and wonderful for the number of medals and crossed on the breasts of the athletic competitors who took part in it. The contests are given elsewhere, and therefore we do not note them In our “notes of the week” further than to say that everything passed off in the very best way, there was no drunkenness, and no disorder, and in that respect the maligners of the Amusements Committee who said the town would be full with the rogues and blackguards of Liverpool and Manchester were egregiously in error. Indeed we may say here that though a score of constables were present each of the three days, and had the valuable assistance of three detectives, they were unable to make even a single case out for the magistrates, nor was there as far as we can learn, one bad coin passed in the town. The only cases of pocket picking during the past fortnight, are those noted in another place, where two of the light-fingered gentry were nabbed at Conway, and one at Llanrwst, on their respective fair days.
On Monday evening an illumination took place on the Bay, and very pretty it looked. A pleasing feature of this evening, was a treat given to a number of children who weretaken out jn the “Prince of Wales’s” boats, to the number of some 150, with Wallace’s band to amuse them.
Tuesday and Wednesday were ditto to Monday, in the matter of the Festival. The various competitions being well attended and well conducted. Tuesday night beingmarked out for the Regatta Ball, which though very satisfactory and very cheerful, was not so well attended as might have been.
Thursday saw the distribution of prizes, and some extra sparring and wrestling, not to forget, also some tolerable running made by local amateurs, who, as a matter of course, took to the water when jumping the improvised brook like so many ducks. In the evening the mysterious and wonderful Sphinx made his first appearance at St George’s Hotel, where from the advertisement we perceive, he will be again this day (Saturday)
1866 30 Jun The North Wales Chronicle
OLYMPIC FESTIVAL AT LLANDUDNO
The fifth annual Olympic Festival of the Athletic Society of Great Britain was commenced at Llandudno on Monday last. The competitors were gentleman amateurs and the prizes awarded were 7 of the Society’s gold, 26 silver and 26 bronze medals, in addition to the champion medal donated by Mr.Wrn.Bulkeley Hughes, M.P. for the Carnarvonshire burghs, to the competitor showing the greatest general proficiency in athIetic exercises. The OIympic arena was situated on a suitable field lying between this beautiful and favourite watering place and the Little Ormeshead, and affording ample accommodation for the competitors and spectators. The racing circle was about 420 yards round, or 4½ laps to the mile, and at one side of it was erected a spacious grand stand, which was comfortably seated. A platform was erected for boxing and broadsword exercises, and there were horizontal and parallel bars, the trapeze, and other gymnastic appliances. On Sunday a sermon was preached at the grand stand by the Rev. Nevison Loraine, M.A., of Liverpool. to a numerous congregation. He choose for his text, Jeremiah, chap.v, ver. 1: “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and seek in the broad places thereof if ye can find a man;” and in treating the subject ilIustrated the intimate connexion which existed between a good physical and a sound mentaI and moral training. His eloquent observations were listened to with the most marked attention.
On Monday the weather was magnificent. a circumstance which contributed in no small degree to the success of the festival, the arrangements for which, as the proceedings progressed, reflected much credit on Col. H. M. Walmsley, the President of the Society, and the Managing Committee, by whom he was assisted. At half past 8 o’clock, the various competitors assembled in St. George’s Hall, wearing their respective uniforms and colours, to the number of 16. They were then formed two deep, and, headed by Messrs. Distins (of London) instrumental band, which has been engaged for the season by the Amusements Committee of the town, and three gentlemen on horseback, they marched from thence to the ground. A number of spectators had already assembled there, including a considerable sprinkIing of the fair sex, who occupied seats on the grand stand. The practical management of the festival was conducted, under the superintendence of Colonel Walmsley, by Mr. John Hulley, “gymnasiarch,” of Liverpool, director, and Messrs. Andre Durbec, Henry Neville, James Mace, W. Beeton, and Ralph Mitchell, professors and teachers at the Liverpool Gymnasium.
At a quarter past three o’clock, Colonel Walmsley ascended to a desk In the centre of the grand stand, and said that he wouId not attempt to make a Iengthy speech, as they were met there for deeds, not words, but he could not allow the occasion to pass without adverting for a moment to the purpose for which that meeting had taken place There had been much, and it seemed to him, useless, discussion as to the merits and demerits of athIetic training, but nature spoke for herself in this matter. They might take, for example, the beasts of the field and compare them with man; and look at their household companion the dog. The new-born puppy could at least move about, and in a manner, however blind, look to itself and the new-born baby could not do this – helpless, utterly helpless, it came into the world, but, under the care of that great gymnasiarch—greater even than the Liverpool gymnasiarch, Mr Hulley—it learned to walk, to run. Need he name that great and dear gymnasiarch? If he must, then must he breathe the sacred name of mother. (Cheers.) Then passing from its mother’s hands the child went into that of its father, and from step to step
glided slowly on in athletic learning, until at last the man’s physical and mental excellence was fully developed, and the lord of the creation stood fully forth, no longer the whining infant, but the man, and the man, too, whose genius made the lightning flash from one end of the world to the other—measured the distance from star to star, and girdled the earth with steam. Such were the effects of phyica1 and mental training. (Applause.) He would not read the rules as he had been requested to do, and he need not remind them of the goodwiIl they were to show each other in these amicable contests, because he felt that good will was implanted in their breasts; but he would remind them that they trod now upon historical ground—upon the ground where the Roman legions trod when they beat back the Britons—on the soil where the soldiers of the cruel Edward trod when he drove the Cymru to yonder mountain sides. They were overlooked by these mountains—they were overlooked by the whole of the Snowdonian range—and they could hear the ever-surging ocean sounding in their ears as they competed for these games. (Cheers.) He would show them the champion medal presented by Mr. W. Bulkeley Hughes, M.P., the member for the Carnarvonshire burghs, and he need not incite them in order to gain it as they would all try and
do their best, and whoever was the successful candidate, he could only say he envied him. There were bright
eyes looking at them to-day, and there would be to-morrow, and he would say let the best man win the medal. There were the blue eyes of the Saxon and the darker eyes of the Cymry ladies beaming down upon them, and
they should strive to merit at once that honour and glory. As President of the Athletic Society of Great Britain, he declared the fifth Olympic Festival open, and called upon Mr. Hulley to proceed. (Great applause.)
The Olympic games were then commenced with the first heat of the 100 yards flat race, and the following is
the result of the competitions:—
One Hundred Yards Flat Race: first prize, silver medal. First Heat: 1, C. G. Emery, London; 2, W. M’Laren, Pendlebury. Seven started, and the contest was a keen one: time 11½ seconds. Second Heat: I, W. H Smith, Manchester Atheneum; 2, F Harold Boult, Noetorum. Five ran; won easily; time 11¼ seconds. Final Heat: 1, W M’Laren; 2, C. G. Emery; 3. W. H Smith. For this heat the four started who had been placed first and second in the previous heats. The running was extremely good, and M’Laren won after a determined contest amidst great
applause; time 10⅞ seconds.
Broadsword. — First prize, silver medal; second, bronze medal. 1, George Henderson, Liverpool Gymnasium; 2, John Heap, Manchester Gymnasium. There were four entries for this prize, but only three appeared. The first set-to was betwixt George Henderson and A. J. Gilton, of the Manchester Gymnasium, when the former scored three to his opponents one. Gilton was then defeated by Heap, and in playing off for the first and second places between Henderson and Heap the result was as stated above. All the three competitors proved themselves to be efficient at the broadsword exercise.
Half-mile Flat Race.—Flrst prize. silver medal. 1, James Hooton, Liverpool Gymnasium; 2. Kenelm Digby, London Athletic Club; 3, Albert Pearson, Liverpool Gymnasium. Seven started for this race out of thirteen who entered. Digby led for the first “lap” and the distance, when he was passed opposite the winning flag by Pearson, who maintained a gallant contest for about 200 yards. Hooton then put on a magnifint “spurt” and caught his antagonists when half-way round the last lap, and after a fine pedestrian display came in the winner by a half-a-dozen yards. Digbv in the meantime having overhauled Pearson and taken the second place. The finish was a very fine one, and elicited the most enthusiastic applause. Time, two minutes ten seconds.
Two-mile Flat Race.—First prize, gold medal; second, silver medal; third, bronze medal. 1, J. Snow, Manchester; 2, J Goodman, Liverpool; 3, A. Pearson, Liverpool Gymnasium. Nine started for this race, which was contested in the most determined style. Up to the time they passed the winning flag at the end of the fourth lap they were all in a body. Hooton, who was not ultimately placed, then started to the front and led for about eight hundred yards. Goodman then passed him in a brilliant style, but was himself ultimately beaten by Snow, who breasted the rope at the finish about twenty yards in advance of the second man. Time, ten minutes forty-four seconds.
Vaulting. — First prize, a silver medal. — George Henderson, 1; R. J. Mitchell, Stacksteads, 2; James Warren, Manchester, 3. . There were only the three competitors and the height which was accomplished was seven feet.
Four-mile Walking Match.- First prize, a gold medal; second, silver; third, a bronze medal. Thomas Hodson, Farnworth, 1; Robert Dunlop, Bootle, 2; B. Selby Lownes, Stoney Stratford. 3. The four miles consisted of eighteen laps, and was finished by the winner, who led throughout, in thirty-four minutes and twenty-seven seconds. Dunlop wa. twice delayed by a stitch in his side, and had only finished seventeen laps for his opponent’s eighteen. His time was thirty-five minutes and twenty-eight seconds. The representative of Stoney Stratford, who was two laps and a third behind when the first prize was won, stopped short at the end of sixteen laps, evidently thinking that the third prize not worth further contending for without an adversary.
High jumping - First prize, a silver medal; second, a bronze medal. I, R. J. Mitchell, Stacksteads; 2, Adam Hayley, Staleybridge. There were seven competitors for this sport. The height of the winner’s leap was 5 feet 4½ inches, and of the second 5 feet 4½ inches.
220 Yards Hurdle Race - First prize, silver medal; second, bronze medal. 1, G. A. Bayley, Stayleybridge; 2, John Duckworth, Haslingden; 3, John G. Ellis, London German Gymnasium. Eight started for this race which was over six hurdles The winner covered the distance in 26¾ seconds, and was 3½ yards in advance of Duckworth.
Putting the 32lb Shot – First prize, silver medal; second, bronze medal. I, Joseph Taylor, Liverpool Gymnasium; 2, G Adam Bayley, Staleybridge. The distance which the shot was thrown by Taylor was eighteen feet six inches, and by Bayley eighteen feet.
Putting the 36lb shot.—First prize, silver medal, second, bronze medal. 1, R. J. Mitchell, Stacksteads; 2. Joseph Taylor, Liverpool. Mitchell’s distance was eighteen feet seven inches, and Taylor’s seventeen feet five inches.
It should be mentioned that Hogarth was not exactly defeated, but was disqualified, in consequence of not
wearing a proper uniform, in accordance with the regulations.
The most interesting and attractive sports of the day were the horizontal bar exercises, but no prizes were awarded
under this head, as the medals given for it also embrace rising and falling in the parallel bars, and exercises with rings, and on the trapeze which are included in the programme for to-day. Some remarkable feats were performed, and the displays of nerve and agility loudly cheered.
At the conclusion of the proceedings Mr. John Williams, agent for the Mostyn estate moved a vote of thanks to Colonel Walmsley for the efficient, gentlemenly, and courteous manner in which the proceedings had been conducted under his presidency. (Cheers). No one had any idea of the anxiety, trouble, and exertion which the gallant colonel had displayed on the occasion, and he deserved their grateful thanks. They might see this by the extensive ground and the efficient arrangements, and they knew that the proceedings had been most pleasing and most satisfactory in every respect. (Applause) It would be ungracious and ungrateful if they departed from the ground without thanking him for the interest he had taken in this matter. (Great cheering).
Three hearty cheers were then given for Colonel WaImsley, three for the managing committee, and three more
for the ladies who had graced the meeting with their presence. The spectators then dispersed, and a number of them returned by train to Liverpool, Chester, Denbigh, Conway, Llanrwst, Rhyl, and other places. Between nine and ten o’clock in the evening there was illumination on the water in the bay, and a number of the residents were movlng about on shore, carrying torches, which gave the whole locality a most picturesque appearance.
Mr. W. D. Hogarth (who was the starter for the various foot races and also Hon. Sec. of the Festival) after the first day’s sports, ran an off-hand match of a quarter of a mile, for a silver cup, with one of the competitors, Mr. H.A.Crewe, of Pendleton. Mr. Hogarth led all the way, and won very easily by fifty yards, doing the distance in 55½
TUESDAY, JUNE 26
The contest for the prizes offered by the Athletic Society of Great Britain, the fifth meeting of which is being held at Llandudno, were resumed on Tuesday last, Colonel H. M. Walmsley again presiding over the sports. Mr. W. B. Hughes, M. P. for Carnarvonshire boroughs, the donor of the champion’s medal, was also present. There was a large attendance of ladies and gentlemen. Mr. John Hulley, gymnasiarch of Liverpool, again acted as director.
The programme for the day included prizes for foot-racing, fencing, Indian club exercises, dumbbells, boxing, jumping, wrestling, and sabre v. bayonet. The first event was a 200 yards flat race. There were eleven entries, but only seven started. The resuIt was a very clever race, and was won by Cbarles G. Emery, of London, who accornplished the distance in 22½ seconds. George Adam Bayley, of Staleybridge, took the second prize. Eleven entered for the one mile flat race, but only five started. This was an exciting race, the contest being very close towards the finish, between Joseph Snow, of Manchester, and Albert Pearson, of the Liverpool Gymnasiurn. The latter won; time, five minutes and one second. Snow was second, and John Goodman of Liverpool, third. For the quarter-mile flat race fourteen competitors entered, but only seven appeared at the scratch. This race, like the last, was very closely contested. The winner was Kenelm Digby, of the London Athletic Club. The time the race was
run in was 50 seconds. M. M’Laren, of Pendleton, was second.
The most. exciting and amusing part of the afternoon’s sport was the one-mile steeple chase, for which there were eight entries. Three prizes were given—the first a gold medal: the second a silver medal; and the third had to receive a bronze medal. To accomplish the proscribed distance, it was necessary to traverse the course four-and-a-half times, and each time round necessitated the leaping of twelve hurdles, one of which also included a water jump, which consisted of a pit twelve feet wide, and containing about 18 inches of water. This was faced with a hurdle two feet and a-half high. Four started—namely, Kenelm Digby, of the London Athletic Club; F. A. Thomas, of Birkenhead ; Albert Pearson, of Liverpool; and James Hooton, of Liverpool. Digby jumped off witb the lead at the start, and cleared the hurdles in good style, but when be arrived at the water jump he refused it at the first attempt, but suddenly turned round, leaped, and fell into tbe middle of the ditch, to the great amusement of the onlookers.
The other three cleared it, and were much applauded. The second and third times round it was only cleared by
Thomas Digby, notwithstanding his misfortune at the water jump, still maintained the running. At the
commencement of the fourth round he was, however, overtaken by Hooton, and when within a few yards of
the pit, he in turn was led by Thomas, who this time alone cleared the jump in gallant style. The others came
to grief In the ditch as usual; but Thomas’s pace being slow, he was caught by Hooton, who kept the lead and
won the race, Thomas being second, and Pearson third. The finish of the race consisted of a straight run in, but
Thomas, seeing that had no chance of winning, to show his freshness, for the fifth time cleared the twelve feet water jump. He was loudly applauded.
There were four entries for a half-mile flat race for youths under 18 years of age, but only three contested. The race was won by John Goodman, of Liverpool. G. H. Turner, of Liverpool, was second.
Out of ten entries for competition for the prizes offered for wide jumping, only five contested. R G. Mitchell of Stackstead cleared a distance of 20 feet 6 inches and won the first prize. The second prize fell to G. A. Bayley, of of Staleybridge, who cleared a distance of 20 feet.
Five gentlemen contested for the pri.zes offered for fencing. S. Crawley, of Manchester, and G. Henderson, of Liverpool, were first opposed to each other, and the latter had the best of the contest. They were succeeded by John Heap, of Manchester, and H. E. Rowe, of Liverpool; and S. Crowley, of Manchester, as the odd man, had to face Henderson. Heap beat Rowe, and Henderson worsted Crowley, which Ieft them to contest for the prize, and finally Heap proved victorious, the second prize being taken by Henderson. The two latter showed themselves to be experienced in the use of the foils. The contest throughout was a smart one, and elicited universal admiration.
John Smalley, ot Manchester, was awarded first prize for proficiency in Indian club exercises. For the second prize. George Henderson, of Liverpool, and A. G. Gilton, Manchester, were pronounced equal. The judges for this class of exercise were, Messrs J. B. Lee, of Liverpool, and Fairweather, of Manchester.
So far as the boxing contests were decided, the following was the result ;—Light Weights: 1st, John Heap, Manchester: 2nd, John Hay, Liverpool. Middle Weights: 1st, Joseph Taylor, Liverpool; 2nd, R. M. Jenes, Liverpool. The contest. for the heavy weights remained unfinished.
Some very clever performances took place on the parallel bars and the trapeze. The Sabre v Bayonet exercise was also very good.
There was a yacht race on this day from Liverpool to Llandudno. The time fixed for starting from Liverpool, was eleven o’clock in the morning. The first yacht brought up in Llandudno Bay about half-past six, and we understand belongs to Mr. Macfie, of Liverpool.
At the end of the afternoon, Colonel Walmsley, the president of the society, announced that swimming and diving matches wouId take place in the bay on Wednesday; also that W. Bulkeley Hughes, Esq., M.P., had consented to deliver the prizes to the sucessful competitors on Thursday.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27
The contests for the prizes offered by the Athletic Society of Great Britain, at their fifth annual Olympic Festival, which commenced in Llandudno on Monday, were brought to a conclusion on this day. The weather, as on the two preceding days, was all that could be desired. The sun was very hot but a light cool breeze from seawards rendered it very agreeable. The contest were confined to swimming and diving matches which took place in the bay, a short distance from the pier, from which they were witnessed by numerous spectators Several yachts were also stationed in the bay, and were bedecked with flags of every colour. On board of these were the promotors of the sports and their friends. The sea was beautifully calm; indeed, it was as still as an inland lake for there was hardly the slightest ripple upon it.
The entries for the swimming races were very numerous, but only on one occasion did more than three present
themselves to compete in any race. The exception was the 100 yards race, when four started.
The first event set down in the programme was the 100 yards race, for which there was eight entries, but only three started. The race was a most excellent one, and showed some excellent swimming on the part of John Dow of Lockwood, who won the first prize, consisting of a goId medal. The second prize was won by A. C. Williams, of Woolwich; and the third by Thomas B. Stanley of Manchester. There were four entries for a half-mile race, but only two started. George Henderson, of Liverpool, won the first prize, and T. G. WinstanIey of Liverpool, the second. Three started for the quarter of a mile race, although seven had entered. George Henderson, of Liverpool, proved the victor.For the 100 yards race there were eleven entries, and four started. John Eaton, of Market Drayton, won the first prIze, and N. Witley, of Manchester, the second.John Duncan, of Liverpool, was awarded the first prize of a gold medal for diving; H. Tobias, Liverpool, the second prize, and G. H. Turner, Liverpool, third.For fancy swimming, W. Ocleston, of Liverpool, obtained the first prize, and Geoge Henderson, of Liverpool, second.
The sabre v. bayonet contests, which took place late on Tuesday afternoon, resulted as follows:—First Prize:
Bayonet, J. B. Lee, Liverpool; second prize, A. J. Gilton, Manchester. First Prize: Sabre. and Geoge Henderson, Liverpool; second. John Heap, Manchester. Dumbbells: George Henderson, of Liverpool,and J. G. Elliott, of Liverpool, were equal. Parallel bars. above 5 feet 5 inches: First. George Henderson, of Liverpool; second,. W.J. Madeley, Derby Gymnasium. Under 5 feet 8 inches; First, G. W. Renshaw, Manchester; second, Ambrose Lee,
Manchester. Pole-leaping: First, G. A. Bayley, Stalybridge; second, R.J. Mitchell, Stacksteads. Wrestling. First, Joseph Taylor, Liverpool; second, Maurice Moss, Liverpool.
THURSDAY, JUNE 28
DISTRIBUTION OF THE PRlZES AND C0NCLUSION OF THE FESTIVAL
On this day Mr. Wm. BulkeIey Hughes, M.P., distributed the prizes to the successful competitors at the athletic contests held at Llandudno. The distribution took place on the ground where the sports were held. There was a good attendance both of ladies and gentlemen. Previous to the prizes being handed over to the sucessfuI competitors, several of the athletes exhibited their proficiencies in gymnastic exercises generally. The Champion of England, Mr. Jem Mace, also set-to with Mr. R. J.Mitchell, of Stacksteads, and afterwards with Mr. George Henderson, of Liverpool. Their exhibition of “ the manly art of self-defence” met with universal admiration from the spectators, and was frequently cheered. Mr. Montague also exhibited Mace’s beIts and Cups.
With respect to the prizes for the dumbells, which were awarded on Wednesday, we should have said that the first prize was taken by Mr. John Leatherbarrow, of Liverpool, and Mr. Elliot, of Liverpool. .
Col. H.M. Walmsley, in presenting the silver cup for the ocean race from Liverpool, said there were a great many entries for the race, but there were only a certain number of competitors. The two yachts which came in first, had taken the wrong line, consequently there was some little dispute. The cup, however, fell to the !ot of the Commodore of the Mersey Yacht Squadron whose name he was sure they would receive with pleasure—Mr. Dñnkwater. (Applause). Col. Walmsley then presented Mr. Drinkwater with the cup in the name of the Commitee and people of Llandudno. (Cheers). The second cup was presented by a tradesman of Llandudno, Mr. Lowe jun., and it was won by a yacht called the Vision. As the owner of the yacht was not present, he would present it temporarily to Mr. Drinkwater, the Commodore of the Mersey Yacht Squadron, and ask him to present it to the owner of the Vision. The dispute in reference to the arrival of the two yachts, was referred to him (Col. WalmsIey), and he must say that the kindness, courtesy, and good feeling with which he had been met, even by those against
whom he had given an adverse decision, were very pleasing to him. In the name of the Committee, and he thought
he might say in the name of every one there, he thanked the gentlemen yachtsmen for the kindness and courtesy they had exhibited. Cheers).
Mr. Drinkwater said he stood before them in the position of successful competitor for the cup which they had just seen presented ; but it was only fair on his part to say that he considered the cup was fairly won by one of the two boats, a representative of which he did not see there present. So strong were his (Mr. Drinkwater’s) feelings on the subject, that he went on board Col. M’Corquodale’s yacht to congratulate him on his haviing won. When he got on board he was met with various protests, and finding there was only one way in which the matter could be decided, he (Mr. Drinkwater) also entered a protest, and he made up his mind that should Col. Walmsley, or whoever might be appointed arbitrator, he should return the cup to Col. Walmsley to give the two yachts which he (Mr. Drinkwater) had considered fairly won the race, to contend for again. Each protested against his competitor; and, therefore, he (Mr. Drinkwater) said, as they did not consider the cup worth having’ he did, and he had great pleasure in taking it
from Col. Walmsley and the committee of the festival. He thanked them for the kindness the yachtsmen had received from the inhabitants of Llandudno, and might teIl them that it was his intention to give a £20 cup to be run for from Liverpool to Llandudno, in three weeks. (Cheers). The local committee would also give a £12cup to be competed for in Llandudno waters. (Renewed cheering.)
The successful athlete were then called forward and the prizes presented to them.
Mr. W. B. Hughes, M.P., the donor of the medal to the competitor showing the greatest general proficiency in athletic exercises during the three days, in presenting the prizes, said it had been to him a very pleasing spectacle to observe the successful competitors who had come forward to have their prizes presented to them. It now devolved upon him to present to the champion of the Olympic games the medal which he (Mr. Hughes) had the honour of giving. He was very sorry to say that in the first Instance there were considerable oppostion and ill-feeling to these natural sports, but he was proud to inform them that as time went on this prejudice had been completely dissipated —(hear, hear)—and the good folks of Landudno and miles around had come forward to co-operate in that rational, socia1, and pIeasing meeting. (Hear, hear.) It was the first occasion of the Olympic games being introduced into the Principality, and as one of the Committee, and taking no small interest in it, he hoped it would not be the the last cheers)-—their object being, not only to promote athletic and manly exercises, but also to do benefit to their fellow-creatures, not only in the immediate neighbourhood but throughout the world. It had been to him, as he was sure it must have been to all, a most gratifying sight to behold what he had witnessed during the last two or three days. He trusted those who had been successful in obtaining bronze medals would not relax in their endeavours to gain silver medals hereafter, and he hoped that those who had received silver medals would not relax their efforts in hoping to obtain gold medals. (Hear, hear.) There was nothing like perserverance. He told them that as an old man and as a friend, he hoped they would all aspire and succeed in their aspirations in attaining their objectives in Iife whatever they might be. He had now the pleasing and gratifying duty to perform of presenting the medal which was his own gift to the champion of the meeting. (Cheers.) He had not had the gratification of seeing that gentleman before, but he thought all would agree that it had been most meritoriously gained by him. (Cheers.) Let him tell those who had endeavoured to oppose him with that good nature and that smiIing countenance which befitted an Englishman and a Welshman, let them not despair. Their time would come, and he hoped they would receive another gold medal, more valuable than this, to be presented by himself. (Cheers.) After congratulating Col. Walmsley and the amusements committee on the happy termination of the contests, Mr. Hughes said he had great gratification in calling upon Mr. George Henderson, of Liverpool, to receive the medal. (Loud cheers.) Mr. Hughes then handed the medal to Mr. Henderson and wished him health, long life, and more activity, if possible, during the remainder of his days, to enjoy it.
Mr. Henderson, in reply, said he hoped that the next time a festival was held at Llandudno, he should have health and strength to take part in it, and that Mr. Hughes might also have his health and have the pleasure of presenting the medal he had promised. He (Mr. Henderson) could only say that he would do his best to gain it. (Cheers.)
Col. Walmsley remarked that some years back, when he shook hands with Sir Henry Lovelock on his departure for India, (and he little thought that Sir Henry would not return) his breast was covered with medals, and he asked where he would place the others that he might receive. Sir Henry’s reply was that if he could put them nowhere else, he would put them on his back. He (Colonel Walmsley) thought he might say the same of Mr. Henderson, for during the last three days he had won one gold, five silver, and five bronze medals, besides the champion medal. He proposed three cheers for the champoin of the amateurs of England. (Loud cheers.)
Mr. Drinkwater then proposed a vote of thanks to Colonel Walmsley, the president of the society. Mr. Drinkwater said he had himself taken a deep interest in everything connected with gymnastic exercises for the past 25 years. Ther was an old proverb that “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy,” and this he could say from his own experience was true, for he found that those men who were foremost in athletic exercises were also foremost in the senate and as merchants . Whenever a nation forgot its physical education, that nation rapidly fell into decline. It was when Greece forgot the physical education of her children that the Romans over-ran that country; and the same might be said of Rome. He hoped he should never see the day when this nation devoted itself to luxury and brought itself to decay. He poposed a vote of thanks to Colonel Walmsley. (Cheers.)
Colonel Walmsley, in responding, said it was proposed that in three weeks they should hold at Llandudno Olympic games for young people, which last year had been attended with great success. He concluded by proposing a vote of thanks to Mr. Hulley, the gymnasiarch, of Liverpool, who, he said, had come forward voluntarily, and without any reward except that he would receive from his own conscience and kind heart. (Applause.) Three cheers were then given for Mr. Hulley.
Mr. Hulley, in responding, said he had taken great pleasure in what he had done, and he should take equal pleasure if at any future time he could be of assistance to them.
The proceedings then terminated.
1866 Jun 30 The Wrexham Advertiser, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Shropshire, Cheshire & North Wales Register
OLYMPlC FESTIVAL AT LLANDUDNO
The delightful and picturesque sea-bathing town of Llandudno was on Monday the scene of considerable bustle and gaiety, consequent on the fifth annual Olyrnpic festival of the Athletic Society of Great Britain (which has for its president Colonel H. M. Walmsley, and the vice-president Mr John Hulley, gymnasiarch of Liverpool) being held there. The weather was beautifully fine, and the sports not only proved a source of attraction to the numerous visitors who have already taken up their summer quarters at this delightful place, but also induced hundreds of others to come from a distance, both by steamboat and rail. The prizes offered by the society were to be contested for by gentlemen amateurs, and consisted of 7 gold, 26 silver, and 26 bronze medals; also a champion medal for the competitor showing the greatest general proficiency in athletic exercises, to be presented by Mr W. B. Hughes, M.P. for the Carnarvonshire boroughs.
The sports consisted of foot-racing, walking matches, broad-sword contests, vaulting, horizontal bar exercise, jumping, fencing, wrestling, swimming, &c. The entries in each class were pretty numerous, and comprised competitors from Liverpool, Birkenhead, Manchester, and other towns. The contests took place in a large field near Llandudno, which was enclosed, a grand stand being erected at one side which commanded a good view of the sports. There was a very good attendance, both of ladies and gentlemen. Mr Hulley acted as director of the festival, which lasted three days. The following officiated as judges —Professor Andre Durbec, Professor Henry Neville, Mr James Mace, teacher of boxing; Mr W. Beckton, teacher of wrestling; and Mr Ralph Mitchell, teacher of swimming, of the Liverpool Gymnasium. The competitors marched on to the ground shortly after 3 o’clock, preceded by Mr Distin’s band, which was engaged for the fetes.
Colonel H. M. Walmsley, the president of the society, in opening the proceedings, said he could not allow the
occasion to pass without reverting for a moment to the purpose for which the meeting had taken place. There
had been what seemed to him, much useless discussion as to the merits or demerits of athletic training; but
nature spoke for itself in this matter. After showing how man from infancy required both physical and mental training, the gallant Colonel said he would not remind them of the kindness and goodwill which they should show to each other in this amicable contest, because he felt sure that that kindness and goodwill were already implanted in their breasts; but he would remind them that they trod on historic ground—they trod on the ground which the Roman legions had trod upon when they drove before them the beaten Britons, and they trod upon the soil which the cruel Edward trod upon when he drove the Cymru beyond their native mountains, Those montains overlooked them—they were overlooked by the whole of the Snowdonian range, and the ever-surging sea would sound in their ears as they competed in these games. Mr Hughes, the member of Parliament for the Carnarvónshire boroughs, would present the champion medal to the successful competitor, and he (Colonel Walmsley) could only say he envied him. Bright eyes would look upon their deeds that day and the next. They saw the blue eyes of the Saxon ladies and the dark eyes of the Cymru ladies beaming upon them, and let this be encouragement to them in the contest. Colonel Walmsley then, as president of the Athletic Society, declared the festival open, and called upon Mr Hulley, the director of the games, to proceed with the sports.
Mr Hulley then called over the names of the competitors who had entered for the 100 yard flat race.
Eighteen had entered, and the race was divided into two heats. In the first heat seven started, and after a good race it was won by C. G. Emery of London, the time occupied being 11½ seconds; W. M’Laren, of Pendlebury, Manchester, ran second. The second heat, for which five started, was run in 11¼ seconds, the winner being W. H. Smith, of the Manchester Atheneam Gymnasium, and the second F. Harold Boult, Noctorum. On the deciding, heat being contested, W. M’Laren won the first prize, consisting of a silver medal, and C. G. Emery the second prize. The time was 10½ seconds.
For the broadsword combats, two prizes, consisting of a silver and a bronze medal, were awarded to the most proficient. There were only four entries to this contest—two members of the Liverpool Gymnasium, and two members of the Manchester Gymnasium. Only three, however, answered when the names were called. The first bout was between A. J. Gilton and John Heap, both of Manchester, in which the former was worsted, leaving Heap and George Henderson, of Liverpool, to contest for the prizes. After some very smart play on both sides, Henderson was pronounced the victor, Heap carrying off the second prize.
The next was a half-mile flat race, for which there were 13 entries, but only seven started. After a splendid race, James Hooton, of the Liverpool Gymnasium, took the first prize, and Kenelm Digby, of the London Athletics Club, the second. The race was ran in 2 minutes 11 seconds.
The boxing matches, in which there were eight entries, were left undecided until Tuesday. A two-mile flat race, for which there were eleven entries, out of which nine started, was won by Joseph Snow, of Manchester, John Goodman, of Liverpool, being second. A third prize was offered, but the two already named were the only runners who went the entire distance. There were three entries for the vaulting prizes, the first being taken by George Henderson, of the Liverpool Gymnasium,who cleared seven feet, and the second by R. J. Mitchell, Stacksteads. There was also some very good horizontal bar exercises, in which there were eight competitors, but the prizes were not to be awarded until Tuesday. A four-wile walking match, in which there were three competitors, the first to receive a gold medal, was won by Thomas Hodson, of Farnworth, who walked the distance in 34 minutes 27 seconds. The second prize, a silver medal, was taken by Robert Dunlop, Bootle, who went over the ground in 35
minutes 28 seconds.
There were nine competitors for the prizes offered for high jumping. The first prize was taken by R. J. Mitchell, of Stacksteads, who cleared 5 feet 5 inches, and the second by G. A. Bayley, of Stalybridge, who cleared 5 feet
4¼ inches. A hurdle race of 220 yards was also won by G. A. Bayley in 26¾ seconds, John Duckworth, of Haslingden, being second.
The final contest of the day consisted in putting 32lb. and 36 lb. shot. There were eleven entries. Joseph Taylor, of the Liverpool gymnasium, succeeded in putting the 32 lb. a distance of 18 feet 6 inches, and the 36 lb. 17 feet 5 inches; H. J. Mitchell, Stacksteads, placed the 36 lb. a distance of 18 feet 7 inches, and G. A. Bayley, Stalybridge, the 32 lb. a distance of 18 feet.
At the conclusion of the day’s sports, Mr John Williams proposed a vote of thanks to Colonel Walmsley for his exertions in promoting the festival. This was carried with three hearty cheers. Cheers were also given for the committee.
The contests for the prizes were resumed on Tuesday, Colonel H. M. Walmsley again presiding over the sports. Mr W. B. Hughes, M.P. for the Carnarvonshire boroughs, the donors of the champion’s medal, was present. There was a large attendance of ladies and gentlemen. Mr John Hulley, gymnasiarch of Liverpool, again acted as director.
The programme included prizes for foot-racing, fencing, Indian club exercises, dumb-bells, boxing, jumping, wrestling, and sabre v. bayonet. The first event was a 200 yards flat race. There were eleven entries, but only seven started. The result was a very clever race, and was won by Charles G. Emery, of London, who accomplished the distance in 22½ seconds. George Adam Bayley, of Stalybridge, took the second prize. Eleven for the one mile flat race, but only five started.
This was an exciting race, the contest being very close towards the finish between Joseph Snow, of Manchester, and Albert Pearson, of the Liverpool Gymnasium. The latter won; time, 5 minutes and 1 second. Snow was second, and John Goodman, of Liverpool, third. For the quarter-mile flat race 14 competitors entered, but only 7 appeared at the scratch. This race, like the last, was very closely contested. The winner was Kenelm Digby, of the London
Athletic Club. The time the race was run in was 50 secs. W. M’Laren, of Pendlebury, was second.
The most exciting and amusing part of the afternoon’s sport was the one-mile steeplechase, for which there were 8 entries. Three prizes were given—1st, a gold medal; 2nd, a silver medal; 3rd, a bronze medal. To accomplish the prescribed distance, it was necessary to traverse the course four and a-half times, and each time round necessitated the leaping of twelve hurdles, one of which also included a water jump, which consisted of a pit 12 feet wide, and containing about 18 inches of water. This was faced with a hurdle two feet and a half high. Four started—namely, Kenelm Digby, of the London Athletic Club; F. A. Thomas, of Birkenhead; Albert Pearson, of Liverpool; and Jas. Hooton, of Liverpool. Digby jumped off with the lead at the start, and cleared the hurdles in good style, but when he arrived at the water jump he refused it at the first attempt, but suddenly turned round, leaped, and fell into the middle of the ditch to the great amusement of the onlookers. The other three cleared it, and were applauded. The second and third time round it was only cleared by Thomas. Digby, notwithstanding his
misfortunes at the water jump, still maintained the running. At the commencement of the fourth round he was, however, overtaken by Hooton, and when within a few yards of the pit he in turn was led by Thomas, who this time alone cleared the jump in gallant style. The others came to grief in the ditch as usual, but Thomas’s pace being slow he was caught by Hooton, who kept the lead and won the race, Thomas being second, and Pearson third. The finish of the race consisted of a straight run in, but Thomas, seeing he had no chance of winning, to show his freshness, for the fifth time cleared the twelve-feet water leap. He was loudly applauded.
There were four entries for a half-mile flat race for youths under 18 years of age, but only three contested. Won by John Goodman, of Liverpool; G. H. Turner, of Liverpool, was second.
Out of ten entries for competition for prizes offered for wide-jumping only five contested. R. G. Mitchell, of Stacksteads, cleared a distance of 20 ft. 6 in. and won the first prize; 2nd prize, 20 feet, G. A. Bayley, of Stalybridge.
Five gentlemen contested for the prizes offered for fencing. S. Crowley, of Manchester, and G. Henderson,
of Liverpool, were first opposed to each other, and the latter had the best of the contest. They were succeeded
by John Heap, of Manchester, and H. E. Rowe, of Liverpool, and S. Crowley, of Manchester, as the odd
man, had to face Henderson. Heap beat Rowe, and Henderson worsted Crowley, which left them to contest
for the prizes, and finally Heap proved victorious, the second prize being taken by Henderson.
James Smalley, of Manchester, was awarded the first prize for proficiency in Indian club exercises. For the
second prize, George Henderson, Liverpool, and A. G. Gilton, Manchester, were pronounced equal. The judges
were Messrs. J. B. Lee, of Liverpool, and Fairweather, of Manchester.
At the close Colonel Walmsley, the president of the society, announced that swimming and diving matches
would take place on Wednesday; also that Mr W. B. Hughes, M.P., had consented to deliver the prizes to
the successful competitors on Thursday.
The sabre v. bayonet contests resulted at follows :—
First prize Bayonet, J. B. Lee, Liverpool; second prize, A. J. Gilton, Manchester. First prize Sabre, George Henderson, Liverpool; second, John Heap, Manchester. Dumb-bells: George Henderson, Liverpool; and J. G. Elliott, Liverpool were equal. Parallel bars, above 5 feet 8 inches: First, George Henderson, Liverpool; second, W. J. Madeley, Derby Gymnasium. Under 5 feet 8 inches: First, G. W. Renshaw, Manchester; second, Ambrose Lee, Manchester. Pole-leaping: First, G. A. Bayley, Stalybridge; second, R. J. Mitchell, Stacksteads. Wrestling: First, Joseph Taylor, of Liverpool; second Maurice Moss, of Liverpool.
The weather, as on the two preceding days, was all that could be desired. The sun was very hot, but a light cool breeze from seawards rendered it very agreeable. The contests were confined to swimming and diving matches, which took place in the bay, at a short distance from the pier, from which they were witnessed by numerous spectators. Several yachts were also stationed in the bay, and were bedecked with flags of every colour. On board of these were the promoters of the sports and their friends. The sea was beautifully calm; indeed, it was as still as an inland lake, for there was hardly the slightest ripple upon it.
The entries for the swimming races were very numerous, but oniy on one occasion did more than three present themselves to compete in any race. The exception was in the 100 yards race, when four started. The first event set down in the programme was the 100 yards race, for which there were eight entries, but only three started. The race was a most excellent one, and showed some excellent swimming on the part of John Dow, of Lockwood, who won the first prize, consisting of a gold medal. The second prize was won by A. C. Williams, of Woolwich; and the third by Thomas B. Stanley, of
Manchester. There were four entries for the half race, but only two started. George Henderson, of Liverpool,
won the first prize, and T. G. Winstanley, of Liverpool, the second. Only three started for the quarter of a mile race, although seven had entered. George Henderson of Liverpool, proved the victor. For the 100 yards race there were eleven entries, and four started. John Eaton, of Market Drayton, won the first prize, and N. Whiteley, of Manchester, the second. John Duncan, of Liverpool, was awarded the first prize of a gold medal for diving; H. Tobias, Liverpool, the second prize, and G. H. Turner, Liverpool, third. For fancy swimming, W. Ocleston, of Liverpool, obtained the first prize, and George Henderson, of Liverpool. second.
In, the evening an illumination took place, and a dance on the promenade.
The prizes were distributed to the succesful cornpetitors by Mr W. B. Hughes, M.P. for the Carnarvonshire boroughs.
1866 07 Jul The North Wales Chronicle (Advertisement)
THE JUVENILE ATHLETES
OF GREAT BRITAIN,
will hold their
ON THE 24th and 25th of JULY 1866,
WHEN SILVER AND BRONZE MEDALS will be offered for competition in the following
contests, to Youths under 15 years of age:-
One Hundred Yards Flat Race High and Wide Jumping
Two Hundred Yards Flat Race Putting the Stone
Four Hundred and Forty Yards Flat Race One Hundred Yards Swimming Race
One Mile Walking Match Two Hundred Yards Swimming Race
Two Hundred Yards Hurdle Race Quarter of a Mile Swimming Race
Quarter of a Mile Steeplechase Half a Mile Swimming Race
Half a Mile Steeplechase Diving Match
Entries will be received, and every information given, by the Honorary Secretaries, Colonel Walmsley and
John Hulley, at the Office of the Amusements Committee, Clonmell-street, between the hours of Nine and
Ten a.rn., each day.
1866 28 Jul The North Wales Chronicle
JUVENILE OLYMPIC FESTIVAL
The Juvenile Athletes of Great Britain, presented by the sons of families who yearly stay at Llandudno in the summer season, held their second Olympic festival on Tuesday, on the ground provided by the Llandudno Amusement Committee for the fetes of the Athletic Society in June last. The weather was delightful, a cool breeze
tempering the otherwise hot summer sunshine, and the attendance was of the best, hundreds of fair ladies gracing the stand with their presence. There were nearly 4000 persons present. The competitors numbered 27, most of whom put in an appearance. The president of the day was Col. M’Corquodale; the judge, Mr. Dudley Watkins; the starter, Mr. W. A. Birch ; and the clerk of the course, Capt. Grylis; the stewards comprising Col. Munn, Col. Walmsley, Capt. Hargreaves, Rev John Henn, and half-a-dozen other gentlemen.
The competitors met at half-past two, at St. George’s Hall, and marshalled by the gymnasiarch. Mr. John Hulley, Liverpool, walked in procession to the ground, headed by Distin’s brass band. The President, in a brief speech, expressed the pleasure he felt in being present and taking part in the day’s proceedings.
The first part of the proceedings. was a hundred yards race for boys under 15. Six started. The first that came in was H. Jones, Derby, by a lead of four yards; second, Edward Ridgeway, Waterford; 3rd, D. B. M’Laren, Manchester.
100 yards race for boys under 12½, and over 10½ years. Seven started. 1. A.S. Innes, Manchester; 2. Jacob G. Brown, Liverpool ; 3. Clement Cox, Liverpool.
100 yards race for boys under 10½ years. Ten started. 1. R. Brewis, Golborne; 2 Leigh Harold Elkington, Birmingham; 3. Alwyne Ridgeway, Waterford.
Quarter mile flat race, for boys under 15 years Seven started. 1. J. Bonner, Chester; 2. Arnold Roden, Llandudno ; 3. Edward Ridgeway, Waterford
Quarter mile flat race for boys under 12½ years. Five started. 1. Jacob Brown Liverpool; 2. Clement Cox, Liverpool; 3. J. J. Bateman, Birmingham.
Quarter mile flat race for boys under 10½ years. Seven started. 1. K. Brewis; 2. L. H. Elkington; Alwyne Ridgeway.
200 yards hurdle race, for boys under 15 years. Six hurdIes, 2 ft. 6 in. high. Five started.1.J. Bonner; 2. E. Ridgway; 3. A. Roden, Llandudno.
200 yards hurdle race, for boys under 12½ years. Five started. 1. Jacob Brown; 2. Clement Cox; 3. G. F. M‘Corquodale, Newton.
200 yards hurdle race, for boys under 10½ years. Six started. 1. R. Brewis; 2. Alwyne Ridgeway; J. Brewis fell through one of the judges knocking. down the hurdle, being third at the time.
200 yards flat race, for boys under 15 years. Five started. 1. J. Bonner ; 2. E. Ridgway; 3. Arnold Roden.
200 yards flat race for boys under 12½ years. Four started. 1. Jacob Brown; 2. Clement Cox.
2OO yard flat race for boys under 10½ years. Nine started. 1. R. Brewis; 2. L. H. Elkington.
Climbing pole, for boys under 12½ years. 1. Jacob G. Brown ; 2. G. F. M’Corquodale.
Climbing pole, for boys under 10½ years. 1. John Brewis; 2. W. Gibbons, Manchester.
High jumping, height 4 ft. 2 in. boys under 15 years. 1. E. Ridgeway; 2. A S. Innes.
High jumping, height 3 ft 10in., boys under 12½ years. 1. J. Brown; 2. J. J. Bateman..
High jumping, height 3 ft. 8 in., boys under 10½ years. 1. R.. Brewis; 2. John Brewis.
The remainder of the sports were deferred till Wednesday evening.
Section 3 - Correspondence concerning the award of “The champIon for 1866 of the gentlemen athletes of Great Britain” at the 1866 Llandudno Olympic Festival.
1866 15 Nov Liverpool Mercury
MYRTLE.STREET GYMNASIUM: CELEBRATION OF THE OPENING
TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY
GentIemen,- An open and honourable spirit of rlvalry Is at all times noble and laudable, but an ungenerous and unfriendly attempt to Ignore or depreciate others is utterly reprehensible. In your impression of the 7th lnstant I find an interesting report of the “celebration of the opening of thie Myrtle-street Gymnasium,” wherein Mr. George Henderson is designated as “the champIon for 1866 of the gentlemen athletes of Great Britain.”
Now, whilst not impugning the abiIity of Mr. Henderson, it is neither correct nor just to speak of him as the ‘’champion of 1866.” It is well known that at the Manchester Athletic Festival of 1866 he was vanquished in every competition in which he took part. In fenctng and single-stick he was defeated by Mr. John Heap and other gentlemen; in boxing, dumbell and gymnastic exercises by Mr. James Smalley, the champion of the festIval and others; and In vaulting by Mr. Marmon and others. I may further state that In none of these competitions did he obtain ever a second place, excepting In dumbbell exercises, when only two competed. With respect to the statement ot Mr. Melly who must have laboured under a misapprehension that “Mr Hulley has the satisfaction of having ralsed a goodly regiment of athletes in his own town such as exist no-where else unless it be In the metropolis,” I need only say that every one of the above gentlemen who excelled Mr. Henderson and gained the first medals were Manchester gentlemen, and with the single exception of Mr. Marmon, members of the Manchester Athenaeum Gymnastic Club. Yours &c., P. B. L COOPER.
Nov. 12, 1866. Manchester Athenaeum Gynmaatlc Club
1866 16 Nov Liverpool Mercury
TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY
Gentlemen, - In answer to Mr. P. B. L. Cooper’s letter, which appeared in your columns to-day, I wil simply state that at the Annual Olympic FestIval of the Athletic Society of Great Britain, held at Llandudno in June last, the champion medal for 1866, presented by W. Buckeley Hughes Esq., M.P.,was awarded to Mr. G. Henderson
for general proficiency in athletic exerc!ses. Assuring you I cordially endorse the sentiments expressed by
Mr. Cooper in the the first part of his letter, namely, that an open and honourable spIrit of rivalry is at all times noble
and laudable but an ungenerous and unfriendly attempt to ignore or depreciate others is utterly reprehensibIe,
I am, &c, JOHN HULLEY Gymnasiarch of Liverpool
1866 19 Nov Liverpool Mercury
TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY
Gentlemen,—As a rejoinder to Mr. Hulley’s reply in your issue of to-day, may I be permitted to observe that his explanation is calculated to convey an erroneous impression, inasmuch as the athletic festival at Manchester was subsequent to the Llandudno festival, and, consequently, whatever distinction Mr. Henderson acquired at Llandudno he afterwards honourably lost at Manchester, having been beaten there In every contest in which he took part. Under these circumstances, it surely cannot be equitable that Mr. Henderson should be represented as the champion for 1866, implying as it does that he Is superior to all his competitors during the year.
I readily admit the successes of Mr. Henderson at Llandudno. I only regret that the achievements of Mr. James Smalley, who has since defeated Mr. Henderson for the champion gold medal at Manchester, presented by E. James, Esq., M.P., have not been acknowledged by Mr. Hulley in the same spirit—Yours, etc.,
F. B. S. COOPER
Athenaeum Gymnastic Club, Manchester, Nov. 10.
1866 19 Nov Liverpool Mercury
TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY
Gentlemen,—Reading Mr. Cooper’s letter in yours of yesterday respecting Mr. Henderson’s right to the title of “Champion for 1866 of the gentlemen athletes of Great BrltaIn,” I should like to make a few suggestions. Firstly, that there should be such a title offered to the best amateur, in order that such a stimulant might make our budding athletes more desirous of obtaining that proud title, than covering their bodies with medals which, after all, are no recompense for the toil and anxiety of preparation for such contests, SecondIy, that the title should be obtained at the “National Olympian Festival” in each year, which, according to their programme, will be held each successive year, at one of the great towns in England; also I would suggest that the test of champion should be the obtaining the first prize given for general exercise, viz., swimming, running, leaping, climbing, and putting the weight. This is a fair test of a man’s capabilities, and none but a good man can win such a prize. Thirdly, I should propose that a subscription list be opened, to provide a handsome gold medal and an Iliuminated certificate to be presented to the successfuI competitor.
I have only to say that Liverpool ought to be proud of such a man as Mr. Henderson; and when Manchester
can provide a better, then let them contest the point practically not through the medium of your columns. The absurd plan of training simply to excel in a 150-yard race or a quarter-mile, neglecting the Important branches of athletics, such as swimming, climbing (the best test of a man’s capabilities), leaping, and putting the shot, deserves every good man’s contempt.
Mr. Hulley might institute a subscription plate, to be handed round among his nightly spectators at Myrtle-street, by one of his picked men In aid of the proposed “Amateur Champion’s” prize, and I feel certain the income derived from that alone would suffice. Then, no doubt, the German Gymnastic Soclety would follow suit:
—Yours, &c, . J. G. ELLIOTT,
Deutscher Turnverein, London.
London, Nov. 16 1866.
P.S.—I will gladly add my mite (£1) to any list that may be opened.
1866 21 Nov Liverpool Mercury
THE CHAMPION ATHLETE
TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY
Gentlemen—Mr. P. B. L. Cooper states that my explanation respecting Mr. G. Henderson’s right to the title of champion of the gentlemen athletes of Great Britain for 1866 is calculated to convey an erroneons interpretation.
In my letter I simply stated that at the annual olympic festival of the Athletic Society of Great Brltain, held at Llandudno in June last, the champion medal for 1866 presented by Mr W. Bulkeley Hughes, M. P., was awarded Mr. C. Henderson for general proficiency In athletic exercises.
How this statement, in answer to Mr. Cooper’s assertion, that It was “neither correct nor just to speak of him as the champion of 1866,” is calculated to convey an erroneous impression, I am at a loss to understand.
Since Mr. Cooper seems to know very little of the matter he writes about, and you deem the subject of sufficient Importance to allow of Its descrlption in your columns, I will endeavour to explain how champion medals are awarded.
In the rules and information for competitors, published by the Athletic Society, prizes were offered for competition as follows :—For walking running, jumping, vaulting, swimming, diving, boxing, wrestling, dumbbell exercises, Indian club exercises, gymnastics, broadsword fencing, sabre v. bayonet, putting the shot, and pole leaping.
The Athletic Society’s circular states that “the champion’s gold medal, presented by W. Bulkeley Hughes, Esq., M.P., will be awarded to the competitor showing the greatest general proficiency in athletic exercises.” Now, It was quite possible for a competitor to obtain this medal without actually gaining a prlze in any of the above contests, though Mr. Henderson, in his efforts to gain It, succeeded In carrying off no fewer than one gold, five silver, and five bronze medals. A competitor who considers he has a chance of winning the champion medal, and is desirous of doing so, would enter for every contest in which he had a prospect of being awarded marks. For instance, If he entered for six contests and took two first prlzes for these, he would score ten marks, or five for each first prize; In two other contests In which he succeeded In carrying off two second prizes, he would score six, or three for each second prize; and In the two last contests in which we will say he acquitted himself creditably, he might be awarded two marks In one contest and one mark In the other, according to the proficiency he displayed, making a total score of 19. Again, a man might enter for ten contests and, though not actually gaining a first or even second class prize In any, might, for the skill he displayed In eacb be awarded two marks for each, or a total of 20 marks for all, thus standing a better chance for the championship than the man who took the two first and two second class prizes.
Now the object of giving this champion medal for general proficiency Is to endeavour to secure a harmonious development of the bodily powers by systematic culture of all the physical faculties, and not to induce a partial and one-sided development such as is likely to arise from paying undue attention to one series of exercises to the neglect of others.
The Manchester Athletic Festival has nothing whatever to do with the polnt in question, for it was of a purely local character; and I do not claim for Mr. Henderson the title of champion of the Manchester AthIetic Festival, but that of champion of the gentlemen athletes of Great Britain.
Still, for the information of those interested in the matter, I will also quote extracts from the Manchester Festival Committee circular, the contests, for which were very similar to the Athletic Society’s, with the exception of swimming, prizes for this branch of physical education not being offered. A still more Important poInt In the subject in question Mr. Cooper has entirely disregarded, namely, a champion’s medal for general proficiency, which was not offered at all, but instead, and I will now quote the extract from their circular –“The pedestrian champion’s gold enamelled medal will be awarded to the winner of most marks in the pedestrian contests, and a pedestrian proficiency gold medal to the second best. The gymnastic champion’s gold enamelled and the gymnastic proficiency gold medal will be similarly awarded In the gymnastic contests; thus a silver medal to score five marks, a bronze medal three marks,” not, one word being said about a champion’s medal for general proficiency, which, if I am not very much mistaken, was neither offered nor given.
In conclusion, I may state that both Mr. Smalley and Mr. Heap took part with Mr. Henderon In the national competition at Llandudno. The following are the results: —For Mr. Henderson: One gold medal (1st prize) for gymnastics, one silver medal (1st prize) for broadsword, one silver medal (1st prize) for vaulting, one silver medal (1st prize) for sabre v. bayonet, one silver medal (2nd prize) for half-miIe swimming race, one silver medal (2nd prize) for quarter-mile swimming race, one bronze medal (2nd prize) for fencing, one bronze medal (2nd prIze) for Indian club exercises, one bronze medal (2nd prlze) for wrestling middle weights, one bronze medal (2nd prIze) for dumbbell exercises, and one bronze medal (3rd prize) for fancy swimming. Against Mr. Smalley’s one silver medal (1st prize) for Indian club exercises, and Mr. Heap’s one silver medal (1st prize) for boxing, light weight, one silver medal (1st prize) for fencing, one bronze medal (2nd prize) for broadsword and one bronze mcdel (2nd prize) for sabre v bayonet. Or a total for the two last-named gentlemen of three silver and two bronze medals against Mr. Henderson’s total (without Including the champion’s medal) of one gold, flve silver, and five bronze medals.
Trusting this explanation will be satisfactory and thanking you for your courtesy, I am, &c,
JOHN HULLEY. Gymnasiarch of LIverpool.
P.S.—I will draw Mr. Cooper’s attention to another fact with which he should be well acquainted, since comments were made upon it in the Manchester papers, namely, that during the early part of the competitions Mr. Henderson sustained injuries from a severe fall from the platform, which much militated against his success in subsequent contests. I will also remind Mr. Cooper that owing to the postponement of their festival, Mr.Henderson completed in Manchester after three days severe competition at the Crystal Palace, London, at the meeting of the National Olympian Association, where he carried off the first prize for wrestling, broadsword, vaulting; also prizes for swimming and general proficiency.
Further letters on thIs subject must be paid as advertisements. EDITS MERC.