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  • The half day closing didn't just relate to shops but to all businesses. The town would close on Thursday afternoon. I don't doubt that farm labouers still had to toil, and various other trades. But the inescapable connection is that the midweek cricket match took place on the day of the week when Blandford had its half day closing - when the band was encouraged to turn up afterwards to make a little festivity out if it - the bandsmen being able to do this as it was a half holiday and they wouldn't be working, just as the cricketers could play because it was a half holiday.
    This all points - not 100% conclusively, but it very strongly points - to an afternoon match.

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    • Hansard, Wednesday 4th March 1903—

      Mr. Price [Norfolk E]—

      It would be in the recollection of hon. Members that in the year 1888 a Bill dealing with the early closing of shops was introduced by Lord Avebury, then Sir John Lubbock, and was rejected by a very large majority.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Steve Blomer View Post

        Hi RJ,
        I am normally greatly swayed by hard facts.
        In this case, the only reasonable hard facts are the train times.
        I have seen you mention several.different times for last trains into.London, of course it does not help that there several possible departure points and connections.

        Would it be possible to.bring all this togeather in a single Post?
        Hi Steve -- If I ever get there, I surely will.

        In the meantime, these timetables are from Jan 1889, but my working assumption is that they would have been the same six months earlier.

        If Druitt can get to the Blandford train station by 4.55 p.m., he can be at his sex-shop in Aldgate by 10.30. Maybe earlier, depending on the times of the express train which are not easy to pin down.

        As Edward rightly notes, it all depends on the when the cricket match started and, of course, ended.

        Only eight minutes to spare at Bournemouth West Station.

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        • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

          Hi Steve -- If I ever get there, I surely will.

          In the meantime, these timetables are from Jan 1889, but my working assumption is that they would have been the same six months earlier.

          If Druitt can get to the Blandford train station by 4.55 p.m., he can be at his sex-shop in Aldgate by 10.30. Maybe earlier, depending on the times of the express train which are not easy to pin down.

          As Edward rightly notes, it all depends on the when the cricket match started and, of course, ended.

          Only eight minutes to spare at Bournemouth West Station.

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          Hmm. I got the impression that your researches into the cricketers before concentrated on the Isle of Purbeck team. I am just wondering what local variations there would be in half-day closing, and whether it might have been on a different day in the Isle of Purbeck. Or indeed, given that the Purbeck team needed to travel to the game, whether half-day closing would have given many working men on that side time to get to the match even if it were on the same day.

          Anyhow, I wonder whether it would be worth a closer look at the Blandford team to see if it contained a significant number of working men, which might point to an afternoon start?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
            I spoke to someone who knows about cricket in the 1880s who told me all the matches started at 3pm.
            Well he was wrong!

            I’m finding matches across the country starting at 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30…
            Attached Files

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            • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

              Hmm. I got the impression that your researches into the cricketers before concentrated on the Isle of Purbeck team. I am just wondering what local variations there would be in half-day closing, and whether it might have been on a different day in the Isle of Purbeck. Or indeed, given that the Purbeck team needed to travel to the game, whether half-day closing would have given many working men on that side time to get to the match even if it were on the same day.

              Anyhow, I wonder whether it would be worth a closer look at the Blandford team to see if it contained a significant number of working men, which might point to an afternoon start?
              Of course, a game played on a day that was a holiday would have more spectators. Blandford wasn’t big enough to fill the stands with the idle rich.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

                Well he was wrong!

                I’m finding matches across the country starting at 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30…
                That late? I'm seeing matches starting at 11.00 and 11.30 a.m. in August 1888, and then stopping for lunch.

                And this includes some Thursdays. Whether social games would adhere to the same schedule as 'serious' matches, I don't know.

                The following match in Hastings was particularly well-documented. The plan was to begin on Thursday morning, but by "early afternoon" the match was cancelled due to steady rain, so it began at 11.30 a.m. the next day. At 2:55 they stopped for lunch, and the match was over at 3:45 p.m.

                It is easy to find references to so-and-so bowling much better 'after luncheon,' so the early start is obviously not unusual.

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                • Gary - it was satire

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                  • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                    I spoke to someone who knows about cricket in the 1880s who told me all the matches started at 3pm.
                    Is that an accusation of dishonesty Ed? Or the sound of a man unwilling to accept a fact?
                    Regards

                    Michael🔎


                    " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                      The half day closing didn't just relate to shops but to all businesses. The town would close on Thursday afternoon. I don't doubt that farm labouers still had to toil, and various other trades. But the inescapable connection is that the midweek cricket match took place on the day of the week when Blandford had its half day closing - when the band was encouraged to turn up afterwards to make a little festivity out if it - the bandsmen being able to do this as it was a half holiday and they wouldn't be working, just as the cricketers could play because it was a half holiday.
                      This all points - not 100% conclusively, but it very strongly points - to an afternoon match.
                      Utter drivel.
                      Regards

                      Michael🔎


                      " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                        Gary - it was satire
                        I guessed as much.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

                          Hmm. I got the impression that your researches into the cricketers before concentrated on the Isle of Purbeck team. I am just wondering what local variations there would be in half-day closing, and whether it might have been on a different day in the Isle of Purbeck. Or indeed, given that the Purbeck team needed to travel to the game, whether half-day closing would have given many working men on that side time to get to the match even if it were on the same day.

                          Anyhow, I wonder whether it would be worth a closer look at the Blandford team to see if it contained a significant number of working men, which might point to an afternoon start?
                          Yes, out of curiosity, I did look to see if it would have been difficult for the Isle of Purbeck team to get to Blandford for a mid-morning match, if indeed it started mid-morning. The trains out of Corfe Castle and Wareham (where most of the players lived) left before or just after 8 a.m. and arrived in Wimborne at 8.30., where (theoretically) Druitt could have joined their party. I had trouble finding the morning trains from Wimborne to Blandford, so it is still a work-in-progress.

                          I didn't study the Blandford team in great detail, but one of the players was a wealthy solicitor and JP whose ancestral home is now listed. Another player was a vicar, and 'W. Farquharson' played on the Blandford team against an 'M. Druitt' in 1885. I think this must have been Walter Farquharson, the MP's cousin. If this is the correct, he died in India the next year.


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                          • Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post

                            Utter drivel.
                            Why Mike? Thursday was the half day, and it seems Thursday and Saturday were the days when cricket matches were played at Blandford. Why wouldn’t the start of the Thursday matches have been set to coincide with the closing of the town’s businesses? The recreation ground was a community facility.

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                            • https://www.cambscrickethistory.co.uk/

                              This is the website of the guy I emailed. A man who has clearly done a lot of research into Victorian cricket and who clearly has contact with likeminded men who know their subject. That the game could have started at 1.00 or 12.00 should be beyond question. In fact it should be considered likely. Upsetting though that may be.
                              Regards

                              Michael🔎


                              " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

                                Yes, out of curiosity, I did look to see if it would have been difficult for the Isle of Purbeck team to get to Blandford for a mid-morning match, if indeed it started mid-morning. The trains out of Corfe Castle and Wareham (where most of the players lived) left before or just after 8 a.m. and arrived in Wimborne at 8.30., where (theoretically) Druitt could have joined their party. I had trouble finding the morning trains from Wimborne to Blandford, so it is still a work-in-progress.

                                I didn't study the Blandford team in great detail, but one of the players was a wealthy solicitor and JP whose ancestral home is now listed. Another player was a vicar, and 'W. Farquharson' played on the Blandford team against an 'M. Druitt' in 1885. I think this must have been Walter Farquharson, the MP's cousin. If this is the correct, he died in India the next year.


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                                Thanks. What I was wondering really is whether an afternoon start on an early-closing day in Blandford would allow working men to play for the Blandford side to a greater extent than for the Isle of Purbeck side - because (1) maybe it wasn't early-closing day in the Isle of Purbeck and (2) even if it were, because the Purbeck team had to travel, working men might not have had time to get to Blandford after finishing work at lunchtime. So maybe if it was an afternoon start, we should expect to find a higher proportion of working men in the Blandford team than in the Purbeck team?

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