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Forum Home > Tale's from the region. > Wenlock Olympic Games.

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

Wenlock, William Penny Brooks. Olympic Games.


Nobody can have missed, even me, and I'm partially deaf, the big event coming up next year. No, I havn't got a ticket, nor am competing, my running, jumping, throwing days, are long gone. In response to a question, from someone, who no longer resides in the area, but has moved to the more tranquil calm of Shropshire, will this do? Doctor William Penny Brookes, medical man, conservationist, education enthusiast, founder of a Gas Works, and a guiding light behind a Railway Company, was born in Much Wenlock, in 1809. A man of many parts, great vision, and so much energy, it fair makes your head spin. Where today, could you find such a man, and the lord knows we could do with one or two like him. Amongst all that I have listed, in 1849, when he was, by the standards of the time, a bit on the old side, he staged his version of the Ancient Greek Olympian Games. The following year, after making a stirring speech outside The Gaskell Arms, he led the intrepid citizens to the Towns Racecourse, for a day of fun and entertaiment. Not sports as you and I would play today, Tilting at rings is a bit out of fashion now, as it would appear, is blindfold wheel barrow racing, but what the hell, it was a day of fun after all. There was cricket, football, an old Ladies race, chasing a pig through the streets, knitting and sewing contests, and even " glee singing ". He didn't leave the kids out either, they had writing and arithmetic competitions, oh I bet that was a barrel of fun. This went on for years, and people from all over the Black Country came to both watch, and compete. It did of course change, and by 1890, it had attracted no less a person then Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the accepted founder of the modern games in 1896. Looking at whats on offer for next year, and the prices, I can't help but ponder, that Doctor Brookes achieved something of a minor miracle. In 1876, for the pricely sum of 2p, you could walk through the gate, at The Linden Field, and watch all the action. The charge for horse riders was just 6p, but those who turned up in their finery, travelling in style by a carriage and pair, had to pay 2s 6p. Fair enough I would have thought, they may have lived out in the wilds of Shropshire, but this was not a Town of country hicks. Doctor Brookes died in 1895, a much mourned man. Next time your're over that way, do have a look round, his presence is still there, he is buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard. You can see his image in the Gallery.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

July 4, 2011 at 3:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

How nice to see, that the Olympic Torch will be passing through Wenlock, on the way to next years Games. Normally, I would give a little cheer, but what with the economic situation, and the truly massive cost, of what amounts to be little more than an excuse to rebuild a rundown area of London, I can't just seem to raise the breath. They should have given it to Wenlock, who could have done it all on the cheap, and maybe then we wouldn't all be saddled with an expensive Stadium nobody wants.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

November 7, 2011 at 3:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Unicorn
Member
Posts: 46

To true.

November 8, 2011 at 1:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

Finally, the re-furbished Museum is at last to re-open this month, thanks to some much needed grant aid. You can see more information by clicking on to the Museums website, which can be found on the Links Page.  After all the hard work, I hope they achive all they aimed for.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

February 7, 2012 at 2:48 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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