Fun and Games at Haslingfield School

Given the current stress on sporting activity as an antidote to childhood obesity, it’s perhaps surprising that there is hardly any mention of organised games at Haslingfield School before 1920. The Head in 1923, Mr. Herbert Saunders, decided such activities were important, but for moral rather than physical reasons:
“Through games I hope to effect an honourable attitude in & out of class”.

His search for a playing field and funds for sports equipment was, however, unsuccessful, for in 1940 school games were still being playede on the Rec. In November of that year Leonard Dipstick sustained a greenstick fracture of his collarbone while playing.

Even the Rec. was not always available. On finding a farmer grazing his sheep there, poor Eric Cole tentatively introduced his boys to country dancing, and withy some relief founde “they appear to enjoy this”. In September 1944, in response to a local or national appeal, “the upper classes went rosehipping instead of games”, and the school had collected 5 and a half hundredweight within the week. The boys returned to football in the following month, and the girls to Scandinavian Dancing.

After the war Eric Cole enthusiastically organised a series of football and netball matches in the south of the county. Swimming took place at Green Plunge, Royston until it was closed and the school built its own pool. A field was purchased at the rear of the school which doubled as a play area and sports field.

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Comments (1)



    Dear Sirs,
    Another few words from France.
    It was pleasing to find the reference to sports in your school piece. My father was a keen sportsman himself. He played rugby and cricket when at the County High School, now Hills Road SFC. Rowed when an undergraduate at Fitzwilliam college. Growing up in Comberton he enjoyed football and cricket there.
    Encouraging the pupils in his school to play and enjoy games, whilst always respecting the rules and decisions, came naturally. Matches against Harston were
    particularly relished – victories not unusual!
    This stopped with the opening of Comberton VC and the transfer of 11 plus pupils.
    The swimming pool was built in the early ’60’s using funds and sweat from the PTA.
    Throughout his 36 years service father adhered to the importance of physical
    activity and wellbeing as part of schooling.
    Yours faithfully,
    Neville James Cole


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