Westwood Works 1903-2003
These sports days, or galas, started in 1937 and went on even during the war, although only two could be held as the factory was constantly working for the war effort. They remained a feature of Sports Club life up to just before the closure of Westwood Works. The work of organising and running the event was carried out by a working committee comprising the Sports Club Committee and the Directors of Baker Perkins.
These events were much more than just a sports day, with dancing in front of the pavilion and many side-show and fun-fair attractions. Other "spectaculars" have included displays of Baseball or American Football by personnel from a nearby American Air Force base.
The competitors were well catered for. The small print at the bottom of the 1945 hand-bill promised "Spacious dressing rooms, hot baths and Masseurs in attendance..!"
It was not unusual for 6,000 people to attend, and as the 1945 hand-bill indicates, significant sums were raised. After all expenses had been paid all were donated to local charities
|1945: Open Day Poster||1959: Cycle Racing Event||1968: Where's the fire?||1968: Battling it out||1969: Learning to ride||1969?: Sports Club Open Day Logo||1978: Open Day display of Sports Club Trophies|
|1985||1985||1985||1985||1986: Last Chance Saloon||1986: Off to the Fire||1986: Listen to the Band|
|1986: They're Off||1986: Sports Club Open Day Memento||Date??: The Starter's Pistol|
As was suggested in the opening paragraph of this section, the "Annual Athletic Sports and Gala" had been, but for the partial interruption caused by the war, an annual event. However, inclement weather caused the complete abandonment of the event on Whit-Monday 1946 with a re-run a week later. The programme for the Seventh Sports Day - 5th June 1947 appears below.
The Sports were run very professionally - see "Conditions of Sports" with a very full "Timetable of Events", supported by numerous "Side Shows and Attractions". No doubt a good time was had by all.
The original from which the above copy was made has the results of each race pencilled in. To indicate something of the class of entrants, the One Mile Men's Final was won by E. Cary of Crowland ASC in 4 minutes 17 seconds, with F.R. Wright of the same club in second place and J.T. Sharlott of Leicester College, third. The men's 100 Yards Final was won in 9.9 seconds by J. Sellars of Boston C&AC, with P. Maddock of Westwood & Crowland AC in second place, Roland Maycock came third.
This activity began in 1967. The vehicles were designed and built by Apprentices in their spare time. Races were held on both the Apprentice and Alma Road Sports Grounds but Apprentices travelled all over the country to pit their designs against those of other companies. A smaller "kiddie go-cart" version was also built in the Apprentice School and a number of these were raffled off at Sports Club Open Days.
|1967: Racing at Bedford||1968: Apprentices building a kiddie car||1968: Kiddie car in action||1968: At Sports Club Open Day||1969: Just off the Production Line||1969||1969|
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