Lowerhouse History: Did you know? Part 1

We have a new series of 8 posts, with some amazing contributions from Anne Cochrane – they’ll be coming daily.

Did you know?

Red House

According to the Haslingden club history, “opponents in the early days, when play often began at 10.30am, included …Lowerhouse Garibaldians, who played like their hero in red shirts. Haslingden wore white trousers with blue stripes; so the debate about coloured clothing is hardly new. ”

Animal House

Animals feature prominently in early balance sheets, as the groundsman’s machinery was pulled by a horse/donkey/ass.  They had to buy and sell the horse/donkey/ass seemingly every year, possibly to avoid upkeep in winter, and usually at a considerable loss although in 1881 they bought a horse for £1.12.0 and sold it for only a shilling less so that was a good bit of business.  In 1889 the combined expense of horse and harness was £6.6.7 but they recouped 4 shillings and sixpence from “pasture of poultry”.  In 1896 the horse needed new boots at a cost of £1.7.0. (to avoid damaging the pitch).

However, the beasts didn’t necessarily produce a good playing surface, as in 1935, a certain B.M. Hastings, “now of Bermondsey” recalled playing a match at Lowerhouse in the early 1880s, “Lowerhouse appeared to be a cluster of cottages, a huge mill and a cricket field.  ….a rock garden was a billiard table compared to this bit of turf.  The first ball went over my head, the second made contact with the buckle of my left brace, the third raised a rainbow-coloured bruise on the lower angle of my scapula, and after seeing the fourth ball leave the bowler’s hand, I lost interest in the subsequent proceedings.”

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