Cat no. 931

Peterborough King's School Boys' Sports

Running time7:16 Black & White Silent 1923 Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

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Peterborough King's School Boy's sports on 22nd March 1923.



The headmaster and staff assemble informally outside the school. Winners of various disciplines are identified and shown in close-up. Long jump and high jump are followed by running races, sack race, tug of war and obstacle race.The winner of the mile and half-mile handicaps is identified as D.J Robertson, 'Son of England's Champion'. A table is seen loaded with various prizes for the winners.

Winners of the featured events are:
Long Jump - J.L. Yeomans; High Jump Class III – K. Crick: Senior High Jump - G.J. Pfahl; Senior 100yds – L. Richardson; Junior 100yds - 1st K.T. Wilson, 2nd C. Laxton, 3rd R. Corby; 100yds Handicap - 1st L.W. Adcock, 2nd J.F. Rodgers; 220yds Handicap - 1st G.H. Wilson, 2nd H.A. Evans; 80yds Handicap - R.J. Chamberlain; 220yds Class III L.W. Adcock, 2nd C.W. Savage, 3rd R.H. Ridler; Mile Handicap also Half Mile Handicap D.J. Robertson, Son of England's Champion; Sack Race Burch; Old Boys' - 1st R.P. Winfrey, 2nd E.C. Lamplugh.


Background information kindly supplied by Trevor Elliott (former Deputy Headteacher) on behalf of the school Archives Department 2017: a) The Headmaster of the School at the time in question was the Reverend Herbert Baxter. (He can be seen wearing his clerical collar in the opening shots, surrounded by other staff, and then again later, wearing his gown and mortarboard, 6 minutes 30 seconds into the film). Herbert Baxter was Headmaster here between 1915 and 1931, moving on to become Rector of a village parish near Shipston on Stour. He was later created an Honorary Canon of Coventry Cathedral. b) As far as the students named in the film are concerned, they comprised: i) Long Jump winner: John Leslie Yeomans ii) High Jump (Class III) winner: Kenneth Maynard Crick iii) High Jump (Senior) winner: Gerald Joseph Pfahl. (Gerald Pfahl was an outstanding sportsman while at this School, and is commemorated as such on the Honours boards here). iv) 100 yards (Senior) winner: Leonard Henry Richardson v) 100 yards (Juniors): 1st place Kenneth Tom Wilson; 2nd Cyril Laxton; 3rd Robert Corby vi) 100 yards Handicap: 1st place Lawrence Wright Adcock; 2nd John Frederick Rodgers vii) 220 yards Handicap: 1st place George Harry Wilson; 2nd Howard Arthur Evans viii) 80 yards Handicap winner: Ronald John Chamberlain ix) 220 yards (Class III): 1st place Lawrence Wright Adcock; 2nd Charles Wilfrid Savage; 3rd Richard Howard Ridler x) Mile Handicap and Half-Mile Handicap winner: Duncan James Robertson, described on the film caption as the 'Son of England's Champion'. (Duncan's father, Arthur James Robertson, had himself previously attended The King's School, along with his brothers. After leaving us, Arthur became a member of the Birchfield Harriers, and represented Great Britain in the 1908 Olympics, at which he won a Gold Medal in the 3-mile team event and a Silver in the 3200m steeplechase. In September 1908 he set a new world record in Stockholm for the 5000m. As he was of Scottish descent, in 2004 Arthur was admitted into the Scottish Hall of Fame. Arthur's brother, David Cairns Robertson, who also attended The King's School, was a member of the British Cycling Team at the 1908 Olympics, and reached the final round of the 100 kilometre race. Duncan, The King's School's 1923 race-winner, therefore clearly came from a very good athletic pedigree! His father Arthur and uncle David were for many years the proprietors of the Robertson Cycle Centre in Peterborough). xi) Sack Race: Leslie Robert Burch xii) Old Boys' Race: 1st place Richard Pattinson Winfrey; 2nd Eric Crosby Lamplugh. (Richard Pattinson Winfrey, whose father Sir Richard Winfrey MP was Mayor of Peterborough in 1914, was a pupil at The King’s School from 1911 to 1916. Richard junior later became a barrister before taking over his father's press business, which he developed into what became the East Midlands Allied Press, i.e. EMAP). c) Walter Francis Fairfax Shearcroft, who we think was most probably the man who shot the 1923 Sports Day film footage and spliced in the captions etc, was Deputy Headmaster here at that time. He joined The King's School in 1919 and stayed until 1945, being Acting Headmaster throughout the Second World War. A Bachelor of Science with an Honours in Chemistry, although Walter was an 'amateur' photographer, we know that he had a significant interest in the subject, and was highly respected in that genre. We also know that he photographed many School events, using both still and cine film. In June 1924 ‘Kodak’ magazine published one of Walter's articles, and in September 1929 another of his articles was printed in ‘Television: the Official Organ of the Television Society, the World's First Television Journal’. He was actually made a Fellow of the Royal Television Society in 1929, for his "outstanding contribution to the industry". He also published several books on photography, including the following: • A Photographer’s Guide to Better Pictures (1937) • A Guide to Correct Exposure – the foundation of Correct Photography (1938) • A Practical Guide to Photographic Chemicals and their Uses (1942) • Successful Snapshots – how to make them. (1947). Walter Shearcroft left The King's School after World War 2 to become Principal of the East Midlands Teacher Training College.

Featured People:

Headmaster and Staff, King's School, Peterborough

Featured Buildings:

King's School

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