After The Great War

The Great War ended in November 1918, but it was not until July, 1919 when the Swindon and District league met again.

Amongst those present were Messrs Russell, Perry, Shalcroft and Gosling with representatives from Gorse Hill and Swindon North End.

This meeting agreed that an Annual General Meeting should be convened on Monday, 13 August at the Eagle Tavern.

Arthur Gosling was still Secretary, and committee members were Messrs Slatter, Russell, Perry and Shalcroft. The only clubs represented were Gorse Hill, Alliance and Swindon North End.

It was resolved to abandon any League competitions for the 1919-1920 season.

The next Annual General meeting was on 11 August 1920, when Mr. E. Thomas was elected President with Mr. W. Russell as Chairman.

Mr. Arthur Gosling continued as Secretary with Mr. E. Hobbs as Cup Secretary. The committee was Messrs. A. Parker, G. Plaister, H. Shalcroft, and W. Slatter with Mr. Westall as Auditor.

These seven members with a representative from each club formed the Management Committee.

These representatives were from:

  • Highworth Town
  • Stratton Brotherhood
  • Haydon Wick
  • Swindon Comrades
  • North Wroughton
  • Ferndale Road Football Club

They were later joined by:

  • South Marston
  • Stratton Reform

These were eight Clubs which restarted the League in September 1920.

The League entrance fee was 10/- (50p) and the entrance fee for the Cups was 5/- (25p). The Cup Competitions were the Advertiser Cup, the Swindon Junior Cup and the Brown Cup.

The referees would get a fee of 5 / — (25p) if matches were inside the Borough of Swindon, and 6 / – (30p) for those outside.

So that the Cups would be ready once again, Mr. Parker a jeweller asked for them to be called in so that he could thoroughly clean them, at his own expense.

The Advertiser Cup draw was made, with the suggestion that the top team of the League play the pick of the rest of the teams for the Swindon Junior Cup. Also that a game should be arranged between the League Representative Team and Swindon Town Reserves. Inter-League games would also be played whenever possible.

In October 1920, the committee passed a resolution that the four lowest clubs in the League play-off for the Swindon Junior Cup and the top four teams play for the. J J Brown Cup. Highworth Town resigned from the League in February 1921, being unable to fulfil their fixtures.

A representative League team played Swindon Town Reserves on Saturday,

19 march 1921 on the County Ground, the proceeds going to the fund of the Benefit of the Unemployed.

Swindon Town Reserves won 1-0. On Wednesday 27 April Stratton Reform played Comrades on the Duke of Edinburgh Ground at Gorse Hill in the final of the J. J. Brown Cup, Stratton

Reform winning 3-O. On the following Monday Stratton Reform beat
Ferndale 2-0 in the final of the Advertiser Cup.

The Swindon Iunior Cup was won by Haydon Wick. Stratton Reform were awarded medals for their wins in the Advertiser and ]. ]. Brown Cup Competitions and for winning the League, Ferndale getting runners-up medals for the League and for the Advertiser Cup. Haydon Wick received medals for their win in the Swindon Junior Cup.

For the season 1921-1922 the League reverted to the old custom of Two Divisions. New clubs joining the League were High Street Club,

Wanborough, St. Paul’s, Christ Church, Stratton Park and Wills Imperial. In Ianuary of that season the Swindon and District League struck off a referee named Mapson from its Referee List, since he had sent a report to the Wiltshire Football Association, which was not agreed by the Club concerned or the League Management Committee.

Even Swindon 1913 – 1914

In February 1922 the League meeting congratulated the Chairman, Mr. W. E. Russell on his selection as referee for the English Cup Game, between Arsenal and Leicester City. At this period the League had noted, and this was repeated by the local press, the excellent football ability and the loyalty to the League by the Stratton Reform Club, who were winners of Division One and winners of the Advertiser Cup for many seasons, their players were selected for representative games, and they were foremost in giving donations towards injured players, supplying Whist Drive prizes and they loaned shirts for use by the representative team, and their ground was always available to the League when required.

They won a notable double in 1921-1922 season, winning Division One and the Advertiser Cup. Winners of Division Two were Wroughton who also won the Junior Cup. .

Around this time the Football Association issued stern instructions on rough play, and this was endorsed by the Swindon and District Management Committee, although some sixty years later this is still a problem!

At the annual meeting of the League on 10 August 1922, two names still remembered by some of the present generation, were added to the Management Committee, those of Ernie Howe and Harold Gwyther. The meeting decided that life membership medals should be awarded to the members of the Committee, W. H. Slatter who had served for 31 years and F. W. Westlake who had served 21 years. The President Mr. E. Thomas presented the medals at a special function to which Swindon Town Football Club Officials and Local Government Councillors were invited.

A Fixture List was printed in book form, for which a charge of 2d (less than 1p) was made. This publication also listed an Appeals Committee which had been formed on instructions from the Football Association. It comprised of F. Best, of Salisbury, the Secretary of Wiltshire Football Association, Sam Allen, Manager of Swindon Town Football Club and Mr. Cullen of the Berkshire Football Association. For the season 1922-1923 it was decided that a player not having played more than three trial matches with a professional club would be eligible .to play in the Swindon Iunior Cup Competition.

The winners for 1922-1923 season were Casuals for the Advertiser Cup, while Division {One was shared by Stratton Reform and Garrards, with Stratton Athletic winning the Junior Cup.

In 1923 other cups appeared. The Victoria Hospital Aid gave a cup which was to be played for the purpose of raising money for the hospital. It was decided that the J. J. Brown Cup needed renewing, and it was replaced by a new cup given by the Chairman, Mr. W. Russell, The Captain Russell Cup is still within the keeping of the League. At the beginning of the 1924 season another was presented by Mr. Alfred Manners, the owner of Swindon’s Empire Theatre.