In the autumn or winter of 1951

.Since I first published this little story of a cutting I found in a recipe book, I have discovered that it was published in the autumn or winter of 1951. I looked for details about the horse race mentioned in the cutting, searching for the horses I could see mentioned, Shaef, Armoured Knight and Possibly. It seems Shaef and Armoured Knight met on a number of different occasions in the race season of that year. Here’s what I wrote about the cutting, bu amended to include some extra details of one of the past owners

One of the delights of buying old second-hand books is the occasional surprise in the way of a newspaper cutting, jotted notes in the margin, a dedication in the front cover…

I have an old cookery book, written by Eliza Acton; she was born in 1799 and died in 1859 and her book ‘Modern Cookery’ was first published in 1845… mine isn’t as old as that, and I haven’t been yet able to pinpoint when my edition was published. However one of the previous owners of the book, Emma Glover added a date by her name March/4, ’99… meaning 1899! Another owner was Kitty Violet Skelding, who was born in 1898 in Kidderminster and had the book on the 21st June, 1933. Kitty’s parents who were both born in 1875, were Mary Jane and George Benjamin John Skelding and he was a mechanical engineer. Kitty, named after her grandma, also Kitty Skelding, was the eldest child in a family of four children, her siblings being Frank, Hilda and Edna – such typical late Victorian, early Edwardian names! I don’t think Kitty Violet ever married, I can find no evidence of it, but I can’t find a death record for her either, so maybe she moved abroad or emigrated. Her grandmother, also Kitty was married to Alfred, and as well as their son, George, had a daughter, Annie

I don’t know how long Kitty had the book for, but there was a political cartoon by Theodore Major cut out and popped between the pages. I can’t at the moment date the cartoon, or the election it refers to, but on the back of the cutting are some sports reports, so maybe with a little luck and perseverance, I might find the date of the rugby game between Oxford University and Leicester; ‘Playing delightful rugby with a succession of brilliant passing movements, Oxford University with two England selectors looking on, beat Leicester by a goal…‘ the report continues ‘But Leicester rallied splendidly. Their forwards who had been strangely lethargic, suddenly roused themselves…” The horse race where Shaef, Armoured Knight and Possibly all competed. ‘However, the  grey cracked along over the last three fences to pass the entire field’ the correspondent reports.


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