In the net – 1920s style


What a wonderful photo. Wailing Street School netball team in the 1920s, courtesy Iris Hollis.

The young David Evans has been very busy of late, turning up a variety of local history nuggets for the perusal of readers – and here, he turns up a real gem from Watling Street School in 1926, courtesy of Mrs. Iris Hollis.

The girls are, from left to right, Violet Overton, Maggie Shingler, Garnet Boulton, Evelyn Wiltshire, Doris Hicken, Marjorie Breeze, May Price.

I must say that they don’t look like a team to be trifled with!

David said:

Hi Bob

Please find attached an amazing photo which shows the Netball team at Watling Street School, Brownhills, in 1926!

I would like to thanks Mrs Iris Hollis, whose mother is one of the girls featured, for kindly offering this image to your readers. I think the names will certainly ring a few bells…

I wonder when netball came in to being, and when it was first included in school sporting activities?

Kind regards
David Evans

There are indeed some notable names there – Breeze, Shingler, Price. Come on people, what do you know? Comment here please, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

My thanks to Iris and David for a remarkable photo.

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15 Responses to In the net – 1920s style

  1. Andy Dennis says:

    In your post Tell me on a Sunday – – you include a picture of the wedding of John Dennis and Nancy Shingler. Maisie was Nancy’s older sister.
    Maybe she was the unidentified lady in that scene? I can see some elements of likeness, but she would have changed some in the intervening 18 years, anyway.
    As far as I know the Shinglers came from Shropshire to Brownhills in the 1850s, presumably to find work at the developing Cannock Chase pits. Some, along with other local families, moved to South Wales in the early 1900s. Maisie was born there in 1914, daughter of Sam Shingler (big name in chapel circles; though that might have been his father?) and his wife Annie, formerly Jackson. Some returned in the 1910s, and this is what the Shinglers did as the next child was born here in 1917.

    • I have a small book that was in my late fathers belongings – with the name and address of a Sam Shingler from Brownhills… the book is very old – Rabbit and Cavy Standards, it probably belonged to my Grandad Alf Harvey as he used to show Rabbits.

  2. Pedro says:

    If the photo is indeed of 1926 it could be really historic as netball was in its infancy…

    The All England Netball Association (AENA) is the national governing body for the sport of netball in England. It was formed on the 12th February 1926.
    When the Association was formed, 12 leagues and 21 clubs affiliated. These numbers grew rapidly however, and by 1929 there were 24 leagues and over 300 clubs affiliated to the Association.

    “Netball is the ideal game for the growing girl. It does not develop one side of the body more than the other, which hockey has a tendency to do. It is most akin to dancing, and it teaches the players to be on their toes, and it develops quickness in thought and movement.”

    • IVOR OSBORNE says:

      Re the 1926 netball team MAISIE SHINGLER was my mother and re the SHINGLER’s there were 5 children SAM(1910) EDITH(1912) MAISIE(1914) IVOR (1917) NANCY(1920) born to SAM(1885) & ANNIE(1887) it would be nice to hear from any other relatives from the photo or any one connected to the shingler/jackson tree IVOR OSBORNE

      • Dave (Eddy) Edwards says:

        Didn,t know you were a Shinglar, Was the teacher, Arthur related and was Betty who worked at Collins a relative?
        Dave (Eddy)

        • IVOR OSBORNE says:

          Don’t think so Dave Regards Ivor

          • Andy Dennis says:

            Quite happy to check out Betty. Was she Shingler by birth or marriage? How old do you think she was and when? In other words when do you think she might have been born?

  3. Andy Dennis says:

    Could Maisie have been the lady in the wedding group? See above link.

  4. Martin says:

    Hi Andrew, I think my Mother told me it was Edith (Edie) in the photo, she never got married and I believe she went into the Nursing Profession.

  5. Andy Dennis says:

    “Was the teacher, Arthur related”?

    Yes, but not in the way you might suspect. Arthur was brother of Fred Shingler, the Watling Street Wesleyan.

    When I was researching people who appear in the deeds to my house I did some family history research. The starting point was Wallace John Shingler. sometime licensee at the Anglesey Arms, who grew up at the Chase Inn, where his father George was the publican. I thought they must be related to Fred somehow, and I followed both lines back to Donnington Wood, in the Lilleshall area, where in 1841 and 1851 there lived Samuel Shingler (1799-1873), the common ancestor of both Fred and his wife Ethel (Hassall), and Maisie. So, Maisie is distantly related to Arthur, through their common great great great grandfather Samuel.

    The publicans were seen, sadly, as black sheep (as they were in my own family). I mentioned them to a local Shingler who was unaware of their existence.

    Wallace Shingler has featured on the blog before as a well-known pedestrian –

    There was another Shingler family, who lived at Shire Oak, including one Albert “Bert” Shingler, who was a professional boxer in the 1930s. However, they appear unrelated as far as I can tell.

  6. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    I wonder what is known about Bert , the boxer…I have not heard of this pugilist.
    I wonder if here are any press reports of the netballers s league activities
    and a big thankyou to Andy and Perdomfor opening up this topic so well.
    kind regards

    • Andy Dennis says:

      Gloucestershire Echo 18 Oct 1937
      Bert Shingler fought on the same card at Evesham Town Hall as Dick Turpin of Warwick (younger brother of Randolph and himself a British and Commonwealth middleweight champion), but lost on points – it says “… Nobby Baker Trealaw … but his cousin Harry gained a points victory over Bert Shingler, in a 10-round bout.” From what I can work out the cousin was Harry Jones of Trealaw, Wales.
      I’m no expert on boxing (postage stamp …) but other names mentioned are Eddie Harris, Hal Cartwright and Frankie Divine. Oh and a chap named Tommy Farr, who was not there, but had sent a telegram saying he would attend the next tournament. This was in response to a proposal by the town council to refuse permission for boxing.
      When I was kid the heavyweight “champeen of the worrld” (as the Yanks pronounced it) was much bigger big news than today – I was allowed to stay up late to watch Henry Cooper put Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) on his backside. It is still allegated (alluding to another American!) that “Our ‘Enry” was cheated out of the title and it seems Tommy was also hard done by when he fought Joe Louis (whom Cassius Clay later deprived of the title). Okay, okay, a large postage stamp!
      That is the only press report I have found online.
      However, there is also a record of Shingler’s fights. According to a website named BoxRec, Bert had 8 professional fights where his record was 4 wins 4 losses at venues mainly in the Black Country –
      This site does not record the Harry Jones fight at Evesham.
      The raw stats are: bouts 8, rounds 34, KOs 38%, debut 18/11/1934, featherweight, residence Brownhils, west Midlands, but this is apparently incomplete.
      Another site has “Bert Shingler from Brownhills boxed between 1934 and 1938, 27 professional contests”, but there are no links to details.
      Doubtless somebody out there has the wherewithall to flesh out these bones …
      Boing! “Time for bed”, said Zebedee.

  7. David Evans says:

    sausage fingers rule okay
    Pedro….hundred times, by tomorrow….old habits etc

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