It’s all going swimmingly


Walsall Corporation was, of course, the Council. Image from Rocky Sprogs.

An interesting inquiry I’ve been meaning to share for a few days (but couldn’t find the email, mainly because it came in as a Facebook message – d’oh!) from mate of the blog and Pelsallian Rocky Sprogs about a medal he has that belonged to his father.

Rocky is, of course, the chap who sent in such wonderful images of Brownhills company Strumech, which went down so well here last winter.

Rocky wrote:

Hello Bob

I’m looking for any info re the following photos of a medal.

I think it was presented to my father when he would have been 12, his name was Frederick George Rowley.

My mother says he was a keen swimmer, particularly in his youth. May also have been in a Water Polo team. Later on he was Captain of Walsall Rugby Club and President of Staffordshire Rugby Union for a 2 year term.

It is generally a honorary position based on service ( like Mayor).


This is a fascinating thing, and I wasn’t aware of Walsall Corporation having interdepartmental sports competitions. Your old man sounds like a fascinating character and it’s be interesting to see what the readers can find.

Cheers to Rocky for a great enquiry.

You know the drill – please do comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.


Wonder what happened to inter-department sports, and how long they lasted? Image from Rocky Sprogs.

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1 Response to It’s all going swimmingly

  1. Andy Dennis says:

    What an elaborate medal! It seems to depict a swimming relay, which would fit with “team race”.

    I remember inter-department competitions in the mid-1980s, when Engineering & Town Planning (E&TP) won the Cricket. I was also roundy beaten at chess. I think snooker was another contest, but I was never good enough at that. I went to see a football final played at the (then) new Banks’s stadium between Housing and E&TP (though it may have been renamed to something more opaque by then).

    There were also inter-council competitions. Some colleagues at Walsall won the East Midlands 5-a-side footie – only because the captain had recently moved from Derby and somehow wangled an entry! And there were friendlies against neighbouring councils, including say Walsall Planners against Wolverhampton Planners, which were very much social event before sporting rivalries (though I once had to resort to a bouncer to dismiss one awkward batsman).

    I am sure there is a rich history and there are bound to be records somewhere. If I remember rightly the main organisers were the Unions, especially NALGO (National and Local Government Officers – not the misconception of National Association …), which was superseded by Unison.

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