Thursday, April 5, 2007

Cheltenham Water Polo

From 1890 to 1895, Gloucester water polo was strong, and the family of Stout players was to be succeeded by another in the persons of 'Bert,' Sidney, Aubrey Howard and Archie Harris. (all were at Sir Thomas Rich's School, Gloucester.) 'Bert' came to Cheltenham in 1895 From then onwards for the next six years Gloucester and Cheltenham 'went and borrowed' players quite freely and Cheltenham water polo made rapid progress.
In 1900 Cheltenham took over the very successful Alstone Club. Stonehouse then had a team and the seconds played them near the Canal Bridge there. First beat Weston at Weston 2-1. Fred Andrews was ordered to rejoin Grenadier Guards (Boer War). Cheltenham team on tour (manager, Fred Miller), drew with Weston 3-3, beat Exeter 4-3, and lost to Plymouth 0-1. In 1901 J. A. Jarvis, the reigning champion at most distances, came to Montpellier Baths. Cheltenham became first Gloucestershire team sxwimming champions (retained honours until 1909). Lost Weston final in sea at Teignmouth. Four Cheltenham players were see-sick, and probably the referee. (George Hearn) was too ! Conditions awful. Last time champions polo played in the sea. Manchester Osbourne (then famous) offered to visit Cheltenham. Guarantee £6. 10s. was more than we could afford. 1911 saw Cheltenhams Coronation Gala at Pitville. It was some 'do' forthe boys, for they got twenty nine prizes between them! Taylor and Hatfield, who had both beaten Radmilovic in the 500 yards National at Gloucester, came nest evening to give an exhibition swim. Bert Craddock (aged 16) won the Bank Holiday Carnibval open handicap at Pitville. Cheltenham Thirds played Old Grammarians, when Harry Clark who was letr killed in action gothis place, playing against Newport. Cheltenham beat Bristol Dolphins 1-0 at Alstone to retain Gloucestershire championship.
1927 was a very busy year for the club. Some items in the very year were: Cheltenham assisted at the opening of Malverns new bath, where they played Westminister Handsworth and won an enjoyable game 3-1. Arthurs Tippets moved to Barry. The seconds scored 94 goals. Prionciple scorers: J. Groves 24, Bert Coulston 20, Alec Adcock 13 and Eddie Davis 7. Old patesians formed a 'section' of the club. Cheltenham Ladies beat Newport and Gloucester (both away). CHeltenham swimmers and friends erected a memorial stone to the late 'Bert' Harris. Voyce scored record number of goals (63). H. W. Pilkington awarded Royal Life-Saving Society's Distinguished Service Medal. Cheltenham beat Frome at Gloucester 9-0 in the Western first round. We then got defeated by in the final at Weston, 6-0! 1933. Essex beat Gloucester (W.T. Tiver, Capt: Jones and Howe Scores) in County Championship Final at Weston, 4-2. Cheltenham Juniors beat Taunton Juniors, 7-1. Played S.C.U. de France and won 7-3.

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