Surrey’s Sporting Life 2011

Celebrating Surrey’s great sporting past.

In 2011 the Our Sporting Life exhibition went on tour around Surrey, find out more.

John Cobb in the 24 litre Napier Railton taking the 'bump' on the Members' Banking. 1935 coutesy of Brooklands Museum

John Cobb in the 24 litre Napier Railton taking the
‘bump’ on the Members’ Banking. 1935
coutesy of Brooklands Museum

Surrey boasts a wealth of sporting heritage:

  • One of the countys sporting firsts is the earliest reference to a Baseball match in Shere in 1755.
  • The crossbar on football goals was introduced in the 1880s after the FA committee watched a match in Reigate where the ball went 30 foot high.
  • The third cricket stump was added after a controversial match in Surrey in 1772.
  • Up until 1897 an annual Shrove Tuesday street football event was a regular feature in Dorking.
  • Many sporting legends, such as Sir Alec and Eric Bedser, were born or have lived in Surrey.
    Illustrated London News 1861, Julius Caesar Surrey and England cricketer (Surrey History Centre)

    Illustrated London News 1861
    Julius Caesar
    Surrey and England cricketer
    (Surrey History Centre)

G F Watts's illustrations for 'Felix on the Bat' by Nicholas 'Felix' Wanostrocht, courtesy of the Watts Gallery

G F Watts’s illustrations for ‘Felix on the Bat’
by Nicholas ‘Felix’ Wanostrocht,
courtesy of the Watts Gallery

Dramatic re-enactments.

There were plenty of opportunities to get involved. Many of the events included sports coaching for young and old.

A few of the events:

  • Guided walks around the Brooklands racetrack.
  • Golfing through the ages in Elmbridge, the site of the first golf match in England.
  • A dramatic re-enactment of the 1913 Derby at Epsom and the tragic death of suffragette Emily Wilding Davison.
  • The first recorded Baseball match in 1755.
  • The Brooklands cycle festival, celebrating the cycle racing of the 1930s.
  • 18th century cricket in Send and Ripley and Runnymede, celebrating “Lumpy” Stevens and the introduction of the third stump.
  • A funday and cricket re-enactment at the Rural Life Centre in Tilford.
A talk by Julian Norridge, author of "Can We Have Our Balls Back, Please? :  How the British Invented Sport and Then Almost Forgot How to Play It"

A talk by Julian Norridge, author of “Can We Have Our Balls Back, Please? :
How the British Invented Sport and Then Almost Forgot How to Play It”

The Annual Heritage Lecture at Surrey History Centre:

A talk by Julian Norridge, author of “Can We Have Our Balls Back, Please? :
How the British Invented Sport and Then Almost Forgot How to Play It”


Other related websites:

Our Sporting Life website.

Surrey2012 website.

1948 Olympic Torch Run Through Surrey.

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