George Steadman's Trophies

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“Primogeniture”….not a common word on the Sports pages… is the principle of first-born son inheriting all, and served to keep the great estates intact over the centuries, unless Lord Hardly-Able had a brain the size of a pea and a gambling addiction. For ordinary folk the problem of keeping a family heritage intact is a problem generation by generation. How many of great grandad's proud collection of wrestling belts and silver trophies are still together in one household? Families seek to be fair and share out the valuables as each generation passes and before long, odds and ends are in a dozen houses

Earlier this year Mrs Pollock travelled up from Kent to watch the wrestling at Penrith Show, and brought with her two medals and a belt buckle that had been won in the 1860's by her ancestor, James Scott of Canonbie. She liked what she saw of the wrestling and handed over to the Wrestling Association her precious family relics. What was tantalising was that she also had a photograph of James Scott's full collection of trophies in a display case which had been dispersed through her family. Not all trophies are worth much: plastic silver these days and mass-produced cheap metal tat from previous generations is and was important to the winner as he comes out of the ring, but has no lasting value, but some collections of trophies of major players are part of this regions heritage.

Not all trophy collections are broken up, sold on e-bay, stolen or generally lost. The James Scott medals and buckle give a taste of what a quality wrestler could win in Victorian times. A Longtown businessman bought Richard Wright's fine collection when they popped up at Christies in London , and returned them to his home town. Hexham Clark's major trophies are still together in West Cumbria .

And most important of all, George Steadman's trophies are now owned by the Wrestling Association and permanently vested in the County Archives .At present they are all in boxes on shelves in Carlisle Castle , but the potential is there for display in the new Archive building in Old Harraby, Carlisle . Local heritage is important to define who we are in wide world. George Steadman's belts and cups tell a story of a popular, well-funded traditional sport unique to this area

And that story continues with five academies in winter action. The Academy Shield date has had to be changed because of booking problems, so the academy coaches now have an extra fortnight to pick their teams.

Dates:

Wednesday, 10 th November Currock House Gym Carlisle Wrestling Club Junior Points Night

Saturday, 13 th November Academy Shield at Leasgill Atheneum, Near Heversham.

Saturday, 20 November Scottish Junior Championships Molendinar Community Centre, 1210 Royston Road , Glasgow G33 1HE .

Saturday, 27 th November Academy Shield

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (November 4th 2010)

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