Monday, 10 February 2014

The Edwardian ‘Golden' Summer in Crawley.

Apart from the announcement of their births, the first mention of Eddie and Don Cook that I could find appeared in the local paper dated 12th June 1909. The boys are recorded playing cricket for North House School which I believe was situated beyond the lower square on Crawley high street. Eddie Cook made 6 with the bat but Don was out for a duck, however he did take a catch as the school ran out winners scoring 228 with Mr C. A. Wilson’s XI managing only 60.

Also playing for Mr C. A. Wilson’s XI was Hedley Garrett who made 28 runs. Garrett was to die of dysentery aged 23 on HM hospital ship ‘Rena’ on the 21st October 1915, a casualty of the ill fated Gallipoli campaign. He was buried in Malta.

The older generation of the Cook family were enjoying further success with the Crawley Rifle Club at the National Rifle Association at Bisley with Crawley coming second in the team shoot and uncle Chris tying for first place in the military mail competition. A few weeks later, it was time for the annual building firms outing.

The employees messrs. J. Longley & Co., messrs. Bartley & Ward, messrs. Cook & Sons, and Mr R. Easton (Crawley), Mr Warren (Ifield), Mr T. Wickens (Charlwood), and the Sussex Brick & Estates Co. (Warnham), combined for their annual outing on Saturday, and in two special trains were conveyed to Ramsgate and Margate. Starting at 6:20am, the Crawley contingent, numbering about 300, had a splendid run to the seaside, via Tunbridge Wells, and arrived at their destination at 9:30am.

The weather was beautifully fine, and nothing happened during the day to mar the pleasure of the proceedings. On this occasion there was no organised dinner, the excursionists being left to make their own personal arrangements in this respect, and the change seemed to give universal satisfaction.

The many attractions of Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs and other near places were enjoyed to the full, and the outing was generally voted to be among the best ever held. Leaving the seaside at 9:30pm, the party reached Crawley at 12:30am on Sunday morning, the journey both ways being quick and comfortable. The arrangements in connection with the trip were admirably made by a committee composed of representatives from each of the firms participating.

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