Hydranthea Brenda

Phew!  Well, that’s the Radio Derby bit done with – it always gives me a minor case of the heeby-jeebies.  As I think Aleena said after I had finished talking to her, Hydranthea later went by her middle name of Brenda (as you can see from the 1901 census), which is what I would have done under the circumstances.

But I omitted a favourite fact, taken from Hugh Hornby’s terrific book, “Uppies and Downies”, all about the history of mass-participation ballgames, including the Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football.  He mentions a form of “Cornish hurling” at St Ives, Cornwall, where the ball is made of wood and covered in silver (rather than cork covered in leather as in Ashbourne).  According to an antiquarian who saw the game played in 1846, the way they chose teams was to have one team made up of men called Thomas, William and John and another made up of people with different names.  Those three names were so common at the time that the teams were usually fairly evenly matched!

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