Sport has always been a feature of Christmas, with football on Boxing Day a chance to get out of the house and socialise with people who you may not also be relations. Consett has a strong tradition of enjoying and encouraging sport with many notable sporting names hailing from the town.
The Works was a hub of amateur sport, with departmental football and cricket teams, athletics, rugby and even some more niche sports, many of which continue today. As the Consett Iron Company Magazine proudly stated in January 1965:
“Company men are not far behind, and, in indeed, are often out in front in the local sports world.”
The same edition featured two strapping lads, Gavin Walker and Colin Eade from the Plate Mill and Pattern Shops respectively, who had gained the prize of ‘Mr Consett’ and ‘Mr Junior Consett’ in bodybuilding. Both are indeed built like oxen, and look justifiably pleased with both their physical condition and prize-winning achievements. If anyone has any more information about either we’d love to hear.
In January 1960 there was an announcement for the new swimming baths in Sherburn Park, still a focus for sport in Consett. The swimming baths referred to are where so many of us learned to swim either with school or family, and have themselves now been replaced by the new Leisure Centre.
Church and social club teams were also popular, with organised sports days and meetings to keep all entertained and active. I am grateful to Simon Cotterill via the Co-Curate website for this 1920s image of his Grandad, Thomas Taylor’s, team, Consett Church AFC.