Christopher May, the Society's new Chair, will speak about The death of an ancient manly sport: Shrovetide football in Richmond and vicinity on Monday 21 October. His talk is at the Duke Street (Baptist) Church, Duke Street, Richmond TW9 1DH, starting at 8pm, with coffee available from 7.30. The talk is free to members. Visitors are welcome: admission £2.

Christopher May said:

"Two hundred years ago games of football were traditionally played on Shrove Tuesday though the main streets of Richmond, Twickenham, Mortlake, Kingston and other places nearby. This was not football as we know it today with its marked out pitch, its limited number of players and its set of rules -- both soccer and then rugby only got their rules half a century later. Shrovetide football was unruly, rough and tumble, boisterous and drunken. The gentry thought it uncivilised; shopkeepers deplored the damage and the loss of business; so the local authorities tried it suppress it, but it would take them several decades and changes in the law and policing for them to kill the game and stop the labouring classes taking over the town for one day of carnival every year."