Threats to Scuttlebrook Wake

By 1915  a local resident tried to stop the Wake being held in Leysbourne but good sense prevailed!

 

1915 Poem

The church and state & Scuttlebrook Wake

Have into conflict come.

‘’ The dreadful Wake it SHALL be stopped’’

Says Leysbourne’s peeping Tom.

We’ll have a committee terror strike

At the root of this innocent fun

And make the promoters feel that we

Are like the German Hun.

They shall have their festival once more

And woe to those who say

That Scuttlebrook Wake for old times sake

Shall live another day!

So, wake up, Campdonians, as of old

And stick to your colours true,

And let them see that the good old Wake

Shan’t be smashed by a committee that’s only a fake

For we are fighters too!

             Now there’s ‘good old Bob’ as has done his job,

And kept the Wake alive,

But ‘the goodies’ say it’s time that we

His ‘honours’ do divide.

So just let our brave lads know at the front

And the kiddies they’ve left behind

That good old Campden’s flag still flies

From the 1915 Evesham Journal

 

Scuttlebrook Wake; The annual event took place on Saturday. Fortunately the weather was fine and there was a good attendance in the evening. Leysbourne was packed with roundabouts and side showsThe sports were arranged by the committee. Among the competitors were well known Campden names, Ellis, Buckland, Hartwell, Hughes, Biggerstaff and Blakeman.  Arthur Drinkwater won climbing the greasy pole & Henry Keeley won the old man’s race!

In 1916, according to the EJ only a few amusement & caterers attended due to the shortage of labour.  

1919 Evesham Journal

 

On Saturday Leysbourne was filled with all the fun of the fair, including Peter’s Galloping Horses. Etc.  In the afternoon the returned soldiers were invited by Mr. S. Griffiths to tea.

 

1920

A new innovation was introduced at Scuttlebrok Wake by catering for the children & starting earlier. The children met at their schools where they were each given a flag. They marched to the town square headed by a huge Union Jack & the Jazz Band under the conductorship of Tom Hooke. They next proceeded to St Catharine’s Square where the children formed in a ring around the band. The Morris Dancers performed both there, in the market square & in Leysbourne where the procession had followed. At 4pm the children sat down to a bountiful tea.

In 1927 the town council decided that with the opening of the Recreation Ground the following year that in future Scuttlebrook Wake could be held there.

2/6/1934, Evesham Journal

 

Keen disappointment was felt throughout the old town & surrounding villages on Friday last when those responsible for carrying on the Wake were notified through the police that Scuttlebrook Wake could not be held in Leysbourne as formerly.

This popular event of the year for Campden, which brings hundreds of people into the town from the whole countryside, has been held in Leysbourne for about 84 years when the Dover’s Hill Games ceased to be held on Dover’s Hill & the ‘Fun of the Fair’ side of the games including racing was transferred to Leysbourne and has been held there continuously since.  Of late   a possibility of it not being allowed in Leysbourne as usual.

An eleventh hour petition was hurriedly arranged & would undoubtedly been more signed extensively had time permitted.  Messrs. Peters, the amusement caterers, had already been engaged & on arrival was transferred with the whole of their paraphernalia to the Recreation Ground.. Hundreds of people arrived from the surrounding villages arrived in Leysbourne on Saturday evening only to find the spot deserted much to their disappointment.
Expressions of regret were shown on all sides & one youthful sympathiser walked mournfully round dressed as a sandwich man, placarded ‘’Sudden Death of Scuttlebrook Wake’’
On the other hand, other die-hards held a wake of their own on the old spot in Leysbourne which comprised of a coconut stand, racing for children, & pony riding.


 1941

The fair carried on through to 1940 but was in danger of being lost forever in 1941, when due to some oversight  & WW2 no showmen had arranged to attend the Wake.. If none arrived a group of townspeople who were antagonistic towards the continuance of the event  planned to bring about it’s total abolition. A local solicitor got wind of this & being a fervent supporter of the old traditions, sent word to the Hatwells at Cassington advising them of the situation & requesting them to get some rides open on fair day. George Hatwell & his family dropped everything, hurried forth & saved the day with only a juvenile roundabout, a set of swinging boats & four joints.
George claimed continuance of the fair under ancient rites, gaining the thanks & gratitude of it’s supporters; from 1941 to 1946 as the sole attendants.

So it was that George & his family kept  Scuttlebrook  alive, and due to them is still preserved as a welcome summer venue for the travelling showmen of the present day.
( Info obtained from  J & P Hayward, descendants of Buckland/Hatwell family)