Thursday, 16 October 2008

Bowls players in Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Since this seems to be developing into something of a "Seaman & Sons" week, here is another by the firm, a interesting postcard from John Bradley showing a group of men partaking in a game of bowls.

Image © and courtesy of John Bradley

John Bradley writes:
This [recently acquired] postcard has a small blind stamp 'A SEAMAN & SONS' in the bottom right corner, but it doesn’t show very well in the scans. I have seen the same blind stamp on one or two of Alfred's stereocards. I believe the location to be Chesterfield Bowling Green. It has a distinctive wall around it which I a compared with the photo the other day, and the buildings seen over the wall are I believe Bath Street. Chesterfield bowling green has a plaque saying that it is one of the earliest surviving examples - having been built in the 14th century. We know from his obituary that Alfred was a member of the Chesterfield Bowling Club. so these seem likely to be some of his friends having a game.
Image © and courtesy of John Bradley

The message on the reverse, written in black ink, reads:
Dear George With kind regards for a Bright happy Christmas Wishing you all a happy New Year Do you know this Your loving uncle W W
... which unfortunately doesn't provide any obvious clues to the identity of the bowls players. From the design of the postcard and the clothes worn by the subjects, I estimate that it was probably taken around 1910, plus or minus a few years. Alfred Seaman died in 1910, but it may have been taken by one of his sons - F.J. Seaman was also an entusiastic bowls player. I'm not familiar with Chesterfield geography, least of all the location and environs of the Bowling Green, so perhaps there are some readers out there who might be able to confirm the location of the picture or shed some light on who the people might be.

Maybe a kind reader who plays bowls can tell us whether the lawn has been cut low enough to play on? The grass looks pretty long to me.

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