Saturday, 14 May 2016

Twenty Victorian Pennies

In January 1893 a couple of senior pupils of Dulwich Hamlet School in Dulwich Village handed over to Pa Wilson a handful of coins. The one shilling and eight pence – or twenty Victorian pennies – was to help them start a football club. One of the lads was goalkeeper James RossWilliamson, who later became Club Secretary. A series of friendly matches were soon undertaken, but all were lost. The players then spent the summer on the cricket field, until football season once again commenced.

Rules were written up – one interesting one being that the original Club colours were dark blue and RED, and yet the team strip consisted of a white shirt and dark shorts!

Dulwich Hamlet began its first ‘full season’ of competitive football in 1893/94. Fixture cards were printed up and distributed to players, officials and the small band of supporters.  Many years ago one of these artefacts turned up with all the changes, postponements and results pencilled in.

Home matches were played at Woodwarde Road in Dulwich, while away matches took place at Brockwell Park, Streatham Common, Peckham Rye, Norbury Park and Dulwich Park. Some of the scores make it very clear that Dulwich Hamlet FC was a formidable local force even in its infancy.

Jack McInroy, May 2016

Note: The pennies image above was created as an exhibit for the Dulwich Hamlet Pop-Up Museum

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