The book includes a photograph from 1872 of Anthony Daglish, pictured holding the balls he had hailed for the Uppies in that and the previous year (the years are on the balls).There is also reference to an article in the Whitehaven News in 1931 that the Daglish family once owned a 300-year old ball won by an ancestor. I wonder where that is now?
Friday, 21 March 2008
Uppies and Downies
The Uppies and Downies is a series of ball games held in Workington each Easter. The games have been supported by the local Daglish family for over 300 years, and I had the pleasure of seeing the Tuesday game last year - and had hoped to be back this year, but unfortunately work commitments made this impossible.
The future of the games is in doubt following the sale of the Cloffocks, an open area on which the games are played, to Tesco - which intends to build a large supermarket and petrol station on the site (see illustration below).
In January Tesco's planning application received approval by Allerdale Council. As well as concerns for the future of the games, other questions have been raised about the way in which the local council conducted the sale.
These games are part of the history and tradition of the local community which Tesco hopes to serve - and it would be a real shame if these were lost. There have been some suggestions to re-locate the games to another site - but this would make it an organised event which is contrary to the spirit and tradition of the games.
On Tuesday evening, the ball was thrown off by Robert Daglish junior, continuing the long family tradition. His father, Robert Daglish senior, talking to the local media about the current situation said:
“I hope that the new Tesco won’t bring a stop the game as it is right in the heart of where the Uppies try to get the ball to. As long I have a breath in my body I want the game to continue. It is part of the tradition of Workington. It would be a sad day if the game had to stop.”
The Uppies won the 2008 series 2-1, their fourth successive win.
The games are celebrated in a recent book "Uppies and Downies: The extraordinary football games of Britain" by Hugh Hornby, published by English Heritage.
Whilst the book takes its name from the Workington games, it also looks at other similar events around the country and provides a useful calendar of these.