The Snowshall Family Part 1: Footballing Brothers

While researching Raymond Snowshall in connection with WW1 there were several mentions of him and his two older brothers, Walter Henry and William, in local newspapers. An article in The Standard in 1926 praises the three brother’s service in the Great War. William (Pte) served abroad from 1915 to the end of the war, Raymond (Pte) was captured in 1917 becoming a prisoner of war, Walter (Sergt-Major) served throughout the war, having already volunteered and served during the Boer war.

The brothers were the fourth generation of Snowshall sweeps to live in Alford, below is a very brief insight into the pastimes of their youth, local newspaper articles suggest they were healthy, happy and popular, a striking contrast to the experience of their ancestral family.

Raymond was a popular member of Alford Football Club and he assisted Willoughby and Ulceby clubs in the Badley league engagements. All three brothers appear to have been very involved in community life. Walter (b.1878) and William (b.1881) were more than ten years older than Raymond, in the late 1800s the pair were involved in the local football club and Alford wheelers.

GROTESQUE FOOTBALL. THE ‘NEW WOMAN AND TEN.” A grotesque football match was played at the Tothby road ground, Alford, Lincolnshire, on Saturday afternoon, between teams representing “Eleven Gentlemen” v “The New Woman & Ten of her lady Friends.” Having been photographed along with her team, the ” New Woman” won the toss, and elected to kick down hill., The “Gentlemen” had the best of the game for few minutes, owing to the ladies skirts always being in the way. The ” Gentlemen,” who had been pressing for a quarter hour, put in a shot which looked like scoring, but the Ladies’ custodian saved cleverly. After this, up to half time most of the play was mid-field, and the interval arrived with a blank sheet. In the second half the ladies distinguished themselves, soon after the kick-off, Snowshall scored for ladies. A few minutes after Dales equalised. The ladies again soon got the lead through Catley, while Chandley added a third just before time, and the gentlemen had retire, defeated 3 goals to 1. The referee was Mr W. Burridge who was also arrayed in female costume, and instead of blowing whistle as is usual, tooted his decision with bugle. The teams were as follows – Gentlemen: Goal. F.Wells ; backs. E. Hasnip and C.Lewis; half backs, S.Leary, B. Hasnip, and D.Wilkinson; forwards. T. Dales, G. Vear, G. Sutton, Mountain, and W. Northey. Ladies: Goal, F. Bond ; backs, F Porter and H. Hunter: half backs. W. Yates, F. Yates, and W. Reed; forwards, W. H. Snowshall, N. Catley, J. Samonds, J. Chandler, and J. Stephenson. Hull Daily Mail – Wednesday 24 March 1897:

ALFORD. The town Victoria Football Club held a smoking concert in the Assembly Rooms the Red Lion Hotel on Friday evening. An excellent programme had been arranged and Mr. W. H. Kell presided over good attendance. A pianoforte solo was given by Mr. Redshaw (Louth), songs by Messrs. Morley, Teesdale, J. Dingley, and W. Snowshall and Master Forman, Mr. H. Lawrence contributing mandolin solo. All the items were heartily appreciated. During the evening addresses were given by the chairman, and Mr. H. Tomlinson, sec. of the club, a very enjoyable-evening. Lincolnshire Echo – Monday 22 March 1897

Wheelers Cycling Club.—A minstrel entertainment in aid of the funds of the club was given in the Corn Exchange on Tuesday evening. The entertainment was thorough success. Mr W. M. Skelton, Mr H. Lawrence, Mr W. H. Snowshall, assisted, and Mrs Wholey accompanied the piano, together with Mr Charles Lewis (cornet). Others who took part in the entertainment were Master L. Forman, Master J. Teasdale. Master J. Wholey, Mr H. Morley, Mr N. Lawrence, Mr C. Yates, Mr J. Wakelin, Mr J. W. M. SKelton, and Mr W. N. Snowshall. Hull Daily Mail – Thursday 04 March 1897

Amid reports of temperance meetings, and an evangelist preacher in the Market Place ( being very upset at having to pay for his spot ), the smoking concert is an interesting addition to local events. These all male evenings were an opportunity to smoke, talk politics and listen to new music.

In 1955 William and Walter, now in their seventies, recalled their playing days for a reporter:

Every week when Alford United are playing at home you will be sure to find Mr. William Snowshall … among the spectators. He watches the players keenly, for his knowledge of football goes back fifty years when he and his brother, Mr. Walter Henry Snowshall … played for Alford… the boys often used to practise in the moonlight. One of the most vivid memories of the brothers is when Alford played Skegness in the Willoughby Cup. Mr Bill Snowshall , a young shopworker, was supposed to be looking after a stall outside his shop in the Market Place, but when the football match started he went to watch – and didn’t remember to return to work until the next morning in the excitement of Alford winning the match. In those days there were no expenses and travelling to matches often entailed a two hours’ journey in a tub trap. They remember having to get out and walk up the hills —and sometimes having to push. … Once travelling to Spilsby the shaft broke off their trap and they had to walk from Dalby to Spilsby and then start to play. Lincolnshire Standard & Boston Guardian – 03 Dec. 1955

The Snowshall brothers were the grandsons of William Snowshall, born in Louth in 1819, William and his brother John were themselves the sons of a sweep. The next post will go back to the beginning of the Snowshall sweeps.

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Mrs T

Beyond the day job, and the garden, I love to delve into local and family history. While pursuing one project other snippets frequently distract me, resulting in the eclectic mix of tales from the past found here.

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