In 1897 Hartington Sports was born to run alongside the already established school sports. Mr. William Oliver was a founder member of the first sports committee and rode in the first sports on a pony owned by Tailor Adcock. In 1944 Mr. Ted Hall moved to Hartington and became involved in the Sports through Mr. William Oliver who became a firm friend and fountain of local history during the remainder of his life.
At the Ninth Annual Sports it is very interesting to note that local family names were very apparent being Oliver, Flower, Kirkham, Cook, Johnson, Stubbs, Wright, Gould and Brindley to name but a few. We especially noted a name in the trotting handicap of Mr. G. Arden from Pilsbury Top racing his horse called Robin, this was Roger Arden’s grandfather. Roger (grandson) allowing the sports to use his field for a number of years including Centenary year.
The sports then moved to the Pikehall Race Track owned by Arnie Flower who kindly hosted the sports until 2013.
In 2014 Hartington Sports was moved to its present venue at High Fields, Hall Bank, Hartington by kind permission of Mr Richard Sherratt. Richard has been a committee member for a number of years and organises the increasingly popular vintage tractor section.
Originally, the Sports were held on the Charles Cotton field in Hartington. on the Twelfth Annual Sports a record attendance and good weather were recorded. As time went on, the field at Hartington became too small, so Tom Rowarth, then Treasurer, offered his field at Newhaven where it was held for many years.
It’s very interesting to note that In 1910 some of the names in the children’s’ sports are also evident on the present Sports Committee, being Suzie Flower, Nellie Flower and Kirkhams. In 1927 Gid Cook won the Boys’ Under 14 race and went on to win the cup many times. Gid Is still a strong supporter of the Sports today. In 1927 Whippet Races were introduced and it is interesting that we have recently re-introduced Terrier Racing. Such names as Lowndes, Bunting, Bates, Holloway, Peach, Brindley, Lamb, Dakin and Wagers are all Hartington names and were sports supporters back in 1928.
Driving Classes which were present at the sports around the I940’s had an entry from Mr. Yates of Quarndon being the father of Mr. Ham Yates who’s family still support the Hartington Sports. It would be nice to re-introduce Driving classes in the future.
On the front page of the 1931 programme it is an interesting coincidence to see that Lord Hartington heads the list of Vice Presidents, also listed are 44 Members of the Committee. The Marquis of Hartington was invited back as our Centenary President in 1997. Around the 1930’s it is recorded in some results that a horse called ‘Kirkham’s Brenda’ took 3rd place in the Local Trotting Handicap. We would like to note that this name is fitting that Brenda, is in the safe hands of a Kirkham (M.) still?
In the 1950’s a Cart Horse Derby event was recorded, the winners being local people: 1st Morris Grindey; 2nd Joe Critchlow; Bridgend; Walk. Trot and Gallop past post.