Football Stars

My mother, who was a Warminster girl, once told me of a couple of lads from Chitterne  that she knew in her youth. She knew them as Pont and Pimp Bailey. Pont was short for Ponton and Pimp was short for Pimple. How word fashions change!

 

football 28-29
Chitterne Football Club 1928-29. Frank ‘Pimple’ Bailey is the short man standing at the back between goalkeeper Harry Sheppard and Jack Beaumont. Most of the middle row are unknown except for Eric Polden second from right. Second and third from the left in the front row are Bill Spratt and Ernie Polden.

These lads were footballers, as were my mother’s brothers, so they came to Warminster to play football and that’s how my mother knew them. Reading between the lines I get the impression that she idolised these handsome Chitterne boys, because she also mentioned cycling over to the village with a friend. This was back in the 1920s, before television, when Chitterne Football Team had won the Warminster Hospital Cup three times in succession and were local football heroes.

nora 1920s
My mother Nora in the 1920s

Fast forward to today when I am looking at the Marriage Banns Register for Chitterne and come across the banns for a marriage in 1929 between Frank Bailey and Amy Gilbert. Frank was the youngest and smallest of the Bailey boys hence his nickname ‘Pimple’. Amy Gilbert was a Warminster girl, the same age as my mother and distantly related to her. I wonder if they were friends and rivals who went cycling together?

The Bailey boys were the sons of Tom and Amy Bailey, who lived at 2 Middle Barn Cottages. There were nine children in the family, two girls and seven boys. Sadly, Frank Bailey lost his life in the second World War and is remembered on our village War Memorial.

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Football Stars

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