Virtual Museum: The 1920s

PAGECRESTThese items relate to Town’s ‘Finest Hour’, a time when they were top of the League and FA Cup winners.
(Some of the items shown here have been reduced in size)

On 24th April 1920, Aston Villa beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 at Stamford Bridge to record their sixth FAC Final win. It was the first ever Final to go to extra-time and was settled by Andy Ducat’s goal. This ashtray was found on eBay in May 2019 and cost me just £20.00. Admittedly it’s not in particularly good shape, but that’s down to plenty of cleaning and polishing in the intervening 100+ years! When viewed from underneath the details become a lot clearer.1920 ashtray

RESPONSES TO WILLIAM HARDCASTLE’S TENDERED RESIGNATION, 1920Hardcastle WL postcardAt the start of the 1920-21 season William Lawson Hardcastle (right) was the Town Chairman. Here we see two carbon-copy letters on Town headed-notepaper, both from Ambrose Langley (Town Secretary-Manager) to Hardcastle regarding his request to stand-down as Town Chairman. The former – numbered 219 and dated 18th November, 1920 – informs Hardcastle that his resignation was not accepted by the Directors, but the second letter – numbered 229 and dated 30th November, 1920 – tells him that it had been accepted at another meeting on the 24th of November, 1920. Joseph Barlow subsequently stepped-up into the Chairman’s hot seat.
I can’t honestly remember what these cost me or where they came from, but my bet would be that it was eBay and that they were relatively cheap, being of little or no interest to the general buying public.1920_11_18 Resignation refused carbon1920_11_31 Resignation accepted carbon

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN SHARE CERTIFICATE 19201920 Share CertificateHuddersfield Town Share Certificate, dated 4th November 1920 and signed by Directors Fred Mitchell and Joseph Barlow, together with Secretary-Manager Ambrose Langley and which cost me £50.00 from eBay. Exactly one year previously Town’s finances had been in a most parlous state – saved only by the issue of thousands of shares such as this one – as the club successfully managed to stave off the threat of closure and immediate transfer to Leeds, lock, stock and barrel.

1920s Toffee Tin 1This beautiful item was produced by Horners Toffee Factory of Chester-Le-Street, County Durham. I cannot be certain of the date but I am fairly sure that it would be the 1920s. Horners began production around 1910, the first adverts appearing in 1915, and produced many different designs of ‘Dainty Dinah Toffees’. An example of this tin appears in the Town book ’99 Years and Counting’ on page 20, placing it in the 1913-14 season, but I believe that this would be too early. I could, of course, be wrong though! A similar item – albeit in better condition and a Newcastle Utd. tin – sold at Christie’s Auction House in 2004 for £143.00 HERE and I saw a nice condition Manchester United tin fetch £65.00 online in 2016. My battered one cost me £20.00 from eBay in 2015 so I would consider this to be a delightful bargain! There are others at the National Football Collection website.1920s Toffee Tin 2Incidentally, as an aside, you might like to know that David Raw – whose great uncle Harry played for Town in the 1930 FAC Final against Arsenal – contacted me to say that he is related to the girl on the lid; apparently ‘Dainty Dinah‘ was really Alice Scott, born 1899 in Chester-Le-Street, and was his grandmother’s cousin. Although Alice lived to 102 – and thereby lived a life spanning three centuries! – David never met her but remembers his mother saying that she was very pretty and did actually work at Horners and that she was paid extra for what the modern world would call ‘image rights’.
David also has a tray with her picture on it.

Small world, eh?1920s Toffee Tin 41920s Toffee Tin 3

Dick Parker was a stalwart Town director, taking up his seat on the board in this season, 1920-21, and remaining there until his death in 1974. This is his wife’s season ticket from that very first season and, because it has connections to a known Town personality, it is an extremely rare and valuable item. Another eBay bargain at £50.00!1920 Season ticket Parker

​What a fantastic catch this was! Bought at auction for just £21.22, these autographs are lovely and clear and include many that I do not have elsewhere. From a note scratched at the bottom of the sheet it would appear that the autographs were collected on 15th March 1921.
Directors etc.: Joseph Barlow (Chairman)​, ​Amos Brook-Hirst (Vice-Chairman), Norman Robinson (Director), Frederick Charles Mitchell (Director), ​James Henry Rayner (Director), Dick Parker (Director), ​Rowland Mitchell (Director), ​Ambrose Langley (Secretary Manager), ​J.C. Battye (Financial Secretary)
Players: F.R. Goodall, W. Smith, W. Watson, W.G. Johnston, R. Rodgerson, ​A. Mutch, T. Wilson, J. Swan, J.W. Wood, F.E. Bullock, C. Slade, S. Kennedy*, C. McKay, G. Richardson, W.H. Smith, H. Cawthorne, E. Davis and E. Barkas.1920-21 Autographs*Sam Kennedy is very much an unknown quantity on here. Town historian John Ward provides the following information about him: “He was mainly a defender who signed for Town at the start of the 1920/21 season although he never played in Town’s first team. The first match I have him in is 2nd October 1920 as Right Back: Reserves 0 Tranmere Rovers Res 4. In that match Town goalkeeper Edwin Davis sustained a nasty head wound mid-way through the first-half that needed several stitches and he did not reappear! Sam Kennedy went in goal when the score was 0-1. However, Kennedy can not be blamed for the other 3 goals as Town played the whole of the second-half with only nine players as F. Brock also left the field injured at half-time and failed to re-appear. Next, Kennedy became the Reserves’ regular Centre Half and also played the odd match at Centre-Forward or Outside Left. He was transferred to Burnley in May 1921 but did not make any first team appearances whilst at Turf Moor.”

What. A. Find! I am indebted to Ian Mountain who contacted me when he inherited this booklet and was looking for somewhere to move it on. I have never seen one of these before. It’s the earliest Town publication – other than programmes – that I know of, so I was thrilled to pick it up for £30.00. You can see the contents of this item in my BOOKS section.192223 HTAFC Supporters Assoc official handbook

Here is a beautiful sterling silver ‘Touchwud’ lucky charm called the “Footer Touchwud“
which was presented to Huddersfield Town Football Club for the 1922 FA Cup final against Preston North End. It obviously worked because Town famously won the match 1-0! I can’t imagine that many were issued originally, and then probably only to the directors, so there can only be a few remaining today. Originally he had an enamel body wearing a blue and white striped football shirt with white shorts, topped with a leather football shaped wooden head but, unfortunately, as you can see the head has long since vanished on mine. Internet sources suggest that a complete item would be worth in excess of £250 and so I think that I did exceptionally well to get mine for just £52.00!1922 TouchWud Charm

Oh dear! Although these are quite clearly seven lovely autographs of Town players, the pictures have been cut from a page of an actual 1922 F. A. Cup Final programme; someone dropped an extremely expensive clanger in cutting it up! Just to give you some kind of indication as to the scale of the blunder here, 1922 FA Cup Final programmes go for well over £1000 each these days. I paid Town historian and statistician John Ward £72.00 for this sheet.1922 Pictures autographs

SANDY MUTCH CARTOON 1920s?1920s Mutch cartoonI know next to nothing at all about this item other than that it was originally in a small album along with several other footballers and sporting personalities. I have no idea who H. Vaughan was and, as Mutch also played for Aberdeen and Newcastle United, I am hoping that this cartoon was drawn when he was at his peak – with Town, naturally!

A locally-produced song sheet celebrating Town’s success in the 1922 FA Cup Final against Preston North End. The players shown featured heavily in the Cup team of that year and you will notice that the pictures are identical to those used in the official match programme as shown above. Appropriately enough, this item cost me £22 from eBay. 🙂1922 Songsheet

Whilst not exactly unique this is nevertheless a rare original album page for the Godfrey Phillips Pinnace cards, complete with players from Town’s successful tilt at the FA Cup of 1921-22. All of the Pinnace cards featuring this lot of Town players are relatively easy to find; you can see them in the 1921 section of this site. However, the Stephenson card shows him in Aston Villa kit (Pinnace never had him in Town kit) and both the Wadsworth and Islip cards are high numbers and therefore a little tougher to find so I have taken the liberty of replacing all three with cards from the much easier to source 1923 Footballers series by D. C. Thomson.1922 Pinnace team

In early October 2020 I was contacted by
Vicki Pearce who sent me a photograph of a Town rattle which has been in her family for many years, presumably since the 1922 FAC Final. She asked if I could provide any information on what she had thought was a toy; unfortunately I could only identify it for what it is – a First World War gas attack alert rattle from the trenches which has been painted up to celebrate Town’s FAC win. She was unwilling to part with it, so I can only add the photo here and hope…192122 FAC rattle

​Originally I had three of these, all for different years, but I kept this – the earliest – and sold the others. I’ve never seen any others and this postally unused one ​cost me about £10.001922 Shareholders Invitation

Now these are lovely and very rare items. They were designed to cover the more boring ordinary matchboxes and were distributed by George Lunn at The Cherry Tree as advertising gimmicks. This clearly happened over a few years as can be seen by the different seasons covered; there’s also a 1921-22 version shown in the Town book ’99 Years & Counting‘. The fixture lists for 1920-21 and 1922-23 make interesting reading; games home and away against teams on successive Saturdays and even a match on Christmas Day – I can’t see that ever happening again any time soon!1920s HTAFC Vesta cases

THE BOYS’ REALM cartoon by C. Shaw Baker, published 6th January 1924
This wonderful cartoon tells the tale of Town’s impending trip to the Bridge to take on Chelsea on 26th January, replete with their new signing Andy Wilson (from Middlesbrough). In the event Town did indeed take the points back to Yorkshire as they ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a Clem Stephenson goal. 🙂 The item cost me £4.88 (including fees) from Midland Sports Auctions in June 2020.1924 BOYS REALM cartoon

Now we are talking seriously rare with this publication. Issued to mark the occasion of W.H. “Billy” Smith’s second ‘Benefit’, it coincided with the game against Burnley at Leeds Road on 18th April 1924 which ended 1-1 and with Town in second place in the league (they would go on to win the Football League for the very first time just a few short weeks later.) These booklets are extraordinarily rare; one went to auction in July 2016 and fetched £50 whilst “Willie Watson’s Football Life Story” fetched an amazing £1800 at the same Lockdales auction! I am pleased to report that I picked mine up on eBay in mid-June 2019 for the princely sum of £48.001924 WH Smith Football Life StoryIf you visit this item in my BOOKS section you can see the contents of it.

Another exceedingly rare booklet which chronicles Town’s second successive League Championship win of 1924-25. Included are photographs of the teams (First XI and Reserves) and the directors, together with a brief history of the club and fixtures for the coming season. My copy has newspaper cuttings stuck inside it, which obscure the first few pages, but are nevertheless an insight into press reaction to the FA Cup win and other events. If you visit the item in my BOOKS section you can look inside it.192526 Blotter

This small concertina-style fold out booklet was produced to celebrate the winning of the Football League Championship for a then unheard of third consecutive season. Complete with statistics, photographs of the directors, players and trophies (the ‘Stiffs’ were Central League Champions for the second consecutive year too!) the club actually jumped the gun by one game, as the title was won with a game to spare, so there are no details for the final game away to Notts County, which the Champions-elect lost 2-4.souvenir26Once again, if you visit my BOOKS section you can see the contents of this wonderful little booklet.

Yet another historic book! I used to think that that this was a REALLY rare publication, but it seems that copies are readily available from SportsPages although at a premium. This 88-page A5 sized book gives a history of the Town club from its humble beginnings in 1908 right up to the dizzy heights of being First Division Champions three times in a row. Laced with the usual team and director photographs, there are season by season reviews and, of course, many interesting adverts from the era.handbook26

The original of this is an A4 photograph of Alec Jackson c1927-28 which has been “colourised“. I have no details whatsoever about this, but it’s a lovely item nevertheless. Judging by the paper quality, I would say that it is almost certainly a modern print.1927 Jackson photograph

Not from the actual Daily Mail where it first appeared, this is nevertheless a page removed from the 1928 Tom Webster annual, so it does date to the correct period. The cartoon focuses on the ageing of the Town players, in particular Stephenson, Kelly, Smith and Mercer, and the closing frame is very amusing!
Blackburn certainly did take their chances against the “Old Men” of Town that day, running out 3-1 winners although they were certainly NOT the favourites going into the tie.

Now here’s another rarity – a genuine 1928 LNER handbill advertising their “excursion” to the FAC Final between Blackburn and Town on 21st April, 1928 which cost me £10 on eBay.1928 LNER FAC Final

‘Wetherdair Raincoats’ calendar card
I am grateful to Ivan Reid for supplying this small, (70mm x 90mm unfolded) sepia, folding calendar which was probably designed to fit inside a gentleman’s wallet and, given that it begins in July, it was almost certainly issued around the June following the 1928 FA Cup Final which featured Town and Blackburn Rovers. Interestingly, this one seems to have been distributed by J.K. Hay of 19 High Street, Inverurie, some distance from either Huddersfield or Blackburn! There is also a little printers’ note at the bottom which I have noted above.

This cost me £20.00 which I think is a good price for such a rare item.1928 WETHERDAIR calendarAn almost identical calendar advertising different suppliers in Parrish & Sons of Stamford, Lincolnshire and which also featured a later calendar for 1929, went to auction in February 2018, but I have no idea where or how much it fetched. This tends to suggest that the card was mass-produced – albeit probably on a small scale – and distributed to various Wetherdair outlets with their own individual address imprinted.

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