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    On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

    Posted by RADSB on 15/9/2020, 9:44:23

    ..is reported by the Luton Reporter -

    “The annual general meeting of the Luton Excelsior Football Club was held at the Midland Hotel on Wednesday last, when there was a good attendance of members and friends. The chair was taken at 8 o’clock by the president, Mr. S. Webb, who then called on the secretary to give his report :- The club played 23 matches during the last season, winning eight, lost eight and drawn seven, which the committee think is very good, considering the class of teams that played the out-town matches, and the superior teams which were played with during last season. The financial position of the club is very good,a balance of £3 3s. 8d. being brought forward to help the carrying on of the club in the coming season. The club was composed of 26 honorary members and 38 playing members, making a total of 64 members. The whole of the teams which the club played expressed great satisfaction it would give them in meeting the Luton Excelsior teams again. The committee desire to convey their thanks to the whole of the members for the way in which they had helped them carry out their duties, and hoped that the club might be a greater success during the coming season. The balance-sheet was then read and carried unanimously, and the following gentlemen were elected to fill the officers and committee for the ensuing season :- Mr S Webb, president : Mr G Hinson, treasurer : Mr F. Scott, hon secretary : Mr F. Pitkin, asst secretary. Committee - Messrs T. Lawrence, W. Smith, H. Wilkinson, F.W. Smith, J. Scott, H. Boxford, W.J. Bailey, W. Hopewell. The general business was then brought forward and the following motions carried : 1st, That any losses incurred by damage, or loss of the materials of the club, be made good from the funds of the club; 2nd, that the club shall award four medals to members showing best proficiency in play during the ensuing season; 3rd, that the headquarters of the Luton Excelsior Football Club shall be held at the Midland Hotel, but it be left to the committee’s own discretion where they shall hold their meetings; 4th, that members shall give a decided answer two clear days previous to a match whether they can play or not, and then failing to appear to play when called upon, shall be fined one shilling”.

    The Excelsior Committee were not making excuses about quality of the teams they played, they had some tough games against Newport Pagnell twice, Chesham twice, Bedford Britannia twice, London Skirmishers and London Excelsior. Wanderers would not have been blind to the quality teams that Excelsior were attracting. Excelsior's Dallow Lane ground was enclosed so they could charge admission and therefore have money available for away games and opposing teams expenses. Wanderers home ground was People's Park so they couldn't charge admission.

    The introduction of a fine suggests a problem with some players agreeing to play then pulling out or not turning up on the day. Excelsior had been around for at least three years but the rule had only just been introduced. That indicates that they wanted to make progress and were taking the game seriously especially in light of the quality of the opposition. If they invited a London team to Luton it must have been embarrassing and infuriating to be a player or two short and have to use a reserve at the last minute.

    The Midland Hotel was on the corner of Williamson Street and Manchester Street and was demolished in 1976.

      Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

      Posted by Roggie on 15/9/2020, 14:27:28, in reply to "On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

      London Skirmishers eh.
      Any red cards? Was Brakspear referee then?

        Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

        Posted by HH on 15/9/2020, 10:35:31, in reply to "On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

        Excellent stuff once again!

        I spent a lot of time yesterday evening looking into the old timber yard and old grandstand but to no avail....!

        I did, however, come across another theory regarding the Kempton Racecourse rumour origin: https://hitchintownfc.club/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2306

          Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

          Posted by RADSB on 15/9/2020, 10:41:33, in reply to "Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

          Yes I've read that theory. This 1935 photo shows the main stand standing on the hill towering over everything (except a few churches) for miles around - on the train to Bedford it would look like a racecourse grandstand (no floodlight pylons obvs).

            Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

            Posted by HH on 15/9/2020, 10:50:57, in reply to "Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

            It certainly does.

            Such a shame the railway cut off the corner of the ground. It would have been nice to have had the mainstand running the entire length of the pitch.

          Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

          Posted by Nearly a Genius on 15/9/2020, 10:19:13, in reply to "On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

          The building that housed Faiman's posh dress shop?

            Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

            Posted by HH on 15/9/2020, 10:24:41, in reply to "Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

            I've no idea if that shop was there but here is the building. Just opposite the Town Hall and the old Library.

              Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

              Posted by Garstang Hatter on 15/9/2020, 13:48:39, in reply to "Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

              Is that crumps with the bike?

                Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

                Posted by Nearly a Genius on 15/9/2020, 10:26:54, in reply to "Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

                Yes, that's it.
                Cheers

                  Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

                  Posted by RADSB on 15/9/2020, 10:33:40, in reply to "Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

                  Very nice photo.

                    Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

                    Posted by HH on 15/9/2020, 11:35:48, in reply to "Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

                    Random question, were the houses along Dallow Road there when we played there?

                    They first map they appear on is the 1899 map but not on the earlier maps.

                      Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

                      Posted by RADSB on 15/9/2020, 11:53:46, in reply to "Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

                      It's hard to pin down exactly where and when they were all built. A newspaper report from 1893 says a little girl had an accident at a house in Dallow Lane. So I think some parcels of land were sold off for a few houses. As a later example, Ivy Road and others had small parcels of land sold to a number of builders who built a few houses each- you can see the different adornments on houses around KR and make out the different parcels of land. So for Dallow Lane I think there was a similar patchwork quilt of parcels of land and houses gradually built. When the club left in 1897 more were built as it freed up the land adjacent to the timber yard sheds.

                        Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

                        Posted by HH on 15/9/2020, 12:02:23, in reply to "Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

                        Thanks, that makes sense.

                        From the 1899 map the houses are more towards the Stuart Street / Dunstable Road end of Dallow Road. So, if there were no houses along Dallow Road when we played there I'm just wondering if the pitches were originally at more of 45 degree angle to the railway, which would have meant the pavillion was originally placed accordingly alongside them them? But then I guess you struggle to fit in the two pitches that were there.

                        Apologies for probably boring you! No doubt you've already been through this countless times in your own mind.

                          Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

                          Posted by RADSB on 15/9/2020, 12:10:58, in reply to "Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

                          Hah, you'll never bore me on the moustache and J.C. Lomax era. You're not far off on the position of the early pitches. They turned the pitch 90 degrees after Wanderers went under. But they positioned the pavilion to accomodate not only footbal but also cricket, cycling and athletics which also took place on the ground. When the goal mouths got really muddy one season, they turned the pitch back to the position you show.

                          The long version is here -
                          http://thestrawplaiters.com/dallow-lane-development-of-the-ground/

                          The shorter version is here -
                          http://thestrawplaiters.com/dallow-lane/

                            Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM

                            Posted by HH on 15/9/2020, 13:00:05, in reply to "Re: On this day in 1883...Excelsior AGM"

                            But they positioned the pavilion to accomodate not only footbal but also cricket, cycling and athletics which also took place on the ground

                            Yes, I think I've been too focused on assuming the pavilion was built for the best views for football when that may not have been the case. It would be incredible if a photo showed up somewhere in the archives.

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