THIS fine photograph of a 1950s works football side has been kindly dropped in to Bugle House by Lesley Willetts of Pedmore.
It depicts Marsh and Baxter F.C., of Brierley Hill, season 1953-54.
The team played in the Birmingham and District Works League, alongside many other fine works sides of the day. In fact, just about every local firm that you could name fielded at least one team in the league, which was made up of an astonishing eighteen divisions, of twelve teams in each. That’s over two hundred works sides, during what was truly the golden heyday of local works football, with tip-top facilities provided by the companies, to boot!
Marsh and Baxter, famous for their sausages and other meat products of course, played their home matches at High Ercal, Brierley Hill.
We have a Birmingham Works League handbook for 1949-50, which lists Marsh and Baxter Athletic as then playing in Division 12, but by 1953-54 we believe that they had moved up a few divisions, as the large shield in the above photograph was awarded to the winners of Division 7.
Also, from other photographs shown in the booklet, we believe that the trophy on the left was the Silversmiths Cup, but we have no name for the third trophy on the right, which is in the shape of a football with town goal nets either side. It would be interesting to know if any reader can identify it.
Lesley informs us that this photograph (it is quite large, measuring around 12 inches by 15 inches) once hung in the Marsh and Baxter Social Club, and Tony Pearson of Quarry Bank had it in his possession for many years (he played for M & B in the 1960s and 70s).
The only name provided is that of Harry Russon, on the middle row, far right.
Come on readers, put on your thinking caps, and let us have the names of more of these sporting stalwarts of 55 years ago.