WEST HAM UNITED
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FIRST PRACTICE MATCH :
Blues v. Reds
West Ham United Continential Motor Tour 1931
Recorded by Mr A.C. DAVIS (Director)
TUESDAY, MAY 26th
An early start was made on the homeward journey. Leaving Bale, which is the chief gate of Switzerland, and one of its foremost commercial towns, and situated partly in Germany, Switzerland, and France, it was not long before we were again climbing the mountains on the way to Mulhouse, Epinal, and Nancy.
The main road was through the valley of the river Moselle almost the entire way. A stop was made at Nancy, an old historical French city, and lunch was taken at the Grand Hotel Angleterre.
Proceeding on through undulating country, we passed through the ancient town of Metz to Luxemburg, where we stopped at the Hotel Brasseur.
Luxemburg occupies one of the prettiest natural sites of any town we have seen, being perched on the top of an enormous rocky mass that falls away in sheer precipices on three sides to the river valley below.
The deep valley is bridged over by two imposing bridges, one containing the largest stone arch in the world, having a span of 260 feet and 120 feet high. The evening was spent at Hagenbach's Hamburg Circus, and a really good show was given.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 27th
After an early start from Luxemburg, we were in Namur at 10.30, and, stopping for refreshments, we soon had greeting from an Upton Park resident, who informed us that other people from home had left Namur the previous day.
We were soon under way again, and at 12.30 the coach stopped in the station square in Brussels, and lunch was served in Skeets’ Restaurant.
At 2 p.m. we were on the road, and a good run through Ghent and Bruges saw us arrive at the Wellington Hotel, Ostend, at 5.30 p.m.
THURSDAY, MAY 28th
Leaving Ostend at 11 a.m. we were soon passing through Neiuport and Dunkirk en route for Calais, where we arrived at 1.30 p.m. At 3 p.m. the boat left for Dover, which was reached at 4.45 p.m., and at 5.30 p.m. the coach started for Upton Park, where we arrived at 9 p.m.
The journey of 2,200 miles was made without the slightest trouble, and it was a great performance of the Hillman coach. The driver is to be congratulated on the way he handled the car, both in the towns and over the mountains.
I also wish to express my thanks to Mr. M. Rhiser-Ellis, of Lucerne, for the time and trouble he went to in endeavouring to make our stay in Switzerland a happy one.
SECOND PRACTICE MATCH :
Reds v. Blues
5 - 4
23 August 1930
? - ?
16 August 1930
In Aid of the East Ham Branch of the British Legion Earl Haig Memorial Building Fund
3 - 1 (Ruffell 2, Watson)
24 January 1931
6 - 0 (Watson 3, James 2, Harris)
4 March 1931
0 - 2
14 March 1931
Other Matches Played at the Boleyn Ground
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v. ILFORD : LFA Cup - Semi-Final
? - ?
17 November 1930
WIMBLEDON v. ENFIELD :
London Senior Cup (Semi-Final)
? - ?
14 March 1931
ARMY v. ROYAL AIR FORCE :
London Senior Cup (Semi-Final)
? - ?
14 March 1931
ARSENAL v. MILLWALL : London Challenge Cup (Semi-Final)
0 - 0
25 March 1931
WEST HAM JOC v. BIRMINGHAM JOC
? - ?
4 April 1931
EASTMINSTER v. SHAW, SAVILL & ALBION :
East Ham Hospital Cup
? - ?
6 April 1931
Having made many previous tours in the various European countries by train, it was decided this year to make the trip in a Hillman saloon coach, and at 6.30 p.m. on May 13th, the following players and officials left Upton Park on the first motor coach to take a football party from London across the Channel.
The following players and officials made the journey:-
R. Dixon, A. Earl, R. Wade, R. Goodacre, F. Norris, J. Barrett, W. St. Pier, A. Cadwell, T. Yews, W. James, W. Pollard, J. Harris, D. Fereday, A. Robinson. C. Paynter, W. F. White, W. J. Cearns, F. R. Pratt, G. F. Davis, A. C. Davis, A. Searle.
Folkestone was reached at 10 p.m., after falling into a police trap, which delayed us for a short while.
Supper over we accepted an invitation from the Folkestone Football Club to their dance, which was in progress at the Pavilion opposite the hotel where we were staying.
Boleyn Ground training session 22 August 1930
THURSDAY, MAY 14th
With the sun shining, we left Folkestone for Dover at 10 a.m., and shortly after the car was at the Townsend Ferry berth ready for crossing to Calais. At 11.30 the S.S. Forde left Dover Harbour, and with & very fair crossing berthed at Calais about 1 p.m. The usual Customs' formalities being complied with, a move was made to the Station restaurant, where lunch was taken, and at 3 p.m. we started on our adventure of a Continental Football Tour by motor coach.
Once clear of the town it was not long before the War was brought to our minds as we passed a number of British and French cemeteries before reaching Arras, where a stop was made for tea in the centre of the town.
The coach was quickly surrounded by a large, admiring-crowd, and a police officer had to be requisitioned to stop the people getting inside to view the interior. We left Arras at 6.30 p.m., and after a very fine run we arrived at the Continental Hotel, Rheims, at 10 p.m.
FRIDAY, MAY I5th
A visit to Rheims Cathedral was made before breakfast - this magnificent building, so severely damaged during the War, is still being repaired.
Leaving Rheims at 10 a.m., the road was through undulating country. At Silleary a short stop was made to look over a War cemetery, then on to Chaumont, where lunch was served.
At 3 p.m. we continued our journey, passing through Langres, which, in 1918, was the centre of the American. Army Staff in France.
Bcsancon was reached at 8 p.m., and after dinner some of the party tried the Casino, but, as luck was-not coming their way, they listened to the music in the gardens for a while before bed.
SATURDAY, MAY 16th
An early morning walk through the town revealed ancient architecture amid beautiful surroundings, and the river Doubs teeming with fish.
Besancon has an historical past, as it was here that the Romans had their base camp in the war against the Germans (55 B.C.). The town was the capital of the Dukes of Burgundy and the birthplace of the famous-writer, Victor Hugo. Of the sixty thousand population over 6,000 are employed in the artificial silk industry and 9,000 in watchmaking.
We left Bcsancon at 10 a.m., and very shortly we were among the Jura mountains, with their forests of pine trees, waterfalls, and magnificent panoramas. As the coach climbed to the highest point, over 6,000 feet, we were on a ledge of rock, at one time, with a gorge quite 1,000 feel below. A halt was made for refreshments at a mountain cafe, and the downward run was a repetition of magnificent scenery.
About one o'clock we reached the frontier, and a short stop for Customs' formalities was made.
After leaving the frontier we obtained the first glimpse of the Alps, and at 2 p.m. we arrived at Neuchatel, and lunch was taken at a lakeside restaurant.
Leaving at 3 p.m., the road followed the lake for some miles through pretty countryside villages. A few miles outside Berne we ran into the second police trap, as a number of cars were lined up for a general inspection of licences; on production of our International Permit we were passed on with apologies for the slight delay.
Passing through Berne we were again in mountainous country, which continued until Lucerne was reached at 7.30 p.m.
SUNDAY, MAY I7th
A glorious morning, and an opportunity was taken to make a trip on the lake to Sonnenburg. It is a wonderful picture. The lake, a lovely blue, with the great peaks of I'ilatus and the Riger on either side. Showing how small the world is, we met a gentleman wearing a Torquay Football Club badge, and visitors from Ilford and Streatham.
After lunch we accepted an invitation from the Lucerne Football Club to witness their game against Geneva. A junior game was just finishing when we arrived at the ground, and we then saw quite a novelty. A monoplane circled over the ground, coming lower each turn and then, to our surprise, the ball for the match was dropped from the plane, and it was quite a good shot, for it landed inside the centre circle. The game was quite interesting, each side scoring two goals.
We were later asked to give an exhibition game in Lucerne, and it was arranged to play the local club on the following Wednesday, at 6.30 p.m.
Touring party at Mount Pilatus
MONDAY, MAY 18th
A beautiful morning, with very slight mist on the mountains. After breakfast, we were soon on the conch en route for Alpnachstad, where the railway starts for the ascent of Pilatus.
The railway itself is a great engineering feat, constructed in 1887. The road was cut on and through solid rock, there being several tunnels. The locomotive and car form one vehicle, with four cog wheels and automatic brakes on the underside. The rack rail has a double row of vertical cogs milled out of solid steel bars. The station at the top of the mountain is 6,792 feet high, and one part of the line is at an angle of 48 degrees.
A photograph of our party was taken outside the station showing the railway car waiting to take us up through scenery of majestic grandeur - pine forests, alpine flowers, gorges, waterfalls, unfold to view as the car proceeds up the winding road for 75 minutes before Pilatus Kulm is reached. Arriving at the summit, we proceeded through arches cut through snow, which was over twelve feet deep, to the terraces, where magnificent and indescribable views were seen of the Alps and the valleys, and we had the experience of standing looking at the sun shining brilliantly on the valleys below with snow falling on us above.
TUESDAY, MAY 19th
Another very hot day in store. Walking along the promenade and observing the varied attractions of Lucerne, it seems impossible to place a finger on any one outstanding. To say it is the most beautiful lake is to forget the great mountain peaks, and to indicate the quaint old town is to neglect the modern resort situated at the end of the Lake of Lucerne, where the river Reuss starts. It commands a splendid view of the Waldstatter Alps, and is the chief tourist centre of Switzerland. Its mediaeval towers and two roofed-in wooden bridges, with the water tower and many beautifully painted houses and monumental fountains, give the town a quaintly original appearance.
During the afternoon a trip was made to Burgenstock, which is on Hammetschwan, rising almost perpendicular on the north side, it is one of the most frequented mountains in the country.
To reach Burgenstock you leave the boat and get the Mountain Railway, which lands you at a point about 2,500 feet above the Lake. It is then possible to have a steady walk for another 1,000 feet rise, or take the lift, which is the highest in the world, rising up the face of the cliff over 800 feet. Returning to Lucerne, the evening was spent at the Cinema with Charles Chaplin in City Lights.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 20th
Raining hard, the prospects of our first game did not look very bright. The morning was passed with billiards, etc., with the hope of the weather breaking later on. But after lunch rain was still falling, and continued without a break until well into the night, and it was officially stated to have been the worst rainfall in the district for over 50 years.
We left for the ground at 5 p.m., and, in spite of the incessant downpour, quite a good crowd turned out, and we had a unique spectacle of a football match surrounded by umbrellas.
The ground was more than half-covered with water, but quite an interesting game was seen, West Ham
winning 2-0, the team being Dixon, Earl, Wade, Norris, St. Pier, Cadwell, Yews, Pollard, Barrett, James, Harris.
After the game the teams and officials spent a few hours together at the Lucerne Club House.
The playing pitch of the Lucerne Club is one of the worst we have seen, even when dry it is all against good football owing to the uneven surface, but we hope the local authorities will soon make a move to provide the town Club with a ground fit for first-class football.
Upon returning to the hotel I was surprised to be called by my name by a German gentleman, who I could not recognise. He called his daughter over and introduced her as the little girl who presented flowers to our team when we played in Frankfort-On-Main four years ago.
2 - 0 (Harris 2)
20 May 1931
THURSDAY, MAY 2Ist
Local sightseeing, visiting the Gletschergarten, the Lion Monument, the Kapellbrucke, the roofed-in bridge, which crosses the Reuss. This bridge, 557 feet long, was built in 1333, and the interior of its roof is ornamented with 158 triangular paintings, dating from the 16th century; beside it is the so-called Water Tower.
The Weinmarket, with its pretty painted houses and its beautiful 15th century fountain. Walking along the Corso Promenade in the evening, when the sun goes down, the spectacle of the mountains opposite and their reflection in the lake, is marvellously beautiful.
The sight at the Trubsee Hotel is wonderful. The stupendous rocky precipice of the Setlis can be seen with its dome covered with ice, estimated to be over 150 feet thick. Engleberg Monastery should not be missed by any visitor. The writer, during the various tours on the Continent, has visited numerous churches, but nowhere has anything more beautiful been seen than the Monastery Church at Engleberg.
FRIDAY, MAY 22nd
Some of the party made the trip to Engelberg, the jewel of the Swiss Alps. The magnificent valley clings to the mountains at the point where the lowest Alps join the highest regions and winds its way for nearly twelve miles. The valley is almost as flat as a table. The mountain slopes, covered with refreshing green meadows and woods, make a pleasant transition to the rocky and snow-clad peaks soaring majestically skywards.
Tin- Alpine flowers at Engelberg are very varied and plentiful, for almost everywhere are to be found Alperrosen, mountain asters, anemones, and even edelweiss is to be found in plenty in certain spots.
The waters of the eternal snow provide the power for the operation of the railways. The line from Lake Lucerne rises from 1,449 feet to 3,315 feet above sea level in 14 miles. The aerial railway starts from the terminus of the Gerschnsalp Railway, 4,233 feet above sea level, and goes to the Trubsee Hotel, 7,000 feet above sea level. The cable-way has a length of 7,447 feet, and one has a peculiar sensation when making the journey for the first time.
Above the clouds on the cable railway, Engleberg
SATURDAY, MAY 23rd
An early walk through the market was interesting. At 1 p.m. the coach was at the hotel, and we were soon on the road to Zurich, where we were to play our second game. This city, the largest in Switzerland, having a population of 206,000, is situated on the Lake of Zurich, and on both banks of the river Limmat.
The lake forms a crescent 25 miles long, 23 miles wide and 450 feet deep, and has an area of 33 square miles. Round its transparent waters are villages in almost un¬broken continuity, wooded hills, and green pastures slope snow-clad peaks of the Alps.
Passing through the town we stopped for an hour on the lakeside, the coach again being a great attraction to the people.
Arriving at the ground, we found (as a contrast to Lucerne where umbrellas were numerous) spectators sunbathing.
The kick-off was at 5.30, and our team was: Dixon, Earl. Wade, Norris, St. Pier, Cadwell, Yews, Pollard, Barrett, James, Harris. A very pleasant and interesting game ended in a win for the Hammers, 5-2, the goals being scored by Barrett (3) and Harris (2).
After the match a very smart run back to Lucerne 'for dinner.
5 - 2 (Barrett 3, Harris 2)
23 May 1931
SUNDAY, MAY 24th
Lovely sunshine and visitors arriving by hundreds. Between six and seven in the early morning, a stroll on the promenade is an education, as the week-end trippers are sorting their parties out, some hiking, others ski-ing, boating, etc.
An early lunch was served, and at 1 o'clock we left for a run to Interlaken, which lies between the Lakes of Thun and Brenz, and is a famous tourist centre. The drive was over the Brunig Pass, which winds like a huge snake up the side of the mountain to a height of over 7,000 feet, and it is a close call for two vehicles to pass, and at various points the cars are on a ledge of rock with a drop of hundreds of feet over the edge.
Tea was taken at Interlaken, and we afterwards drove to Meiringen and paid a visit to the gorge of the Aare. The gorge is 1,530 yards long, and has been made accessible by means of paths and galleries along the sides of the rock walls. On the way to the gorge the Reichcnbach falls are seen.
Leaving Aareschulct at 6 p.m., we almost immediately commenced to climb up to Brunig by a side road, and after 55 minutes’ winding round the bends, we again made the main road over the mountains and arrived at Lucerne about 8.30.
4 - 3 (Fereday, James, Pollard, Yews)
25 May 1931
MONDAY, MAY 25th
Very hot. At 10 a.m. we said good-bye to the large number of friends we had made during several days' stay in Lucerne, and left for Bale, where we were to play the town club.
A very pleasant run through beautiful country, and at noon we arrived at Rheinfalden, where one of the largest power stations in Europe is being erected. The scheme, when completed, means the generating of 160,000 kilowatts of electricity at a very small cost, as the natural fall of the river Rhine at this point has been utilised, and the power generated by the building of a dam 42 feet high and 2,000 feel long, and the vast volume of water coming over the four weirs, suggest that the present installation could be increased to a million kilowatts when required.
I take the opportunity of thanking the officials of the power station for their courtesy and the time placed at our disposal in explaining the various points of a great engineering feat.
Arriving at Bale at about 2.30. lunch was served, and it was not long before we went to the ground for our last game.
The team was: Dixon, Earl. Wade. Norris, St. Pier, Cadwell, Fereday, Pollard, Robinson, James, Harris.
At half-time, at the request of some local fans, Barrett and Yews took the places of Pollard and Robinson. A lively game, ending in a win for West Ham, four, goals to three.
After the game we were the' guests of the Bale Club at the local Casino, and a pleasant couple of hours quickly passed.
1 - 2 (Earle)
8 December 1930
Dixon, Wade, Fryatt, Collins, Barrett, Musgrave, Evans, Watson, Barter, James, Cribb
Lea Bridge Stadium
4 - 0 (Barrett 2, James, Ruffell)
3 November 1930
1 - 1 (Wilkins)
10 January 1931
NORWICH CITY : Reserves
0 - 1
24 January 1931
GUILDFORD CITY : Reserves
1 - 4
25 February 1931
CLAPTON ORIENT : Reserves
Lea Bridge Stadium
2 - 2 ( ?)
21 March 1931
ESSEX v. LONDON :
0 - 4
21 April 1931