Tuesday, August 23, 2022

United Kingdom

I know they're fully clothed, but I like these ruggers.  Two interesting things about this poster: 
 it was made for the tram company, and it's by a woman artist, Laura Knight.



  1. Twickenham, 10 miles from Charing Cross - to where all distances to and from London are calculated - is a very ancient place dating back to Neolithic times but was only incorporated into the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames in 1965. It is the home of Rugby in London, still fondly called "Twickers" in Oxford University 1920s slang.

    Hammersmith is likewise a very ancient place, today in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and is the most westward of the inner London boroughs. Its name derives from the fact that many smithies existed there as travellers from the West accessing the capital had to change the shoes on their horses to cope with the made roads of the inner city. It remains a vehicular transport hub to this day and the tramway is long since gone. Just to the North of Hammersmith is Shepherd's Bush, historically referred to as "the Bush" is now known as Shepherd's Bronx, and is the home of HMP (Her Majesty's Prison) Wormwood Scrubs.

    Please note the team strips. The collared shirt - one with horizontal stripes typical of a rugby strip - is long rather than short sleeved. The shorts are far longer and baggier than today, in part because the Rugby world very readily adopted the use of the jockstrap which for a while was ubiquitously worn. The shorts would still probably have been made of wool shortly to be replaced with a heavy gabardine cotton. The shorts had to be heavy and well-made because a player would grip his team-mate's waist band when in the scrum - another reason for the popularity of the jockstrap beneath. The socks would likewise be made of wool.

    A Rugby strip was expensive to manufacture and a player needed several strips to allow for drying in the damp English Winter weather. This involved quite an outlay, which is why Rugby strips changed little as opposed to football (soccer). Rugby was the version of football that emerged out of Rugby School, one of the leading British public (private) schools. It was as much its origins as the cost of the strip and the endless laundering which is one of the reasons Rugby still tends to be more of a middle-class sport in Britain whereas football (soccer) tends to be more of a traditional working class sport.