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Peterborough United Win the Division!



Peterborough United football Club were elected to the Fourth Division of the Football League on 28 May 1960 for the start of the 1960/61 season. They won the Division title at their first attempt. Their centre forward, Terry Bly, scored 52 league and 2 cup goals during that season. This remains the post war Football League goal scoring record for a single season.

Cock Fighting at the Angel Inn



With supposedly medieval origins the Angel Inn was often the centre of proceedings in Peterborough. Owned by the abbey, the inn was possibly built to provide rooms for pilgrims. This would have enabled the abbey to earn yet more money from the devout visitors to the city. As well as bedrooms, the inn earnt money holding events, which ranged from grand balls to small meetings. It was also very well-known for the cock fights it staged. Cock fighting was particularly popular during the weeks when horse racing was happening in the city. People would travel from considerable distance to enjoy a variety of sports that could be bet on, including cock fighting. This curious advert from 1768 almost appears to be written in a different language: This is to give NOTICE, THAT there will be a Main of Cocks fought at the Angel Inn in Peterborough between the Gentlemen of Lincolnshire and the Gentlemen of Northamptonshire, for Ten Guineas a Battle, and a Hundred the Main ; to shew thirty-five each upon the Main and twelve Byes. The Cocking to begin the first Day of the Race, and end on Friday. N,B. An Ordinary each Day of the Cocking
References Stamford Mercury, Thursday 9th June 1768, p4, col 1    

Cycling Club Formed



The Peterborough Cycling Club was formed by amalgamating the Amateur Cycling Club and the Tricycle Club in 1874,  it is the oldest continuously active cycling club in the country. Mr Robert (Bob) Julyan and his father George Langham Julyan being two of the founder members. The first meeting was held at George’s outfitter’s shop in Bridge Street. By 1878 they adopted a dark blue uniform, and helmets. In 1879 the captain, Mr Gardner, spoke of the report of ‘Their noisy behaviour while passing through villages causing the club to be ridiculed and looked down upon’. Mr C Buckle added the great desideratum of the club was a racing track which would pay for itself in two years and enable the club to hold the finest matches and race meetings for miles around. Councillor Taylor spoke of the outcry against bicycle riding, ‘It is said cycles are dangerous to the men that ride them and dangerous to the general-public.’ Mr Gardner believed the risk of accidents over-rated as he had that year ridden 900 miles without mishap. The cyclists would ride various distances from a 100-yards slow race to fifty plus miles. In 1888 they rode a fifty-mile handicap which was open to the members on any machine including tandems. Mr G Neale and R Julyan were allowed twenty-minutes start on Safety bicycles.   References: 1.Peterborough Standard, 25/01/1935 2.Peterborough Advertiser, 08/03/1955 3. Peterborough Standard, 30/03/1878 4. Peterborough Standard, 21/01/1888    


Olympic Gold Medal



Arthur James (Archie) Robertson won a gold medal at the 1908 London Olympic Games. Archie was born on 19 April 1879, in Harthill, Yorkshire, the son of a  Scottish doctor. The family moved to Peterborough when Archie was fourteen and he attended The King's School. He was a brilliant all round sportsman, though his original love was cycling. At the age of 25, following a cycling accident, he took up serious athletics and in 1906 he joined the Birchfield Harriers of Birmingham. In March 1908 he won the English and International Cross-Country titles and in July 1908 he came second in the 4 mile race at the AAA championship, these performances winning him a place on the Olympic team. At the 1908 Summer Olympics held in London he won a gold medal in the 3 man 3 mile team race, silver in the 3200 metres steeplechase and came fifth in the five miles event. His brother David was a member of the British cycling team at the same Olympics. Archie set the seal on his triumphant year by setting a world record for the 5000 metres in September in Stockholm. Archie retired from athletics after the 1909 season and returned to his first love, cycling. He opened a cycling and sports shop in Peterborough, which he later passed on to his son, Duncan. He died in Peterborough on 18 April 1957. Though he spent most of his life in Peterborough, his Scottish father meant he could be posthumously inducted into the Scottish Sporting Hall of Fame in 2004. References: Golden Scots: Arthur Robertson, the accidental athlete. BBC. 3 July 2012. The Peterborough Book of Days, Jones, Brian, The History Press, 2014.  


An Olympic Gymnast (and Dancer!) Born



Louis Smith was born in Peterborough on 22 April 1989 and was educated at Arthur Mellows Village College. He is an artistic gymnast and won a bronze medal on the pommel horse at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It was the first time a British gymnast had placed in an Olympic event since 1928.  There was disappointment at the London Olympics in 2012 where he fell just short of gold. He tied with Kristian Berki, but took silver for a lower execution score. At the 2016 Rio Olympics he again won a silver medal, this time finishing behind his teammate, Max Whitlock. Smith was also part of the Great Britain team that took the bronze in the men's artistic team all-around at the 2012 London Olympics. He is the only British gymnast to win Olympic medals in three separate Games, and only the second gymnast to win three successive Olympic pommel horse medals. As well as his talents in the gym he showed his versatility by winning the 2012 series of  Strictly Come Dancing.


Founding of Peterborough United



Peterborough United football club was formed on 17th May 1934 at a meeting at the Angel hotel. The new club filled the void left for a senior club by the demise of Peterborough & Fletton United football club in October 1932. They were known as the 'Brickies'. The meeting was played out in the local press where it claimed there was standing room only. It was an 'enthusiastic' meeting where they 'unanimously agreed to form a fresh club'. They were intending to apply to join the Midland League, but if unsuccessful, their second option was the Central Combination. Thankfully, they were accepted into the Midland League with a £20 deposit, which was returned to them with they left the league in 1960. Shares in the company, it was agreed, would be sold for 5 shillings each. 50 or 60 shares were sold that evening, but an unlimited number would be available.
Friday 25th May 1934, Market Harborough and Midland Mail, p3, Col 2

Referee Smuggled from Ground



In April, during a game against Lincoln City Reserves, Peterborough United winger W. Rigby was sent off.  The Peterborough crowd were so angered by the decision that police had to be called to the game. At the end of the game, Mr A Clark, the referee, was smuggled out of London road in manager Jock Porter's car for his own safety.

Change of Strip



The start of the 1937/38 season saw Peterborough United change their strip, moving to a strip of blue shirt and white shorts after playing in green and white for the three previous seasons.