Of all the many and varied photographs that are sent to us for inclusion in our nostalgia pages, sporting images are possibly one of the most popular groups.
It has to be said that school gatherings must top the list, but sport, comes a very close second in having the ability to stir the memory cells and promote discussions with friendly disagreements.
It helps of course when you have a town history which is filled with the likes of pugilists Iron Hague and Bruce Woodcock connected with the area, not to mention world champion motor racing champion Mike Hawthorne.
So it is with this wonderful scene you see before you. A fine body of men (and lads) for sure and all looking very capable of looking after themselves. So who are they? Well if you are interested, and you must be or you wouldn’t have read this far, what you are looking at is the proud Plant Works Boxing Team from 1949-50 who became British Rail Champions for 1951.
The chap in the middle of the back row without a tie is trainer Dave Parker. Middle Row left to right is Ian Self, George Warner, Harry Fellows, Dennis Jackson, Norman Bilclough and Ron Davies.
Front row now and there are a couple of gaps that perhaps someone out there can fill in for us. Left to Right: Peter Jones, then three gaps, before we come to Dereck Brown and finally the man with the muscles, British Rail Eastern Region Champion 1952, Roy Ashmore. Welterweight Roy looks like he can handle himself in the ring and he proved it when he defeated J Chappel the Royal Navy Command Champ of 1950-51 during an all star boxing extravaganza at Doncaster’s Corn Exchange in April 1942.
Another interesting photograph brought to our attention was one which shows Roy in full action fighting an opponent in front of what could possibly be one of his biggest crowds at an oudoor tournament at Doncaster Racecourse during a St Leger meeting many years ago. Perhaps there are some folk out there who remember it? Unfortunately the picture quality was to bad to reproduce the image.
Ron finally unfolded a giant poster which showed the details of a boxing tournament which took place at The Corn Exchange in the late 1950s and featured a host of young local men. Perhaps you recognise some of their names? S Vincent from Askern Miners Welfare fought M Needham from The Plant Works. Another Askern fighter S Richards (bantamweight) battled it out with Plant Works man G Monks. The Askern v Plant theme continued when welterweight J Bentley took on G Monks from the plant.
You get the feeling that there would have been some pretty fierce scraps and intense rivalry taking part, but that added to the fun and these shows were always well attended.
There has always been a good response to boxing nostalgia queries so perhaps there is someone out there who can fill in the unknown names, perhaps the actual combatants are still around.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help identify any of them and we can then inform Roy Ashmore, the gent on the front row, who actually brought in the picture.