Cosgrove Feasts

Leicester Chronicle - Saturday 15 July 1871


July 16. — Saltby, Saxby, Wymondham, Denton, King's Sutton, Clapton, Cosgrove.

Northampton Mercury - Friday 21 July 1899


A goose shaving competition was announced as the novelty for the Feast on Monday, a stimulus for competitors provided in the shape of £10 in given by Mr G. F. Branson, of Cosgrove. At the time announced for the contest among welders of the razor a good number of people had assembled to witness the novel contest, and as the razors began their work the “down” began to fly about until it resembled a miniature snowstorm. Messrs G F Branson, W J Crisp and W Panter acted as judges and they awarded the first prize of £6 to Mr Fredk Joshua Sykes of Stony Stratford, barber. Mr Dan Rolfe, butcher, secured the second prize of £3 and the third prize of £1 was divided between Messrs Hebbes, a billiard marker, and T. Kightley, a shoemaker. Subsequently a number of races were held for the unsuccessful competitors and dancing was also indulged in afterwards.

Northampton Mercury - Friday 27 July 1900



These sports were held at Cosgrove on Saturday, in a field kindly lent by Mr. G. F. Branson, in the presence of a large number of spectators, who watched the racing with great interest. The Hanslope Excelsior Prize Band was in attendance, and under the conductorship of Mr. J. Herbert contributed lively selections of music at intervals, and after the sports played for dancing.

The sports were capitally managed by the following officers:—

Referee. Mr. G. F. Branson; judges, Messrs. W. Hillyer and F. Jelley; marksmen, Messrs. H. Brown, R. Henson, and T. Tompkins; starter, Mr. W. East; committee. Messrs. O. Gee, A. Hillyer. J. Byall, H. Lambert, G. Faulkner and S. Williams; secretary, Mr. C. Baldwin; treasurer, Mr. R. Penson; handicappers. Messrs. W. Hillyer and C. Baldwin.

The results are appended:—

250 Yards Handicap (boys under 16): 1 A. Merriden, scratch; 2 A. Luck, 10 yards start; 3 W. Holman, 12.

120 Yards Handicap (open): Final heat 1 E. Franklin, Stony Stratford, 12½ yards start; 2 A. Booth, Wolverton, 11½; H. Hiams, Northampton, 15½.

120 Handicap (boys under 14): 1 W. Holman. G. Horn 3 F. Cummings.

80 Yards Handicap (men over 40): 1 D. Merriden. 2 G. Lovesey, 3 W. Brown

120 Yards Handicap (local): Final heat- 1 G. Clifton, scratch; 2 D. Green, 6 yards start; 3 R. Brown. 8.

250 Yards Handicap (open): Final heat: J. Clayson, Northampton. 7 yards start: 2 W. Johnson Deanshanger, 20; W. Dales Northampton, 5, A. Booth Wolverton, 18, ran dead heat for third place the decider resulting in favour of Booth.

80 Yards Handicap (girls under 16): 1 Mary Luck, 2 Winnie Gee, 3 Edith Wilson

Half-mile Handicap (open): 1 J. Frost Wolverton 35 yards start; 2 J. Griffin Newport Pagnell 30; 3 J. Jones - Northampton, 35.

80 Yards Handicap (women over 35): 1 Mrs Grace, Mrs Smith and Mrs. Brown (dead heat) divided second and third prizes.

100 Yards Handicap (men over 30): 1 W. Wise. 2 R. Brown. 3 J. Brown

One Mile Handicap (open): 1 W. Lambert, Yardley Gobion 175 yards start: 2 J. Russell. Northampton, 3 J. Read Wicken.

Race Through the Canal: 1 F. Henson, 2 D. Green. 3 R. Brown.

Northampton Mercury - Friday 26 July 1901


A large number of people visited this athletic meeting on Saturday. The sports were held in held a field adjoining the Plough inn, the proprietor of which had a busy time to keep pace with the demands for refreshments, the weather being exceptionally hot. There were five open events, and the entries were numerous. The sports ware capitally managed the following officials —Referee. Mr. W. Teagle; judges. Messrs. J. Faux. B. Bailey, and W. Reynolds; marksmen. Messrs. T. Tomkins, R. Benson, E. Brown. S. Williams, and J. Boyall; starter. Mr. G. Bailey; handicapper. Mr. O. Baldwin; sec. Mr. H. Brown. The Hanslope Excelsior Prize Brass Band was in attendance, and contributed selections of popular music at intervals and played for dancing after the sports.

The following were the results.

Race for boys under 10: 1 H. Jelley, 2 B. Toombs. 3 G. Bugby.

100 Yards Handicap (run in heats): Final. 1. F. Boon. Newport Pagnell. 7 yards start; 2 J. Lane. Hanslope. 8½; 3 H. Wright, Northampton, 1. Also ran: H. Howell. Stantonbury. 1½; J. Clayson, Northampton. 3½ C. Young. Northampton, scratch. Time, 10 secs.

Race for Girls under 10: 1 Rose Brown. 2 Louisa Holman. 3 Annie Jelley.

220 Yards Handicap (run in heats): Final (run over twice owing to H. Howell being deliberately fouled). 1 Howell, 4 yards start: 2 J. Clayson, Northampton. 3 A. Draper. Hanslope, 4. Tome 23 2-5 secs.

Race for boys over 10 and under 15: 1 A. Luck, 2 G. Horn, 3 W. Holman.

Women's Race: 1 Mrs. Smith, 2 Mrs Brown. 3 Mrs. Lambert

Half-mile Handicap: 1 R. Henson. Deanshanger, 115 yards start; 2 R. Webster. Astcote, 3 J. Lane. Hanslope. 50. Time 1 min. 59 secs

440 Yards Handicap (run in heats): Final. 1 K. Henson. Deanshanger, 24 yards start; 2 G. Trusler Weedon. 30; 3 J. West. Northampton. 16. Time. 52 1-5 secs.

Race for Girls over 10 and under 15: 1 F. Bugby 2 W. Gee. 3 L. Noble.

100 Yards Village Handicap 1 W. Gee, 2 G. Clifton. 3 W. Wise.

One Mile Handicap 1 A. Adams. Newport Pagnell. 2 K. Barby Deanshanger, 10; 3 W. Nightingale, Foster's Booth, Time 4 min. 40 secs

Race for Men over 35: 1 R. Brown. 2 J. Horn, 3 G. Lovesey.

Northampton Mercury - Friday 25 July 1902



On Saturday the fifth annual sports were successfully held at Cosgrove in a field adjoining the Brewery, kindly lent by Mr. G. F. Branson. The programme comprised open and local events, and there were a good number of entries. A large number of spectators assembled to witness the racing, which was of an interesting description, some of the finishes being very close.

The secretarial duties were ably carried out by Mr. H. Brown, who was assisted by the following officials: Referee, Mr. G. F. Branson; judges. Messrs. W. Reynolds and W. Henson, marksmen, Messrs. T. Tompkins. Penson, R. Brown. S. Williams, W. Wise, E. Cockerill, starter, Mr. W. East.

The Bradwell United Brass Band was in attendance, and besides contributing selections of music during the progress of the sports, also played for dancing.

The results of the races are appended:

100 Yards Handicap (boys under 16). Run in heats: Final: 1 W. Kirk, Wolverton (15 years 6 months), scratch ; 2 A. Monk, (15-5), scratch; J. Douglas. Stony .Stratford (15), 1 yard start. Also ran: G. Sharp, Flore (10-2), 7; R. Wilmin, Stony Stratford (15). I; G. Horn. Cosgrove (13) 4.

100 Yards Handicap. Run in heats. Final: 1 W. H. Ball, Swindon 9½, 2 F. Boon, Newport, 4;  3 F. Smith, Northampton, 7. Also ran: W. G. Short, Weedon, 7½; J. Lane, Hanslope, 7; S. Manning, Spratton, 12; A. Howell, Wolverton, 6; G. Hollowell, Northampton, 8.

Boys under 10: 1 G. Bugby,2 F. Noble, 3 J. Lovesey.

Boys over and under 16: 1 G. Horn, 2 A. Luck, 3 H. Foster.

220 Yards Handicap. Run in heats. Final 1 C. Wood, Stantonbury. 26. 2 J. Lane. Hanslope, 12; 3 F. Boon, Newport Pagnell, 7. Also ran K. Henson, Deanshanger, 10; V. Jones, Flore, 10, E. Flavell Northampton. 13; W. G. Short, Weedon, 9; E. Bates, Hanslope. 19.

Girls under 10: 1 R. Brown, 2 L. Holman. 3 A. Holman.

440 Yards Handicap. Run in heats. Final: 1 W. G. Short, Weedon, 18; 2 W. Overton, Braunston, 45; 3 K. Henson, Deanshanger, 20. Also ran: A. Howell, Wolverton, 17; J. Overton, Braunston, S. Austin, Spratton, 34.

100 Yards Village Handicap: 1  B. Merridan. 2 W. Luck, 3 W. Wise.

Race for men over 35: 1 R. Brown, W. Briggs, G. Lovesey.—

Half-mile Handicap: 1 C. Stone, Swindon, 24; 2 T. Archer. Wolverton, 24; 3 R. Henson, Deanshanger. 55.

Girls over 10 and under 16: 1 A. Johnson. 2 K. Smith, 3 W. Gee.

Women's Race: 1 Mrs. Moreton, 2 Mrs. Brown, 3 Mrs. Wise and Mrs. Smith (dead heat).

One Mile Handicap 1 T. Archer, Wolverton, 35, 2 C. Stone, Swindon, 40; 3 W. Spencer, Flore. 70. Good race, the winner sprinting tremendously in the last 100 yards.

Wolverton Express 24th July 1903

Cosgrove Feast Sports

The sixth annual sports in connection with the above feast were held on Saturday in a field adjoining the Brewery, kindly lent by Mr W Bushell. There was not so large an attendance as usual, but the racing was of an interesting description. The following officials ably managed the sports:-

Referee, Mr H Brown; Judges, Messrs R Penson and F Jelley; marksmen, Messrs  S Williams, H Lambert, J Wootton, G Clifton, W Gee, H Meakins, and H Horwood; starter, Mr H Hillyer; hon. secretary, Mr E Cockerill.

The results were as follows:

Race for boys under 10: G Bugby, 1 (cricket bat and ball, presented by Mr Odell, Stony Stratford); F Noble, 2; J Knight, 3 (pocket knife). – 100 yards handicap (open): Heat 1 - F Smith, Kingsthorpe (scratch), 1; C Lawless, Eastleigh (5 yards), 2; Heat 2 – C Curtis, Northampton (10½), 1; W Luck, Cosgrove (12), 2; Heat 3 – E Gascoyne, Stantonbury (10½), 1; S Harris, Wolverton (10½), 2. Final – C Lawless, 1; E Gascoyne, 2; C Curtis, 3. – Race for boys (over 10 and under 15): A Luck, 1; G Horn, 2; H Jelley and J Morton (dead heat), 3 (knife and cricket ball, by Mr Odell). – 100 yards village handicap:- Heat 1 - W Wise (10), and g Clifton (scratch), dead heat. Heat 2 – W Gee (15), 1; W Luck (8), 2. Final – G Clifton, 1; W Gee, 2; W Luck, 3. – Race for girls (under 10): Ada Holman, 1 (three waiter’s trays by French and Spencer, Stony Stratford); Dolly Brown, 2; Annie Horne, 3. – Women’s walking handicap: Miss l Horne, 1; Mrs W Wise, 2; Miss M Luck, 3 (tin of tea by Mrs Penson, Cosgrove). – Race for girls (over 10 and under 15): Elsie Wootton, 1 (three waiter’s trays by French and Spencer, Stony Stratford); Louie Holman, 2; Kate Smith, 3. – Half mile handicap (open): K Henson, Deanshanger (30), 1; W Spencer, Flore (40), 2;  E Gascoyne, Stantonbury (70), 3. – Women’s Race:  Miss M Luck, 1; Mrs Platen, 2 (2lbs tea by Mr Tibbetts Stony Stratford), Mrs Wise, 3 (ox tongue by Mrs Valentine and Sons, Stony Stratford). – Men’s Race (over 30): R Brown, 1 (shoulder of Mutton by Rolfe Bros Stony Stratford); G Clifton, 2; W Wise, 3. – Men’s walking handicap: E Jelley, 1 (shoulder of Ham by Mr John Reeve); M Beasley, 2 (joint of meat by Canvin Bros); H Noble, 3 (shirting, by Mr Meadows).

Wolverton Express July 21st 1911

Cosgrove Feast

Sunday last was observed in this Northants village as Feast Sunday. Special services were held in the Parish Church which was well attended, likewise the services at the Mission Chapel which were as usual bright and hearty.

In the evening the Band of the Bucks and Oxon Light Infantry (Territorials) gave a special programme of music under the baton of Mr. H. Brooks in the presence of a very large crowd and which was greatly appreciated.

On Monday evening a large number of people gathered in Mr. Bushell’s “Barley Mow” field where billings roundabouts and shows were located.

Wolverton Express 17th July 1914


The time honoured feast day of the small Northants village of Cosgrove was observed on Sunday last. In the evening the Yardley Gobion Britannia Band gave a sacred programme of music in the main street of the village to a large audience.

Wolverton Express 23rd July 1920


In connexion with Feast weeks, sports were held in the village on Saturday last. This is the first year a sports meeting has been held at this time, and efforts are being made to make such sports an annual event. There was a large attendance on Saturday of residents of the village and of neighbouring villages. A lengthy program of events was carried out, and the function passed off very successfully. The total entries numbered over 70, and the racing produced some keen and interesting results. Open events were to a radius of three miles, whilst the other events were confined to inhabitants of the village and to Old Stratford. The results were as follow:-

100 yards, girls under 10: 1 G Gascoyne, 2 L Noble, 3 L Lambert

100 yards, boys under 10: 1 R Bavington, 2 R Green, 3 T Eglesfield

Girls 10 to 14: 1 Lily Hall, 2 Dolly Jelley, 3 Olive Eglesfield

Boys 10 to 14: 1 A Jelley, 2 W Bavington, 3 W Luck

100 yards Open: Heat Winners: R Parker, J Hillyer, G Tombs, R Brown, E Stones, W Wise. Final: 1 E Stones, 2 R Parker, 3 J Hillyer

100 yards Ladies: 1 Miss E Castle, 2 Miss L Jelley, 3 Miss A Hurst

220 yards Open: Heat Winners: G Tombs, R Parker, J Hillyer, W Worker, D Andrews. Final: 1 W Worker, 2 R Parker, 3 G Tombs

Married Women: 1 Mrs Nichols, 2 Mrs Hall, 3 Mrs Clarke

Half Mile Bicycle: 1 Stanley Lord, 2 W Pratt

Men (over 40): 1 J Reynolds, 2 W Wise, 3 W Hurst

Half Mile Hurdle: 1 J Hillyer, 2 G Goodman, 3 S Lord

Walking a greasy pole over the canal for a leg of mutton (given by Mr William Odell, of Yardley Gobion) produced great amusement. The winner was L Pittam, who, although he did not succeed in reaching the end of the pole, reached a further point than other competitors.

Wolverton Express 22nd July 1921


The time honoured Feast Sunday at Cosgrove was observed last week, on which day the Wolverton Town Silver Prize Band gave an evening programme of Music in a field adjoining the village main street. There was a very large crowd of visitors, much larger in number than any of the previous year. The Band gave an excellent programme of music to the great appreciation of its audience.

This programme consisted of : March “Coronation Bells”, Partridge; Fantasia “Souvenir of Savoy”, Rimmer; Intermezzon “Les Cloches de St Malo”, (bell effects), Rimmer; Grand Selection “Dinorah”, Meyerbeer; Cornet Duet “Ida and Dot”, (by request), Losey; Descriptive Fantasia “A Hunting Trip”, Holloway; Selection “Chu Chin Chow”, Norton; Fantasies “Military Church Parade”, Hume; March, selected; Hymn, selected.

Visitors to Cosgrove on Sunday evening had a fine view of a distant airship flying in the direction of Northampton.

Wolverton Express 21st July 1922


The annual village feast was observed last weekend. Owing to the inclement weather of Sunday the customary band concert was unable to be held. The visiting band was to have been the Wolverton Town Silver Band. The visit of the pleasure fair on Monday attracted a large number of young people to the village.

Wolverton Express 20th July 1923


The village feast was observed last week end at Cosgrove and on Sunday evening the Bradwell United Silver Band, under the conductorship of Mr  J. E. Johnson, visited the village and entertained a large gathering with an excellent programme of music.

Wolverton Express 17th July 1925


The time honoured village Feast was observed on Sunday last at Cosgrove. Yardley Gobion Britannia Band gave a programme of music in the village, and there were a large number of visitors during the evening.

Wolverton Express 20th July, 1928


Feast Sunday

The Hanslope Excelsior Band visited the village on Sunday last on the occasion of the time honoured Feast Sunday. They gave a programme of music in the centre of the village and visitors were present from the whole of the towns and villages in the locality.  Jellies motor saloons maintained a frequent service between the village, Stony Stratford, and New Bradwell for the convenience of the visitors.

Wolverton Express 15th July, 1932


The Wolverton Town Silver Band are giving the programme this Sunday evening at Cosgrove on the occasion of the village feast.

Wolverton Express 19th July, 1935

Feast Sunday

Many people visited Cosgrove on Sunday evening on the occasion of the time honoured annual feast.  From a central position in the village, the Wolverton Town Silver Band, under the conductorship of Mister J. Kitchener, provided an enjoyable programme of music.  The seating accommodation provided was greatly appreciated by the visitors in view of the very warm evening.

Wolverton Express 16th July, 1937

Feast Sunday was observed at Cosgrove last week, and in the evening the Wolverton Town Silver Prize Band gave a programme of music in the village.  Mr. J Kitchener was the conductor.  Despite the uncertain weather there was a fair influx of visitors and only slight rain fell.

Wolverton Express 15th July, 1938


The time honoured feast Sunday at Cosgrove false this weekend.  Providing the weather is fine, the occasion is one where there are many visitors and a local band usually provides a programme of music in the evening.  There is now a good bus service to and from the village at Stony Stratford, departure times from Cosgrove being 6.05 pm and 9.45 pm.  No longer does the pleasure Fair visit the village for the few days surrounding Feast Sunday.

Wolverton Express 21st July 1939

Village Feast

The time honoured village feast was observed last weekend.  On Sunday evening the Wolverton Town Silver Band visited the village and under the conductorship of Mr J. Kitchener gave a programme of music in the street near the centre of the village.  In spite of the uncertainty of the weather there was a good number of visitors.  A small pleasure fair made its appearance during the weekend, providing entertainment for several evenings.

Wolverton Express 17th July 1942

“Dry” Cosgrove Feast

Sunday last was Feast Sunday at Cosgrove, but the influx of visitors who enjoyed a popular walk to the South Northants village was on a very small scale, owing possibly to the fear of finding the village “dry” after a mile or so walk.  Those who did venture found by half past seven “no bee” notices outside the “locals”.

“I well remember the time when you couldn’t move in here on Feast Sunday”, was the remark made in one “local”; whilst another said “So and so house used to tap nine barrels on Feast Sunday”.

Although it was rumoured that a band might have visit the village on one Sunday, we hardly think this hope will materialise.

Old Mail article by Mrs Hickford from April 1986

There was an event in the life of Cosgrove known as Feast Sunday. The date was in July not before the 11th and not after the 17th.

This was the date the first new potatoes were dug and green peas were picked (traditionally).

In the afternoon relatives were asked to tea and finished off for supper any leftover vegetables and cold baked pudding.

Wolverton Town Band came in the evening and played at Eglesfield’s corner (corner of Bridge Road and Main Street). The street was simply packed, as were the three pubs.

On the Monday following a small fair was held in Bushells field (Barley Mow garden) where the council houses are on the left hand side of the road. Everyone seemed jolly with no hooliganism.

Unfortunately a nasty accident happened near the Bridge on that particular day and I don’t think it came again. So ended another old village custom….