In 1933, Miss Vera Abbott was Wingham’s candidate for the Upper Manning Agricultural and Horticultural Association’s (UMAHA) Popular Girl Competition. The winner of the competition was the highest fundraiser with all funds going to the association to support agriculture and horticulture in the region. Vera worked tirelessly in her fundraising efforts organising balls, card evenings, musical revues, picnic races and street collections. One of the event highlights was the cricket match between the Wingham Ladies’ Cricket Team and a selection of men from the UMAHA.1
The game took place at 2 pm on Wingham’s Central Park in March 1933. The ladies got off to a shaky start with Nancy Baines going for a duck, but soon after “the fireworks started” and the women finished their innings with 233 runs. When the men took the bat they had little success and finished their innings on 87. Instead of retiring to the local pub for a drink, both teams went to a refreshments room where the men shouted the winning team ice cream.2 Women of course not being allowed to enter public bars at that time.
When the crowning of the Popular Girl Ceremony took place in July 1933, Vera Abbott was not present. A week earlier she had been taken to Carlisle Hospital Wingham where she had an urgent operation on her appendix. She was in hospital for two months afterwards.3 The winner of the competition that year was Jean Lyon raising £202 while Vera came second raising £83.4
Author: Janine Roberts
1 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 21 March 1933, 3.
2 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 31 March 1933, 3.
3 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 1 September 1933, 4
4 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 21 July 1933, 4.
5 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 30 June 1933, 4.