04 August 2012

Great sporting pastimes

THE 2012 Olympiad has showcased more than 10,000 athletes from over 200 countries, competing in 39 disciplines across 26 sports, from aquatics to wrestling, so hopefully everyone found something to enjoy.

But sport isn’t just for watching, and hopefully many spectators will be inspired to take up a new activity following the excitement of the Games, especially when so much of the Olympic legacy is on residents’ doorsteps.

Hackney has a strong and varied sporting tradition. For example, the Sun Tavern in Church Street (now the Narrow Way) had a bowling green outside it in 1698, there was horse racing on Hackney Downs in 1733, and a local cricket team existed by 1778.

There were many different sporting pastimes in Hackney that locals participated in over the years, many of which continue to this day.

Although the demise of some of the more unusual activities – such as the weekly contest at the Cat and Mutton pub in Broadway Market to swing a pig around one’s head by its greased tail – is probably not a great loss.

This article was compiled by staff from the Hackney Archives service, for more info visit: www.hackney.gov.uk/archives

Archery at the Robin Hood tavern in 1800

Archery at the Robin Hood tavern in 1800

Archery at the Robin Hood tavern in 1800 All-female cricket match in Balls Pond Road, 1811

Archives,Hackney History,News

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