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A Boxing Match with Randolph Turpin at Railswood Field in 1944


In December 2022 during a clear out of Pelsall Garage, Nigel Wiggin found the above item in the rafters of the building and donated it to Pelsall History Centre.


Pelsall Garage, High Street, Pelsall 2023

When I visited Pelsall History Centre just before Christmas 2023 Mr Andrew Weller, Chairman of Pelsall History Centre was keen to show me his latest donation.


I was fascinated.


The board which was found during a clear out of Pelsall Garage in December 2022 had likely lay there since it was put up there in 1944 possibly a day or so after the event.

The board had on it numerous sheets of old and mud stained paper which advertised a boxing match which was to take place on Railswood Field. 
It is clear by the advert that the event was expected to be a big one since there were seats at the price of 2'6 and standing room at 1'.  

What made this particular match of great interest was that the event was headlined by Randolph Turpin who was pitched against S Beddow which would definitely have turned out the the crowds.

Randolph Turpin was a well known and highly respected British boxer in the 1940’s and 1950’s. After defeating Sugar Ray Robinson in 1951 he became world middleweight champion. 


News of the match would have travelled fast and in addition to village locals, those further afield would have got to Pelsall by train to join the crowds.

Not only did the locals want to watch, but some participated too and their names are listed on the poster.


At that time, boxing was very popular and many men were keen to show their mettle, more often than not in local fayres where they would get paid if they won.

According to my research a number of families having these surnames did live locally, however it is impossible to ascertain if any family members did take part in the bouts.


Hopefully some readers may remember who they were.

The Cresswell family lived in Chapel Street, the Hatton's lived in Norbury Avenue and the Ashfield's lived in Wood Lane.  This family owned a recording studio at the end of the gully facing the crossing on the Wolverhampton Road.  The studio was owned and run by David Ashfield.  Over the years big stars and well known singers visited the recording studio un-noticed. 

Perhaps you remember this establishment?

Mrs Muldowny, I was told was connected to the Fairground people and lived in Goscote Lane.

And the Beech family also lived in Wood Lane.

Although I have no further information about the local competitors other than their names, I hope that some readers may recognise or remember who these people were.

Please get in touch if you can shed any light on the boxing match or who these local competitors were.


Randolph Turpin as seen in the article attached to the board

In 1944 Railswood Field would have looked rather like it does in the map below, in that this area of Pelsall at that time would have only been occupied by Railswood Farm together with fields.
Lot 44, which was known as Railswood Field occupied about 5 acres of land.  
This area of Pelsall would have been rather isolated being a distance away from the village centre and could only be accessed by a bridge which still exists today.


Railswood Farm and Field seen in plot 43 and 44 of auction details included in the sale of Pelsall Hall and its estate in 1917
Image courtesy of Pelsall History Centre


Visitors to the match would have accessed Railswood Field by crossing this bridge at the end of Railswood Drive


In 1944 a railway was in operation in Pelsall which would have passed under the bridge and no doubt bought visitors to Pelsall to watch the match or participate


Today the area where the railway once was is now a popular dog walk/cycle track

If you have any further information or memories of what took place on this day, please get in touch,
I would be delighted to hear your story.

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