I have spent some time tidying up old Minute books and reviewing the information that could be missing from the Lincoln Table tennis history.
I have really enjoyed the items from the end of 1941 and into 1942 especially regarding the Exhibition by the two World singles champions Victor Barna and Richard Bergmann.
Because of the War Lincoln was operating on a reduced league program but otherwise was unaltered. There was obviously an expectation of all VP’s to make donations each year.
There had been an earlier visit and exhibition in 1940 by Barna and Bergmann to Lincoln. This year a very big effort was to be made to raise funds for the Red Cross using Table tennis exhibition matches. Mr Sid Haigh was to investigate the possibility of using the New Market Hall for the event and to find out how many people it could hold.
Under any other business Mr Haigh and Mr Sendall reported obtaining eight Cups from Ushers on approval for future tournaments or Leagues.
They were to cost quite a lot of money ,approximately £9.0.0 .The committee voted against purchase.
Mr Haigh also had a sample spoon as a possible prize for the present league teams, at a cost of 9/6d, compared to the previous cost of 5/-
It was reported that for seven years working , the League actually have roughly £12.0.0. in hand.
At the next meeting on the 4th December 1941, I noticed that in reference to the possible purchase of the eight cups, that Mr Haigh reported having purchased these on his own account, to hold against such times as the league might need them.
Half a dozen spoons had been purchased from Mr Wilson at Ushers at 9/6d each to include engraving.
The Bergmann, Barna Exhibition was agreed to be played in the New Market hall on January 12th 1942, the price first quoted was £7.7.0. but later reduced to £6.0.0. with a possibility of a further reduction, the proceeds to go to the Red Cross. Miss Sewell was asked to write to see if these moneys had to be paid to the Duke of Gloucester’s Red Cross fund?
Mr Haigh stated that the measurements of the room are 70 feet wide by 97 1/2feet long. After discussion the price of seats was fixed at 5/-, 4/-, 3/-, 2/-, and 1/- for standing room. Mr Vincent agreed to go into the question of tax exemption.
The corporation was to be asked to arrange lighting facilities. Miss Sewell was to seek the permission of Ruston-Bucyrus to borrow their table. Invitations were to be sent to the MP, Mayor and sheriff and their wives. Mr Haigh was to have sole charge of both the seating plan and the tickets. Mr Sendall was to be the scorer and officials to go free and Miss Sewell was asked to obtain six usherettes and some programme sellers.
At the next meeting on 30th December the top seat price was increased to 7-6d. The Entertainment tax had been increased from the previous £6 to £17! Mr Haigh had made arrangements for 380 chairs to be delivered at a transport cost of £3.10.0. Peniston and Snowdon were willing to do the lighting but on being asked if the committee wished to purchase the cabling, naturally they did not. The arena was to be well lit with the main lights off so the players could play in the limelight.
Raffle tickets were to be bought.
An auction was to include: 2lbs Needlers chocolates, 1lb Black Magic, Tin Ox Tongue, 1 dozen eggs, half stone onions, pair of silk stockings, 1lb tea.
Two local players were to play singles against the champions as part of the event. Fox to play Barna and Merryweather to play Bergmann.
Some souvenirs of Lincoln to the value of 10/- were to be purchased and presented to Barna and Bergmann. 400 souvenir programs had arrived from London and these were to be sold with the stencilled programmes at 3d each.
Discussion was made on seat transfers for example from the 2/- to the 3/-
Direction notices etc were to be inspected and the entire committee would be at the Central market hall on Sunday morning at 9a.m.
After the event.
Several things had been learnt namely: - the hall should be checked before an event before booking to see that the office and cloakroom accommodation- also heating- are good.
Some sort of guarantee should be given by the ETTA that Barna and Bergmann will work to the programme set out for them as by their refusal to fall in with their first item i.e. trick shots the whole programme was spoilt.
The committee should also realise the amount of work involved, at least half a dozen of them should have half a day off work to see that all preparations are adequate.
Greater care must be taken in fixing the prices of the seats, as some people who had paid the least had a very good view of the proceedings.
£87.12.9 could be sent to the Red Cross a very fair effort. It was commented on that the local players had played exceedingly well.
Will try the Echo Archives for possible details of the day.