New Flag flying at Club

Date: 01 October 2019

The 1869 Club has generously donated a New Flag to mark the Sesquicentenary. After much debate the design of the old flag has been replicated. This was on the grounds that, as explained below in an Article written by Mike Forshaw, the Club’s Archivist, a couple of years ago there is too much history associated with the old flag to do away with the design.

The Green Grasshopper

Have you, like me, ever wondered why the flag that is flown on home fixture days, bears a green Grasshopper? All other official references show it red!

One thing I can tell you, is that it has been displayed in green on the club flag for over seventy years, at least. That is apart from a period of two years between 1947 and 1949 when we didn’t have one! The reason for this; it was destroyed in the infamous Preston Town Hall fire of ‘47.

It had been taken there for a Club Dance and was still in the building when it went up in flames.

The flag was donated by Lady Ascroft, wife of the then President, Sir William Ascroft, and was unveiled before a game against Heaton Moor at the Faringdon Park ground in October 1930. She also kindly donated the replacement in 1949.

At a Club Dinner in 1949 in the Pavilion at Lea, Sir William, who was educated at Rugby College, was presented with an inscribed silver cigarette casket in appreciation of his 21 years service in that office. After announcing the gift of a new flag by his wife, he called for a rebirth of the club’s spirit and interest in a game in which a man could say; that’s my ear, take your foot out of it…..and be in complete harmony and fellowship after the fray. The phrase might seema little strange fifty four years later, but thankfully the principle still remains intact.

The cigarette casket referred to above can be seen in the Harris Museum’s current display of Hoppers’ history in the first floor gallery.

The Club gratefully acknowledges the 1869 Club’s generosity. If you are interested in joining the 1869 Club which among other things arranges regular trips to away matches and a monthly Thursday lunch at the club please contact Les Harrison

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