Draycott horse-races

After our posting a few days ago about some of the history mysteries of Draycott, guess what turned up?

Yes, in the collection of the late Joe Thorley was this card from the Draycott Races of 1873…Draycott Races card cover

As you might imagine, the print is pretty faded now, but, with a magnifying glass, it is readable.

Among the names you will recognise are that of W Vavasour and G Vavasour.  The Vavasours were the leading family round here, and the descendants of the original Draycot family.
One of the Vavasours was still the ‘patron’ of St Margaret’s Church right up until the 1980s.
There is also a George Bagnall listed as a clerk of the course, Bagnall being a common name in this district.

What is also fascinating is to see the types of racing that were held at the course.  The steeplechase even drew a first-prize of thirty pounds, which was quite a sum then.

Draycott Races card

Draycott Races card, 1873

Also there was trotting.  This is interesting to know as, these days, you will only find the one trotting venue in the Staffordshire Moorlands – at Longnor.  Meets are held twice a year there.

Roman villa

But – where were the races actually held?

Julia Wood, in an email to us, says she thinks they were probably held along Draycott Level.

She also says she remembers a story as a child about some evidence of a Roman villa at Draycott Cross.  Another mystery!
Do you have a mystery to tell us about – or even a solution to one? All suggestions welcome – no matter how vague!!  Every bit of research starts with a simple question… Email us with your ideas – or put your thoughts into the comments box at the bottom of this page.

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If you too have some old photos or documents about Draycott-in-the-Moors, would you  please get in touch?

2 responses to “Draycott horse-races

  1. Just read the posting re Draycott Races and may be able to help. In the 1960s I used to see Joe Thorley quite regularly at the Isaac Walton. Joe would bring along some of his pictures and documents and likewise we enjoyed each other’s collection.

    I recall one get together when Joe showed the poster for the races and I am as certain as I can be that Joe told me the venue was a field Off BREACH LANE.

    Regarding George Bagnall – I too came across this name in my research for Matt’s book of the history of the parish and it showed him to be a business man. For this info I looked at White and Kelly’s Post Office Directory. I think George Bagnall was probably a local pub landlord.
    This can be checked out via Matt’s book in a section showing licensees of the parish.

    Barry P


  2. Not so much of the “common”!

    Gary “Bagnall”


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