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Cudgel Playing in Dorset

Long before cricket & football became nationally popular, English counties had their own favourite pastimes. In Dorset ‘ cudgel playing’ was a favoured ‘sport’ and there is a theory that there is a connection between this sport and the cudgel carrying Cerne Abbas Giant. Cudgel playing used to be a most popular feature at  race meetings, fairs and revels in Dorset during the 17 th & 18 th century. Betting, money prizes and rural rivalries to attain a sort of rural celebrity status, stimulated this most brutal of pastimes. Play would take place on a stage of rough planks about four feet high which would attract a large crowd of men and women. A challenger would ascend the stage and throw down his cap to be picked up by an opponent. With a leather thong to go around the wrist, each player would be holding a cudgel made of ash of about three feet long. A master of ceremonies would announce when the playing was about to begin. Object of cudgel playing was to ‘ break the head
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'Brown Bombers'

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National Band Champions

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Outspoken Editor James Bartlett

Radstock, Shaftesbury & Poole Railway

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Portland Spy Ring Memorial

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Mystery Men: Chalkie White & Lobby Lud

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John White - the Crafty Poacher

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Blandford Mouth Organ Band & Other Amazing Facts

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Blandford Station - 1901

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