The Smith/Hill Senior 4 x 110 Years Short Relay Interhouse Cup
Was this the oldest trophy that Allhallows School awarded on a yearly basis? My maternal Grandfather, Sydney Coles Smith was an OH having been at school in Honiton. Records show that he was born in 1864 and left in 1881 aged 17 years old. (Unfortunately he was too old to be listed in the school's Register and Record which starts in 1885).
Grandfather must have been a great sportsman. A school record shows he was in the school cricket X1 and on leaving school was captain of Somerset R.F.C., played for Western Counties and was capped by the South of England R.F.C. and also the North of England - let us hope not all at the same time!
However, the cup that he won in Honiton was for winning the Half Mile Race Open in 1881. In my last year at Allhallows in 1962 my Mother suggested that the cup should be presented to the school as a trophy for the School Sports Day; it having lain dormant for 81 years!
My great passion when at Allhallows was relay running, the school team - R.H.Tabb - J.E.L.Jones - myself and A.P. Martin - never lost a race in my last two years at school. So I felt it appropriate that Grandfather's cup should be assigned to House relay running on Sports Day. -----
I digress; my relay running passion was crowned two years ago when my family took me to the Beijing Olympics for my 65th birthday to watch the final of the 4x100 metres relay in the "Birds Nest" Stadium. A world record, no less, in 39.19 seconds by the Jamaican Team including my hero Usain Bolt running the third leg, was achieved to a standing ovation from the crowd of 92,000 people. I seem to remember our school team achieved a time of 43.2 seconds on grass and no doubt half hidden in a Rousdon mist.
The relay cup was awarded for thirty four years (1962-1998 with a gap of 3 years from 1987-1989 - any reason for this omission?) before Allhallows closed and I was able to buy the cup, which is now back in my possession, having parted with £50 to secure it in September 2000!
During the 34 years that the cup was awarded, Stanton (my old house) won it 7 times, Baker 8 times, Chudleigh 7 times, Venning 7 times, Middlemist 3 times and last but no means least twice by Shallow.
I sometimes wonder where my old relay mates are today. Sadly Robin Tabb died in a road accident in Canada in 1991. Before he emigrated there he used to drive a mean Austin Healey 3000 and I, in my TR4, had a hard time keeping up with him. We remained good friends after leaving Allhallows. But as to where J.E.L. Jones and A.P.Martin are today, I do not know.
Robert G E Hill (St 57-62)