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John Meads 2021
The Burton Latimer Goodfellowship Shield

The Goodfellowship Shield

During the Second World War many American airmen stationed locally at Grafton Underwood would leave the base for ‘rest and relaxation’ at local pubs. One of their favourites was the Horse & Groom, Bakehouse Lane (now The Olde Victoria). The USAAF base was about five miles away, about 25 minutes by bike, which was the favoured means of transport when there was no jeep available. The landlord was Alf Wilkins, a veteran of the Great War, and he was aware of the importance of making the young men welcome in their free time. Earlier in the war, the pub had served as the Sergeants Mess during the time the Inns of Court Regiment was stationed here for training on Burton Wold. As a result of the friendly rivalry between darts players among the American visitors and the pub regulars, the Americans had a shield made, probably by their base carpenter, and named it the Goodfellowship Shield (above). There is no record of the winners or losers, but the shield does bear the names of the two competing teams. The shield was acquired by the late Tony Robinson and after his death it was refurbished and is now thought to be somewhere in Kettering.

Above is a photo taken outside the pub with the two team captains:
Sgt. James Powers(Chicago) and Reg Baish holding the shield. Identified
among the civilians are Bill Riches, Jim Austin (team member), Ernie
Townsend and Charlie Wittering. Seated are Bobby Pownall, Alf Wilkinson
(landlord) Reg Baish and Jack Underwood (team member). Other team
members are George Cartwright, Bill Hopkins, Bill Gardner & Rolly Johnson.

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