KNUR AND SPELL.
About 2,000 spectators attended the Armytage Arms Grounds, Clifton, on Saturday afternoon, the attraction being a striking match between B. Wilkinson, Cleckheaton, and M. Oldham, Liversedge, who met to play 25 rises each, with ½oz. pot knurs, for £40. Both men used the spell. Wilkinson conceded five yards start, and after a very close measure proved the winner by 8ft. 3ins., with a hit which measured 9sc. 2 yds. 1ft. 6ins. Oldham’s best attempt measured 8sc. 19yds. 2ft. 3ins., which included his start.
[This is nothing to do with the War, but I couldn't resist including it, because it is such a gem of local history. Knurr and spell was played in the north of England, but especially in Yorkshire. The knurr was a small ball, in this case 'pot' or ceramic, which was thrown up in the air from spring-loaded gadget, and then hit by the spell, a sort of bat. (A very particular sort of bat, with a whippy metal section in the middle and a small hardwood striking end, in the ones I have seen.) The idea is just to hit the knurr as far as possible, as you can tell from this account. I suspect that there was betting involved, though of course it is not mentioned by the reporter (because it would be illegal).
It is all in imperial measurements, of course. The ½oz. knurr weighs about 15 g. The length is measured in inches, feet, yards and (I assume) chains - all familiar to me from primary school, where we had to do sums involving all these measures (though I haven't seen the abbreviation 'sc.' for chain before). There are 12 inches in a foot, 3 feet in a yard, 22 yards in a chain. And when I was 10, I would have been doing sums like the one involved here: 9sc. 2 yds. 1ft. 6ins. - 8sc. 19yds. 2ft. 3ins. But I can't get it to work out - the difference seems to me to be 14ft. 3ins., i.e. it's 2 yards adrift. So maybe there's a misprint, or I wrote it down wrong, or I've misunderstood something or I can't do this kind of arithmetic any more or......
It does seems an odd way to play a match anyway - from 25 'rises' (i.e. hits) for each man, apparently only the longest counted. And I don't know what 'both men used the spell' means - how else would they do it? ]