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Look after more than London, Prime Minister

HOORAY, Boris says ‘on yer bike.’

He’s going to make a whole lot of cycle lanes. I bet that’s just in London and some cities. What about decent footpaths.

Around here the council used to spray them to keep the grass back. Now they are just about 12 inches wide and potholed and the hedges are left till winter.

They said motorists must give cyclists two metres room, a fat chance. Crossing roundabouts is dangerous, the motorist is king and woe betide cyclists but especially pedestrians who want to cross.

So put your money were your mouth is Boris and remember there is somewhere beyond London.

Ron Jones,

St Martins

Wear masks properly

I APPRECIATE that we have all had to get used to wearing masks. But in Oswestry’s shops, I have witnessed some extraordinary acts of ignorance.

People are wearing masks on their chins and covering only their mouths, not noses. This is not how you wear a mask.

The most outstanding and quite frankly bizarre interaction I have seen occurred today (August 2) was a woman who entered a small supermarket without a mask.

Another woman entered after her and made eye contact with the cashier, before asking the lady why she was not wearing a mask. The lady without the mask produced a sheet of paper (which I, and undoubtedly the cashier, assumed would be a doctor’s note). However - the lady was showing the other customer a sheet of conspiracy theories and “information” about Covid.

Not wearing a mask when shopping is selfish and disrespectful to staff and fellow shoppers. Sharing misinformation and trying to convince others not to wear masks is downright harmful.

I would be interested in knowing if anybody else in local shops has seen this woman and her ridiculous behaviour.

Erin Hudson,

Llanforda Rise

Football history

I PICKED up a copy of the Advertizer (22 July) and enjoyed reading Mike Clarke’s letter on the history of Oswestry Town from its early years in the 1870s and 1880s through to the club’s merger with TNS.

I remember some of the matches mentioned, and earlier matches I recall my father telling me about such as the three Welsh Cup semi-final games against Cardiff City in 1939.

The first game that I can really remember was the 1964-65 Shropshire Cup final, when Oswestry beat Shrewsbury at the Gay Meadow; it was also my first experience of floodlights.

Living over in Walsall, I haven’t yet seen the Advertizer article to which Mike refers, but see that it mentioned Oswestry White Star, and suggested that Oswestry took on this name in 1881.

As Mike notes, this was not the case; rather, for a short time, there were two local football clubs – Oswestry ‘the town club’ and Oswestry White Star – with their own grounds.

Both sides were able to match the best in Shropshire and north east Wales.

The town club was formed in 1875 (it was not Oswestry’s first, both Oswestry School and St Oswald’s had teams before that date).

The earliest report of Oswestry White Star that I have seen appeared in January 1880, the Advertizer reporting their 6-0 defeat by St Martins Blue Star.

In February 1881, White Star beat Chirk 1-0. In 1881-82, both Oswestry and White Star entered the Welsh Cup, the latter being defeated by Chirk 4-3 in round one, Oswestry also beaten by Chirk, in a second round replay, 2-1.

In 1882-83, Oswestry did not enter the Welsh Cup, while White Star did.

As Mike Clarke says, this may have been by agreement, the two clubs seeking to combine their strengths in an attempt to win the trophy. Also that year the town club had entered the F.A. Cup for the first time, and may have wanted to focus its attention in that direction.

Another possible factor was the disorganisation of the Welsh Football Association at that time: a writer complained to a Wrexham newspaper in September 1882 that the annual meeting had not taken place in July, the accounts had not been produced, and entries had not been invited for the cup competition.

An annual meeting took place in Ruabon the following week, attended by S.P. Jones of Oswestry White Star, but without representation, unusually, from the town club.

In the event, things didn’t really work out. Oswestry and Oswestry White Star were drawn together in the Shropshire Cup, drawing 2-2 at the town ground when White Star included four players from Druids and Berwyn Rangers, with Oswestry winning the replay 5-0.

Oswestry played the Druids in the first round of the FA Cup, losing 2-1 in a replay despite strengthening the team with several White Star players.

In the Welsh Cup, White Star lost 5-2 to Berwyn Rangers, the ‘Tizer noting that they were “not to be compared with their usual team owing no doubt to several of their best players having joined the Town Club.’

Comparing team-sheets over time, it is clear that several White Star players moved across to the town club, including Allen Roberts, Maurice Evans, J.E. Davies and George Farmer, the latter moving on in 1885 to Everton as their first professional player.

In 1883-84 and 1884-85 seasons, newspaper reports focus upon the town club, giving an indication that the White Stars had very largely been swallowed up by the older club.

This may have been down to resources, or simply to the fact that the town club had a better fixture list, with well-established ties with Midlands teams and Welsh teams.

Looking at records, both list the 1883-84 cup winners and 1884-85 runners up as Oswestry White Star.

Press reports from the time make clear that both of these finals had been matches between the Druids and Oswestry, the town club, and not Oswestry White Star.

I believe that the name engraved on the cup’s plinth is ‘Oswestry’, and I know that a winner’s medal, sold at auction 10years ago, awarded to the fullback J.H. Williams, was engraved with the team shown simply as Oswestry.

John Pryce-Jones,