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The W W Grantham bat collection

Major W W Grantham, who did so much for stoolball after World War One, was known to have commissioned various bats as he travelled the world on cruise ships. John Price, Stoolball England Chairman, spent five years tracking them down before, in summer 2007, they were found in the Sussex hamlet of Town Littleworth, very near the Grantham ancestral home of Balneath Manor.

There are 11 bats of all shapes and sizes. One painted black has a large hitting area nearly 12 inches wide but a short handle; another is held together with very prominent nuts and bolts. Many of bats carry the name of the steam ship where they had been created and some bear the name of a port visited – Helsingfors in Finland, Vladivostock in Siberia, Russia and Kandy in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). They all show the date they were made, the earliest being 1924 and the latest 1937.

A bat held together with screws, Helsingfors, Finland, August 1924

A bat held together with screws, Helsingfors, Finland, August 1924

A bat from Hillwood School, Kandy, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 1932

A bat from Hillwood School, Kandy, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 1932

A stoolball bat from Lausanne in Switzerland, 1926

A stoolball bat from Lausanne in Switzerland, 1926

A stoolball bat from Reykjavik, Iceland, August 1927

A stoolball bat from Reykjavik, Iceland, August 1927

A bat from onboard the Royal Mail Ship Scythia, 1930

A bat from onboard the Royal Mail Ship Scythia, 1930

A stoolball bat from Vladivostok, Siberia, Russia made in September 1928

A stoolball bat from Vladivostok, Siberia, Russia made in September 1928

The complete W W Grantham bat collection

The complete W W Grantham bat collection