Vol 12.15 Captain Christie-Crawfurd

Non-Hampton & Richmond Borough related posts.
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Things you may not know, or didn’t know you knew!

Last Private Owner of the Beveree Estate

In a number of articles over the years, I have written about Captain Christie Crawfurd (1859 – 1948), the last owner of the Beveree Estate. However, with the club’s centenary in mind it is worth recalling his influence.

There is no particular evidence that Captain Crawfurd was actively involved in the formation of Hampton FC in 1921, however as the resident living in Beveree House he was certainly indirectly involved. Born, Robert Arthur Crawford Christie in Liverpool (the adoption of the family name, Crawfurd, came later in life), he served with the 12th Regiment of Light Dragoons (Lancers) from 1881, in India. He returned to the UK and, now a Captain, was made Commander of the Guard of Hampton Court Palace. Tony Nash recently sent me a photo from that time
an excellent piece of detective work, Tony!

In 1891 Captain Crawfurd bought the Beveree Estate. The estate included the house (now Twickenham Prep) and the extensive grounds which would have included what is now our Main Pitch, the Top Field (our training pitch), Sheridan Close and some orchards. Captain Crawfurd was very involved in the life of Hampton and supported many ventures – including the opening of the Fire Station in Thames Street. The grounds were allowed to be used for sporting events, at one stage an athletics club, Hampton Harriers, held athletics meetings at Beveree.

There was also a football pitch which was used by local leagues to host cup finals, likely to have been charity cup finals as there were limited facilities for spectators. It is not even certain if the pitch was full-sized. As an example, a 6-a-side tournament for Youth groups was held in May 1944, by permission of Captain Crawfurd.

The death of Captain Crawfurd on July 22nd 1948, was announced in the local press. In the hiatus after his death, Hampton began playing matches at Beveree in the 1948/49 & 1949/50 seasons. However, that situation did not last very long. Twickenham Council, having bought the estate, leased out the football pitch areas to be used by a local team. In 1952 Twickenham FC took possession with a 7 year lease.

Seven years later Hampton took over the lease and the rest is history!

The Old Historian
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