Privileged to know town’s boxers

MADAM - It was a great surprise to see a photo of Jimmy O Brien in this week s Herald, October 7. It brought back to me many memories of when I came to live in Sidmouth in 1948.

MADAM - It was a great surprise to see a photo of Jimmy O'Brien in this week's Herald, October 7.

It brought back to me many memories of when I came to live in Sidmouth in 1948.

I met Jimmy and we talked boxing. He had formed a club and had some good lads and was helped by George Burnett and his brother. He was looking for training headquarters.

The manager of the Horse and Groom, Mr J Hellier, let them take on the skittle alley for training. It was soon turned into a PT gym, complete with boxing ring. Sidmouth had some very good boxing talent at that time - to name a few - Roger Baldwin, Peter Sellick, George Baker and Mike O'Connor.

Jimmy organised many first class contests at the Manor Hall. The Radway Cinema was also used to put on a boxing show with a London based boxing club versus Sidmouth, Exmouth and Exeter Amateur Boxing Clubs.

It was a great show. I don't think the cinema had ever been used for boxing before.

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Jimmy did a good job organising it and matching weights for some fine contests well matched. It was a full house, standing room only. I'll never forget it.

I was associated with Sidmouth Amateur Boxing Club for over ten years, which I considered to be a privilege.

Norman Grant

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