Lillywhites – Murray & Baldwin Bellyboards – A quiver of beauties

Here we have three absolutely beautiful boards. Produced at Murray & Baldwin Ltd (Crest Works, Box, Chippenham Wilts) for Lillywhites of Piccadilly. Nicely used (back in the day) and totally lovely. They really look like they should sit in a museum.

IMG_20170921_195447_514

These particular boards were owned by a family from Weybridge, in Surrey who purchased them in the 1950s from Lillywhites of Piccadilly to use on their holidays in Rhosneigr, Wales.

They have absolutely beautiful colours on the fronts and have grey (eggshell) backs.

IMG_20170921_195732_240

They are constructed very nicely (ply) and somehow look older to me. I have seen a couple of other boards of similar build, but they were unbranded. These have a piece of wood on top front (to hold?) and on the bottom rear. They almost look like they have elements of old ‘coffin lids’ made by Tom Tremewan in the 1920s.

They are made very nicely and painted beautifully and some elements are screwed together, as you can see below.

IMG_20170921_200032_258

I have done some research on these boards and found that the producer, Murray & Baldwin of Box, Chippenham, produced all sorts of sporting goods, from sledges to skittles, but their main thing seemed to be tennis, squash and badminton rackets. They were a listed exhibitor at the 1947 British Industries Fair. Can I find any mention of them producing boards? Nope!

IMG_20170921_195938_032

I have been in touch with Jack Lillywhite, the great, great Grandson of Frederick Lillywhite (founder of the biz in the 1800s) about this board and my other Lillywhites board. Jack runs the Lillywhite Family Museum and has very kindly checked all the old catalogues he owns to see if they were listed and can find nothing. He has zero boards in the museum. So, my hunt will go on to find out more on when Lillywhites actually sold these (it’s now owned by Sports Direct). I am told not to hold out too much hope on that front.  Looking at the logo below, the 1950s time period kind of makes sense,  if compared to their logos from that time (my god I’m turning into a huge nerd).

IMG_20170921_195840_419

The boards are in 2 different sizes. The longest one (and also the lightest in weight) is 54 inches in height and a foot wide, whilst the other 2 are the more standard 48 inches by a foot wide.

V cool.

IMG_20170921_195617_799

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s