Hello readers – just a quick note to say that I am taking a little break from updating Grappling With History but hope to return in 2021 with lots of new research, including articles on the early 1900s ‘Graeco Roman Goddess’ Juno May; 1880s/early ’90s black Lambeth boxer Jem Haines and his tragic early death; finding Alec Munroe’s grave; and a fun one on Mr Wannop’s New Cross High Hat Brigade and their raucous drunk south London picnic tours. I may not publish very often, however, as book planning is in full swing.
You may notice that a couple of existing posts on Jack have disappeared. I have temporarily removed them as my MA History dissertation (Rediscovering Jack Wannop and the Wrestling and Boxing Gymnasiums of Late-Victorian New Cross) has now been submitted for marking (phew!). While the essay was very much written from scratch, there is a large section based on my work in locating the 1891 gym site and I am rather paranoid about being accused by a human or more likely an algorithm of plagiarising myself!
One further update: I’m extremely excited to say that I now FINALLY have – after two years of searching – a portrait photograph of Jack in classic boxing pose, but I won’t be sharing it just yet, sorry! It is not the one that I know was taken in 1889 during the Lewisham photoshoot for Walter Armstrong’s book (his hair is a little longer), and he looks too youthful for it have been much later. It might have been shot around 1885 or so, at a guess. My enormous thanks go to Theresa and Danielle, who are descended through Jack and Miriam’s youngest child, Hilda – it must be very strange to receive sobbing voicemails from a random woman obsessed with your relatives. It was also wonderful to receive some messages recently from Tony Wannop – great grandson through Jack I, Jack II and Jack III – and he has sent an incredible photograph of the New Cross Boxing Club in 1890 which I can show you soon.
Thank you for reading. I’ll endeavour to keep posting odd bits on @wrestling1880s for now.
Best wishes for the end of the decade.