THIS week in Yester Years we have the remarkable story of bareknuckle prize fighting in Penketh to bring you.

Reader Roy Harper got in touch to share this fantastic picture, above, of his great granddad Alfred Thompson.

He was a bare knuckle fighter in Penketh back in the 19th century.

He used to take part in fights close to the Ferry Tavern.

As far as Roy knows, the family lived in cottages near to the Tavern pub and fights, which attracted huge crowds and were banned at the time, would take place under a nearby tree, which is still standing.

Legend has it that fights would take place across the Mersey within the Cheshire border to stop Lancashire Police clamping down on the illegal activity.

But it would seem as though bareknuckle fighting was popular elsewhere in Penketh during the Victorian era with winners able to earn good money from the watching crowd.

In the 1907 published book Recollections and a History of Penketh, by Benjamin Hobson, a reference to fighting was pinpointed.

Mr Hobson was a former registrar for Penketh.

The passage points to an incident from 1864.

It read: “One Boscoe, a Cheshire champion fought Jarvis Cross a Warrington tradesman, which resulted in both men being heavily fined.

“The money accruing from the penalty being spent in Linsey Woolsey petticoats for the aged and infirm women of Penketh.

“Another large prize fight was also fought near the Friends Meeting House on June 5, 1865.

“Magee and Doleman were the combatants there being a vast concourse of people gathered together to witness it, from Cheshire, Liverpool, and Manchester.

“The ring on this occasion was surrounded by Irish harvesters who were armed with pitchforks, and sickles, ready for any emergency.

“The outer circle being blocked by the various coaches carriages, and other vehicles of the people from a distance.”

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