Page:VCH Kent 1.djvu/595

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SPORT and skilled player, who has proved himself to be a most capable organizer. The Eden Park and Chislehurst Clubs, both of which possessed splendid grounds, were for some years carried on in a more or less flourishing state, but the secession of many members, some of whom were called abroad on service, while others eventually joined the clubs at Hurlingham and Ranelagh, made the matter of maintaining efficient teams very difficult, and at last both these Kentish organizations, of which Eden Park held out until the end of the 1906 season, were broken up. Upon the dissolution of the Eden Park Club the London Polo Club left its quarters at the Crystal Palace and migrated to the ground of the defunct organization at Beck- enham. By so doing they made a very favourable move, for the ground at Eden Park is in every respect an excellent one. It is boarded all round, and with turf of first- rate quality it is undoubtedly one of the best inclosures in the country. Even in the worst weather the Beckenham ground is usually playable. There is only one other polo ground in the county, namely that at Surrenden Park, the seat of Mr. Walter Winans. This inclosure is of full regulation size, and is fairly level. The London Polo Club is now therefore the only recognized club of its kind within the county of Kent. It is, perhaps, at the present time more of a county organization than at any previous period of its history, and it numbers among its members several prominent players of the day. Among others who have recently been elected to member- ship are the two Messrs. Winans, who played for the Oxford University team during the season of 1906. The Earl of Huntingdon is president, and is supported by a very strong and influential council. The regular days for play are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Satur- days, and a stud of ponies, which members may hire, is kept upon the premises. Many prominent players have been associ- ated with the game in Kent since polo first took root there at the end of the nineteenth century. Mr. A. Rawlinson, who took part in the Inauguration Cup competition at the London Polo Club's first tournament, was a dashing player, and had won fame in many a tourna- ment in India. On his return to this country from the east he brought with him a couple of famous ponies — Rainbow and Starlight — both of which figured on several occasions in Hurlingham matches. The latter of these was a grey Arab with remarkable pace, and had won several races in India. Starlight changed hands subsequently and was played in the loth Hussars team in the inter-regi- mental tournament at Hurlingham. Special mention should also be made of Major ' Tip ' Herbert, brother of the founder of the Ranelagh Club, a remarkably fine horseman, and still a prominent player since his return to England after the war ; Lord Shrewsbury, whose tastes have latterly turned in the direction of motoring ; Captain de Lisle ; and Sir Charles Wolseley, all of whom must now be reckoned among the old school of polo enthusiasts. Kent, however, can still reckon upon plenty of active support from the younger generation, prominent among whom may be mentioned Colonel Lamb, and Messrs. R. E. Edmondson, Avery, and R. P. Wilson. SHOOTING In common with the rest of the home counties Kent has suffered to a great extent from the rapid encroachment of the builder upon its fair fields and meadows, and year by year its opportunities for field sports are being driven within ever-narrowing limits. This gradual expansion of the town into the country has not affected shooting to such an extent as in the case of some other sports ; but the establishment of factories, gunpowder works, ^ and large industrial colonies in various parts, even at some dis- tance from London, has done a good deal towards breaking up what was once an eminently sporting area. While offering plenty of good chances to the keen shooting man, the principal charm of Kent lies perhaps more in the variety than in the quality of the sport which it has to offer. It is a county of very diversified char- acter as regards its soil and general features, and as such is capable of providing what is 1 It is interesting to note that the first gun- county of Surrey. Richard Evelyn, the youngest powder factories in England were established in of his long tale of sons, inherited Wotton, and Elizabeth's time by George Evelyn, who had mills at from Richard's son John Evelyn, the famous diarist, Long Ditton and near Wotton, in the neighbouring descended the Evelyns of Sayes Court near Deptford. 501