Sylvia Lynd sets a really hard competition – to give an account of The Gunpowder Plot by a) H.G.Wells and b) Hilaire Belloc. The limit for each is 300 words, which might be one reason why, in the end, there is only one prize-winner: a new name, Beatrice Rudall, whom you would have thought it easy enough to trace, but alas, not yet. It’s a tour-de-force:
The B competition is to name six new bulbs after famous men (sic) of the present day. Lynd first cherry-picks four entrants (no prizes): Little Billee, James Hall, M.B.A., and also F(rederic) Wallace Hadrill. The latter was a schoolmaster, but his son was to become a professor of medieval history and his grandson is the world expert on Pompeii and the master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. I’m afraid we don’t know which of the four wrote which of the six. Four of the six are politicians, not surprising given the fall-out from the October election (we are now just into November). James Maxton had been, until the election, the chairman of the Independent Labour Party, a post to which he returned in 1934.
Kaye Don may be an unfamiliar name, but at the time he was holder of the world speed record on water and had come close to gaining the land speed record. Born in Dublin (his original name was Donsky), he was found guilty of manslaughter after an incident on the Isle of Man in 1934, although he returned to found a motorcycle company. He died in 1981, aged 90.