Honours Board 1931

After 20 months, 177 people have won a competition in The Week-end Review  (or rather, 175 different names have appeared). Of these fewer than half – 85, to be exact – are allowing their names to be published. Exactly thirty hide behind initials, and 62 use pseudonyms. Because there have been just over 190 competitions, adding A to B, and remembering that Naomi Royde-Smith tends to set one, there’s an odd thing – there are about as many winners as there have been competitions (put it another way, everyone, as there are normally two winners for each, has won on average about twice). But some competitors are of course mopre equal than others.

In 1931, 108 people won 175 prizes to the value of £181 3s 3d. This included 38 who won a half-guinea once, 24 who won a guinea or a nearby sum once, 18 who won two guineas once, and two exceptional cases (both to do with Naomi Royde-Smith) who won three guineas once. So only twenty-six entrants won more than once.

Here then is the leader board, with the previous ‘year’ in brackets. I don’t think anyone will be surprised with the winner

1. Seacape                      15 victories          £17  6s 6d     [1]

2. Little Billee                   5 victories          £7  12s 3d     [-]

3  W. Hodgson Burnet      7 victories         £7  6s   9d      [-]

4. Valimus                         8 victories          £6  19s 6d    [-]

5. Belinda                         3 victories          £6   6s  0d     [-]

6. Heber                            4 victories         £4  14s 6d    [-]

7 =     Pibwob                       4 victories        £4   4s  0d   [2]

           George van Raalte   2 victories        £4    4s  0d  [-]

9 =      L.V. Upward              3 victories       £3    13s  6d  [8=]

            Olric                         3 victories        £3    13s  6d  [-]

Technically, the two three-guinea winners, Edward Marsh and Hilda Newman would come next, followed by W.G. and Guy Innes. However, since you can make the top ten by winning a top A competition prize just twice, it’s clear that the guineas have been handed out to the many, not the few. It’s the top four who are the exceptions who prove the rule – especially the indefatigable Seacape, whose strike rate is almost one in three. And it’s worth remembering that Seacape and Valimus are the ones who came from The Saturday Review  (with Pibwob, who is still moonlighting in his old haunts as well), and wrote the opening letter. The old gang are still setting the pace. W. Hodgson Burnet was no new boy either – he’d been winning competitions in the Saturday Westminster before World War One!

Of course, there are many who enter, it would seem, every week. Not just the all-conquering Seacape, but T.E. Casson as well. His total winnings are still only one half-guinea. At least it would have covered the cost of his stamps from Cumberland.

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