Little Billee (William Ravenscroft Hughes)

Real name: William Ravenscroft Hughes.

Born in 1880 in Barton Regis, Glos; went to Clifton School, Bristol; went to Jesus College, Cambridge (Maths) in 1899. Was called to the Bar in 1906. Married in 1910, at which point (1908-11), he was the warden of Mansfield College, Canning Town, ‘a university settlement’. Later on West Ham Council and a member of its education committe for many years. By the mid-twenties, he had moved to Welwyn Garden City, where he became a member of the council and a well-known expert on the Hertfordshire by-Ways. In 1952, the New Statesman has a record of an address in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. He was a Quaker, and wrote two biographies of famous Quakers, as well as two collections of poetry – see Competition no. 156.

There is an excellent web-site on Welwyn from which this photo comes, and where there are further items (including 1920s news articles) about Hughes. It belongs to Alan Cash.

Little Billee

1930

Named after character in Thackeray poem. (Little Billee is also the name of an artist in George du Maurier’s Trilby, but essentially it’s a play on the name William here)
Wins 7A: 10s 6d
Honourable mention and poem printed in 30B

1931

Wins 77A: £2.2s.0d
Wins 78A: £2.2s.0d
Wins 79B: 5s 3d
Wins 83: £1.1s.0d
Wins 90A: £2.2s.0d

1932

Wins 104A: £2.2s.0d
Wins 137A: £2.2s.0d

1933

Wins 167B: 10s 6d
Wins 178B: 10s 6d
Wins 183A: 10s 6d

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