Uppies and Downies

Uppies and Downies

Workington in Cumbria is home to a tradition known as "Uppies and Downies", a traditional version of football, dating to Medieval times and with roots in Celtic games, although the modern incarnation of Uppies and Downies was rejuvenated some time in the latter half of the 19th century. Workington still holds annual Uppies and Downies matches every Easter, raising money for various local charities.

The game

The goals are about a mile apart, one being a capstan at the harbour, and the other the park wall of Workington Hall. There were traditionally no rules, except those suggested by cunning and skill, while brute force is of the greatest importance. The 'Uppies' attempt to hale the ball over the park wall; the 'Downies' over the capstan. Whoever is successful in doing so wins a sovereign, given by the owner of Workington Hall.


'Uppies' and 'Downies' refer to the residents of the top (East) and bottom (West) of the town, which slopes down East-West towards the sea. In the modern incarnation of the game, the 'downies' were originally residents of the marsh and quay, a large important working class area of the town demolished in the early 1980s. Hence the definition of who is a 'downy' is now changed from the original.

The modern incarnation of uppies and downies, for decades after its inception, in effect contained strong elements of rivalry between the seafarers around the marsh and the colliers of the top end of the town, and significant class undertones, the marsh and quay traditionally being looked down with somewhat disdain on by the more affluent top of the town, were the local petty bourgeoise were generally located.

Sadly the game is under threat as the building of a Tesco Extra store looks set to get the go ahead on the playing area of the Uppies and Downies.

External links

* [http://timesandstar.co.uk/ Full history of the Uppies and Downies at the Times & Star, Workington newspaper]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Workington — For other uses, see Workington (disambiguation). Coordinates: 54°38′11″N 3°33′18″W / 54.6365°N 3.5549°W / 54.6365; 3.5549 …   Wikipedia

  • Cumbria — Not to be confused with Cumbia, Umbria, or Cambria. Cumbria …   Wikipedia

  • Medieval football — An illustration of so called mob football , a variety of medieval football. Medieval football is a modern term sometimes used for a wide variety of localised football games which were invented and played in Europe of the Middle Ages. Alternative… …   Wikipedia

  • Cornish hurling — A new Silver Ball with the motto Town and Country do your best inscribed on the band. This ball was used at St Columb Major Pub sign at St Columb Major Cornish Hurling or Hurling the Silver Ball ( …   Wikipedia

  • Played in Britain — Infobox Company company name = Played in Britain company company type = Book publisher and Research project foundation = London, United Kingdom (2002) location = flagicon|United Kingdom London, United Kingdom key people = Simon Inglis, Series… …   Wikipedia

  • Basketball — This article is about the sport. For the ball used in the sport, see Basketball (ball). For other uses, see Basketball (disambiguation). Basketball …   Wikipedia

  • Bowling — For other uses, see Bowling (disambiguation). A ten pin bowler releases the ball. Bowling (1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule < Middle French < Latin bulla bubble, knob; compare boil1 , bola +ing)[1][2 …   Wikipedia

  • Bowls — For other uses, see Bowl (disambiguation). Bowls Lawn bowler Tim Mason First played 13th century Characteristics Categorization …   Wikipedia

  • Curling — Highest governing body World Curling Federation N …   Wikipedia

  • Association football — Soccer redirects here. For other uses, see Soccer (disambiguation). Association football An attacking player (No. 10) attempts to kick the ball past t …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”