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October, 2013

   Aim To Reduce Speed Limits Outside Schools
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Title:It’s a knock out
Author:Doncaster Museum 
ID & Publication:20131011037 ~ 
 DMBC (4kb)

Public boxes clever to help raise cash to keep historic painting of local sporting legend

AN oil painting of a legendary local boxer will pack a permanent punch on the walls of Cusworth Hall thanks to a fundraising success.

Two months ago Doncaster Council’s Museum launched a campaign to buy a painting of Mexborough born champ James William ‘Iron Hague’.

Now, thanks to generous donations from the public and local groups, a substantial grant from the Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund and a donation from the Friends of Doncaster Museum – the £2,500 painting will be a permanent fixture at Cusworth Hall.

Councillor Bob Johnson, Doncaster Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said: ‘We are delighted with the success of this campaign. ‘Iron Hague’ is firmly etched in the boxing folklore of Doncaster. He was a real local legend and we were determined to that this painting would not leave the town to a private buyer.’

He added: ‘It is fitting that he will adorn the walls of Cusworth Hall – one of our most popular and historic tourist attractions here in Doncaster.’

The painting, which is in oil on canvas, depicts Hague in a typical fighting stance, and was probably painted in 1909 to celebrate Hague’s victory over Gunner Jim Moir to claim the British heavyweight boxing title.

The painting had been on a long term loan at Cusworth Hall Museum from ‘Iron Hague’s’ family. Doncaster Museum put together a grant application for half the £2,500 cost to try and bring the painting to Doncaster on a permanent basis and prevent it from being sold into private hands.

The museum appealed to the public for help in raising the remainder of the cash.

Hague, who was born in Mexborough, was British heavyweight boxing champion between 1909 and 1911, defending his title three times.

He acquired his nickname of ‘Iron’ during his schooldays. After being hit over the head when involved in a playground spat he wrapped his school scarf round the wound, held it in place with his school cap, and proceeded to his next lesson. On entering the class he was asked by his teacher to remove the cap. Seeing the size of the wound, and the fact that young Hague had patched it up himself the teacher said ‘you must be made of Iron lad’; and the name stuck.

The successful grant application and generous donations from the local community means that the painting will now remain on permanent display at Cusworth Hall Museum where it will add greatly to the story of sporting life in Doncaster.

Doncaster Museum Service would like to place on record its thanks to all the individuals and groups who have helped with the purchase of the painting and to the Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund. It will be organising a get together for everyone involved, and inviting press and media to capture the moment on film.

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Doncaster Museum has been offered the opportunity to purchase a painting of legendary local boxer James William Iron Hague. (232kb)  
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Author: 'Doncaster Museum'   Area: 'Mexborough'
Title: 'It’s a knock out'   Category 'History'
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  A List of local Councils Contacts
  Cusworth Hall
  Leisure & Culture in Doncaster
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