In January 2001 Rodney Shaw an ex inhabitant of Swallownest from way back, but long resident in California, sent me this photo of the then Aston Hall Cricket Team, taken he believes circa 1895. In the background is a side view of Aston Hall, then owned as a private house by the Verelst family. The photo (or at least a copy of it) was rescued from the dustbin by Rodney Pickering circa 1960 and it had been hung in the Yellow Lion across the road before they binned it (or attempted to bin it anyway) who has a newspaper cutting that puts names to these faces from the past....
left to right - back row; J Judge, T Shaw. - middle row: J Johnson (with beard), G Buckley, F Adsetts, J Battersby, E Turner, S Wright - front row; J Sealey, L Turner, J Balance, F Embley
Rodney Shaw has relatives in this picture, namely Jack Johnson (middle row far left) of Harthill 1830-1924 which makes Jack 65 when this picture was taken (although Rodney Shaw tells me that Jack could have been younger, and the photo therefore taken earlier - I'll update the site as soon as I get the benefit of Rodney's genealogical research), and Thomas Shaw (back row on the right with dark waistcoat) of Aston 1858-1920 who was therefore 37 years old.
Another Aston Hall cricketer was 'Roddy Verelst' son of Harry Verelst, the owner of the Aston Hall estate, seen here in 1911 at his brother Hal's 21st birthday fete:
The cricket team still exists on the same site and the club entrance is more or less opposite the Yellow Lion pub, which is probably why the picture was hung there. Below, contemporary (Jan 2001) shot from the same location. The current captain of Aston Hall CC (in 2001 anyway) is the great-great grandson of Thomas Shaw in the photo.