TROPHY CABINET: We like our big butt cup and we can not lie*

The Sir Alfred Butt Cup was awarded annually to the Balham CC aggregate road champion for the fastest aggregate time in the Club 25, 50 and 100 mile handicaps.

Sir Alfred Butt was a Theatre impresario, MP, horse race owner and breeder. One of the leading variety magnates of the early 20th century, he forged his career at the Palace Theatre of Varieties, Cambridge Circus. He made the Cambridge one of the most successful theatres of its time, introducing novel and lavish entertainments and foreign performers, including Anna Pavlova. He was also involved in the management of several West End theatres including the Globe and the Adelphi and built the Victoria Palace Theatre near London Victoria Station.

Two photos of Sir Alfred Butt; with Lady Butt and his son Kenneth; and the statue of Anna Pavlova on top of the Victoria Palace Theatre

The local MP for Balham & Tooting from 1922 to 1936, he was appointed Director of Food Rationing and introduced compulsory food rationing during the First World War. Butt was knighted for services to The Ministry of Food in WW1 and work for war charities.

Sir Alfred was forced to resign from the Commons in June 1936 over a scandal concerning a leak of budget details from which he was believed to have benefited financially.

With the end of his political career, his focus turned to horse-racing, purchasing the Brook Stud near Newmarket. He won The Oaks with Steady Aim and the Ascot New Stakes with Petition, both in 1946.

Alfred_Butt_Vanity_Fair_21_December_1910

The Trophy

The Sir Alfred Butt Trophy was awarded in 1922 until 1971 (excluding 1938-1946, 1955, 57 and 58). Some of the club’s finest all rounders were winners including Terry West, Arthur Attwood and Jimmy Church.

KenSmithButtCup
Ken Smith collecting the Sir Alfred Butt Trophy in 1949

Presented to the Club by Sir Alfred, the cup is .925 sterling silver and was made in Chester in 1921 (indicated by the Lion, Shield and letter V) by JRA & Co Ltd.

James Jay was a silversmiths and silver platers, who in 1887 purchased the stock and premises at 142 & 144 Oxford Street of jewellers Richard Attenborough. In 1897 the firm became James Jay Ltd and in 1904 Jay, Richard Attenborough & Co Ltd. The business closed in 1950.

JRALtdOxfordSt
The Oxford Street store of Jay Richard Attenborough in 1905

Sources

Sir Alfred Butt Wikipedia entry

Oxford dictionary of National Biography

Historic England Listing for Victoria Theatre

The Music Hall and Theatre History Site


Further information

  • With apologies to Sir Mix-a-lot for the appalling pun on his dance floor hit

 

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