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Britain’s oldest tennis ball lodged in archway of Lincoln Cathedral for 110 years

BRITAIN’S oldest tennis ball has been lodged in the archway of a cathedral for 110 years.

It got stuck in the mouldings after a little boy named Gilbert Bell threw it too high as he played with his brother in 1914.

Lincoln Cathedral – where a tennis ball has been lodged in an archway for 110 years
SWNS
The ball got stuck in the mouldings after a little boy named Gilbert Bell threw it too high as he played with his brother in 1914
SWNW

It has been there ever since and Lincoln Cathedral says there are no  plans to remove it.

In 2005, the family of Mr Bell wrote to the cathedral to ‘ask for it back’ after it became a family legend.

Four generations of the boy’s family have made trips there to check it is still in place.

Jane Cowan, Head of Conservation at Lincoln Cathedral said that it was an unusual thing to have to consider when looking after an historic building.

She said: “At such point as our cycle of conservation reaches that part of the Cathedral, we would have to assess how best to approach the tennis ball as the nature of the materials it is made from is very different from the stone, glass and wood that we are used to dealing with on the Cathedral.

“The ideal option would be for us to leave the ball in position as its story is now integral to that of the cathedral.”

“The stories are intertwined and are both much the richer for that.”

The earliest tennis ball held in the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum dates from 1916.


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