SCARROTT, JOHN ('JACK') (1870 - 1947), boxing promoter

Name: John Scarrott
Date of birth: 1870
Date of death: 1947
Spouse: Priscilla Scarrott (née Loveridge)
Parent: Fiance (née Smith)
Parent: Levi Scarrott
Gender: Male
Occupation: boxing promoter
Area of activity: Sports and Leisure Pursuits
Author: Lawrence Davies

Jack Scarrott was born at Fothergill Street, Newport, on 28 March 1870. He was the eldest son of Levi Scarrott, a basket-maker, and his wife Fiance (née Smith). After a brief period when employed as a booth boxer, Scarrott married Priscilla Loveridge of Cardiff on December 15 1890 at St. Catherine's Church in Pontypridd, and then started his own boxing booth which he built at the Mill Field, Pontypridd. Scarrott's 'Pavilion' toured extensively throughout South Wales, and first featured lesser known pugilists and some well-known bare knuckle mountain fighters such as Shoni Engineer (John Jones of Treorchy). As the booth became more established, Scarrott's troupe included such notable boxers as Jim Driscoll of Cardiff (British Featherweight Champion), Tom Thomas of Penygraig (British Middleweight Champion), Johnny Basham of Casnewydd (British & European Welterweight Champion), and Percy Jones of Porth (World Flyweight Champion). Jack Scarrott is best remembered for having given Jimmy Wilde (World Flyweight Champion) his first opportunity when Wilde was approximately 16 years old.

By 1907, Jack Scarrott's Pavilion was one of the best known travelling fairground boxing booths in Wales. In 1912, Scarrott's Pavilion was stationed at Tonypandy. It proved to be so popular that Scarrott leased the Tonypandy Hippodrome to accommodate crowds of upwards of 2,000 people, and by the end of the year extra provision was made to increase the capacity by a further 1,000. Scarrott sold his interest in the venue in March 1913, and purchased a new travelling boxing booth. In January of 1914, Scarrott returned to Tonypandy and leased the Pavilion Rink, which could hold up to 4,000 spectators and was located across the road from the Hippodrome. A match between Young (George) Dando of Merthyr and Charlie Yeomans of Pontypridd drew an estimated crowd of 3,000 spectators. Having established a second large permanent venue for boxing, Scarrott sold his interests in the Pavilion Rink and continued promoting contests at the Drill Hall in Merthyr for a short time before taking to the road again. In late 1916, Scarrott took over the Skating Ring Pavilion in Bargoed which featured roundabouts, shooting stalls and other amusements, as well as promoting boxing and fencing displays. A benefit event was held each week, with Scarrott donating the money collected to military hospitals to assist wounded soldiers. Scarrott ceased promotions at Bargoed Skating Ring after May 1918, and returned to running his travelling boxing booth. He afterwards leased the famous Mountain Ash Pavilion for 6 months in November 1918. Although Jack Scarrott continued to put on occasional boxing contests as late as the 1930s, following World War 1 his attentions turned more to running fairground attractions.

Jack Scarrott passed away on the Caldicot Fairground on 6 October 1947 at the age of 77. He was buried at the Glyntaff Cemetery near Pontypridd.


Published date: 2020-06-01

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