LOCATION – Redcar Racecourse. Racing Tipster – Art Of

Accreditation Cleveland Standard 24/08/1935

Some Reflection at Redcar
(“Special to the “Standard.”)

   The selling of horse racing tips is acknowledge to be a strange method of earning a living but – is tipping a profession?
After visiting Redcar Racecourse this week, while the races were in full swing, this question dominated my reflections. There I met and made friends with many of these men, who somewhat proudly inform the crowd that they are “Professional Tipsters.” Also in a proud fashion they have a peculiar habit of flaunting wads of green back notes before the eyes of the crowd and, at times, scattering the same at the feet of their amused and interested audiences.
After making a careful study of the gentlemen of the turf, I concluded that “tipping” may not be classed as a profession but it certainly is an art, and a very clear art at that.
Last Saturday you may have met that very flippant gentleman in pin-stripe trousers who claims to have already earned his winter’s keep on this season’s racing. Your first impression of him may lead you to believe that he is a regular London crook or a Chicago “Smart Alec.”


   Race goers of his opinion will be surprised to hear that this strange and amusing figure hails from Leeds. In spite of his boast that he never did a hard day’s work in his life, he at one time laboured hard and tediously in the industrial town which he still calls home, and to which, as soon as his pockets have a goodly supply of those greenish looking notes, he always returns.
On Saturday, at Redcar, it was his proud boast that he had a wife and so many children. That is quite true, and his sons are quite normal people.
But what I recognise as his art is the fact that he earns good money by selling his tips. His method of advertising is by his tongue. Yet strangely enough, although he talks and spouts for as long as his crowd is kind and willing enough to listen, you seldom hear him talk shop: seldom does he mention horse racing. Practically every other subject is referred to in his orations-anything but shop.
“If you listen to me ladies and gentlemen well, I will surprise you, ladies and gentlemen.. I do not come here for pleasure, ladies and gentlemen, and neither should you ladies and gentlemen.
“Let me tell you all, here and now, that I had three eggs and two rashers of thick ham for my breakfast. Not every man amongst you can honestly make such a boast.” Well, for that matter, I could not swear as much, but I failed to see the connection between his hearty breakfast and the selling of tips. But it seems he did.


   “And, what is more, ladies and gentle men, I have three eggs and two rashers of ham for my breakfast every morning, and why? Because I’m no mug.”
“Bah!” shouted a near-by bookie.
“Tell em what your wife and kids had for theirs.”
The interjection was completely and utterly ignored.
“And what shall I have for my tea, ladies and gentlemen? I ask you that question. Dare you answer me? How many of you ladies and gentle men who are here for a day’s holiday and pleasure dare tell me honestly and truthfully what you will have for your tea?”
“Dripping bread for me.” jeered the prosperous-looking bookie.
“You are the workers. You, ladies and gentlemen work for living and you think that you’re proud of it. But I do not work for my living because I’m not a mug. But I could tell you what I shall have for my tea.
“See that man over there. Do you know what he does in order to have his bed and his three meals a day and drink if he’s lucky at the week-end? He’s a collier and he goes down the pit. And at the end of the week he holds out his hand, and I ask you ladies and gentlemen, do they put anything? Do they——– Go down the pit. If it depended on me going down a pit ther’d be nore free for jolly old England. And why, ladies and gentlemen? Because I’m no mug. Now then, do not go away for a minute. Listen to me and I’ll surprise you all. Take my advice and you’ll never do another day’s work the longest you live. And I mean it. Work? It was meant for mugs and mugs only. And you workers know it.”


   Here he paused for a moment and squatted on the ground. Taking a wad of pound notes out of his pocket he hurled them on the turf. Why he did this I have no idea. It wasn’t because he did not want them and was merely registering his contempt of so much coloured paper. For later, while his crowd was too engrossed by his “patter” to notice his actions he slyly picked the green notes up and I grinned.
“Soap wrappers Ugh! You think they’re soap wrappers and you smile at me, but I’ve got them alright alright. Have you? Maybe, but I have, and I can show them and I’m a tipster by profession. Soap wrappers by Jove! Smell at them; just smell at them, ladies and gentlemen.” and he scampered round his crowd, pushing the green notes underneath their noses.
He is a tipster, but he’s clever an artiste in fact. After all this patter about world depression, diet and domestic troubles, he conjured some white pieces of paperboard from somewhere or other and he sold them at sixpence apiece. I bought one too. The horse he tipped did not win, but I backed it. He told us we were mugs. Well, Mr. Professional Tipster. Maybe you are right.



dean May 26, 2010 Locations