Old Yardleians RFC: Club News


Fri, 04 Sep 2015 12:00


These words greeted me as I bumped into Peter and Robbie recently. They pointed out the close proximity of the World Cup and, on a local basis, the opportunity to play against old friends in the northern half of division two west section.

BUT FIRST - This Saturday from 1.00 at the Club the season kicks off with the Moss Goode Annual 15 a side tournament, now approaching it's 35th appearance.

I was very pleased to receive an e-mail from my reporter in the Channel Islands, former club captain and Chairman, Dave Collen. I found it very interesting and I suspect that you will as well.

Hi Dave, you rightly point out, with your posting re the Moss Goode 15 a side, that a club's history defines the club.

Fifty years ago (yes 50) a group of us started on the first of many Old Yards self build projects.
As a challenge, this one couldn't have been bigger - we built the Clubhouse.

We had to give up our lease on the Windermere Road, Moseley, ground, because a covenant prevented us having a licensed bar. This restriction resulted in the loss of fixtures, because a few pints after the game, was an essential element in rugby culture, at that time. A cup of tea was not quite the same.

Horne Estates (Dennis and Jack Horne - both Old Yardleians) agreed to lease us the Whitlocks End ground, which, at that time, was zoned agricultural.

So in early 1965 we moved onto a green field, full of hope and trepidation, and with a £5,000 debenture from the RFU, as the sum total of funds.

We had a sprinkling of builders, surveyors etc, but in the main the workforce were an unskilled but willing mix, from banking, insurance, telecoms, sales, engineering, academic and other assorted backgrounds. Sadly they are not all with us today.

I have a set of photographs, of the build, two of which are attached, and would be pleased if you could post this note on the Club website, and (Mark please) distribute to the VPs.

Image one
left-right: George Jephcott (RIP), Barry Walker, Jim Steele (RIP), Mick Miller, Mick Berry and Mick Louch -  the horses are grazing on what is now the car park.

Image two
left-right: George Jephcott (RIP) Richard Walker, Colin (Kiwi) Thompson (RIP), Mick Louch

The shed, and the tent behind it, were our accommodation, when, during a two week blitz to speed up the build, we lived on the site. 

Many thanks,

Dave Collen
Club Captain 1967 - 1970
Chairman 1970-71

Minis and Juniors
With the approaching, World Cup hopefully stimulating interest in the younger age levels, and maybe even others, our Sunday mornings will take a slightly different format for a few weeks. More precise details will be made available shortly but we anticipate an expansion in our playing numbers for the coming season and also hope that the adult numbers will increase.

Quiz Evening
A big thank you to all who came along to our charity Quiz. A very impressive sum of money was sent to our two charities. It was good to see many of our former players displaying their knowledge. The winning team which included former Tommies teacher and coach, Haydn Rees just about sneeked it by two points. A special thanks to Rick Thorne and John Power, Question master and marker, Bill Collins for being an all round good bloke and to Anne and the First Lady for feeding the many. Again, the fish and chips from the Station Fish Bar were excellent.

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