Old Bradfieldian Squash Rackets Club
An update on the Club and its future
Unbeaten 1963 Squash team of JDS Cumming, AJ Spicer, ID Stevens, JD Wyatt, CJ Gorringe
Writing as President of the OB Squash Racquets Club, Martin Latham (D 56-61) recently advised subscription paying members of a change in the management and administration of the Club, which will in future be run by the Bradfield Society.
Looking back, the OBSRC was formed in 1949 by a group of OB sporting stalwarts including Ronnie Groves (D 23-28), Bruno Elgood (G 36-40) and Roy Warnford-Davis (1906-11). The Club prospered under their enthusiastic leadership and quickly became one of the leading Old Boys squash clubs in the country. In its heyday years the OBSRC fielded two regular teams of five, playing over 30 friendly fixtures in and around London with its home base at the Naval and Military Club in Piccadilly (latterly Lord's). It also fielded sides with mixed success in the Londonderry Cup for Public Schools Old Boys and the Palmer Tomkinson Bowl for clubs resident in Berkshire.
Throughout the years the OBSRC as a Club as well as members individually have donated various sums towards the sport of squash at the College including the upkeep of the courts and, in particular, special mention should be made of the generosity of John Bodie in the funding of the then new Bodie courts in 1970.
Sadly, the popularity of squash has been declining in the past 25 years, partly due to the change in the working timetables of young executives who found it difficult to commit to a specific fixture time weeks in advance. Fitness centres allowing people to exercise at a time convenient just to themselves sprung up in place of squash courts. There were 28 fixtures on the OBSRC card in 1990, although cancellations were beginning to filter through.
Today, there is no fixture card, although friendly games are still played. A number of ad hoc fixtures have been arranged, mainly against the College in recent years and it is encouraging to see squash at College has had a modest revival, including amongst the girls.
In its first 70 years the Club has had just three Presidents: Ronnie Groves, Bruno Elgood and Martin Latham; and just two Treasurers in Roy Warnford-Davis and Nick Coleman (F 50-54). Both Nick and Martin recently resigned their roles and Martin thanked Nick for his huge contribution as Treasurer for the past 45 years.
On behalf of the College and to the many members of the Club who responded to Martin's email with their nostalgic recollections, we thank Martin for generously giving both his time to the Club and his support to the players for so many years. It is hoped that these changes will ensure the continued success of the Club and a secure future within the Bradfield Society.
As this new era begins, we would love to hear from any OBs who play squash and would like to become more involved in the future of the Club and the game at Bradfield.