Buckingham Rugby Club
|Full name||Buckingham Rugby Union Football Club|
|League(s)||Southern Counties North|
Buckingham Rugby Club was founded in 1933. It is situated approximately one mile north of Buckingham town centre. It caters for ages 7 to adult. It recently underwent extensive pitch improvement with drainage being completely revamped. The club house provides a friendly and hospitable atmosphere as well as a welcoming environment.
As with most sports, Rugby Union took a back seat to the war years and Buckingham Rugby Club was no exception, playing no games during that time. In 1947, the club was reformed and played on Cornwalls Meadow, an area now more commonly known as Budgen's car park! The land is owned by a Mr. Harry Ward, who lived in Llandudno. The headquarters was what is now the White Hart Hotel and subs were 10s 5d whilst the VPs paid from 10s 6d up to a guinea (21/-).
During the 1951 AGM, there is the first mention of Mr. Anthony Smith, our previous president and someone known more fondly to us as Tiger. The President then was George Morgan, father of Alan. The Chairman was Ernie Floyd, the Treasurer was Mr. C.J. Rabett from Westminster Bank who recorded a balance of £38-14s-2d to be carried forward. At the same meeting Mr. R. Wheeler proposed that they cancel the game for 15 September, owing to the late harvest, and it was carried.
The period in the early 1950s was not a good one for Buckingham. With the euphoria of playing again after the war now as good as gone, the Chairman Ernie Floyd reported at the 1953 AGM "The future of the club must be seriously considered owing to the lack of players". It was in this season Tiger took over as Fixture Secretary from F. (Rickie) Avister, a position he held until 2003.
During 1954 an extraordinary meeting was called to consider the future of the club. It was eventually agreed to soldier on, especially as they were just seeing the first light of major support coming from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps based at Tingewick. It was agreed that, to encourage the ongoing support from the army boys, the team should consist of 10 Buckingham members with at least 5 RAOC members. Not surprisingly Lt Col D.A. Oxenbury was also elected President of the club.
During 1955 the first Ray Longland XV v Buckingham match was played.
It was noted during 1958 that things are getting better. Ernie Floyd reports at the AGM that their last season was the best in the club's history: Played 29, won 15, lost 13, drawn 1. Between February and March, all 8 matches were won, scoring 184 points for with only 21 against. This was to be the last AGM at the White Hart as it was agreed that the club were to join up with the Buckingham Town Cricket and Sports Club for the next season. It was also agreed to buy 6 international Super Heavyweight shirts from Lillywhites for £9 14s 6d.
An extraordinary meeting during 1962 was called by 8 members to discuss the club holding social activities and even an annual dinner. It was also agreed that they will start up a 2nd XV.
The 3rd XV Cavaliers are founded in 1968.
1973 saw Buckingham produce their best season ever. Under captain Eric Curtis, the first team won 33, lost 5, drawn 1, points for 872, against 291. They beat such teams as Milton Keynes 30-6, Leamington Ex 1st 28-12, Aylesbury 'A' 18-9, Banbury 24-6, Olney 22-6, Bicester 20-3, Bletchley 10-9 and drew 19-19 in the Longland game.
During 1974 saw the touring Chalondry French RFC side, the match was won by Buckingham 42-6.
1975 saw history repeating itself and the Mitres (Buckingham 2nd XV team) go back to Cornwalls Meadow to play. The rugby club members are not getting on too well at the Cricket Club (complaints regarding beer throwing etc.). In short the clubhouse is not big enough for both teams. For this reason, this year saw the annual Dinner Dance and Club Dinner is held at the Town Football Club.
February: 4th XV (Bishops) is formed with Captain David Spicer and vice Captain Richard Smith. They beat Milton Keynes 126-0!
March: Discussions take place regarding the possibility of buying or leasing land from Harry Hutt situated next to the Cricket Club.
August: Mini Rugby is discussed and agreed on. This is to get underway by October.
September: Relations with the Cricket Club deteriorating. R.J. Longland dies. Its decided to hold an annual memorial match in his honour.
During 1976 arrangements to lease Harry Hutt's field were completed. Mini rugby now running very successfully. A Super Stare event is organised at Cornwalls Meadow which is won by a member of the rugby club, Paul Conroy. The Annual Dinner is held at the Bell Hotel, Winslow.
April 22, 1979 - The Official Opening of the R.J. Longland Field next to the Cricket Club.
1981 - Discussions with Buckingham Council about a 3rd pitch on some of the land at Stratford fields (over the river at the bottom of the cricket grounds). In August the council grants us a 2 year lease (no rent) for this land. It was at this time that AVDC (Aylesbury Vale District Council) was also making available on to the market some land at Maids Moreton. Due to the diligence and forethought of the following chairman, Anthony Flack, his "Task Force Commander" John Houseden and President Vic Rogers, one of the most significant decisions in the club's history was made - to buy the land at Maids Moreton. On 7 October, 7.4 acres (30,000 m2) were purchased at auction for £21,000. This is the land that we still own and play on to this very day.
1982/3 - Major work takes place on the new ground, leveling, new drainage, stone removal and grass sowing. Vic Rogers arranges a Terrapin building at Leslie Hartridges to be donated to the club and work commences to strip the interior and lay foundations at the ground. Chris Wood miraculously transports the building from Bath Lane to Maids Moreton where it is placed on its foundations by a large crane. By 3 September 1983, the interior is fully refurbished and the pitches complete, ready for the first games to be played on the Maids Moreton fields in our Golden Jubilee year. On September 28 we officially celebrate this anniversary with a game against Olney, the club's first ever opponents, drawing 8-8.
1985 - First Presidents XV v Buckingham University for the Town and Gown Cup, presented by Bob Wheeler. Ernie Floyd celebrates 50 years with the club. In November the club entertains Steaua Bucharest RFC who have 111 Romanian caps between them. Steaua win 24-6. On Sunday 8 December, the Moreton Fields are officially opened by Ernie Floyd, to be known as the 'Floyd Field'. This was followed by a match against Llanelli Golden Oldies who won 32-6.
1985-89 - The following years at Maids Moreton see many activities both on and off the fields, including a Donkey Derby, many discos, mud wrestling, stag evenings, club dinners, AGM's, endless committee meetings, the formation of the Vets team (the 4ths), regularly getting out 5 sides on Saturdays and sometimes even 6! There is also the annual 5th team game, initiated by Smithy in December 1985 when we win 23-0 against Wheatley 3rds. This match also raises £180 for a set of 1st team shirts.
March 1989, new brick changing rooms are built, the start of many a transformation at the Maids Moreton ground.
This transformation was completed in 1992 when a brave decision was taken at the AGM to build a permanent brick clubhouse. Inspired once again by John Houseden and with the help of the Chairman Will Abbott and a team of dedicated members, within one year it was completed.
Saturday 13 March 1993 the Rugby club moved into the new clubhouse - a remarkable achievement in these times of recession.
Saturday 4 September 1993 saw the club celebrate 60 years of existence at the Club's Diamond Jubilee Anniversary Ball. Such was the success of this event, the club decided that it should become an annual event.
In 2004, under the Chairmanship of Andy Ballard, a bold decision was made to rip up all of the pitches at Floyd Field and relay them with proper, RFU approved, drainage systems. The RFU were very lenient, though, as our idea of drainage is turning the pitches into beaches. The project management of this mammoth and thankless task was led by club stalwart (and Honorary Life Member), Dave Child. Advice was provided by Twickenham Groundsman, Keith Kent and the National Playing Fields Association, works were subcontracted to DW Clarke.