Chairmans’ notes 29th September 2018

Today we welcome HSBC, who last week defeated Sheppey 22 – 13. HSBC are currently in sixth place in Kent 1 with nine points, while we have five points and are in eighth place. Having watched training last week and seen the spirit in the whole club, I am sure that what is in effect a new side will improve throughout the season and end the season close to the top. The numbers at training have been very impressive and the strength in depth was emphasised by the Nomads winning last Saturday 38 – 14 against Ash 1st XV.

We also welcome today Adam Hollins, our referee who is well known to us and I know that we will all respect the referee and accept his decisions even though we may wish to discuss some in the bar after the game.

We wish all luck to the Nomads who are travelling to Edenbridge 1sts today.

Our ladies team won their first league match against New Ash Green 15 – 0 and as you read this they are near Barcelona taking part in a Tens festival. We wish them well.

Last Sunday our Colts team defeated Bromley 27 – 24 in their first league game of the season; to say that the conditions were testing would be an understatement. Well done to all concerned.

We are all very excited about a new initiative that is taking place on 13 October. The Ladies team are playing Heathfield at our ground at 11 AM. This will be followed by the President’s lunch at 1 PM and then the Nomads will be playing Folkestone 2nds at 3 PM. There is no first-team game on that day and I do encourage all members and friends to attend the lunch with Christine will be putting on an excellent meal as ever.

The clubhouse fundraising committee are meeting frequently and really do need extra members to help on that committee. There is a lot of work to be done but if we can increase the number of those helping this will bring everyone’s workload down considerably. The clubhouse is not only going to be a benefit to the Sports Club but also to the community as a whole as we hope to be a seven-day week facility. .

We are also looking still for someone to run the club shop on a weekly basis, a junior registration officer, a coaching coordinator who will circulate the available courses to coaches and then assist with the booking process and finally we also seek a volunteer coordinator who will coordinate the filling of volunteer roles within the club.

Please contact me or anyone on the Committee if you are able to assist.

You will find in the programme the first part of a history of the Club, compiled to commemorate the first 21 years. It is interesting to note that before the Second World War the team was known as the Falcons; perhaps this is a name that we will be able to use when our numbers increase sufficiently to enable us to run a 3rd team.

30th September Colts at home to Crowborough

6th October 1sts away at Sheppey. 15.00

Nomads at home to Gravesend 3rds

7th October Ladies v Lordswood at home 14.00

Thank you for your support

Tim Fagg


Cranbrook RF.C. - The Early Years

An old Fixture List of Cranbrook R.F.C. for the season 1937-38 shows a Club affiliated to the Kent R.F.U. with an annual subscription of 5/- (25p.) R.G.Wingfield was captain, J.A. Leslie Honorary Secretary and Captain V.A.Cazalet M.P. President. G.C. Duxson was Chairman and E.C. White was Vice Chairman, Vice Presidents were Hubert Alexander, D.W.Clarke, F.Crittenden, C.Grabham, Admiral Sir Reginald Tyrwhitt G.C.B., and C. Winch. This is the only documentary evidence of the pre-second world war Club that we have and it shows a Club with some fixtures very similar to those we know to-day: - Hastings and Bexhill, Old Juddians, Ashford “A”, Crowborough, Old Skinners (subsequently Tunbridge Wells), Rochester “A”, (now Medway), Tonbridge "B" and Maidstone "B". Matches were also played against two clubs which seem to have fallen by the wayside, one being Sandwich and the other Faversham and Sittingbourne (now resurrected as Faversham RFC)

Several grounds were used by the Club, one was near the Roman Catholic Church at the top of the High Street, but they appear to have finally settled on a field along the Angley Road called, according to "The Cranbrookian", the Walnut Tree field which Bernard ("Bill”) Jaeger had bought for the Club he had founded and on which he kept his horse. The sides changed in the stables up the lane on the opposite side of the road and washing facilities were provided by means of a tin bath heated over a couple of oil stoves.

Sometimes known as the "Falcons", the side flourished for about three years before the 1939 war curtailed its activities. Bill Jaeger did not return from the war and the field the Club had formerly used passed to Cranbrook School and is known to day as "Jaegers" in his memory. The school still play rugby there and the ground is also used by the present day Club.

The Club was not reformed immediately after the war but the thread was picked up again by a nucleus of old boys from the School. A newspaper cutting of the time records that the first game that was played was against the School and that the School won by 7 goals and 2 tries to a penalty. The side was represented by: - A. Wood, T. Clarke, P.Senneck, J.Piper, G.Apps, M.Fenner, R. Morgan, J.Dungey, P. Veck, M.Watkins, M. McMinnies, D.McMinnies, J.Newbridge, A.Renwick, and I.C.Haigh.

And it was in the 1958-59 season that Cranbrook RF.C. as we know it today was formed with the Headmaster of Cranbrook School, C. Russell-Scott as President, Gordon Sands as Chairman, David McMinnies as Captain and his brother Mike, as Honorary Secretary. Mike Fenner was Treasurer. A note found among the records of the Club kept by George Carpenter shows the Club as having played eleven games during its first season, winning three and losing eight.

To be Continued…..


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