NB: This potted history of the club is a 'work in progress'. There follows a reasonably good early history of the club up until the early 1970's. We will soon be adding further sections on more recent club history.
ALTHOUGH Rugby Union Football is known to have been played in Beverley in the late 1800's and early 1900's, no records are available of the Club's existence in these early days. However, Mr. Max Dunning, the President of the current Beverley Club, has been most helpful in providing information covering activities during the period 1927 to 1939.
The old Beverley Club was re-kindled in 1927 at a meeting held in the Mayor's Parlour and attended by seven enthusiasts under the chairmanship of the then Mayor, Robert Harding Wood. At this meeting it was unanimously decided to re-form the Club and Mr. John Dunkerly, the well-known sportsman, was elected President. Mr. W. W. Powell, who later became the District Valuer of Carlisle, was appointed hon. secretary and Mr. F. J. Affleck was the treasurer. The first ground of the re-formed Club was in Tate’s field at the end of Norwood Grove. This ground was rough and far from level but served its purpose, until the Club moved to Wyllie’s Park, an excellent ground and amongst the best in the East Riding, being central, and close to the Club's headquarters, which in those days was in the Beverley Arms. Unfortunately, the Club had to vacate this ground when the land was sold for building purposes, and pastures new were found in a field opposite Longcroft Park, on which games were played until the outbreak of the war.
When the Club was re-formed in 1927, it was hoped that the playing strength would be implemented by a number of the East Riding police members, but the then Chief Constable (a probable soccer fan) decreed that in the event of injury they would be suspended without pay. However, great help was forthcoming from Victoria Barracks and a number of very good Army players turned out from time to time - Sergeants Butler and Samuel and Drummer Tester being three of them, whilst one of the best half-back combinations was when the Adjutant had his BATMAN as scrum-half! No passes were ever delayed!
Officials of the old Beverley Club were as follows:
Presidents: 1927-28, J. A. Dunkerly; 1928-31, D. R. F. Dunning; 1931-38, E. C. Bainton; 1938-39, F. J. Affleck.
Hon. Secretaries: 1927-32, W. W. Powell; 1932-36, D. M. Dunning; 1936, B. Hutchinson; 1936-38, C. Huddleston; 1938-39, D. M. Dunning.
Hon. Treasurers: 1927-31, F. J. Affleck; 1931-34, E. Lear; 1934-38, G. Sissons; 1938-39, D. Hutchinson.
Captains: 1927-33, D. M. Dunning; 1933-36, A. J. Stothard; 1936-39, W. W. Brewer.
Other central figures who put in a lot of hard work for the old Club included Tommy Rennard, who became Chairman of the Selection Committee; Tom Chambers, whose son played in the 1920's and 1930's, and whose two grandsons, Robert and Stuart, are also former members of the Club.
The present-day Club was founded in 1959 and was formerly known as Longcroft Old Boys, and the name was changed to Beverley R.U.F.C. in 1965. Dave Robinson was the inspiration behind the formation of the Club and became the first General Secretary, doing a lot of spade work in the early days and was also instrumental in sparking off the idea of the Club acquiring their own ground and Clubhouse- an ambition which it is hoped will soon be fulfilled.
When Dave handed over the secretarial duties to another still active Founder Member, Jim Thirsk, his services were acknowledged by the Club in the form of a Life Membership. A similar acknowledgement was bestowed on David Shaw, another Founder Member who was Fixture Secretary for eight seasons before handing over to Keith Lenton, yet another faithful Founder Member, who along with Jim Thirsk, is still going strong and doing a grand job. Brian Meadley, another of the old originals, is now living in the United States and recent news of him reveals that he is still playing the game and making a name for himself with the Atlanta Ruggers XI at Fort Jackson.
The Beverley Club is full of praise for the help given by Mr. R. Dunn, the former Headmaster of the Longcroft School, and Mr. J. W. Swann the present Headmaster in making the playing facilities available at Longcroft and the players are fully appreciative of the interest shown and encouragement given by past Games Masters, David Squires and Clive Norton, who both must be pleased with the playing progress which has been made. For the first two seasons, the going was tough but the senior side stuck together and in the season 1966-67 they had the best playing record in Yorkshire Rugby Union Circles, playing thirty-six games, winning thirty-two, drawing two and only losing on two occasions, with a points scoring tally of 754 for, 193 against. The side also had the highest score recorded in the Yorkshire Rugby Union Cup, scoring 96 points in a first round game in season 1965-67 against Hull College of Technology. In this game two Club records were setup with Mick Kendle kicking 18 goals out of 20 conversions, and Brian Hancock scoring 9 tries.
Before the current clubhouse facilities were available David Shaw (one of the three original Club Officials) provided a cup of tea for the teams up at Longcroft School. (Longcroft Old Boys). The Ladies Section provided after-match refreshments for Beverley RUFC on a rota basis. Pie and mushy peas were prepared 'at home'; the lady was collected by car and transported to a local pub; the teams were fed; the dirty plates and cutlery were collected; the lady was returned home; she washed the plates*** and cutlery which were then passed on to the next on the rota!!!
The money for the plates*** used had been provided by the ladies using proceeds from events such as jumble sales, coffee evenings, fashion shows, etc ........... organised and run by the ladies.
The Ladies Section also mended the team shirts!!!!!
More details of the club's early history between the late 1800's and early 1900's can be accessed at the Beverley Treasure House Archives under reference DDX889.