The swinging ’60s

It is of no surprise that after 60 years members’ memories of the early sixties are starting to fade now. We would love to hear from any of our older members who have memories and/or items from this key period of the club’s progress. Please go to the contact page to send see how to send on.

The club started with just one side (and often not even enough for that), with Mick Ryan, who later played for Saints, the first Club Captain. Bob Thorogood writes: I didn’t join directly after the initial meeting because , along with my two brothers and Tony Hancock, I played for Casuals so it was not until I discovered that Trinity only had 13 players that Tony and I decided to change clubs. Mick Lea remembers: Dick Baker getting him to play but he left in the early days because Trinity were struggling to get fixtures and also a full team.

In the early days Gary managed to secure the school pitch to play on and as we had no clubhouse in those days players used to go for a drink at the Romany and later at Gayeways. From the onset Gary’s vision (dream?) was always for the Club to grow and develop, but also to play a good, fast open style of rugby.

The aim was to continually build and expand our fixtures to stretch ourselves season after season, not just to get games that we could easily win. This was to prove extremely successful as the club did indeed grow from just that one side in the beginning to running 3 often 4 senior sides, as well as a regular Under 19s Colts sides by the end of the decade.

Mick Adhemar recalls: I have memories of the severe drubbings we received at the hands of Tony Casserly and his Crusaders (then Northampton Saints 3rd/development team) in Alliance Cup finals. The first in 1967 we lost for a thumping 62-3 and we were grateful to Alan West for saving our reputation a little with his 3 point penalty . Then in 1968 we lost 48-0, so some improvement was made (or perhaps they rested some of their stars!). Mick remembers playing at Franklin’s Gardens was exhausting after the rather smaller pitches we were used to.

This improvement must have continued as the next year in 1969, as this cutting shows, we defeated Daventry RFC to win the Lewis Shield for the first time.

“The Tower” was the annual school magazine produced at the end of the Summer term. During the 1960s reports on the progress were included. We have downloaded all of these and they are in the next tab. These are very informative on the evolution of the club from just the one side in 1961 to having 4 regular sides by the end of the decade.

During this period some long time club stalwarts were responsible for the development of the club: Gary Grimshaw remained Chairman throughout the 60s, with the school Headmaster Mr Howard (aka Buzzer) the President. For 6 seasons Les Northover was Club Captain as well as Hon Secretary. At the end of the decade Geoff Keates was Club Captain , winning our first trophy in 1969 (Lewis Shield) also along with John Wilmer, John Fences holding committee roles. The long term Fixture Secretary was Peter Tyrer (not to be confused with Pete Tyres – he was later!) and as Hon Treasurer Bill Culley collected and counted the money for a number of years.

As we had no bar income from a clubhouse fund raising was extremely important. The “Weekly Tote Forecast ” card was an important weekly money spinner for the Club ably promoted by Mick Ganly. Other fund raisers included Jumble sales  for which we would merrily go door knocking  around the school patch asking for jumble which was sold (or often not) in a grand sale in the School Hall.

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