Herefordshire Squash and Racketball History by Mark Chamberlain

A scrapbook history of clubs, courts and players in the 20th century and a little bit more! Extracts from a book compiled in 1984 and 2007/8 by Mark Chamberlain
Herefordshire County Squash Secretary 1979 - 1989 and 2005 -

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The early years of Herefordshire Squash

In 1933 two ladies Miss Elizabeth Foster, daughter of H K Foster the famous English Racquets Champion from Worcestershire and Mrs Bridget Matson decided to provide a private squash court and to locate it in Hereford. The venue for the court was the Horse and Groom Public House in Eign Street, Hereford and it was situated 25 yards from the rear of the public house. The Horse and Groom Public House had major improvements in the early 1930s by the Stroud brewery, and it was likely that the court became operational in 1934.

Mrs Symonds, formerly Mrs Matson presenting prizes at the HSRA County Closed 1983/84

Three Counties Club and Hereford Squash Rackets Club and the move to Whitecross Tennis Club

In 1946/47 The Elms, Aylestone Hill was converted from a private house into the Three Counties Hotel and the owners purchased from the Trustees the part wooden court that was housed at the Horse and Groom Public House in the Eign Street, Hereford. The court was entirely dismantled and re-assembled on the site in the far right hand corner of the grounds. The front wooden wall was in a poor state of disrepair and the rotten wooden floor had to be replaced with a new concrete floor.
On the 10 April 1962 the first AGM of the new Hereford Squash Rackets Club was held and this new organisation would see the move from the Three Counties Hotel to new courts at Whitecross Tennis Club 30 months later.

Opening of the two squash courts at Whitecross in November 1964

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The formation of Herefordshire Squash Rackets Association in 1952 and its subsequent history

On the evening of Monday, 18 February 1952 at 8.00pm the first meeting of the Herefordshire Squash Rackets Association was held at the Three Counties Club. Dr T E Burrows advised the meeting that a silver cup formerly a tennis trophy from the Wyeside Club, Hereford had been made available by Captain H L Burdon for a county squash championship. He added that ... that he had received the unofficial blessing of the SRA to form a county body...

Herefordshire Open Mens Squash Rackets Championship TrophyHerefordshire Open Mens Squash Rackets Championship won in 1952 by Dr. T. E. Burrows

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Cox - Poore Trophy

The Cox-Poore Trophy was presented jointly by John Cox and Edward Poore (former County Coach - now deceased) and was devised to attract top British players to the area. It was played as a three round challenge series and covered four years from 1975/76 to 1978/79.

Edward Poore was an eccentric individual who was known for walking in bare feet wearing a Davy Crockett hat. He was known by all the worlds� top players

Edward Poore was an eccentric individual who was known for walking in bare feet wearing a Davy Crockett hat. He was known by all the worlds� top players

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Herefordshire Squash League and cup

The 1979/80 squash season saw the commencement of the Herefordshire Squash League. The league was made up of three divisionsincluding a total of 21 teams with at least one team representing each club in the county.

The 2007/2008 league winners, Presteigne

The 2007/2008 league winners, Presteigne

1993/94 season Stafford Murray after winning his first senior county title in 1989/90 spent the majority of his time playing junior tournament squash and representing his country. In 1993/94 he returned to Herefordshire to regain his county title beating Peter Ratcliife. Mrs Christine Hood regained her ladies title.

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Early and Private squash courts

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s a number of squash courts were built mainly in private houses. The following is the known list of private courts the most recent being built in 1990/91.

Bob Oliver's court built at Acton Beauchamp

Bob Oliver in his court at Acton Beauchamp