Club 1871

Nighties and other memories

It was good to see articles on the Ealing website from Dave Inward & Jim Bird, both stalwarts of the club. Having played in the 1stXV from 1957 till 1972 I played with both Dave & Jim & also have many fond memories of good rugby & social life in traditional Ealing spirit, & many friendships were made.

 
It is probably not known by many that, in the late 50s & early 60s, clubs & pubs ran Sunday sides on a regular basis & some very good sides took the field with many first class players playing for local sides. Ealing had a successful side called the “Nighties” which Dave was very much involved in organising.
 
I shared a room with Dave on a tour to the West Country where we won all three games & won the “Argaumsoraus”; the large buffalo head which was on the clubhouse wall – I believe it is still there.
 
Jim Bird was an excellent prop & captain who was captain in the successful period 1969 to 1971 (centenary year). I have always treasured those memories & of the fantastic spirit & camaraderie of the side often helped by a pretty hectic social life at Horsenden Hill!!
 
Some members might know me as I still get down to the Club three or four times a season, & will continue to do so. I am still involved in rugby as on moving from the area to North Hertfordshire in 1972 I joined Biggleswade, as did  Dave Young & Chris Whitfield,  both Ealing players of note. In those days Biggleswade played Ealing so we had several years of playing against our old club. In 1974 I was elected onto the Biggleswade Committee & am still there, also serving as Secretary for 25 years. I also am on Bedfordshire County & East Midlands Committees but think it’s time for younger people to take on roles so will ease out next year. As  mentioned by the previous correspondents it is good to be able to hear what is happening to past players & the Ealing website might be able to help, along with the new Fire & Flair publication which I wish every success to.
 
I don’t suppose anyone has contact with Jumbo Harrall? He seems to have disappeared which is a shame as he was quite a character as all those who knew him would vouch for. I still see Dave Young regularly as he only lives a couple of miles from me & I will try to bring him along for a home game as I am sure some members would love to see him (provided he didn’t start chariot racing or bar hockey in the clubhouse!!)
 
Gordon Griffith (a past president) & I still keep in contact & visit each other several times a year & now also see Jim Bird’s partner at prop, Robin Gammage, who hasn’t changed much.
 
I am looking forward to seeing Ealing play in the National leagues & wish them a fine season from both the playing side  & also enjoyment.
 
Regards,
 
Mike Williams (captain 1965—1967 , V.P.)