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New Milton Rugby Club wind back the clocks with new book

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The cover of New Milton Rugby Club's new book which reflects on their first 50 years.
The cover of New Milton Rugby Club's new book which reflects on their first 50 years.

A GROUP of three New Milton Rugby Club (NMRFC) members have delved into the archives to write a book called the A Rugby Club – The Story of the First Fifty Years of New Milton Rugby Club.

The book starts with the background of the game of rugby and sport in New Milton. The first recorded game of rugby played in New Milton was in 1924, and the book ends with New Milton and District RFC having established themselves in their first permanent home in 1973.

The book tells stories of matches played, tours and of the individuals who played for the club including one who played for England and the British Lions, another for Scotland and a third who was picked for the Barbarians.

In the later chapters, it details the obituaries of some of the former players who died in the Second World War.

Throughout the book, there are pictures of various buildings used for teas, changing and after match drinks.

Historical images of home and visiting teams that played, copies of fixture cards, results of games and various stories about the players, the games, the tours, the dances and other events reported or remembered.

Former NMRFC committee member and co-author Malcolm Mecklenburgh told the A&T: “Initially visits were made to Lymington library, Hampshire County library and Hampshire RFC archives.

“The club were also able to find their minutes books from 1938 onwards. Realising that there was a considerable amount of information available, enough to make a book possible, three of us decided to undertake the task.

“Me, Nick Mussert and Philip Hutton have, with the help of St Barbe’s and Lymington library, looked at every A&T between 1928-1973, over 2,000 newspapers, some on microfiche, to extract the information.

Mecklenburgh added: “Based on their summaries, I have written the text and researched and included items such as the history of sport in New Milton, the background of rugby in Hampshire.

“New Milton is one of the oldest 10 clubs in the county, and related historical occurrences in New Milton and the rugby world.”

The book, which has been funded by the rugby club, are expecting the first copies to be released later this month and it is hoped that by 2024 the story of the second 50 years can be written.

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