Club History

1954 - Rudford and Highleadon Table Tennis Club formed under the guidance of Alf Pepperd, the Village Hall being the first venue for playing in.

1958 - The club moved into Bridge Farm at Rudford using spare loft space to play in (above a Cow Shed!).

1958/59 - The club held their first league matches here, two teams were entered in the Gloucester League in divisions two and three. Just for the record, the teams were:-

Division 2: Alf Pepperd (capt), John Cook and Dave Vye.

Division 3: Sten Salisbury (capt), John Pollock, Godfrey Elcock, Keith Laken and Gordon Pollock.

The clubroom at Bridge Farm was progressively maintained and improved over the years despite not being the best of venues, home players learnt the art of avoiding the low beams and the club membership also grew. The main advantage over all other clubs in the league was the 7 day a week and 52 weeks a year availability.

The club numbers gradually grew through the sixties and seventies until in the 1979/80 season ten teams were entered in the league. A position that has more or less been maintained ever since, although in the 1986/87 season, thirteen teams were entered, more about those circumstances later.

As well as being the prime motivator of the club, Alf was also the first Rudford player to win Gloucester honours for the club, in 1959/60 season he became the division two individual champion, sporadic honours were won by club members over the next fifteen seasons but it was not until the mid-seventies that honours regularly came the way of Rudford players and this has been the case ever since. It is safe to say that our standing in the league of sportsmanship and hospitality is second to none, Alf always felt that Rudford teams should provide tea, coffee and biscuits as a matter of course during league matches, a tradition that is still present.

Many fund raising activities have been held by the club over the years, usually whist drives, skittle matches and raffles at finals nights, a social section of the club was sponsored in the 1960's which held such activities as darts, shove-ha’penny and billiards. The ‘50’ club was started in 1971 to raise funds on a regular basis, this ran until 1978 and made regular contributions to club funds.

During the time at Bridge Farm, a half sized snooker table was obtained, another of Alf’s great passions, and installed at the end of the table tennis loft, which was considerably longer than was required for table tennis play, and snooker and billiards tournaments initiated as can be seen from the honours boards in the table tennis room. In time, Alf was able to utilise another of his farm buildings for conversion to accommodate a full size snooker table and then formed a proper snooker club.

Saturday 22 June 1984 - Opening Ceremony of the new Clubroom, performed by Tom Blunn, then the chairman of the ETTA. Previously, a cedarwood building which had been used as a classroom at Highnam School.

After that, the club went from strength to strength, Alf was still living at Bridge Farm so for a while both clubrooms were used and in 1986/87 season thirteen teams were entered in the Gloucester league, three of them used the clubroom at Bridge Farm and the rest the new clubroom, but soon after this Alf moved and the club had to split the clubroom to play two matches on the same night for a couple of seasons.

This wasn’t well received and no-one was sorry when, by natural means, the club was reduced to ten teams and all matches were able to be played without the need to double up on match nights.

Rudford is now the longest serving club in the Gloucester League. Debenhams, R.A.F and Sandhurst were league members previous to Rudford, but in recent years these have disbanded.

Clubroom maintenance such as painting, cleaning and any refurbishing is carried out by members every year on a voluntary basis during the summer.

The club holds its own championships every year culminating in an Annual Finals Night, the winners of which appear on the honours boards displayed in the clubroom.