The Old Leamingtonians RFC was founded in 1931 by a number of rugby playing old boys of Leamington College which was then the boys’ Grammar School in the town.
The first pitch was a rented field on Northumberland Road and the Angel Hotel was the regular base for social activities.
At the end of 1932 the club moved to a ground in Whitnash and then in September 1933 to Butlin’s Field at Newbold Beeches.
In 1937 the club was admitted to membership of the Warwickshire RFU. The next venue for OL games was Victoria Park with changing facilities at the Council’s Destructor on Princes Drive.
In March 1949 the club moved from Victoria Park to a pitch on Shrubland Hall Estate until 1950 when they played their matches on school pitches. In the spring of 1953 the Committee established a clubhouse in the basement of 27 Waterloo Place.
Expansion of the Leamington College school made it impossible to use their pitches and by August 1955 the club launched an appeal for funds and this enabled the purchase from The YMCA of a 5 acre Sportsfield in Cloister Crofts. (A donation of £5 was received from Frank Whittle). The changing area was poor but the players put in services and a bath.
At the beginning of 1964 planning permission was obtained to build a new pavilion at Cloister Crofts and on 16th September ’65 the pavilion was formally opened by Norman Green, President of the Warwickshire RFU.
Before the 1976 – 77 season started the Club was able to sell Cloister Crofts with planning permission for residential development and acquired 14 acres of land in Bericote road. During the clubhouse building and ground preparation the Club’s games were played on Newbold Comyn.
The clubhouse was ready for use in April 1978 and a further 12 acres was purchased and prepared in the 1979 - 80 season.
The club is indebted to the many members who have selflessly worked to achieve what we have today and the opportunity to host The WASPS training facility is the next step in providing a lasting legacy for the generations who will come after us.
OLRFC Press & Publicity Officer