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David's Diary:Sports

Every time I go to West Buckland now I marvel at the facilities that now exist for games and sport generally.
19 Jun 2016
We have a fantastic campus of, I believe, approximately 90 acres, all in a “ring fence”. I know of no other school with such a campus.

In the 1940’s we had a very good main playing field which still exists and a further field called “the Huxtable” where now is situated the sports centre, tennis courts, new 6th form study centre and boarding house and the shooting range (previously the Sanatorium)
In my time the sporting facilities were considered very good although limited compared to the variety that take place today. The boys and girls of more recent years may be interested in knowing what games we played in the 40’s bearing in mind the school consisted of 180 boy boarders.
Autumn Term.  Rugby, junior cross country runs. Normally, practise games took place on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, as did the 4 runs leading up to the Junior Exmoor. These activities took place between 4-5.30pm and were compulsory unless you had a “sick note”
On Wednesday and Saturday afternoons matches would take place against clubs and other schools. We would have 3 rugby sides representing the school 1st XV, 2nd XV and Colts. Anyone not in the team would be expected to watch a match. Friday afternoons would be CCF-again compulsory. We also had a Fives Court.

Spring Term The same as Autumn except the seniors would compete in the cross country runs ending in the Exmoor. We always had to walk out at the start! All cross country runs were House competitions and ended in the Quad.

Summer Term Basically cricket and tennis were the main sports with a very basic swimming pool 9there was a shortage of water.)
Those boys not in a cricket team had to play “leagues” on weekdays after school. Again, matches were normally played on Saturday afternoons by 1st,2nd X1 and Colts. CCF took place on Fridays. We only had the 2 tennis courts which still exist in front of the school. The only match that often took place was against a team organised by Mrs Kellard Levy, wife of the school doctor, and they nearly always beat the boys! We did have a gymnasium and one session a week for each form was set aside for P.E.
Some of the fixtures against other schools still take place today. The ones I remember were Kings, Queens & Taunton Schools, Wellington, Blundells, Kelly College, Barnstaple Grammar, Bideford Grammar & Shebbear. Also rugby matches took place against some clubs such as South Molton, Barnstaple and RAF Chivenor. There were House competitions in rugby and cricket and these usually took place on Wednesday afternoons.
David Cummins 40-50G

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