A feature of our club's long history is the fact that when new teams started up locally, often with the aid of some players, we have provided the opposition for the inaugural match. Off the top of my head I can think of OPM and OPOs in the 1930s, Liskeard-Looe in the 1950s and Tavistock in the 1970s.
Another club for which this is the case is Saltash, who are about to embark on their 50th anniversary season. The formation of the club was very much dependant on Bill Ryan, who played for Argaum in the 1960s, skippering them in 1966/67.
On Saturday August 17th Saltash host Argaum in a pre-season friendly almost 50 years after their inaugural meeting in September 1969. To mark the occasion, Ashes are putting on a lunch from 12:30pm (cost £10), with an opportunity to peruse memorabilia from the era before the trial match. The 3rd half continues with a choir from 6pm.
Bill is particularly interested in inviting players from Plymouth Argaum who may have played against Ashes during that first season, partners/wives also welcome. Looking at the Argaum records, our fixture card shows that they played Argaum's 4th team, The Floaters on no less than 4 occasions. Although results were close the new team took the honours in every match. Over the years Ashes' standing rapidly improved and they were playing against Argaum's 1st XV within 10 years.
Of the first match, Bill recounts "I had to referee that first ever game, I do remember Roy Ellis playing for Argaum in that game and little else of the teams. He caught the ball in the line out and came back down to ground, calling " mark", the cheeky bugger! I must confess I was a bit confused but did not allow it."
We don't have a team list for the first match but one of the later matches, played at Bickleigh Down, features the following line-up for The Floaters:
C. Bragg, G.Drew, M.Russell Scarr, J.Lemon, T.Harris; A.Weller, D.Callas, F. Rickard, W.Smith, P.Blakeley, F.Kittle, N.day, D.Bridges, C.Gray, G.Paul.
It promises to be a great occasion. If you would be interested in attending please contact Bill Ryan on either of the following numbers:
Home no. 01752 843565
Mobile : 07766357740
or email at this address.
For more information about Argaum's 1969-70 season including links to a season scrapbook follow this link.