Westwood Works 1903-2003
A Westwood Works RUFC XV existed in the mid 1930's and enjoyed regular fixtures against King's School. The Club kept going during WW2 with Jim Deboo and Jeff Odam persuading John Horrell to erect some posts in his field behind the farmhouse next to Westwood Airfield.
In early 1944, to mark Victory in Europe, Westwood Works RUFC challenged a team from the Free French Air Force who were in training at the RAF Westwood. The match took place at Alma Road and attracted a crowd of 1,000, including several local dignitaries. At the end of a "vigorous" match the result was a draw.
After the War, Peterborough Town RUFC was formed and most of the Westwood players moved over to the larger club. WWRFC was given a new lease of life with the efforts of the 1953/54 Apprentice intakes and went on to achieve significant success over the next two decades. An important annual fixture was a match against the Laundry Sports Club - always a hard fought event.
Compiled by WWRFC's indestructible long term Hooker, Walter Blades , the following attempts to identify the approximately 100 Craft, Student and Graduate Apprentices who, over the years, donned the blue and green hooped jersey to defend the Company's honour on the field of Rugby. Some of those mentioned below played only a minimum of games but all gained something from the experience - if only cuts and bruises - or a lifelong taste for a pint of beer! Later on, the club dropped the "Apprentice" title and older members were invited to play.
WESTWOOD WORKS RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
A sports ground and pavilion were created at the rear of the works and remained in use until the company moved to Paston, when the rugby club played at the Phorpres Club on London Road. The club continues to this day, playing at Deacons School but it no longer has any connection with the company.
|1944: WWRUFC Team||1954: Club Fixtures||1954: Club Fixtures||1955: WWRUFC Team||1955: WWRUFC on Grange Playing Fields||1956: Peterborough 7-A-Side team||1956: WWRUFC Match|
|1957: Club Fixtures||1959: WWRUFC Team||Late 1950s: At the Peterborough 7-a-side Tournament|
|1961: WWRUFC Annual Match vs Laundry Sports Club||1962: Annual Laundry Match - The WWRUFC Team||1962: WWRUFC Annual Match vs Laundry Sports Club||1962: Club Fixtures||1964: Club Fixtures||1965: WWRUFC Team||1965: Club Fixtures|
|1973-74: First match of the Season||1975: WWRUFC Team||1976: WWRUFC Team||1976: Rugby Past v Present Match||1976: Rugby Past v Present Match||1977: WWRUFC Team||1977: WWRUFC members working on the new Clubhouse|
|1979: 2nd XV||1979: Old Boys Team||1981: Past v Present||1983: Tour of South Wales||Date?: WWRUFC Team|
The help of Peterborough RUFC in compiling parts of this history is gratefully acknowledged.
For photographs of WWRUFC Dinners, please click here. In 2002, there was a reunion of the Rugby Club held at the Peterborough Rugby Club ground. Click here to see a selection of photos from that event and from the 50th Anniversary Dinner in 2004.
Two pantomimes were written and produced by Robin Dunseath - "Aladdin and his Wonderful Pot" in 1962 and "Cleopatra" in the following year. The team's talents were not confined to the game as evidenced by the photos of a Skiffle Group performing at an early WWRUFC Dinner.
The WWRUFC's social life continues - see Reunions
|1962: Aladdin and his Wonderful Pot||1963: Cleopatra||Date?: Skiffle Group performance||Date?: Skiffle Group performance|
Life after the closure of Baker Perkins Sports Club
The Rugby Club remained on the Westfield Road site until the relocation of APV Baker and the closure of the Baker Perkins Sports Club in 1991, moving from Phorpres Sports Club to Stanground College to Deacon’s School, where the Club formed close links and launched its junior section.
In 2005 the club changed its name to Peterborough Lions and signed a deal to play its home games (2005-6) at Peterborough United Football Ground. A change in ownership at the football club saw the Lions move after two successful seasons to the East of England Showground for the 2007-8 season.
Finally, thanks to the support of Peterborough City Council, the Lions are leasing part of Bretton Park for the next 60 years. Ambitious plans have been drawn up for a new clubhouse, playing and training facilities. For more information about the club, see their website here.
The club has no longer any connection with the company trading as "Baker Perkins" from the old APV Baker factory in Paston, Peterborough.
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