Bude RFC History as supplied by Arthur Harris
Bude RFC. played its first match against HMS. Raleigh at Devonport in January 1966 with a team consisting mainly of schoolboys from the secondary schools: the club did not have any ‘home’ facilities.
1966 – 67 Season
At the start of the 1966-67 season, temporary use of the land for the proposed Comprehensive School was obtained: changing facilities were limited to the Surf Life Saving Club and players’ homes with refreshments taken at local hostelries. More players were attracted such that the club could now field Senior and Colts teams.
Bude RFC. moved to a new venue in 1967-68 when work started on the Comprehensive School, where a large hut was erected for a clubhouse.
Unfortunately, this did not become the club’s permanent home, as the land was again needed for development. In 1983 and after two further moves, land belonging to North Cornwall D.C. on Bencoolen Meadows became available: its level was raised by infilling to prevent flooding from the river. Bude Rotary Club as their Queen’s Silver Jubilee Project did much of this work with a clubhouse being built by club members in 1985 to provide a permanent home for Bude RFC.
During this transition period, the club’s success changed with the depreciation of playing facilities. Initially, the club fielded two teams followed by a second senior team at a later date, but in the latter end of this period, the club struggled to raise one team. Results on the playing field suffered with little success in cup competitions towards the end of this period.
The interest in rugby was revitalised when Bude RFC.
became established in Bencoolen Meadows: Second and Colts teams were reformed with the introduction of a Minis section which caters for all age groups, an ¨Oldies¨group that plays ¨Touch Rugby¨ every Friday evening and a Ladies section. A second pitch was soon needed which was temporarily solved by using pitches at the Comprehensive School and land provided by local farmers. In1989, the club purchased land with the help of the Blanchminster Trust, close to the existing pitch, to develop as another playing area.
Many players have achieved County honours in different age groups from Bude RFC., whilst others have moved to gain Senior County recognition. Bude can boast of two internationals at U16 level: James Button and Phil Vickery. Phil continued his career at Redruth where he obtained Colts and U21 recognition before moving to Gloucester, from where he represented England and the British Lions.
Since the introduction of league rugby, the 1stXV has moved from Cornwall League 1 to the Western Counties (West) league for nine seasons until relegation to the Cornwall & Devon League in 2014.
On two occasions, 1995-96 and 2001-02, Bude was awarded the Alan Barbery Cup for the best league performance by a Cornish Club.