Happy rugby birthday for Bath!


Did you know Bath-born Arnold Ridley – best known as Private Godfrey in the tv hit comedy Dad’s Army – was also the Fixtures Secretary for Bath Rugby Club – back in 1928 – and latterly Club President.

Arnold Ridley’s connection with the club.

It’s one of the fascinating facts about the riverside club you’ll discover in a special month-long exhibition  – opening on Saturday, April 2nd, at Bath Central Library – which helps celebrate 150 years of Bath Rugby.P1150361

It’s free to enter and it allows visitors to explore the history of the club through display panels, artefacts and memorabilia.

There’s a glimpse into the events and people who have helped shape the club and it’s also a taster – pointing supporters and visitors to a new, dedicated website just launched at www.bathrugbyheritage.org.P1150360

This interactive website, developed and updated by the Bath Rugby Heritage Group, contains a wealth of information regarding the history of Bath Rugby, including little known facts and detailed records.

It also allows interested parties to contribute by adding their own memories or anecdotes of how Bath Rugby has factored in their life.

War damage during the 1942 Bath Blitz.

Tarquin McDonald, Managing Director of Bath Rugby, said: “We wanted to make sure that all our supporters and the residents of Bath were able to join us as we celebrate our 150th anniversary. The exhibition is the perfect way to highlight the achievements and colourful personalities of the Club, from 1865 to today. There is such a huge amount of fascinating information included in this exhibition that will really serve to celebrate the role Bath Rugby has played at the heart of the city over the years.”

Mrs Molly Gerard who helped revive rugby at Bath after the war and became President in 1971-73 – the first woman to be so honoured by an English rugby Club. Molly – a talented architect – was also responsible for the architectural designs of both Clubhouse and West Stand.

Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, added: “150 years of continual history is an amazing achievement for a sports club and Bath & North East Somerset Council is proud to support and provide a city centre location for this exhibition at Bath Library.

Founded in 1865 as Bath Football Club, Bath Rugby is one of the oldest clubs in world rugby.

“So many players and supporters have grown up in our community, so we’d like to encourage as many residents as possible to visit and help celebrate this incredible milestone. Rugby in Bath has always, and continues to be, an important part of the city’s sporting heritage.”P1150363

Bath Central Library is located on the First Floor of the Podium Centre. For full location details and opening hours click here.P1150389

‘Celebrating 150 years of Bath Rugby’ will run from Saturday 2nd April to Thursday 28th April and will be open to view when the Bath Central Library is open. Entry is free.