Seasons 1887 - 1902

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An old map of Plymouth showing the location of Argaum Villas An old map of Plymouth showing the location of Argaum Villas

Argaum Villas comprises, or comprised, six large semi-detached houses (or villas) at the Stoke end of Valletort Road which, unhappily, are in the course of losing their individuality through the requirement to number them as part of Valletort Road. At No. 4 lived Richard Heard and his family, certainly from 1885 until 1913 (a member of Richard Heard and Sons, wholesale butchers of the G.W.R. Docks and Market Street, Devonport) cheek by jowl - with the Plymouth Borough Surveyor who lived in No. 6, so that when in 1887 a new rugby club was formed, with its secretary Mr. Heard (we do not know whether pere or fils, but suspect the latter), there was no real problem in finding a name for the club, more especially so, when there was precedent from such contemporaneous rugby teams as Haddington Road, Mutley and Ford.

Whether 'Plymouth' was included in the original Argaum title or was added at a later date is impossible to say, but early reports, when available, referred to the Club as Argaum. Indeed, throughout most of its history the Club has suffered from a lack of reporting, possibly due to the failure to realise the need to supply news to the media and not vice versa; so it was not until one P. E. Canning-Bailey joined the Club in 1902, largely in a non playing capacity, although he made some appearances for the 2nd XV, that reports began to appear with a certain regularity. This was possibly due to the fact that the Editor of the Western Morning News from 1902 - 1921, was a Mr. P. E. Canning- Bailey. As later Mr. P. E. Canning-Bailey doubtless sought pastures new, so the reports decreased and finally ceased. However, although early press coverage is apparently non-existent, no less than the late Rear Admiral H. S. Brockman CB, President of the Devon Rugby Football Union at that time, recollected having played for Argaum in 1898.

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