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Season 1947-48

Tim Daly a lively intelligent and natural scrum half became captain whilst his father, Jack, joined the selection committee. The opening game, at home, again against the OPOs was, on this occasion, lost 9-13, to be followed by a run of 6 consecutive wins including, sensationally, 6-3 at Salcombe - the first ever recorded win over that club; the return at home was, however, lost by the identical margin. Apart from a heavy 3-29 defeat by Services A and 6-24 v RAF Collaton Gross (internecine warfare, the return was also lost much more respectfully 15-7) the season was pretty successful 19 wins 9 defeats (inclusive of Collaton Cross (2)) and one draw 333-176.

For this season - and many thereafter Tom Hitchins arranged the renting of a large field at Estover, capable and in due course of time doing so - of housing three pitches. The pitch was on land (designated in the Plan for PLYMOUTH as a green belt forever) rented from Mr A G Neal, now the site of Fine Tubes Factory. Wearing one of his other "hats" viz. the Plymouth Amateur Operatic Society - Tom prevailed on a fellow member to use his (the latter’s) influence on Plymouth Breweries to allow the club the use of some outhouses adjoining the George Hotel Roborough and to convert them into changing accommodation (somewhat cramped) and bath and, when consent was forthcoming, the change was by no means to the disadvantage of the Brewery. In some inexplicable fashion Devonport High School Old Boys Rugby Club became entwined in the venture - and indeed lent a hand in the conversion work - in return, subject to Argaum’s priorities, obtained the use of the pitch and the overcrowded changing room. The one drawback of this particular venture was that, at a time when no new cars were available on the home market and petrol was not exactly flowing out of the fountains, the George Hotel was fully two miles distant from the Estover pitch; the one redeeming feature was naturally - Tom, and his pre-war Alvis which incessantly patrolled the George - Estover road bulging at the seams with players, a scene happily recorded in one of Skips inimitable cartoons (below). Of the Club’s game against Old Suttonians at Marsh Mills on December 20th, 1948 the Club trainer "omitted" to arrive with the shirts resulting in a rather reluctant side taking the field "topless" with one or two noticeable exceptions who intelligently provided themselves with top covering of some sort; whether the chill of the season caused them to exert themselves in their semi nude condition more than usual or just an anxiety to keep everyone moving as often as possible the result was the best of the season, 29-3.

Published in The 1940s