Our Club President has recently been looking through four big boxes of archived material, that he has been holding onto for a number of years, and thas been able to put together a potted history of the club that he has been associated with for the past 42 years!
The very first origins date back to about 1922 when some boys from the Westbury on Trym area started up rugby, cricket, and hockey teams and played a few sporadic games on Clifton Downs. Cricket was fine in the summer, but the rugby and hockey factions soon drifted apart, with the hockey section going by the name Henleaze Hockey Club and being affiliated to the South West association and joining a league in 1926/27 season.The first captain was a gentleman named R.J.Gardner who was very keen to push the club on, assisted by other like-minded individuals, E.H.Thomas, W.J.Ashby, A.M.Shillam and A.J.Tudball to name but a few. A second team was added in 1932 and a thirds soon after.
The club acquired a pitch at St Paul's cricket club in Filton and used this as their base. The location of the pitch changed to Blaise Castle in 1932, and then again later to The County Ground, in Horfield. It would be unfair at this point not to mention a gentleman called L.H.Parsons who, according to the match cards, scored an inordinate amount of goals for the club, during this period, including 60 in one season alone!
It did also seem strange to find some embossed postcards from the day inviting a player to play on the following Saturday and encouraging him to post straight back if he wasn't available, way before the days of texts or emails!
A key thing noticed whilst reading through the literature was the widely held belief that hockey was an upper class sport as all the officers of the club lived in the Clifton, Westbury, Stoke Bishop, and Henleaze areas and all had telephones,quite a rarity for people in the 20s and 30s. Another interesting point was it appears that Henleaze HC played such teams as Devizes HC which would have been a very difficult journey in 1928.
We have no details of what happened to the club in the war years, but pick up again when they moved to the National Smelting Club on Parry's Lane. Stoke Bishop sometime in the late 1950s, where there were two grass pitches and a clubhouse. The club stayed at this location until 1982 when the ground was sold on for housing. At this time a member Javed Youssuf found a pitch being built at a new school in Yate called Brimsham Green.The pitch was rubber based, quite unique is those days, with the only other artificial pitches, at the time, being at Bristol Uni and the RAC, Cirencester. This attracted a lot of new members and, coupled with the enthusiasm of Steve Francis, Andy Bethell, and others in setting up a good juniors coaching section, allowed for a fourth team to be set up.
The club continues to play at Yate Outdoor Sports Centre or Y.O.S.C. - with the Men's section joining in with the Ladies to form Yate H.C. In 2013.