Chipstead RFC was born in the late summer of 1959 when John Shackel and several of his young friends including Colin Cronk and Tony Wingrove decided to form a Rugby Club. The Club had no pitch, no Clubhouse, and only about eight likely players of whom Ian Fraser (the first Club captain), John Mason, Richard Hewett and Peter Long are names that spring to mind.
The chances of success were not very high as Chipstead was right in the middle of a very strong Club and Old Boys area: the immediate neighbours included Warlingham, Reigate and Sutton with the old boys sides of Caterhamians, Whitgiftians, Mid Whitgiftians, Mid Whyfians and Reigatians close by.
The first Match was against a XV from HOVE RFC in early September 1959, in a rather strange Public Park in which some of their sides play today - it was a very hot day and we managed to field a side of just 13 Players. We had a good gang of supporters who included our first tea girls - the Ives sisters, who have been regular supporters ever since in one form or another.
The members of the first Chipstead XV (surely XIII?) were:
- Colin Cronk,
- Tony Levy (now Lawton)
- Michael Coupe
- Tony Jones
- Howard Pye
- John Robertson
- Ian Fraser
- Mike Lloyd
- Bob Rogers
- Chris O'Hea
- Tony Wingrove
- John Mason
- and Simon Tennant.
The very first 'changing rooms' and wash house was an old brick Air Raid shelter (still in use as the visitors changing rooms!). Colin Vaughan 'weiled' a mighty sledge hammer to knock a hole in the wall. Our first Club house was a wooden builder's site hut kindly rented to us for a pepper-corn rent by the late Norman Wates, who helped and encouraged in many other ways - it was all a lot of fun which seemed to be Chipstead's motto. The Meads was officially opened on Saturday 28th November 1964 by the chairman of Banstead Bourough Council.
Over the last 25 years the royal blue and amber of Chipstead has become a familiar sight on the grounds throughout Surrey, Kent and Sussex but the Club can count expeditions further afield too. The Club has regularly despatched teams of missionaries to bring culture and civilisation to Northern Europe. We undertook our first overseas tour to Belgium.
Today, the Club not only puts out a 1st and 2nd seniors team but also a senior Sevens and Vets Team. We have in the region of 300 junior and mini members playing each and every Sunday throughout the season.
We look forward to seeing you at the Club.