Pinner RFC was formed at a meeting in the Queen’s Head in July 1934 although we have records that a Pinner Rugby Football and Penny Farthing Racing Club played match against Rosslyn Park in 1886 and Harrow and Wealdstone in 1889. The Club played at various venues including Montesole Playing Field and, during WW2, at Old Millhillians off Headstone Lane. After the war the move was made to Shaftesbury Playing Fields, Hatch End and that has been our home now for 60 years. The original pavilion was formally opened on 23rd January 1954 by Bill Ramsey, the then President of the RFU. At around that time the Club President was Cyril Gadney MBE, who later was to hold similar posts with the London Society of Referees, the Middlesex County RFU [57-60] and the Rugby Football Union [62-3]. At his invitation the visiting All Blacks spent Christmas at Pinner.
In the 1950’s Bryn Jones, who had had a Welsh trial, introduced Rugby to Pinner Grammar School. The old scholars club was formed in 1964 playing home matches in Roxbourne Park or at the school. The school produced several outstanding players. Most notable was Stuart Wilson who was a British Lion and captain of Scotland. His brother Jackie played at first class level. Howard Walters went on to captain Leicester University but returned to the club as it captain in the 70’s eventually becoming the Honorary Treasurer and then auditor.
By 1968 both clubs were experiencing difficulties The merger took place on 1st January 1969 operating for the rest of that season under joint administration and captaincy. The 1970’s represented a ‘golden age’ for the Club with up to six teams playing on Saturdays and a successful Colt’s XV operating on Sundays. Easter tours were a regular feature to places such as Cornwall, Amsterdam, France and Germany. Later ones would be to Rome and a visit to Harrow’s ‘Twin Town’ of Douai.
Throughout much of its history the club has enjoyed a strong administration. Principal in this was Bill North JP who had captained Pinner RFC, was the Hon. Secretary both before and after the merger and then had three years as Chairman. In 1977 Bill became the President a post that he held for a quarter of a century. During that time he ran the Colts XV and was Chairman of the Harrow Sport Council. Many other clubs in a variety of sports have much to be grateful for Bill’s skill as a negotiator. In 2002, at the age of 80, Bill stepped down to be succeeded by David Hiles who had been the Hon Sec during Bill’s entire Presidency. David, at that time, was also the Hon Secretary of the Middlesex County RFU having previously been its Disciplinary Secretary and later its Child Welfare Manager. Currently Michael Barnes, another former captain and chairman, is Chairman of the MCRFU Management Committee.
Another former captain and chairman Steve Woad is a renowned youth coach in the county.
With the closure of Pinner Sixth Form College, the successor of Pinner Grammar School, in 1982and otherdemographic trends the supply of players dried up and by 2000 there was only one senior team and an occasional Vets XV. In April 2002 a disastrous fire destroyed the clubhouse. A long battle with the insurers resulted in insufficient funds to build a new pavilion. Successful fund raising among members, past and present, friends and sponsors together with a grant from the Rugby Foundation enabled us to produce a clubhouse that is the envy of many a similar club.
For several seasons P&G’s struggled, in company with other local clubs, to field one team. In spite of the fire and the difficulty in recruiting the Club refused to close or merge and this persistence has been rewarded. For two years efforts were made in conjunction with Haydon School to introduce Girls Rugby but this ended when personnel at the school changed.
In the summer of 2007 a new and exciting venture got underway with the provision of Mini-Rugby for boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 12. At the initial Open Day 50 children arrived with their parents. This continued to grow throughout the first season. We are now able to field teams in all age groups, provide coaching in a safe environment and participate in matches and festivals. There are thriving social events for parents and children. The Club has linked with the Saracens Community programme. The Mini’s have revitalised the senior part of the club. After years at the bottom the First XV just missed promotion last season and have made a very strong start this year. We now have a strong squad led by Reza Sibilant with former England Schools player Warren Woad among the players.
Pinner & Grammarians has a strong commitment to involvement with the local community. The Jetstream Triathlon Club has become an associate club using the facilities that we have to offer. In June 2008 the Mini-section, supported by senior players took part in the LB of Harrow ‘Under 1 Sky’ multicultural event. WE are trying to forge links with local schools and other groups. Through the summer of 2008 Hatch End Cricket Club had use of our pavilion following their fire. We returned the favours that they afford to us back in 2002.
This expansion of activity has led us to seek and be offered a more secure tenure. We now have plans to improve our facilities further so that we will have more to offer not only to the members of the club but also to the wider community. Back in the 1970’s there were within the Borough of Harrow or close to its borders 13 rugby clubs running an average of 3 – 4 teams each. By 2000 it was down to nine and now there are only 3, Harrow, Old Millhillians and us. Each only occasionally fields a 2nd XV and until our new venture Harrow alone provided for young people. In 2009 we have four anniversaries: 55 years since the opening of the pavilion, 45 years since the formation of Pinner Old Grammarians, 40 years since the merger to form Pinner & Grammarians and 75 years since the founding of Pinner RFC. We plan to be around in ten or twenty-five year’s time to celebrate a few more significant landmarks. Why not join us to help young people gain a healthy activity and lifelong friendships