Bill North passes away

December 15, 2011 by paul  
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It is with great sadness that I have to let all of P&G RFC know that our revered Past and Life President Bill North passed away during the night. (D. Hiles)

Bill North: 30th May 1922 – 14th December 2011

Pinner & Grammarians President 1977-2002

President Lunch link

Hero bomber pilot’s amazing untold story

Bill North and his crew with a Stirling Bomber (Pic: Phil Harris)

Left to right, P/O Bill North (Pilot), F/Sgt Norman Jarvis (Bomb Aimer), F/Sgt Dave Crowley (Navigator), Sgt Monty Monteith (Wireless Operator), Jock Pork (although present is not a crew member), Sgt Les Morton (Flight Engineer), Sgt Eddy O’Shea (Rear Gunner), Sgt Dennis Bartlett (Mid-Upper Gunner). Standing next to a Short Stirling Bomber, Bill and the crew had two nearly fatal crash landings in Stirlings during RAF training.

EVERY day for nearly 70 years, Dennis Bartlett silently thanked bomber pilot Bill North for saving his life.

The last time he’d seen his Second World War comrade was in July 1944 on a pitch-black hillside in France where Bill crash landed their bullet-ridden Lancaster after a Luftwaffe attack.

Wounded Bill, then 22, bravely decided to down the plane rather than bail out when he learned another crewman’s parachute strap was damaged and he couldn’t jump.

Bill North and his crashed Lancaster Bomber (Pic: Phil Harris)

The pilot thought Dennis had parachuted out but when the bomber hit the ground, his friend was still on board.

The men were captured by the Nazis that night and when they were taken to separate prisoner-of-war camps, Dennis feared he would never see his pal again.

But last week they were reunited at the retirement home where the former RAF pilot now lives, and relived the incredible, untold story of their great escape.

As emotion welled inside him, Dennis, 87, said: “The memories of that night in France have been with me for 67 years.

“We all owed our lives to Bill. Without a thought for himself and while terribly injured he stayed on board our doomed bomber in order to save us. That still moves me to this day.”

Bill is now 89 but he remembers what happened so vividly it could have been last week. He said: “I was never scared of flying. My fear was of letting my crew down.

“We had become the firmest of friends as well as comrades and had complete confidence in each other’s abilities. It would have been a bitter blow if any one of my crew had been killed.”

Bill and Sergeant Dennis, of Camberley, Surrey, were part of Bomber Command’s 61 Squadron based in Skellingthorpe, Lincs.

Their mission was to attack the German base in St Leu d’Esserent, France, as part of an Allied force of 231 Lancasters and 15 Pathfinders.

They dropped 1,000lb bombs to cut communication to the base but 12 Lancasters and 83 lives were lost. Bill recalled: “We dropped our bomb load and suddenly we were being attacked. Bullets were ripping into my Lancaster.

“We lost our port inner engine, flaps and one of our petrol tanks. I was shot in the left elbow and thigh, my left arm just dropped down useless because the nerve had been severed. The aircraft was not responding to the controls so I gave the order ‘abandon aircraft’.

“But then one of our men said his parachute harness had been shot off and he couldn’t jump. I decided the only option was to crash land the aircraft. I was not going to leave him behind.”

Bill, of Basingstoke, Hants, brought down the aircraft over tree tops and landed tail down to prevent the wings from combusting.

To his surprise, Dennis appeared from the wreckage and helped get him out. But they were captured by the Nazis and Bill spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft 1.

“Fortunately the crash landing was successful,” he said. “My overriding feeling was one of immense relief and satisfaction my crew survived.

“I wasn’t decorated but then no-one in authority knew of our crash landing.

“For my part, I was only too pleased we survived the war. Every night we flew in the shadow of death. I think about it every day.”

The touching reunion was down to Chris Keltie, a former neighbour of Bill’s who was fascinated by an old photograph of the crew. Three years ago, he decided to track down Dennis and write a book on the hero pilot’s life.

Chris said: “I think Bill should have been awarded a VC. His story needs to be told.”

Chris’ book Riding In The Shadow Of Death will be published soon.

RAF Lancaster pilot

F/Lt Bill North

61 Squadron.


F/Lt Bill North

“On the night of the 4/5th July 1944,I was the Pilot of Lancaster EE 186, QR—D for Dog 61 Squadron, Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire. Earlier in the day my crew had taken the same aircraft on a 35 minute NFT—Night Flying Test—flight, and found it to be satisfactory in all respects.

Prior to take-off my Crew and the other involved 61 Squadron Crews would have attended a “briefing”. This briefing would have included target details (the V-1 site at St. Leu), weather forecast during the flight, visibility, particularly in the vicinity of the target, our bomb load and bombing height. When we took-off to set course for the target the weather as I recall it posed no problems. The time for takeoff was 22.30 hours. As the mission was during the night the entire flight would have been planned to take place in the dark.

Our flight to the target area was uneventful. On reaching the target area I was able to see that our target had been suitably “marked” by our Pathfinder Force and therefore set the pre-determined course and height for our bombing run. It was at this stage that as was usual on our operational trips, my Bomb Aimer, Sgt Norman Jarvis took control. I maintained the bombing course and height, ensuring that the Lancaster was kept “straight and level”. From time to time during the bombing run I altered course as necessary in line with Sgt Jarvis’ instructions. We completed our bombing run, dropped our bomb load and as soon as my Bomb Aimer said “Bombs away, Skipper”, I turned very steeply away from the target area which of course was also the danger area and set course for home.

So far so good, the mission was proceeding according to plan. Then suddenly my Gunners Sgt Dennis Bartlett and Sgt Eddy O’Shea called out the dreaded warning “Corksrcew Port, Go!”. This was an evasive manoeuvre that was taught to Bomber Pilots to escape from an attack by a Night Fighter, we had practised this many times during training. It was a violent dive to Port that put incredible stresses on the airframe and it wasn’t for the faint hearted. We were being attacked by a German Night Fighter and machine gun bullets were ripping into my Lancaster. We lost our Port Inner Engine and flaps and one of our petrol tanks. I was immediately wounded in the left elbow and thigh, my left arm just dropped down useless because the nerve had been severed. In addition the aircraft was not responding to the controls. In these circumstances I gave the order to “Abandon Aircraft”- it being my intention to attempt to bail out when the crew had left the aircraft. However at this stage Sgt Hackett (the replacement Flight Engineer for Sgt Les Morton who was off sick) said his parachute harness had been shot off and he couldn’t jump. I therefore immediately decided the only option was to crash land the aircraft, not something I wanted to do at night over unfamiliar terrain; I was not going to leave him behind. When I took this decision I was not aware that two other crew members were still on board the Lancaster. In retrospect having this information would merely have confirmed my course of action.

I did what I thought was best. Initially I judged my height by my altimeter and visually as we neared ground level. I managed to regain some control over the aircraft as we came across the tree tops. I straightened up and I saw a gap in-between the trees on a hillside, this was our one and only chance to make it. I decided our best chance of survival was to land the aircraft tail first from a height somewhat higher than that adopted during a normal landing. I was of course anxious to avoid creating too much friction on hitting the ground and thus creating a situation where the petrol in the wings could ignite with disastrous results. Fortunately the crash landing was successful in that all three members of the crew on board plus me survived the impact.

What is my overriding feeling about what happened to my crew and to me on the 4/5th July 1944? Firstly, one of immense relief and satisfaction that my entire crew survived. We had become the firmest of friends as well as comrades and had complete confidence in each other’s abilities. It would have been a bitter blow if any one of my crew had failed to survive. In the event two evaded capture (Navigator F/Sgt Dave Crowley and Flight Engineer Sgt Hatchett, with me for the first time in place of my regular Engineer, Les Morton) and five became POWs. Secondly, it is a source of amazement that I managed to crash my Lancaster at night without serious injury to anyone on board. I was never scared of dying, the only fear I ever had was of letting my crew down. Whilst I hesitate to suggest we were unique—I have yet to meet any Lancaster Pilot who has had a similar experience. Which leads me to ask “Was there a Guardian Angel looking after us?”

Bill had been shot twice through his left arm, the nerve had been severed and it was useless. He had two bullet wounds to his left thigh and was bleeding profusely, wind was rushing through the shattered Cockpit and down the fuselage and the altimeter was spinning out of control as they plunged towards the ground. The night fighter had also come in for a second time giving them another fatal round of cannon shells and bullets. Bill and the Flight engineer were fighting with the controls which were barley responding; they were approaching the ground fast when Bill suddenly regained some control over the Lancaster. Baring in mind it was nightime, Bill had used the altimeter to judge their height off the ground, but said he couldn’t rely totally on this; so when tree tops suddenly came into view he now had seconds to adjust the aircrafts position. The underside of the Lancaster was brushing the tree tops when Bill suddenly spotted a gap between the trees, “This is it we are going down now,” said Bill. They came down onto a French hillside with the nose up and tail down to try and avoid creating friction that might ignite the fuel in the petrol tanks. The Lancaster came down with a hell of a bump throwing the flight engineer into what was left of the cockpit and breaking his arm. They all sat there in a stunned silent daze, the plane hadn’t exploded on impact which they so often did. All of a sudden Dennis and Monty appeared from the fuselage behind Bill “Come on let’s get the hell out of here” shouted Dennis. They all helped their respected Captain out of the wrecked plane, and were all extremely concerned for him because of his serious injuries. Bill doesn’t know to this day how he managed to save the crew and the plane that night, but does put the sequence of events down to his RAF training and his Guardian Angel. I do agree with Bill, but it must be noted that Bill’s outstanding skill as a Bomber Pilot, his courage and coolness in the face of adversity played the major part in their saving. I think Bill should have been awarded a V.C. for his selflessness and courage in saving his crew, but sadly that was not to be.

F/Lt Bill North

“No, I was not specially decorated. I simply received the normal medals. Of course one has to remember that no-one in authority would have learned of our crash landing and I for my part, was only too pleased that we survived the war – particularly as I have recently learned of the extent of the RAF losses on 4thJuly. I was not afraid, there was so much to do and think about what would follow. Above all I was concerned about how strong my father would be when he received the telegram telling him I was missing.”

Above. Bill and Dennis reunited after 67 years on 20th Mar 2011.

Les Morton now lives in Australia.

Back on track – winning ways 1st XV v Old Isleworthians 22-15

December 12, 2011 by paul  
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Despite struggling for numbers, could it be the thought of Santa filling their sacks or being a bit nippy Pinner managed to pull together and present Old Isleworthians a match worth watching. Sadly, due to commitments from club photographer – watching Saracens @ Wembley only the first half was captured for prosperity!

The match report will be duly uploaded when it is recieved but you should know the form by now; here’s some of the action shots from the first half, Aarons try, ’skinnyJim’ Jepson crossing the try line, Mark Razzell putting the ball between the posts a couple of times, anyhow, enjoy………….. just in

Pinner pack powers much needed win.

P&G’s entertained Old Isleworthians at Shaftesbury Playing Fields on Saturday.  Both clubs are mid-table in Herts- Middx division 2 so a win was vital. The first twenty minutes saw both sides testing each other but then mid-way through the first half the ball got to right winger Chris Jepson whose pace proved too much for the defence enabling to score near the posts.  Fly-half Mark Razzell added the conversion to put the home side 7 – 0 up.  Almost immediately Pinner’s lack of discipline enabled O I’s full-back Richard Hewison to reduce this lead to 7 – 3.  Pinner’s pack now began to dominate the set pieces to provide scoring chances but poor passing or over elaboration nullified these opportunities.  Both teams were feeling the effect of some strict refereeing and on the half-hour O I’s were penalised for a high tackle 25 metres from their goal line.  Razzell was once more on target to stretch the lead to 10 -3.  Five minutes and several penalties later P&G’s were in the O I’s 22. The visitors failed to retire the necessary 10 m allowing scrum-half Lane to break quickly before passing to captain Reza Sibilant who found hooker Aaron Nicholas along side to complete a score in the right corner.  This conversion proved too far for Razzell. With Pinner thinking of half-time they relaxed to let O I’s take a quick penalty for flanker Tom Nadiu to score. The half-time score was 15 – 8.

The second half stated with P&G’s playing into the low Sun but with their pack really on top in the set pieces.  After 15 minutes yet another quickly taken penalty caught the defences napping and home scrum-half Lane darted through to score. Razzell added the two points to give Pinner a comfortable 22 – 8 lead.  The home side strived for the fourth ’bonus point’ try but several promising attacks petered out through lack of concentration. The pack, with the front row prominent, provided plenty of ball but some ill-conceived kicks threw away possession.  The game was losing direction through Old Isleworthians causing too many stoppages whilst they reorganised their replacements and having a player sent to the sin-bin for yet another high tackle.  Pinner’s defence was again caught off guard. Quickly taken penalties were the order of the day and now it was O I’s turn. Pinner, penalised for not releasing the ball, allowed the visiting hooker to charge through to score under the posts. Hewison added the two points to give O I’s a losing bonus point.  P&G’s were pleased at least to have the 22 – 15 win but knowing that it should have been more convincing.

Next week P&G’s visit promotion hopefuls OMT’s at their new home at Merchant Taylors School.  The club will hold its annual Boxing Day match at Hatch End when any local players can join in.  Kick-off is nominally 11:30 am.  The league programme resumes on 7th January with local rivals Harrow being the visitors.

DFH  12/12/11.

Saturday, 10 December 2011
Ickenham 26 – 15 Kilburn Cosmos
Old Abbotstonians 32 – 10 London French
Old Grammarians 20 – 15 Uxbridge
Pinner & Grammarians 22 – 15 Old Isleworthians
Royston 12 – 41 Old Merchant Taylors’
Herts/Middlesex 2
Team P W D L F A Diff B Pts Pts Adjust
Harrow 10 9 0 1 376 123 253 8 44 0
Old Merchant Taylors’ 10 9 0 1 340 124 216 6 42 0
Uxbridge 10 8 0 2 322 111 211 6 39 0
Old Grammarians 10 7 0 3 236 135 101 6 34 0
Kilburn Cosmos 10 5 0 5 224 175 49 5 25 0
Old Abbotstonians 10 4 0 6 189 248 -59 5 21 0
Royston 10 5 0 5 177 176 1 3 18 -5
Pinner & Grammarians 10 4 0 6 154 220 -66 2 18 0
Ickenham 10 2 0 8 81 329 -248 0 8 0
London French 10 1 0 9 84 265 -181 2 6 0
Old Isleworthians 10 1 0 9 103 380 -277 2 6 0
Last Updated: Dec 10 2011 4:41PM

Protected: Pinner victorious visit to Hackney Bulls

December 6, 2011 by paul  
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Mini Section Christmas Party – Sunday 11th December

December 6, 2011 by paul  
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You are all welcome to join in the festive activities from 1pm Sunday 11th December. After the morning training session, the Mini Section will be holding its Christmas Party,

so one would suggest that children bring along a change of clothing – ‘Dress to Impress’, food and drinks, possibly a visitation from the ‘man in red’ (who could that be we ask?), sing along with ‘Sir Les’.

We will be collecting presents for a local childrens’ home; so bring any presents – wrapped with either boy/girl and age tag on them, that would be splendiferous

Hope to see everyone there, especially to thank Kathy and her team a massive thank you.

for more information:

wait for a text/email from Jo!

or click here; christmas party invite

Pinner Rugby Club Christmas Party Saturday 17th December

December 3, 2011 by paul  
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Well, once again, that time is upon us…the season of good will, cheer, messiness and debauchery.

Aaron  and  Samuel

would formally like to invite you to the P&G Christmas Party of 2011!

*We require all attending responses by the 10th Dec, no later please.
All PLAYERS attending (1st and Pelicans) are kindly asked for £5 towards the festivities, to be given to Aaron or Samuel by the 10th Dec*

Alternatively if you do not play for 1st XV or Pelicans you can contact Spud, again by the 10th Dec

All members of Pinner Rugby Club are welcome;

it’s going to be an evening of great festivities, fun, drinking, games and the odd carol song

The theme for the evening will be ‘TACKY’ Xmas Jumpers!

(forfeits’ for those Scrooge’s among you that do not abide)

This event is obviously open to friends and family, all are welcome to join in!

Evenings Festivities will include; (while normal drinking rules apply throughout)

- Tackiest Xmas Jumper Competition!
- Xmas Karaoke
- Mass Beer Pong (glow in the dark?)
- Bullets ‘Reindeer Game’
- Snort the Port (pairs boat race)
- all ideas and contributions welcome…

Merry Christmas, we look forward to seeing you all there.


here’s a link to last years festivities! Christmas

Mini section enjoy an away day

November 28, 2011 by paul  
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Victory for Pinner U12s at the second round of the Middlesex Championships at Hackney Marshes

Pinner U12’s ventured further East than ever before to play the second round of the Middlesex Championships at Hackney Marshes, on the very edge of the Olympic Park near Stratford.

The sun was shining once again, although a brisk wind was an unwelcome addition this week, both for the players who had trouble kicking conversions and the parents, cowering on the sidelines.

Despite the distance to travel, Pinner had a strong turnout of 12 players. This wasn’t quite enough for the 13 needed at this level so once again they were very pleased that 6 players from Kilburn were able to join them to assemble what turned out to be a formidable team.

Fortune once again shined on them and they weren’t required to play the first match. The benefits from this were twofold; firstly allowing almost an hour to practise and work out team positions and secondly providing an opportunity to spy on the other teams as they played their match, which incidentally Hackney won against Wasps in convincing fashion.

Eventually it was Pinner’s turn to take to the field against Hackney. A really tough game was anticipated and for the first couple of minutes it was just that. However Pinner piled on the pressure and were able to ruck the ball close to the Hackney try line, allowing Carter to pick it up and put it down for a try. This was soon followed by another try by John and suddenly the previously formidable looking Hackney were 10-0 down and looking hopelessly lost.

Hackney dug deep, coming back strongly and eventually scoring after a period of intense pressure. Pinner didn’t buckle though and following a couple of penalties, Charlie Gascoine was able to run in a try, only to have it disallowed for handing off. He didn’t take it badly though, and within two minutes the ball was back in his hands and he ran in an almost identical try – without being penalised. Pinner were back in control 15-5, with only minutes to go until half time. In what turned out to be the last play of the half Hackney were able to run in another try to narrow the gap once again. Charlie and Niall converted two tries at half time to take the score to 19-14.

The Pinner scrum had been formidable throughout the game, winning almost every ball, regardless of the team that put the ball in. A significant change for the second half therefore was the request from Hackney for uncontested scrums as a result of an injury to one of their forwards. Ten minutes passed of hard fought rugby before Hackney broke through for a try in the corner and tying the score with one conversion opportunity in hand. Following this the Pinner coach, Steve George, made a shrewd substitution, bringing Sam Marchant back on in the right wing position. Within seconds he was handed the ball and was able to run the ball in for what proved to be the match winning try. Although Hackney continued to fight back Pinner held on for the victory, 24-21.

Pinner were in confident mood heading into the second match. They’d beaten Hackney who had previously thrashed Wasps and were expecting to be able to do the same. Needless to say, this wasn’t to be the case! Right from the first whistle Wasps were able to press forward and the Pinner team, which had been re-organised to take advantage of the uncontested scrums, were struggling to come to terms with their new positions. It didn’t take too long for Wasps to find a gap in the defence and run in a try to take them into the lead; the first and only time that Pinner found themselves behind that morning. The effect of this was to shock Pinner back into action and they soon retaliated with a brace of tries, first from Marc and then Brendan. The game moved to and fro in the middle of the field for the remainder of the half until the whistle blew to call time. After Niall successfully kicked another conversion the score was 12-7 in Pinner’s favour.

The second half was just as tough as the first, Pinner continued to play the great rugby that they had demonstrated all day; their rucking, mauling and scrumming was better than in any other game they had played. An unwillingness to retire seven metres for penalties caught them out on several occasions and a few too many handling errors resulted in many uncontested scrums in awkward positions. Nevertheless they persevered and were the first to score again when Charlie ran in his second try of the day. Pinner came close to scoring again when Louis George charged repeatedly at the Wasps defence. It wasn’t to be though and in the final play of the game Wasps were able to score a consolation try, resulting in a final score of 17-14.

Not since the Middlesex Finals in May had this team enjoyed such a successful morning’s rugby. The hotly anticipated chocolate cake then made a fleeting appearance before being demolished by the victorious Pinner and Kilburn players.

Thanks once again to Paul and the Kilburn players who made such a valuable contribution to the success of the team today.

Hackney v Wasps 26 – 7 4 tries + 3 conversions V 1try + 1 conversion

Hackney v Pinner (Kilburn) 21 – 24 3 tries + 3 conversions V 4 tries + 2 conversions

Wasps V Pinner (Kilburn) 14 – 17 2 tries + 2 conversions V 3 tries + 1 conversion

report: Nick Marchant

Video link of matches

Under 7/8s

Great to have such a good turnout for today’s away fixture, I’m sure you all agree well worth the early start, London Scottish were a very friendly bunch.  The under 6’s and 7’s were coached by Scottish International and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Kenny Logan, who seemed thoroughly down to earth.

We had 6 players joining the under 8 training, 9 joined the under 6 & 7’s session, we were joined by Isleworth Club, Grasshoppers.

As I coached the under 8’s I can let you know how we played as a team after out training session.

Game 1 v London Scottish

Win to Pinner 3-2, we took a commanding lead and looked like we would be run away winners, however London Scottish rallied, and finished really strongly.

Jonathon scored 2 tries and Michael scored 1

Game 2 v London Scottish

Win to Pinner 7 -6, (ref claimed 5-5, but our score keepers confirmed otherwise)

A very even game, with no team being more than 1 score ahead at any time.  Fast paced and free flowing, great fun to watch.

Jonathon and Michael both with 3 tries, and our Barbarian from Grasshoppers Leo scored a try.

Next week we are away at Hackney Bulls, the club we beat in last season’s final of the Middx Festival, hosted by Grasshoppers.

Hackney are a great club who visited Pinner earlier in the season on 9th October.

Thanks all for getting there today, Richard and David for training with u6’s and u7’s and Simon for being the u8’s scorekeeper.

See you all next week

report: Andy Nash


The last time Pinner RFC visited Richmond Athletic Ground, home of London Scottish was the seniors entering the Middlesex 7s; returning with a trophy, something to aim for! Well, it was a friendly training and game session, but by the way the combined team of under 9s and under 10s played you would think they were full on for winning the world cup! more to follow………..

Clothes and Textiles Collection We need your Support

November 23, 2011 by paul  
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We are collecting old clothes and textiles, the idea is that we all collect bags of old clothes and textiles from our own homes, family and friends. Bring them into the rugby club over the next few weeks so we can amass a good weight in textiles, for which a Ragman will come and collect them and give us a nice cheque to go into the club

Please bring to the club for Sunday 11th December when Paul Parker-Brice will sort them out ready for collection

Please ask friends and family for their old textiles, the more weight we get the more cash we receive.

We shall be very grateful for any old clothes, sheets, blankets, curtains, shoes, hats and any other textiles.

Please Support our Rugby Club,

Any special collection arrangements or more information

Please telephone +447917088802

Thank you for your kind support

Pinner Under12s @ the Middlesex Championships

November 15, 2011 by paul  
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The sun was shining and the sky was a glorious shade of deep blue as we gathered on the edge of Bushy Park for the first round of the Middlesex Championships. Although some players were involved in Remembrance Sunday parades a squad of 19 assembled as Pinner and Kilburn re-formed their barbarians team that had proven so successful last season.

The luck of the draw allowed Pinner and Kilburn a full 30 minutes to train together before the whistle went for the kick off and hopes were high as the time for kick off approached in their first match against Teddington. The first half was hard fought and Pinner appeared to work well in breakdown, presenting the ball effectively and rucking strongly in the first phase, although the forwards were much slower to the subsequent phases and Teddington turned over many easy balls. Teddington used their wings to great effect and looked threatening every time the ball ventured wide. The score would certainly have been far greater were it not for some staunch defending and impressive tackling, particularly one memorable thunderous charge from Ryan Healy to push an opposition player into touch as he passed the try line. At half time the score remained 1-0 and Pinner were still very much in the game and looking to even the score in the second half. The forwards were particularly strong against Teddington in the scrum and very rarely was the ball turned over, nevertheless, Teddington continued to send the ball wide and managed to score another try early on in the half. Pinner continued to battle hard and came desperately close to scoring on at least one occasion. In the end some handling errors and an inability to spread the ball side saw possession pass back to Teddington for the ball to be kicked back into our own half. A final brace of tries from Teddington to bring the final score to 4-0 disguises the close nature of game and the strong and spirited performance of the Pinner team.

After only 10 minutes rest Pinner were back on the field to face the now, well rested, Ealing. Pinner were up for a battle but very quickly found themselves two tries behind and, it appeared, destined for a thrashing. The strong start from Ealing seemed to fortify Pinner and they played thenceforth with a renewed resolve to prevent Ealing scoring, particularly their full back, and the scorer of the second try who appeared to have the magic ability to slip through the defence like a hot knife through butter. This endeavour worked and try as they might Ealing could not get the ball over the line again. On one notable occasion the aforementioned slippery full back managed to get through most of the defence only encounter Sam Marchant on the try line. Sam stood his ground and instead of slipping past him he shoulder charged him; the try wasn’t given and Pinner got a penalty. Eventually they did break through and the score at half time was 3-0 and the prospects for the second half didn’t look very upbeat. Nevertheless, Pinner didn’t give up fighting. In the second half they defending valiantly and came close to scoring for the first time, although it not be. They continued to work tirelessly right up until the final whistle and prevented an Ealing scoring a single try in that final half; a feat that in many ways was their greatest success of the morning. Once again the score doesn’t reflect just how close the match was.

The final act of the morning was the now, ‘traditional’, cake demolition ceremony that follows any match when Kilburn and Pinner join forces. Although they hadn’t been victorious, it certainly didn’t seem to be troubled them as they consumed their share of the chocolate gateau.

Just in… a nice email from another club

Good to see you yesterday at Teddington and I’m so pleased you entered a team into the U12 Middlesex League.

Firstly I hope your full back that was injured when making a  try saving tackle on Ealing’s full back is okay, he took a big blow ?

Secondly I was so impressed again yesterday by your team and there great spirit( espeically linking up for the two minutes silence), they were a pleasure to referee polite and listened to all my comments/decisions.

I wish you luck in the next two rounds of the league and hope the boys get the victories they justly deserve.

See you at Wasps in March.

Kind regards

Graham Robson

Pinner do not suffer that ol’ Icky feeling!

October 30, 2011 by paul  
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Usual format, awaiting match report but in the meantime here are some images from the game between Pinner RFC 1st XV versus Ickenham RFC. Photos taken by Jacob Talbot (Under 12’s Pinner player)

Saturday, 29 October 2011
Kilburn Cosmos 18 – 45 Harrow  
Old Grammarians 28 – 11 Old Abbotstonians  
Old Merchant Taylors’ 65 – 7 Old Isleworthians  
Pinner & Grammarians 22 – 3 Ickenham  
Royston 26 – 7 London French
Herts/Middlesex 2
Team P W D L F A Diff B Pts Pts Adjust
Harrow 7 7 0 0 284 93 191 6 34 0
Old Merchant Taylors’ 7 7 0 0 253 68 185 4 32 0
Uxbridge 6 6 0 0 268 35 233 4 28 0
Royston 6 4 0 2 129 99 30 3 19 0
Old Grammarians 6 3 0 3 120 102 18 4 16 0
Kilburn Cosmos 6 3 0 3 120 114 6 3 15 0
Pinner & Grammarians 6 2 0 4 99 122 -23 2 10 0
Old Abbotstonians 7 1 0 6 96 223 -127 3 7 0
London French 6 1 0 5 64 166 -102 1 5 0
Old Isleworthians 6 1 0 5 66 246 -180 1 5 0
Ickenham 7 0 0 7 38 269 -231 0 0 0
Last Updated: Oct 29 2011 6:00PM

Pinner back in winning form

After a three week lay-off from league rugby P&G’s were hosts to local rivals Ickenham at Shaftesbury Playing Fields on Saturday.  Both teams were in need of a win to lift them in the Herts /Middx Div 2.  Ickenham had the advantage of the wind for the first half but Pinner got the early scoring chances through penalties but none were converted.  Ickenham now used the wind to advantage to keep the ball in the home half and desperate P&G’s defence led to the home side conceding penalties.  Ickenham fly-half Barry Hall narrowly missed his first attempt at goal kicking the ball dead but Pinner soon gave him another chance when they were penalised for not releasing the ball in the tackle.  This time Hall made no mistake to give the visitors a 3 – 0 lead.  Pinner now upped the tempo with centre Alex Goring making a surging run from his own 10 metre line only to be brought down 3 metres short of the try line. Ickenham managed to scramble the ball clear. When it looked like the visitors would hold the lead to half-time they conceded a penalty on their 10 metre line.  Full-back Mark Razzell, promoted after kicking 18 points for the Pelicans the previous week, landed a fine 40 metre kick into the wind to draw level as the whistle went.

Now with the wind behind them Pinner attacked in earnest.  With only 7 minutes of the half gone they won the ball in mid-field and moved swiftly to right winger John Kirby who made good ground along the touch line.  When tackled he found No 8 Bernie Richter in support to complete the last 20 metres to score 10 m in from touch.  Razzell confidently added the 2 points.  The Ickenham backs seemed to have a few handling problems and in an attempt to get back into the game they conceded a few long range penalties but Pinner were unable to take advantage. With a quarter of an hour left, and the home side not yet sure of victory, P&G’s again attacked from mid-field.  This time Captain Reza Sibilant chose to put in the most delicate of kicks through the advancing defence and centre Alex Goring gathered and scored.  Razzell once more made the conversion to give the home side a more comfortable 17 – 3 lead.  On the half hour the Ickenham scrum-half, under pressure from the P&G’s back-row, put in a dreadful kick which was gratefully fielded by his opposite number Sam Markham.  He skilfully chipped over the disorganised defence, ran on to catch his own kick and scored Pinner’s third try which was not converted.   In the last ten minutes Pinner pressed hard for the fourth bonus point try but it was not to be so they had to be satisfied with the 22 – 3 victory.

Saracens Rugby Camp @ Pinner RFC

October 27, 2011 by paul  
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Despite inclement weather, the rain did try and spoil the days activities, although judging by the smiling faces it didn’t succeed. Players were greeted by four Saracens coaches upon entry into the clubhouse, forms filled in, introductions made then straight out onto the playing fields. Players were split into different groups depending on age and experience and rotated around all of the coaches, each developing different skills whilst having great fun.

Today the players went through a number of drills, games and skill development:

Morning and afternoon sessions

Development through game play

Individual skills & techniques

Positive Continuity

Contact avoidance


Speed, Agility and Quickness

Tackling / Tagging Techniques

Ball Presentation

It was definitely a full on session in the morning and the orange slices offered went down a storm (even though some said they didn’t do oranges!)

Lunch was eagerly taken by all, a great spread was laid on – Spaghetti/pasta bolognese  - french bread, hot tomato soup, salad – with carrot, cucumber pepper sticks, yogurts, assorted fruit, orange/blackcurrant squash.

After a briefing session led by the coaches it was back out again for the afternoon session. At the end of the day, coaches gathered all the players for a feedback question and answer session and presented the player of the day award.

What a great start to this Rugby Camp, really looking forward to tomorrow

A much better day on Friday – clear  blue skies and no hint of rain

On Friday, the coaches built upon a lot of the skills they had introduced the day before; concentrating on

Unit skills

Breakdown Management (Rucking, Leaching, and Ball presentation progressions)
Forwards / Backs Split

The coaches commented on how much more concentration the players had on Friday and noted that all had made excellent progress

The lunch of cheeseburgers was a hit, some even asking and getting seconds!

Of course, we celebrated the birthdays of Jameel and Sam in usual Pinner style; get it down you Zulu Warrior!!

The afternoon session had players developing more specific skills to their playing positions (older groups) whilst the Tag players whizzed around the field with Tag grabbing everywhere.

This was a great 2 day camp and hopefully Pinner RFC will host another Saracens Rugby Camp in the future

Pelicans victory over Old Isleworthians

October 24, 2011 by paul  
Filed under News & Events, Pelicans

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Here are some of the action shots taken during the try-fest game between Pinner Pelicans and Old Isleworthians. Match report and £10 Charity Day photographs to follow………. enjoy, we’ll see many of them on Facebook no doubt!

Pinner Pelicans bask in the sunshine

For the second week in succession the crowd at Shaftesbury Playing Fields enjoyed an entertaining afternoon of open rugby when the Pelicans played hosts to Old Isleworthians. From the onset Pinner attacked and were awarded a scrum on the visitor’s 22.  From this the ball was moved left and centre Richard Southam stormed through for a try converted by full-back Mark Razzell.  With only a quarter of an hour gone Pinner were on the score board again when scrum-half Simon Griffiths broke clear to get the second try also converted by Razzell.  Pinner, now playing with confidence, continued to attack and with a strong run from half-way centre Thomas Cobb got the third.  Pelicans now had a 21 – 0 lead with only a quarter of the match gone but O I’s were not giving up and from the kick-off their centre made ground up field before moving the ball to the left wing where Les Chaffe, normally the Pelican’s skipper but playing as a substitute for the visitors touched down in the corner.  This he realised would cost him dear in the bar after the match.  Pelicans full-back Mark Razzell had obviously brought his kicking boots and next landed a penalty from the half-way line.  The forth home try was not long in coming when Cobb burst through the centre to find Griffiths in support.  Razzell added the extra two points plus another penalty from the 10m line to bring the half time score to 34 -5 to the Pelicans.

O I’s obviously had a pep-talk during the interval as, with the wind behind them, they dominated the next 20 minutes scoring two tries in quick succession before P&G’s could recover from the interval.  The home side hit back with yet another try from Griffiths who sold a few dummies in a 30 yard break.  Razzell again added 2 points to bring the score to 41 – 19 but OI’s were not finished when their impressive centre cut through the Pinner defence to score under the posts and then added the two points himself.  At 41 – 26 Pinner were looking a bit shaky but fly-half David Luiz wrong-footed the visitor’s defence to score Pelican’s sixth try and Razzell to added 2 more points to bring his match tally to 18.  As tiredness crept in the O I’s centre landed a long range drop goal.  With time running out and Pinner conceding a couple of penalties on their own 22 Old Isleworthians got their fifth try to bring the final score to 48 – 34 to the Pelicans.

Players and members then adjourned to the Clubhouse to celebrate Deryck Westwood Day in  memory of a former Vice-president who played for the Club in its first season in 1934 and who left a bequest when he died in 1995 for members to mark his birthday each October.

Scrum Factory CPD – 16th November @ Pinner RFC book now

October 12, 2011 by paul  
Filed under Coaching/training/CPD

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CPD Scrum Factory

Sir Les Chaffe – Club Coaching Coordinator has commited Pinner to a CPD on 16th Nov (Scrum Factory) He will need to see how many of our coaches are ready to take this CPD. Let him know, these are really useful and great fun

The Scrum Factory is a new RFU CPD course designed to support coaches in their coaching of safe, effective body position in the scrum.
Please note we have managed to get a CPD scrum course at Pinner RFC
The Scrum Factory is for all coaching levels to improve their knowledge of the scrum and delivery of a scrum session.
This course is an essential tool and its great that we have it at Pinner RFC

£15.50 (incl. VAT) unless stated otherwise

The Scrum Factory aims to increase the number of players able to play in the scrum effectively and safely, particularly the front row.  By helping coaches and players to understand individual and collective techniques required, together with position specific conditioning, this 2.5 hour practical course covers physical preparation, body management and body shape. The course is suitable for coaches of both genders and players of all levels and age groups.

Specifically trained scrum developers will demonstrate a range of practices and encourage coaches and players to develop their knowledge and understanding of the scrum. Each coach who attends will receive a Scrum Factory DVD and coaching guide.

The course will:

• Challenge traditional methods of scrum coaching which may be predominantly machine-based.

• Emphasise the value of innovative coaching.

• Emphasise the value of creating peer coaching groups.

• Challenge how and why coaches identify and select players to play within the scrum.

• Emphasise the value and benefits of all players being coached on individual body posture.

A Safe Focus:

• Promote safe and effective scrummaging as an integral part of the game.

• Demonstrate good practice and underline recent developments in scrummage coaching.

• Increase coaches confidence in coaching the scrum.

• Hone the core skills required to develop and maintain safe, effective scrummaging.

• Develop clear, objective and focussed observation and technical fault correction.

Sooopa Sarries Sunday – Pinner RFC beyond pitch-side!

October 9, 2011 by paul  
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After a disappointing weekend of International Rugby at the World Cup; apart of course the Welsh – llon.gyfarchion , ddeisyfwn ‘ch bydew i mewn ‘r semi finals it was up to Pinner Mini and Youth Sections to brighten up the day!

After a terrific morning of training and friendly matches with a friends from Hackney Bulls many of the players and parents jumped into their cars, put on their clean Pinner tops and headed off to Vicarage Road for the Aviva Premiership match against Newcastle Falcons

Through the Saracens club Partnership program we had secured a number of tickets which allowed children to go free and for reduced prices for adults.

Apart from watching live Premiership rugby, what else caused this exodus?

Well, a great day was install for the players; representing Pinner Youth, Mini Section and players from the Little Rugby Academy were guest of Saracens and formed the Guard of Honour for both the teams as they exploded onto the pitch, being that close up we saw what giants these rugby players were and how they were focused on the game in hand, even so, one player managed to get his hair ruffled by a passing Saracens player!

During the half time interval Pinner Under 7s and Under 8s were invited to play on the pitch, demonstrating their skills during a TAG rugby game, Pinner having the honour of being the only club to be represented and enjoyed every minute running around on the quality pitch, scoring tries and taking Tags. Coaches Andy Nash and Richard Evans were extremely proud of the display you put on, their beaming smiles being broadcasted on the big screen, cheered on by over 5,000 home supporters (including a few Pinner senior members doted around the ground)

What a great experience, a great day and one that will hopefully remain in the memory of all the young players who attended.

Saracens won, by the way!

Here’s (a lot) of photographs from the day, enjoy

Oh by the way, I was interviewed by ESPN/Sky Sports News before the game, if anyone has seen it or recorded game firstly, did I look fat on the telly! and secondly, is there a copy of it I can have a butchers at? (cheers Spud)

A big thank you to Steve and Richard at Saracens and a special thank you to Jo Talbot for organising everything today

Pelicans suffer in soaring heat

October 2, 2011 by paul  
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Pinner Pelicans hosted Hampstead IV on Saturday 1st October, a match report will follow shortly, for now here are some images from the game, thanks to new Pinner photographer Jacob Talbot (under 12s player)

Scorching sun shines on Pinner RFC first win of the season

October 2, 2011 by paul  
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On Saturday 1st October saw Royston RFC make the long journey to Pinner RFC for the fourth match of the season in the Herts/Middlesex Division 2 League

The unusual weather (not complaining mind you) was always going be to be a factor in what is usually a fast paced encounter; sun cream, shades and stripping off shirts is not normal for rugby in October!

With the Pelicans game kicking off at 2.30 the first team were able to give their support from the touchline and the shade for a couple of minutes before grouping and getting focused for their match.

Pinner came out of the blocks straight from the whistle, the ball flowing from the forwards to the backs creating simple but effective moves, working the ball deep into the Royston half. This pressure proved too much for the opponents and they conceded an early penalty. Unlike, England star Wilkinson Blane Healey comfortably put the ball between the uprights; 3-0 to Pinner

From the restart, Pinner found themselves  in their own half defending quick ball from the Royston backs, passing out wide to their number 15, unfortunately, after the tackle was made the referee blew for a penalty for Royston for a Pinner player coming in from an offside position. At this point, Captain Reza sibilant called his pack together and just reminded them to keep aware of their position when going into rucks; a reminder that wasn’t required for a while during the first half. The penalty was missed by the Royston spot kicker.

It was now Pinner who were back on the attack, the ball being kicked in their own 22, Pinner took chase, passing the ball through a number of Royston flaying hands, Alex Goring received a pop pass and ran over the tryline for a try, the conversion was again neatly put over the bar by on form Blane Healy. 10-0

Despite the increasing heat, the game was living upto the expectation; fast paced, good handling and at this stage not many penalties given away. Just before the agree water break Royston were awarded a penalty, converted leaving the score 10-3 as the ‘new water boy’ dashed on (walked steadily) to refresh a very hot team.

The restart saw Pinner on the insurgence again, great play from Craig Lane putting the opposition under pressure, looking to pick up the loose players missed Aaron who by the eyes of the ref gave a forward pass. But Pinner were now very confident and felt that a victory was on the cards, continued pressure forcing errors from Royston and they were duly punished by the boot of Blane Healy, converting taking Pinner further on to 13-3 lead.

Half time approached with Pinner looking the keenest to restart, very positive team talks by Captain Reza Sibilant and vice captain Simon Whitcombe keeping the focus on the victory that was possibly going to be theirs.

The intention was clear, the forwards working hard to secure the ball, working almost in tandem, James Byrne and Aaron Nicholas making drives after drives, making the ball available for Sibilant, Lane and Whitcombe to make charging runs forcing the Royston defence to make more errors. This continued pressure gained another penalty for Pinner, again Blane Healy was on target; 16-3

With the sun now starting to roast not only the players but also the Pinner supporters (many now bare chested and displaying what could only be described as ‘not a pretty sight!’) another water break was needed.

From the restart Pinner were on the rampage, great mauling by captain and vice captain allowing scrum half Craig Lane to show us his ‘magic with beautiful passing to the backs. The game continued in the Royston half, Pinner applying more and more pressure, the forwards dominating scrums, rucks and mauls, the could sense a victory. A neat little exchange saw Martin Goodwin charge and cross the tryline; only for it to be pulled back as it was deemed to be a forward pass, a distraught Mr Goodwin slowly made his way back to join his team mates.

A penalty awarded to Pinner allowed them to take a line out deep in the visitors 22 after a lovely kick from newly named ‘magician’ (Blane),line out won, ball back in hand, Martin Goodwin showed why he has made man of the match with some great skills and passing saw the ball pass down the line for Chris Jepson to finally show his pace, skirted two tackles and placed the ball under the posts for another try to Pinner. Blane again kicked the conversion for the last play of the match.

It was obvious to see on the faces of the Pinner team, they enjoyed their victory 23-3

Saturday, 01 October 2011
Ickenham 12 – 50 Harrow
Kilburn Cosmos 41 – 10 Old Isleworthians
London French 10 – 46 Uxbridge
Old Abbotstonians 12 – 46 Old Merchant Taylors’
Pinner & Grammarians 23 – 3 Royston
Herts/Middlesex 2
Team P W D L F A Diff B Pts Pts Adjust
Harrow 4 4 0 0 145 47 98 3 19 0
Uxbridge 4 4 0 0 143 30 113 2 18 0
Old Merchant Taylors’ 4 4 0 0 146 49 97 2 18 0
Kilburn Cosmos 3 3 0 0 90 19 71 2 14 0
Pinner & Grammarians 4 1 0 3 70 99 -29 2 6 0
Old Isleworthians 4 1 0 3 59 93 -34 1 5 0
London French 3 1 0 2 36 73 -37 1 5 0
Old Abbotstonians 4 1 0 3 44 107 -63 1 5 0
Royston 3 1 0 2 35 63 -28 0 4 0
Old Grammarians 3 0 0 3 45 74 -29 2 2 0
Ickenham 4 0 0 4 25 184 -159 0 0 0
Last Updated: Oct 1 2011 6:04PM

Little Rugby Academy Barnardos Big Toddle @ Pinner Show (video)

September 28, 2011 by paul  
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Little Rugby Academy’s Annual Barnardo’s Big Toddle in association with Starbucks Pinner, Pinnora Photography and Pinner Christian Fellowship was held on 17th September 2011 in Pinner Memorial Park at the Famous Pinner Village show.
After setting up the stalls everyone started to arrive, children were excited and so were the parents, looking up to the sky we could see dark grey clouds but they were not going to dampen our spirits. We all donned our special T-shirts and walked over to the pathway then on the stroke of 11.30 we all (25 of us) started walking round the park in and out of the stalls collecting money for Barnardo’s.

Everyone was very generous even when the heavens opened and for 10 minutes rain fell heavily. Mind you, this only helped us as people were hiding from the rain, we just pounced on them and again they donated graciously.

At the end of the walk most of us drenched we swiftly went over to our Sponsors Starbucks Pinner stall and had our well deserved Coffee, Tea and Fruit Juice. It was a fantastic day, seeing all the children have great fun walking round the park enjoying the rain, but above all being sponsored to help all those Under 5’s who don’t have the same opportunities that we do.
Barnardo’s Big Toddle the UK’s biggest fundraising event for the under 5’s was again a great success. This short walk has made a big difference to children’s lives.

When ‘Sarrie’ met Pinner Mini and Youth Sections

September 28, 2011 by paul  
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Sunday 25th September saw the Aviva Trophy make its second appearance around Pinner Players within a week. To protect and also to greet was the Saracens RFC mascot ‘Sarrie’ who proved to be a popular ‘extra’ during the training session!

Photos courtesy of Saracens Community Rugby Team

Saracens Prize Draw with help from Sarrie

September 26, 2011 by paul  
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Have you been mugged yet?

September 24, 2011 by paul  
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No need to worry, this is not an announcement from the Metropolitan Police or a lengthy debate on pensions!

No, this is about the new club merchandise that is now on offer.

Have you been nominated for player of the week?

Or had a fantastic photograph of you in action playing rugby?

Bored with the same old photos in a frame gathering dust on the mantelpiece?

Luck is on your side…..

Now available from the club shop you can have your favourite moment put on a ceramic mug; they are dishwasher safe and can hold both hot and cold drinks!

If Pinner Rugby Club have your photograph on file / or you have a photograph taken for being player of the week, man of the match or appear on the pitch we can produce a mug with said image.

Examples of mugs produced in the last week

Latest news…… the WOW mug

This is something special; a mug that changes colour and reveals a print, here’s an example

The heat sensitive photo mugs are fantastic fun. The mug will feature your photo and/or a message, underneath a black heat sensitive coating. The coating ‘disappears’ when the mug is hot to reveal your photo and message (which will wow everyone of course!). Due to the heat sensitive coating we recommend you hand wash these ‘magic mugs’.

The cost?

Original fully printed – £5.00 per mug, you may order multiples of the same mug or order several different images on a series of mugs

Wow mugs – £10.00 per mug

How quickly can I get them?

Usually, within a week, orders placed at the shop will be printed and returned the following home game.

Who do I need to see about getting a mug/s made?

Speak to Spud

Can I have different images put on a mug?

More than likely, again discuss what is required with Spud

For more information email

Current examples:

September Caption Competition

September 24, 2011 by paul  
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You know the score……………….

Each month a photo will be added to this page. It is hoped that you can come up with a suitable caption to go with it; a prize will be awarded at the end of each month – good luck

There are a couple of contenders this month, well there has been a summer break…

to submit caption please email

Couple of spectators helping Griff look for a new pair of balls. Reza

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