The First All-England Badminton Club in 1875

Written by Geoff Hinder

The First All-England Badminton Club in 1875

In 1875 Wimbledon was just a croquet club known as the All-England Croquet Club. At this time croquet was losing its popularity and to boost the membership numbers at the club, in February 1875 a motion was passed by the committee of the All-England Croquet Club to convert parts of the croquet lawns for playing badminton and lawn tennis.

 

An announcement to this effect was later published in the Field newspaper 24th April 1875. It said,      The lawn tennis and badminton regulations are as: –  Balls and shuttlecocks will be kept by the gardener, from whom they may be purchased by members. Lockers capable of holding rackets, balls, shoes, flannels, &c. will be provided at an annual rental of 5 shillings. Members are strongly recommended not to play unless provided with racket shoes, or flat-soled shoes. On the days occupied in playing for the club championships and open Championships no lawn tennis and badminton will be allowed. The rules regarding payment by non-playing members and by visitors will be the same as for croquet.”
There was an advertisement in the Field newspaper 4 September 1875 for Jefferson’s of Lowood Street Woolwich, London, for their sports equipment offering “Patent SHUTTLECOCKS for BADMINTON, as used by the All-England Badminton Club.”
1870s Shuttlecock

Photos: Geoff Hinder                                                                                                                      Click on the image to enlarge

 

It was reported in July 1875 that lawn tennis had proved a success, a number of members having joined the club for the sake of playing that game. The membership fee was two guineas, £2.2s.
 In the Field newspaper in April 1877, they reported that the name of the club had changed to the All-England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club. The first Wimbledon All-England Lawn Tennis Championships were held later that year, while badminton practically disappeared, with only the occasional item reminding us that it was still being played.
The First Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships in 1877.

 

Badminton had its big chance to become popular, but competing as a summer outdoor game, it is no surprise that it lost out to lawn tennis which went on to a phenomenal success.

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The Second All-England Badminton Club in 1962

The second All-England Badminton Club was founded on 24th October 1962 at a meeting at the Charing Cross Hotel, London.
The object of the club was to organise: – (a) at the All-England Championships a clubroom where members can meet and renew old friendships and make new ones. (b) any other activities that appears desirable to the committee.

 

All-England Badminton Club Lapel Membership Badge

 

Full membership was open to the undermentioned on payment of the prescribed entrance fee: -The committee fixed the entrance fee at one guinea, £1 1s and produced a lapel membership badge.
a). Past and present international players of winners of an All-England Championship.
b). Past and present officers and councillors of the International Badminton Federation.
c). Others at the discretion of the committee (Such as official overseas visitors to the Championships).
 The committee fixed the entrance fee at one guinea, £1 1s and produced a lapel membership badge.
In 1962 the Badminton Association of England set aside a newly built lounge with a bar at Wembley during the All-England Championships where drinks and light refreshments could be bought.
The entrance fee was to cover the cost of the badge and other expenses incurred during the club. Ken Livingstone, a member of the committee writing in the Badminton Gazettes in 1963 claimed that membership was growing steadily.

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Visit the  National Badminton Museum, National Badminton Centre, Bradwell Road, Loughton Lodge, MILTON KEYNES MK8 9LA.
Visitors are welcome to look around the Museum unescorted at any time – the National Badminton Centre is normally open 9am to 8pm every day.

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National Badminton Centre 

Lodge Hotel

For more information and to book a room go to: – Badminton England website – https://www.badmintonengland.co.uk  –  National Badminton Centre  – National Badminton Centre Hotel.

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1899 – 2024

125th Anniversary Championships

2024 YONEX ALL-ENGLAND BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS

Tuesday 12 March to Sunday 17 March 2024

Utilita Arena, Birmingham.

For more information:- www.allenglandbadminton.com

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If you have any badminton memorabilia, archive material, or any other items and would like to donate them to the National Badminton Museum please contact us at: –
 museum@badmintonengland.co.uk
Thank you to all the ‘Friends of the Museum’ and people who have made donations to the National Badminton Museum, your support enables us to purchase extremely rare badminton artefacts for the National Collection as they become available.

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