The Badminton Association was founded in 1893 and reported as follows in the press:
The notice below appeared in The Field, September 9th, 1893, page 400 and was also sent to all known badminton clubs.
A meeting is to be held at Dunbar, Waverly Grove, Southsea, at 2.00 p.m. on September 13th, for the purpose of forming a Badminton Association. All clubs are invited to send a delegate.
The meeting was reported in The Field on September 23rd, 1893, page 494:
Nine clubs were represented, three more had indicated that it was their wish to join the Association, and four clubs were unable to give a definite reply. All clubs came from the south or west of England.
The meeting resolved unanimously to form a Badminton Association, and framed and approved rules for the game, and requested they be published by Messrs F H Ayres of 11 Aldersgate Street, London, who would also undertake the manufacture and sale of the necessary gear of the patterns approved.
The following officers and committee were elected:
President, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer – Major S S C Dolby (Southsea),
Major W A St. Clair (Southsea), Lieutenant Colonel H M Matthews, (Fareham), Mr A Southey (Teignmouth), Mr C E Robinson (Torquay), Lieutenant Colonel A B Ridgeway (Southsea United Services), Lieutenant Colonel F Roberts (Southsea United Services), Major R Waller (Southampton), Mr P Buckley (South Hants).
14 clubs joined during the first year.
Seven years later an article appeared in Lawn Tennis entitled - THE BADMINTON ASSOCIATION – ITS ORIGIN AND AIMS and we reproduce parts of that article which tells us how the association developed during the early years:
Every game that is worth playing needs a central authority to encourage and develop it; to crystallise its best traditions and practice in laws and rules; ……
The pioneers of this movement were seen chiefly in the West and South of England. The Devonshire clubs of Torquay, Paignton and Teignmouth were amongst the first to take root, while the Hampshire clubs of Southsea, Southampton, South Hants, Fareham and Lymington showed promising signs of early vitality. In Sussex, also, the example was followed by Bognor and Chichester. The Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands had also clubs at Ryde and Jersey, while last, but not least Somersetshire was represented by flourishing clubs at Bath and Clifton. …….
In the first season 14 clubs joined the association. For the first few years no substantial increase in number was obtained. In 1897-78, however, the number rose to 20, and in 1898-99 to 30, while in the current season the total of 40 has been reached. There have been many changes, and several of the early clubs have no longer a place in the list, owing chiefly to difficulties in obtaining suitable buildings for courts. The same reason frequently prevents the starting of new clubs in places where there is a keen demand for the game. On the whole, however, substantial progress has been made. The number of clubs in the vicinity of London has greatly increased during the last two or three years, while very satisfactory support is received from Ireland. …….
The annual subscription is at present fixed at the nominal sum of three shillings for each club, and includes a copy of the authorised rules, as published each year. The only conditions of affiliation is that clubs conform to the rules of the Association, and adopt the laws of the game as fixed and amended from time to time at the general meeting held for that purpose early in April in each year. …..
There are still it is believed, many clubs in Great Britain which are not affiliated to the association - some because their most influential members are wedded to their local rules, and have fixed ideas as to the shape and dimensions of courts preventing their adoption of the association laws in their entirety, and others because their members are mostly beginners, and as yet too modest to challenge other clubs. But, whatever the cause of defection may be, it is hoped that all such clubs will soon realise the great advantage to the game they love of supporting and furthering by all means in their power the aims of the association.
Our picture shows Dunbar 100 years after the meeting held in 1893 when to celebrate the centenary of the BA a plaque was placed on the house in Southsea.
The reference to Ireland reminds us that the Badminton Association was the governing body for badminton all over the world, and it was not until 1934 that the International Badminton Federation and the Badminton Association of England were formed.
Louis Ross was present in 1993 to take the pictures.