October 1909

Dora BoothbyA look at the Badminton Gazette, October 1909 gives us an idea of what was happening in badminton 100 years ago.   Firstly the magazine, edited by G.A. Thomas, who had already won 4 All England titles would cost more, 7 issues for the season, post free, 1/6d.

A profile of Miss D. Boothby describes her as the most improved player of the time, she is holder of the Mixed Doubles All England Badminton title, and also holder of the Wimbledon All England Tennis mixed doubles championship. Many of the top badminton players also excelled at lawn tennis. The only picture in the magazine is of Miss Boothby (left).

An article on the drop shot covers more than a complete page.

Handicap tables have just been prepared to assist tournament committees – these events were very popular and included in the All England and many other Championships.

We learn that badminton in Yorkshire is making very steady progress – a new club in Hull, Leeds has the strongest team in the county. Good halls are very hard to find, but the Bradford club is highly favoured in this respect.

One of England’s leading manufacturers has recently shipped rackets to France and Russia.

There are notes from Ireland and it is reported that the formation of a French Badminton Association is being considered.

St Andrews in Scotland is reported to be at least 24 years old – the search for the oldest club was already starting.

The adverts also give us an idea of equipment, the Slazengers G.A.T. racket costs 15/- (75p) and their regulation shuttlecocks 6/- (30p) per dozen.   Barrel shaped shuttlecocks are available from Geisler’s who claim they have been used by most leading clubs since 1901, but straight feather shuttles are now well established and will replace the former barrel shuttle. There are many rackets described, some called bats and even a fish tail model by John Jacques and Son.   Firms are experimenting with stringing to give better performance.

The next issue of the magazine will be November 1909 and we will follow how their season was progressing in due course.