December 1909

In the December 1909 Badminton Gazette, snippets in the Reflections section inform us that the All England Championships move to the Horticultural Hall is now official; a Captain Couper recollects that badminton was definitely being played in Lahore in 1869 and probably in 1868; perhaps the answer to badly heated halls lies in the hand-knitted coats for badminton in the advert from Debenham and Freebody – suggested as an excellent Christmas present for any lady that plays the game; and it is noted that Middlesex has 48 affiliated clubs while Surrey have 46.

The profile for the month is Miss M K Bateman – she is expected to do well and takes the All England Ladies Doubles in the following March.

A suggestion that ladies might like to play veterans’ doubles asks the question – will they be prepared to reveal their ages?

The magazine will include match reports at a charge of 3d.

There is lots of very useful information in an article on the Founder of the Badminton Association Colonel S.S.C. Dolby, see below. He started playing in 1875 in a Military Club in Folkestone, but it is suggested that badminton there was secondary to tea and tattle.

DolbyIt was in 1890 that he joined the Southsea and United Services Clubs, and in 1893 that he founded the Badminton Association and to quote the magazine the importance of which was even greater than would naturally be supposed.

The game was being played in various forms without any generally recognised code of laws and the size of the court varied enormously. The first need was to establish an authoritative code of laws. The various difficulties in establishing a set of rules were overcome and the Badminton Association was successfully launched with about a dozen clubs.

On the formation of the Association Colonel Dolby was elected President and Honorary Secretary, but in a few years resigned the presidency, but remained secretary until 1899 when he was ordered to South Africa.   In South Africa he founded the United Services B.C. at Wynberg. He returned to England in 1905, was posted to Portsmouth and became a member of the Southsea (Services) B.C.

The article concludes – To have been honorary secretary of the Badminton Association for six years, and of three clubs at various times (Colonel Dolby acted in that capacity at Colchester, as well as at Southsea and Wynberg), is surely a unique record – the record of one of the real workers to whom badminton owes its present position.