History of the Society.
After an embryonic few years, the Society (originally called Raynes Park Old Boys’ Society) was firmly established soon after the last World War and catered primarily for rugby, cricket and hockey enthusiasts. The Rugby Club was started in 1950 by Peter Pritchard and Aubrey Pengilly and played at Joseph Hood until 1957, when the Society, spearheaded by the Rugby Section, purchased a 14 acre green-belt site at Woodstock Lane, Claygate, just off the old A3. Most of the money was borrowed from the Rugby Football Union with the balance being made up from a few interested groups including the War Memorial Fund, which had been formed to commemorate the ex-pupils who had lost their lives in World War Two. A plaque in the original hall was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Southwalk in 1950 but the money left over was given to the Society and the site was named the War Memorial Ground. The facilities comprised four rugby pitches, a club-house and changing rooms (erected by the members) and a car park. In order to raise money, one of the pitches gave way to a golf-driving range and some members used the club-house for a regular game of bridge.
By this time, the Hockey Section had disbanded but the cricket teams - Saturday and Sunday sides - had made Oberon their home and chose to stay in Raynes Park, where weekly matches are still played throughout the summer. The links with the main Society have faded in recent years as the number of former pupils in the team has diminished, although the Society contributed to the Cricket Section’s 50th annual tour in 2014.
Unfortunately, in 1972 the Esher bypass (the current A3 just past the Hook underpass/ roundabout) was constructed and it required all of our land, so the Rugby Club amalgamated with Southern Rugby Club to form Raynes Park Rugby Club, which plays at Taunton Avenue. In 1996, we formed the Raynes Park Former Pupils’ Golf Society based at Pachesham Park Golf Centre in Leatherhead. Golf Society members can play anytime without charge on this 9-hole course, which also has a driving range and friendly club-house.
The Society maintains links with the School by sponsoring outstanding sports boys/girls and it has supported many school projects over the years. More recently this includes a donation of £40,000 towards the sports ground on Westway Close and in 2016 the Society installed two commemorative oak benches at the sports ground. One was inscribed in memory of those former pupils who have lost their lives in war. The other was inscribed in memory of Peter Pritchard, a founder member of the Former Pupils’ Society who died 2015.