No. 22. Wallpaper, 2018: a montage of sport at Radley College

The history of Radley sport in wallpaper

Organised sport has been central to the life of Radley from the foundation of the school in 1847 when the earliest Fellows included two (Howard and Savory) chosen specifically because they could participate in cricket and boating with the boys. 2016 saw a new development in Radley sport with the appointment of James Gaunt as Director of Sport and the subsequent creation of a Sports Office located on one of the main thoroughfares of the school between Shop and Clocktower.  The new office is shared by the Director of Sport and some of the specialist sports coaches, who include Old Radleian, Nick Wood, formerly of Gloucester Rugby, Olympic rower, Sam Townsend, Hockey Professional Peter Bennett and Cricketer Andy Wagner. But sport already had a long and distinguished career at Radley College and, being keen to uphold and honour that tradition, a decision was taken to decorate the office. Masterminded by James Rock, the Rackets coach, the sports coaches delved through the Archives to identify key moments in Radley sporting history.  They created a timeline which wraps around the room, against a backdrop of world events, and, in the Director of Sport’s office, a wallpaper which is a montage of the many ordinary moments in a school’s sporting life. From sinking boats to early PT, from world champions to the Bash Street Kids – – through the magic of digitisation, all sporting life is here…

Rowing 1891

Both teams Radley v Eton 1918. Radley’s first win against another school

The boat club cycling on the frozen Thames 1929

Boat crew 1861

1880s. Barrault’s watercolour of cricket nets at Radley

1890s. Cricket with the original pavilion and horse-drawn mower

1918. Cricket with the Centenary Pavilion

1919. Boat Club programme signed by the VIII

1919. Ticket for Henley Regatta

1919. Cricket Club programme signed by the XI

1919. The earliest record of beagles at Radley

1880s. Junior cricket

1940. The XV v (an evacuated) Eastbourne. The hardest match ever played at Radley – both teams were on home ground

1857. The earliest photo of the VIII

1861. The Boat Club at Radley’s earliest Boat House

1866. Radley Football XII – wearing the pink fezes with silver tassles of the Football Club

1870. Cricket XI with the cross keys

1921. The new boathouse, built jointly by boys and Dons

1930. At Henley

1860. The VIII (without boat)

1922. Inter-Social IVs

1922. Inter-Social IV

1921. Boys and Dons built the new boathouse together

1940. Radley v Eastbourne – Eastbourne were evacuated to Radley so both sides played at home. (Eastbourne won)

1857. The Fives players – boys. The earliest photo of sport at Radley

1855-57. The Fives players. The earliest photos of Radley sports

1880. Social Colours were first invented to identify crews in Social Fours Bumps

1942. Beagles founded. Nat Sherwood, Boy Master, photographed Starlight, Saucy, Ghostly and Dainty

1938. The first time Radley won the Ladies Plate at Henley

1936. King’s School, Parramatta, Australia was the first school in the world to tour internationally.

1921. Boys and Dons worked together to build a new boathouse

1918. WW1 also showed that the country was unfit. B Social show the way in PT

1880. Social Fours were Bumps Races – a staggered start because the Thames is too narrow to race side by side

1880s. Bat Fives being played on the Clocktower courts. The bat also had a darker side

1860. The Old Gym. Archibald McLaren, the gym instructor, was the first professional sports coach at Radley

1867. Radley Football had its own rules, and teams of 12

1914. The Serpents Badge used by the Rugby Team

In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these means, man can attain perfection. Plato

A timeline of sport at Radley College