Black Notley Community Association Colne Liberal 
 Bocking United Services Club Crittall  NETTS 
 Braintree College  Crittall Witham  Rayne 
 Braintree Youth Centre  Dunmow  Witham 


It was the late Roy Franklin who first got a club going in Black Notley, a village he had lived in for many years.  It was after chatting to a number of parents that he felt there would be enough support for a club at the community association which both played in the Braintree League and encouraged some of the younger members of the village to take up the game.
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BUSC’s beginnings are lost somewhat in the mists of history.  They started at a time when the league’s records are a bit thin and they carried on as something of an also-ran for a number of years before bursting forth as the league’s major club for a period – then slipped back even more quickly to one team before disappearing altogether.  For most of that time, they played in the old schoolroom, one of the league’s cosier venues, lacking a bit of space but with a good floor, a perfectly adequate table and some refreshment from the bar at half-time.
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Braintree College first entered a team in the league in 1968 when they finished fourth in division one.  PE lecturer and reigning men’s singles champion Fred Sheldrake was the main driving force.  
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Like most clubs relying on junior players, BYC’s stock has waxed and waned as one generation has moved on to be replaced by the next.
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The Bramston club is a good example of how an excellent venue, keen organisers, a largely untapped contact area and good marketing can produce an instant table tennis club.
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Colne, under its various guises – Colne Engaine, Colne Valley, Hunter Colne Valley and just plain Colne - was one of the league’s longest standing and most successful clubs.  It was also its most restless, having occupied numerous different premises during its 30-year existence.
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The history of the Crittall club goes back well beyond the beginning of this section and is synonymous with the early history of the league.  Not only were the individual preliminaries and finals night held at the Crittall Social Club for many years, but Crittall A spent much of that time at the top of the first division.
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In the years when Crittall had factories all over the place and social facilities to match, a club was formed at the Witham social club.  Matches were held in fairly cavernous surroundings in what was basically a dance hall with a highly polished floor and very little heating.  It took about four tables and at its height they were in full occupation on a Sunday morning for practice.
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It has been a source of regret and frustration that a place as big as Dunmow has not been able to put a team in the league for some years.  They were regulars for a long period but since they dropped out in 1983, there has not been a stirring.
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The Liberal table tennis club was formed in 1977 when the Liberal Club in Coggeshall Road, Braintree, built an extension and its secretary, former men’s singles champion Peter Byford, used his influence to ensure the room was big enough for table tennis.
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The article below is taken from Netts’ website,
North Essex Table Tennis School (NETTS) was formed in August 2000 and is based in Earls Colne Recreation Club, in Earls Colne, near Colchester, Essex.
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(I am indebted to the Rayne website ( for the bulk of this information.)
Rayne’s history dates back to 1976 when Celia Fowler (later Mrs Whybrow), Paul Chinnery and Ian Whiteside decided to form a club in the village.  They set themselves up in the Old Schoolroom after an approach to the rector and borrowed a rickety table from the youth club who met next door.
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The Witham club was where I spent the bulk of my playing career.  I was there throughout its existence, from summer 1977 to summer 2002, the only person to stay there the whole time.
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