History of Northampton Table Tennis League

In 2009 the League was 75 years old.

To mark that occasion the 'record book'  was put on line.

Northampton Table Tennis League

Established 1934

This account was found in the Record
Book which was compiled by R.W. Allen (Hon Sec. 1965-2001) in 1966  

History of the Northampton Table Tennis League 

Very little is known about the early history of the league, because although it was founded in 1934, handbooks were not introduced until 1956-57 season.  A team called BRANCH is engraved on the Men’s 1st Division cup for the season 1936-37 but it is not recorded who won the first 2 seasons.

The Mens 2nd Division was started in 1938 and was won by THE TECHNICAL COLLEGE, who were also the first winners of the 3rd Division when that was introduced in 1950. 
There were no competitions between 1939-1946 because of the war and YMCA won the 1st Division when it restarted in the season 1946-47.

They were followed by QUEENS ROAD who won four seasons on the trot, their winning run coming to an end when UNITED TENNIS CLUB won it for the first time in 1951-52.

UTC A was strengthened by a youngster who was to become famous in the world of Lawn Tennis.  Billy Knight became the first player to win the Junior Singles and the Mens Singles in the same year – 1951.

A Ladies Division was started in 1948 and ran until 1954 and restarted in 1964 with two divisions in 1967. It dropped back down to one division in 1976 stopped in 1979.

In the early days, league matches were played with teams of four-a-side playing 8 singles and 2 doubles. A fifth player could have been used in the
doubles.  A Team Knockout competition for teams of three-a-side was started in 1954 and an experimental 3-a-side league was introduced in 1955.  Although the latter only ran for one season, the Team Knockout carried on and was split into groups of a maximum of 32 teams until it was made
a handicap competition in 1980 the introduction of the Premier Division in 1966-67 with the eight top teams playing each other three times was followed by a gradual changeover to three-a-side matches throughout.  In 1967 the Premier was made three-s-side to be followed in the next six years by the remaining divisions.  The Ladies Division from 1964 was always three-a-side.

The growth of the league has not always been upwards as can be seen from the following table:

Season

No. of Clubs

No. of Teams

No. of Divisions

Approx No. of Players

1955-56

23

38

4

190

1960-61

28

49

5

250

1965-66

30

76

6 + 1 ladies Div

380

1973-74

48

129

10+ 2 Ladies Div

550

1979-80

35

96

8

400

1981-82

38

100

9

440

The position of Honorary General Secretary has not changed much over the last two decades.  Ralph Reynolds did it from 1960-1965 and Reg Allen has been Secretary from 1965 to present day.

R W Allen 14.12.81

Reg continued to be Secretary until 2001.  He was presented with a silver salver for his services to Table Tennis to commemorate his 25 years as Secretary in 1990.

 


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