Six manuscript record and minute books of the St. Alban Club for young men, Plumstead, filled with references to football and cricket, and containing a number of newspaper cuttings and items of printed ephemera.

[The St. Alban Club, Woolwich; St Alban's (Plumstead) Football Club; Hugh Lambert Ogle, Vicar of Plumstead; Edwardian football and cricket]
Publication details: 
St. Alban's, Plumstead. 1902, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908.
SKU: 12101

In six 'Boudoir' diaries (printed by Joseph Mead, London), of uniform format and layout, but in different colours. Very good, on aged paper, with slight damp damage to a couple of the worn bindings. Although containing numerous entries, the volumes are by no means completely full of entries: there are none, for example, beyond March in the 1907 volume, or beyond Apirl in the 1908 one. Of interest is the club's proximity to the Manor Ground, Plumstead, home until 1913 of the Woolwich Arsenal F.C. The entry for 16 December 1905 reads: 'There was no football match today most of the players made their way towards Woolwich Common to see a football match in which we were very much interested others visited the Manor Field to see the Arsenal play.' An undated newspaper cutting, loosely inserted into the volume for 1904, gives a flavour of the Club's activities: 'The S. ALBAN'S CLUB has commenced another year of its useful life, and has now 27 members on its senior roll. The Annual Report records a successful Cricket Season, under the captaincy of D. McMillan, winning 10 out of 17 matches. The Club nights at S. Alban's Hall have been well patronised through the summer months, and now that the winter season has commenced, the room is greatly appreciated. At the Annual Club Tea at the Tower Hosue on September 22nd, Mr. Jay gave a Lantern Lecture on Winchester College, and subsequently Mrs. Ogle distributed the prizes and certificates for Bible Class Papers [...] W. Fry and J. Rand are respectively Captain and Vice-Captain of the football team, and Mr. Probyn Godson has kindly lent a field for the season. It is pleasant to see old members from time to time at the Bible Class, especially when they wear the King's uniform and are no longer "Jim" but Private F. and Gunner C. It is a pleasant feature in the Club, that whilst the Bible Class is quite voluntary, it is always the best attended meeting during the week.' At the back of the first volume are given the names of the 1901-2 and 1902-3 general committees and football teams, with full members, associates and probationers for 1902, and 'Attendance at Bible Class', 1900-1, as well as a list of secretaries. Laid in at the beginning of the first volume is a bifolium (3pp., 12mo), nicely printed by 'THORN, WOOLWICH.': 'St. Alban Club. Programme of Entertainment and Prize-Giving, January 28th, 1902.' Together with other club news, the diaries contain numerous reports of football and cricket matches, often accompanied by newspaper cuttings, as well as of other club activities including lectures ('Lantern Lecture on China' by 'Capt. Young RA'; 'a graphic description of all that the Police Court missionaries are doing with the help of the magistrates to save those who are falling into crime' by 'Mr. Low'), club nights ('Draughts, dominoes, halma, & tiddliewinks [sic] were kept going from 7.30 to 9.'), swimming, fretwork studies, bible classes and annual club tea. Starting on 20 July 1906, an eleven-page entry describes 'the most successful and enjoyable holiday in the History of the club': a week 'on the "Cambridge House Boat" at Rye Harbour'. The first football report, 11 January 1902, is characteristic: 'Football. Match was played on Home ground v. St. James' United F.C. & resulted in the first defeat of the season. In the first quarter of an hour Nicholls obtained an off-side goal after which there was no scoring until half time. St. James' then broke away twice & scored 2 goals by sudden rushes, though the ball was kept most of the time very near their goal. Both sides played up well & it was a splendid game. Mr. Walton of Lombard Wall School come over to referee, Lieut Spence having been vaccinated.' The entry for 17 May 1902 is headed 'EXPEDITION TO LEYTON': 'This date was left open for an expedition to the Leyton ground to see The Australians v Essex. Five of the team went over including Captain & Vice Captain. Unfortunately the weather was very stormy but we were able to see most of the Australian team batting before it finally came on to rain in torrents & stopped the match.' On 4 January 1906 'There was a club night at Tower House; after the games we had the annual gathering to let off the crackers. After this we all joined together and sang Auld Lang Syne and the National Anthem. There was a very good attendance.' On 21 January 1906: 'The Clubs sixth anniversary was celebrated by a service in St Albans Church which was conducted by The Rev W. J. Baily President of the club, who was assisted by the Rev G. H J Gray Vice President Mr Baily preached a fine sermon in which he gave us some very good advice. There was a very good attendance but all the members were not there, as they really ought to have been.' The entry for 8 February 1906 describes a general committee meeting held at the Tower House 'to consider arrangments for the starting of a Junior Club'. Entry for 26 January 1907: 'Football match v Royal Arsenal Police | This match was scratched by the Club who were unable to raise a team, much to the annoyance of the Policemen.' From the Papers of the Jay family (A Jay being a member).