Gloucester is, and always has been, a hotbed of rugby - a city made up of passionate fans who pitch up for their clubs every weekend. A place where sons and grandsons still wear with pride the colours their fathers and grandfathers have boasted in years past. This book is about the history of rugby in the Gloucester area. It looks at the teams and men who made up the rugby landscape at different times, but also at the history of Gloucester itself, which was instrumental in the development of the teams and players. The players came from all areas of the working population; engineering workers from big factories such as Dowty or Fielding and Platt, workers from the local aircraft industry, "Deal tumpers" who unloaded timber from the canal barges and developed rock - solid arms and legs. Rugby in Gloucester was also peopled by churchmen, lawyers and doctors. As this book shows, areas changed and clubs fell by the wayside, only to restart elsewhere. Factories closed or moved, but the men who had worked there stayed loyal to their side for the rest of their lives. This book is an examination of a number of small rugby clubs which have provided sport and a way of life for thousands of Gloucester people for over a century. It is also a social history of an industrial town in the west of England.
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Martin Slatter is a retired surveyor and contracts manager. For over 45 years, Martin has held a variety of posts at his own club, Old Centralians. He has been club captain, chairman, and is currently president. He has also served on the North Gloucestershire Combination for a similar period; for 16 years as secretary and twice for short periods as president. He also served the county rugby union for some 14 years, and the south west division for 5.
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