Situated on a 12 acre site of green-belt land overlooking the Severn Estuary, North Bristol RFC is just 200 metres off the M4 and M5 (Junction 16) intersection at Almondsbury on the outskirts of Bristol. Click here to view a map.
North Bristol RFC field three regular teams, with the 1st XV playing in Gloucester 1 League and both the 2nd XV and 3rd XV playing in the GRFU run Reserve Leagues.
Training nights are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30pm. We have recently installed a brand new gym and there is a separate treatment room used by our fully qualified physiotherapist.
We have a flourishing a very successful Junior Section with over 300 young players, from U5s to Colts, all with RFU qualified and DBS checked coaches. Sessions are on Sunday mornings and also held during the week.
We are also running Girls sessions on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm for U13s, U15s and U18s with a view to running teams for the 17/18 season. We are offering free membership for the girls for 17/18.
The Junior Section is very much family orientated and offers many social activities. Annual Rugby Tours are a popular and enjoyable part of their social calendar. Please select the JUNIORS Tab at the top of this page to visit their website.
The Senior Club similarly adopt a family orientated policy and offer a wealth of social activities. Many members participate in the Annual Rugby Club Tour, usually flying into Europe. The Senior Club has toured every season since 1963/64.
North Bristol RFC is the COMPLETE RUGBY CLUB. No matter whether you are interested in playing League rugby, a player seeking an enjoyable social rugby experience, a Junior keen to start playing or an interested rugby spectator, there will always be a welcome for you at "OAKLANDS - THE HOME OF NORTH BRISTOL RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB".
The club was founded on 24th April 1933 by former pupils of the North Bristol Central School, which at that time was sited in Bishop Road / Clevedon Road, Bishopston. Former pupils, John Wright and Fred Frost initiated the resolve to form the rugby club which became known as North Bristol Central Old Boys RFC.
The first officials of the club were elected at a General Meeting held on 24th April at the school:
President – E. L. G. North (he was the sports master at the school at that time)
Hon. Secretary – J. Wright
Hon. Treasurer – F. Frost
Hon. Team Secretary – F. Tily
1st XV Captain – F. Frost
1st XV Vice-Captain – B. Woolrich
2nd XV Captain – P. Welch
2nd XV Vice-Captain – G. Warr
Chairman of Selection Committee – E. Iles
Member of Selection Committee – G. Packer
There were some 40 former pupils recruited during the first season. The school colours of royal blue with a 6 inch red hoop were chosen as the Old Boys’ colours and two sets of jerseys were obtained on credit from Loxton’s Sports shop in Stokes Croft. John Wright arranged for a pitch and changing accommodation at Northville Road, Filton where Ashley Down Old Boys had their home.
The first matches were played on 23rd September 1933 when the 1st XV lost to St Andrews Church 23-0 and the 2nd XV lost to Old Bristolians 33-0. On 7th October 1933 the 1st XV recorded its first win against Avonside on the Bristol Combination Ground, 22-3.
By 1938 membership had increased sufficiently to field a 3rd XV which necessitated the acquisition of an additional pitch and a subsequent move to Greenway Farm, Doncaster Road, Southmead. In the season following the outbreak of war in September 1939, the club continued to function, but as more members joined the Services, the teams fielded were reduced. The club relied on guest players to maintain numbers and one such guest was Charlie Hill, formerly of Bishopston RFC, who was invited to play for the club by Dennis Skinner on 10th April 1940 against an Army XV at the Memorial Ground. Charlie would become a cornerstone of the Club for the next 62 years!
In the early fifties, Greenway School, a large boys secondary school was built on land adjacent to Greenway Farm and the Club began to use the school facilities and pitches. During the season 1955/56 the Club tie and blazer badge, featuring the silver unicorn motif was adopted, having been designed by a member of the Art Department at Monks Park School.
At the Annual General Meeting in 1963, it was agreed that the Club name be changed to North Bristol Rugby Football Club. The North Bristol Central School had ceased to exist and the Club had been an open one since the 1939/45 War.
After many years using the excellent facilities at Greenway School, a shock letter from the Head Teacher in March 1966 heralded an unexpected change to the sports requirements at the school. The rugby pitches would revert to soccer pitches after Christmas and the Club were forced to look for a new home. An Extra-ordinary Meeting held on 13th June 1966 resulted in the Management Committee being authorised to proceed with negotiations to purchase land on which to construct pitches and a clubhouse. On 2nd October 1966, John Wright was advised of a possible land sale in the parish of Almondsbury. A tract of land at Woodlands Lane was purchased for £3000 and a grant from the RFU and the Department of Education enabled work to commence on the ground and the clubhouse from July 1967. The work was completed in November 1967 and the ground and clubhouse was available for use on 25th November 1967 with two games against Bristol Harlequins. The official opening of the new ground and clubhouse by Mr Douglas Harrison, President of the RFU at the time, took place on Sunday 3rd December 1967 followed by a match against a Bristol Old Players XV.
The Club celebrated the 50th Anniversary with a dinner / dance at the Eurocrest Hotel, Hambrook on Saturday 3rd September 1983. J.V. Smith, President of the RFU was our chief guest. As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, Charles Hill and Don Payne compiled the “Jubilee 1933 – 1983” book.
Towards the end of 1983, the Club were aware of a Northavon District Council Plan to develop a huge tract of land commonly referred to as Patchway Common. Our ground and facilities would probably be subject to a compulsory purchase order and the Management Committee would need to act quickly to safeguard the Club’s interests. In March 1984 the trustees inspected a twelve acre tract of land adjoining the M5, behind the Motorway Police Headquarters, just off the A38 and less than half a mile from our Woodlands Lane Ground. On 21st March 1985, contacts were agreed with Pearce developments for their purchase of the site at Woodlands Lane and for C. H. Pearce Contractors Ltd to develop the ground and construct the new clubhouse at Oaklands. On Sunday 30th August 1987 our relocation to Oaklands was officially celebrated. The ground and clubhouse were opened by Barry Jones, President of the GRFU. A game against an International XV was played. Although the first points to be scored on the new ground came from a try by Adrian Hadley (Wales), it was fortuitous that Steve Arthur, NBRFC Club Captain, scored the next try immediately after the restart.
Our 60th Anniversary celebration was held in a marquee at the Club with England and Lions winger David Duckham the guest speaker. Club Chairman Ken Rendell was presented with an inscribed silver salver and a whiskey decanter and glasses to mark his outstanding service to the club over some very difficult years.
Our 75th season was marked with Promotion back to Western Counties North following a win against Chew Valley in a playoff and Steve Bold and Laurie Hayward produced a superb colour book commemorating the milestone.
Our Junior Section started in 1989, started by Laurie Hayward and Chris Brockett and it has gone from strength to strength since.
North Bristol RFC Life Members