The purpose of the Badminton Museum of Ireland is to preserve the great heritage of Irish Badminton and to make the general badminton public aware of it.

At the outset I would like to refer back to the last issue with reference to the Sans Souci Hall in Belfast. I am indebted to Bob Colhoun who confirmed that the Hall was taken over by the army during the war and was subsequently bought by Queens University. He also advises me that, in 1925 Ulster Branch opened another hall in Alexandra Park Avenue. This is no longer in use. So the McCallum Hall was the third Hall owned by Ulster Branch.

In the Gallery is a photograph of players who gave an Exhibition in Limerick in 1951. The audience must have had a real treat. David and Eddie Choong were the holders of the All-England Mens Doubles titles and Frank Peard and Jim FitzGibbon were capable of matching them. All other players in the photograph were of the highest standard. Limerick was a stronghold of Badminton after the war hosting Badminton Carnivals in 1946 and 1947 with top players from all over the country taking part and including the best local players.

The historic item is a press cutting from 1934. It is a great compliment that Sir George Thomas ranked Irishman Willoughby Hamilton as World’s number 1 at that time. In ranking the top 10 singles players he also included Ian Maconachie at number 8 and Tom Boyle at number 10. Other points of interest show that Trustees of the Hall at Elm Park were keen that the club player should have the experience of playing in top class conditions and were obviously offering a special court hire rate to encourage them. It also interesting to see that G.S.B. Mack has decided to follow in the footsteps of Frank Devlin and join the professional ranks in Canada.

I would welcome any comments on the site and would like to hear from anybody who would donate or loan items of interest to the Museum


Dick O’Rafferty


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