During the lockdown we’ve managed to catch up with many OEs to talk about their memories of Emanuel. Barry Boddy recalls House Boxing in the 1960s, which he and his brother Tony (who also played rugby for England) excelled in.

“Firstly boxing, why do it? Well it was on the list of games to be held one term each year rather like cricket and athletics, so if you were keen on sports you just got sucked in – with a little encouragement from some masters. At home my father had bought boxing gloves for my brother and I, Tony, plus a spring boxing punch ball, so we were halfway there.

First rounds at school were held in the gym [now the refectory] and the finals held in Hampden Hall with a real boxing ring raised above spectator seats where it seemed the whole school was collected. I still remember the feelings of apprehension, self-importance, exhilaration and thrill, not to mention the sheer joy and relief at leaving the ring to cheers at the end of the bout.

I remember Ed Nice, and boxing amongst others with Jeremy Tearl, Brian Morgan, Mick Peters all of whom I came across again in the last decades. I really enjoyed my school life, but fully appreciate that it was of its time. I visited the grounds a couple of times in the last few years and my mind was full of nostalgia. However, I saw things have moved on; after all it is now over 50 years gone so I will cling to my memories.”

House Boxing continued until the mid-1970s.

Tony Jones (Senior Librarian and Archivist)