Cheltenham and Baker Street YMCA’S totally dominated the Cheltenham scene. Between 1927 and 1971, when they won Division 1 no fewer than 25 times, the names of Peter Cruwys, Bob Griffin and Ian Harrison were synonymous with success. In 1960 YMCA Cheltenham hosted the national finals of the YMCA Table tennis competition when Wimbledon beat Doncaster, 1971 saw the visit of England table tennis coach, Bryan Merrett, on the occasion of Cheltenham YMCA hosting the Midland Area Finals, During this time there were often as many as eight tables set up for evening sessions in the main sports hall.
You can enjoy table tennis and other racket sports at our sports centre just off Arle Rd https://ymcacheltenham.com/racket-sports-badminton-table-tennis-short-tennis/
Ian Harrison (left) was the England No. 1 table tennis player, partnered here at the YMCA in 1960 by Kevin Edwards. The sport was once very popular and the local Association ran a number of teams with matches and training taking place in the Lesser Hall, the annexe to the Sports Hall.
In 1944 the Baker Street Boys’ Club were the Cheltenham Table Tenis Champions. Judging by the trophies on display it seems they won more than just a team league.
With the limited movement for everyone during the war, the sport took a more serious dimension and we can be sure that table tennis would have faced stiff competition from other local clubs. However, as most of the “boys” practised several nights a week they would have certainly kept their eye in.
Other sports were equally competitive but the “win at all costs” attitude which developed later had no place in amateur sport then.