Evening everyone and welcome to what would have been the Devon Senior Cup Final match report of which Barnstaple Chiefs would probably have featured and quite possible another date at Pottington Road in the sunshine just like last year, unfortunately it wasn’t to be but it does give me a chance to a blog together just to keep you up to date. Firstly though I hope you are all keeping safe and well and that the lockdown isn’t too stressful for you, for me I’m just happy I live in a place with lots of green space to enjoy the sunshine when I’m out for my daily exercise. We do have an exciting interview by NCA rugby with Bryn Jenkins which I’ll link to at the end of the blog so do take a look at how Bryn views next season for the Chiefs.

But today we begin with some sad news of the passing of a former Barnstaple Chiefs player from the either side of WW2 in particular the 1948-49 and 1949-50 seasons. David Kelland. David’s grandson Rob Tutton had this to say about his grandfather.

Dear Barnstaple Rugby Club
It is with great sadness that I message you to tell you that my Grandfather David Kelland has passed away in a Care Home in Oxford this morning at the age of 94, and joins his beloved wife Olive who also passed away recently this year.

He enjoyed the Barnstaple Rugby Club history book I purchased from you in recent years that included team pictures of him in it, I enjoyed listening to all his rugby stories over the years and there was quite a few on away trips and antics to Redruth, and Devonport Services to name only a few and him playing with an England international that played for Barnstaple Club at the time (Jonah) and all the characters around the club at the time and many many more stories, even I could write a book on them !.

He played for you before and after the second world war where he served in the Merchant Navy, he lived in Silver Street, Barnstaple with his parents and his Aunty Mrs Annie Chapple before transferring to Oxfordshire to work with the Post Office, he was always great mates with Jack Barrow (Landlord of the Castle Inn, Landkey) until Jack passed away, attending school together and playing their beloved rugby together, I have popped in the club when down visiting constantly and seen them both in the team photos on the gallery wall of team pictures you had up in the corridor.
Kind regards
Rob Tutton (David Kelland’s Grandson)

David Kelland is back row 4th from left

Barnstaple Rugby club would like to pass on our condolences and deepest sympathies to David’s family and friends.

So what’s happening in the rugby world currently that is an interesting question? As you know the RFU have finally sorted out the various leagues and of course Barnstaple are now as you are all well aware promoted to National 2 South as South West Premier League champions and boy what a season that will prove to be especially given that most of our fixtures will be against sides from the southeast of England with visits to such delightful places as Henley, Canterbury and Bury St. Edmonds. There are a few teams we so enjoyed last season especially Worthing who were great fun and enjoyed The Cornerhouse enormously. Also on the cards is a trip to Leicester and of course the weekend away at Guernsey. So plenty to look forward to and plenty of long trips, I bet the treasurer has become a nervous wreck wondering how to pay for it all. Anyway here is an interactive map for you to see where we are playing next season and how much travel is involved, notice the cluster around london.

But you may ask when this all will take place because listening to the government’s chief medical advisor stating that it would be unlikely that social distancing restrictions will be relaxed until after Christmas would mean no rugby to 2021. So will it be a furloughed season to restart in 2021/22, which is a possibility although there is very little information on the RFU site as it seems they are mostly concerned at present on finishing this season’s premier league, which is fair enough as our own season would only just be finishing and everything hinges on the Governments exit strategy on the lockdown so there really is little to report.

As for Barnstaple the club is in lockdown as you can imagine but there is a small group of volunteers working in rotation cutting of the grass on all the pitches and trying to keep some semblance of order on our green turf. Now before you all start shouting they are using their own tools, working on their own and working according to the government guidelines and taking every precaution. Otherwise there is very little to say however just to whet your appetite for the coming season here’s the post from the interview Bryn Jenkins gave to NCA Rugby just click HERE

Below is a gallery of some of my photos of the season and remember stay safe and look after yourselves until next time


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