The Hickman Family
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Copyright: © Ealing Football Club (RU)

On the Beaconsfield RFC website there is a snippet of history mentioned “Beaconsfield Rugby Football Club was founded in 1952 by Jack Hickman, a rugby enthusiast and a leading light at Ealing RFC.” This provoked a search to find out more and this exposed the Hickman family relationship with Ealing Ruby Club and Beaconsfield RFC.

Herbert Roberts Hickman (Jack) 1900-1971

Nora Constance Hickman, Jack’s wife 1900-2002

Jack and Nora’s children

Terence John Roberts Hickman (John) 1926-2008

Patricia Joy Hickman, 1929-2004

David Roberts Martin Hickman 1932-2016

Nigel Ian Hickman 1938, now living in Thailand.

The Club contacted Mike Wood, President at Beaconsfield Rugby Club, and Mike provided the contact details for Nigel. Nigel proved to be a source of some interesting memories.

Nigel Hickman

Nigel says

“My memories of Ealing Rugby Club are from years 1945 to 1952 when I was aged 6 to 14. In those days Ealing played at The UCS Old Boys ground at Osterley, fantastic facilities.

I'm not really sure if my father ever played rugby for Ealing. I think his connection to The Club would have been to support my brother John.

Jack founded The Ealing 7's which was a resounding success for many years. When the family moved to Beaconsfield in 1950 we still travelled up to Ealing to watch John play. After a couple of years, the journey from Beaconsfield to Osterley became too much for Jack. In those days there were no motorways and the A40 was a two-lane road. Also, my father loved his beer, and the journey back home was quite long and hard !!

So in 1952 Jack founded The Beaconsfield Rugby Club and they played their first match in 1953. That was really the end of his days at Ealing, but John of course stayed on. My brother John was an Ealing man through and through and was until his final days.

Although I was 12 years John’s junior, I still remember many of his friends at The Club, sadly they are all departed. I actually played ONE game for Ealing at Gunnersbury Park. I was staying with John at his flat in Ealing Broadway and he took me along to The Granville Pub next to Ealing Common Station (sadly gone). The Ealing away sides always met there before away games. Well Ealing's bottom side were a man short so they sorted me out some kit and off we went to the ground. Can't remember the opposition or who won.

My mother and sister were Ealing supporters and my sister, being a teenager, mixed well with John’s mates. The only paid up members of Ealing were John and my father, the rest of us were just guests.”

Club Honours

HR “Jack” Hickman - Club Vice President

TJR “John” Hickman - Club Captain 1954-56, Club Vice president

Centenary Dinner 1971

Nigel provided information about the Centenary Dinner 1971 and the Club Centenary Dinner Menu & Guests list which confirms that D Hickman HR Hickman, N Hickman and TJR Hickman all attended with TJR being seated on the top table.

“The people I remember are : - Doug Barge, Phil Bromley, Terry Connor, Daniels, Pat Egan, The Essex Family, Laurie Grace, WDC Hedges, Lambard, Sam Larkin, John Mallinson, John Moon, The Nolan Family, Gordon Penrose, Jack Preece, Sir W Ramsay, Ralph Scoines, The Sowerbys, Geoff Sykes, The Tiltons and Peter Yarrington.

Phil Bromley married my cousin Adrienne Hickman. Phil had died but Adrienne is alive and kicking. Laurie Grace was Welsh and was a fantastic singer. I think that Bill Hedges was part of The Benson and Hedges Family, I remember he was wounded in action in WW2 and walked with a stick. Ernest Lambard was my brother in law, not a rugby man. Sam Larkin WAS the Club, he was the driving force. John Mallinson was my brother’s best friend. John Moon also. Martin Nolan was a larger than life character, quite a handful. Jack Preece was an ex-copper London fixture exchange, every club knew him.

Sir W Ramsey opened Beaconsfield Rugby Clubhouse 1971, I expect my old man collared him at the dinner!! Geoff Sykes left Ealing after playing and joined Ruislip as Fixture Secretary. Warwick Tilton also best mates with brother John. And, of course, Peter Yarrington of Wasps/England who became good friends at Beaconsfield.”

Mike Williams

Mike Williams recalls

"When I joined the club in season 1956/7 I played with John Hickman In 1st xv & I think he played the following season in 1stxv. He certainly attended some social functions for several years after. John was a very social & lively character who had been club captain 1954-1956. David and Nigel were his brothers.  I knew brother Nigel as he sometimes visited the Ealing clubhouse & also came to The Royal Oak pub with John where Ealing members met for Twickenham internationals. Nigel,  I believe, lived in Beaconsfield & was involved with Beaconsfield rugby club &  I remember on one or two occasions we stopped in there for a pint or two on the way back from matches with sides like Henley, Marlow High Wycombe, & Newbury. etc.

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