Fri 15 Nov 2019 10:57

This Saturday the teams are on the road. The 1st XV head to Birmingham Moseley, the Wanderers head to the RAG to take on Richmond III, while the 3rd XV travel to Bury St Edmund.

Moseley is now a leafy suburb of Birmingham - though it was traditionally in Worcestershire.

One of the interesting residents is Herbert Mason, warrior, theatre impresario and film producer. Coming from a theatrical family, he was a related to Ellen Terry and John Gielgud he took up acting at the Birmingham Rep. However, this career was interrupted when Mason answered his country's call, joining the Warwickshire Regiment in 1914 and served throughout the Great War earning a MC for bravery and leaving as a Major. Between the wars he produced works on stage and screen - putting on Noel Coward's first play at the Vaudeville theatre. In film his debut as assistant director "I was a Spy" was voted fim of the year. He worked with a string of greats, directing early performances by John Mills, Rex Harrison and Vivien Leigh.

At the outbreak of the Second War he was deemed too old for active service, but did join the Home Guard. On stage he produced an adaptation of Agatha Christie's "Peril at End House" written by Arnold Ridley (later to find fame as Private Godfrey in Dad's Army but at the time on active service in Belgium.) On screen Mason worked on "A Yank in the RAF" - a propaganda film that featured actual combat footage. He also directed the information film "Mr Proudfoot shows a light" about the perils of not obeying the black out.

After the War Mason worked with Alexander Korda on "Bonnie Prince Charlie" with David Niven and on "Anna Karenina" which starred Vivien Leigh.

Birmingham Moseley are another of the great old clubs, being founded in 1873 as Moseley FC. In their early days they defeated New Zealand and won the silver medal at the 1900 Olympics. They have appeared in the final of the old John Player Cup three times, losing twice and sharing the cup with Gloucester after a 12-all draw in 1982. They also defeated Fiji and Barbarians.

But the professional era saw administration, near obliteration and then a move to a new home at Billesley Common and a rebuilding of the club. They have added a mini and junior section and a Women's side.

Cambridge are still looking for their first win over Moseley, we have had some epic close encounters and come within a point on two occasions. Maybe this will be the breakthrough. However, this season they have made the Common a fortress with six wins at home but aside from the thrashing of Hull Ionians in the first week all have been by five points or less.

If Cambridge can get their front foot game going, maybe we can cause an upset. Do try and make the short journey up the A14 and M6 to support the boys.

Do not forget that it is our first comedy night. Doors open 19.30, show starts at 20.30.Cost in advance is £10 or on the door £15. Contact John Creighton to reserve tickets.

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