- 1927-1973 (Creation)
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Club tradition held that the Polytechnic Fencing Society was originally founded in 1883, and there are records of fencing displays taking place at the Polytechnic as early as 1881. However, the Polytechnic Magazine records the first formal meeting of the Fencing Society as having taken place on November 25th 1898, with officers elected including Douglas Hogg as president. As well as holding the presidency Hogg is recorded as having been an active fencer who won the Club Championship in 1899. In 1902 the club was one of the founding constituents of the Amateur Fencing Association.
Membership appears to have fluctuated in the years before the First World War, but in 1918 the club was reconstituted by Captain W. C. James with Major W. B. Marchant as president. By the late 1920s fencing was taking place throughout the year and the club was active in competition. A new constitution was enacted in October 1927 and Sir Kynaston Studd elected President. Notable club members from this time include British champion and Olympian A. E Pelling who was awarded the Studd Trophy in 1934. By 1937 the club had 104 members and was beginning to suffer from overcrowding.
The Second World War disrupted the club's activities, but fencing was quickly resumed at the end of hostilities. In the post-war period the club thrived, particularly with the appointment of the instructor Bela Imregi in the late 1950s. During the 1960s and 1970s the club achieved major competition victories and club members included the Olympians Martin Beevers, John Deanfield, and Stephen Netburn, and Commonwealth champions Richard Cohen, David Eden and Jim Philbin. The club merged with the Polytechnic Ladies Fencing club in 1972.
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This collection has been catalogued at item level and arranged into the following series:
PFE/2 Financial records
PFE/4 Membership records