1962/63 Saclay Tour

Why Versailles? The tour we did in 1963, was at the invitation of the French atomic energy research centre rugby team, that was based at Saclay, outside Paris. We took 2 teams and played at the pitch in the neighbouring village of Gif sur Yvette.

In the hill above the pitch (see Photo 1) was the home of the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson. They had been invited to come to the match, but disappointedly didn't turn up.

Our hosts arranged accommodation in an antiquated hotel in the centre of Paris, and we stayed on for a few days to do some sightseeing. This included a visit to the Palace of Versalles accompanied with some of our French hosts and their wives. The thing that impressed us most at Versailles was the communal toilets(men and women), just a large room with a row of toilet pans around the edge of the room. We were not really into all the culture stuff!

A number of our guys had not been abroad before so I spent most of my time in Paris making sure the younger lads kept out of trouble, Quite a task. One of them insisted he wanted to rescue and bring home one of the 'ladies of the night'

We tended to drink wine as we would usually consume beer, with unfortunate results.

Harwell v Gif sur Yvette, April 1965
24th March1963, Harwell v Saclay at Gif sur Yvette
Johnny Morralee, Bill Baker, ?, Don Summers, ?, ?, ?, ?, Tony Harvey, Eddie Athey, Ron Screech, Frank Freeman, Ken ??

At Versailles With Some of Gif sur Yvette Team, April 1965
Photo 2: 23rd March1963, At Versailles With Some of Saclay Team

Inside Versailles, April 1965Photo 3: 23rd March1963, Various team members inside Versailles

Getting To Know The Versailles Locals, April 1965Photo 4: 23rd March 1963, Don Summers, Ken ?? and Wally Spittle getting to know the locals!

Match Day Programme Harwell v Gif sur Yvette, 25th April, 1965
Document 5: 25th April, 1965, Match Day Programme Harwell v Saclay