The RFA Archives, which long ago used to occupy two suitcases and a box, have grown enormously in the last thirty years thanks to the ease of communication by email and the increased accessibility of historical material on the internet. Schools have been generous in opening their archives to us, and we have published illustrated articles on more than twenty of them. Many RFA members have contributed by writing articles and sending in material.

The job of digitising ‘official’ material such as minutes of meetings, old handbooks and newsletters has been successfully undertaken, huge numbers of photos have been assembled, and much of the older printed and written material has now been scanned. The work on incorporating more recently acquired historical material with the ‘hard-copy’ items in the Archives continues.

I would like to thank my long-standing collaborators Dave Hebden and Bob Dolby, who have made the business of investigating the history of fives so enjoyable and have taken upon themselves so many tasks that I couldn’t have done myself.

I am sure they would join me in saluting the efforts of earlier historians, particularly John Armitage, Brian Griffiths and Ron Colville, who laid the foundations of the Rugby Fives Association’s Archives.

The RFA has an extensive archive of materials, currently in the care of our Archivist, David Barnes. The Archive consists of a large collection of documents, photographs and memorabilia relating to the history of Rugby Fives. It is our intention to place a great deal of this material online in due course.

The majority of the articles which are reproduced in this Archive come from the following publications:

  • The Squash Rackets, Fives, Tennis and Rackets Magazine 1932-36
  • Squash (Squash Rackets and Fives) 1936-38
  • The RFA Handbook 1937-1988, 1996-2005
  • The Fives (RFA & EFA) Annual Review 2006-2010
  • The RFA Annual Review 2011-present
  • The RFA Newsletters 1977-78, 1989-2003
  • The RFA Club Newsletters 1977-95
  • The Fives (Federation) Newsletter 2006-present


Hon Archivist
David Barnes