The Lord’s Taverners was founded in 1950 at believe it or not the Tavern pub at the Lords cricket ground! It was founded after the UK lost a cricket match to the West Indies, at the time was something unheard of, and it was decided “something must be done”, new young talent was needed for the sport.
The Taverners was set up to help bring new talent into cricket, this was largely done in the first 15 years by solely supporting the NPFA. The NPFA were the sole benefactor of money raised by the Lord’s Taverners and went to projects such as building artificial pitches. Prince Philip was involved with the group early on and it was his suggestion to support the NPFA, when he was offered the position of president he declined as it was too much work. It was then suggested that every team should have a 12th man to clean the kit, carry the drinks and generally stay in the Pavilion and get sloshed, Prince Philip accepted this role and has been a 12th man and patron of the Taverners ever since.
In 1951 a membership programme was created, the clubs members included many actors and cricket stars. 1952 saw the birth of the Taverners celebrity matches which is a core fundraising activity today. By the 1970s the Taverners had become well established but membership was still small and largely based in the south east. This all changed with the appointment of Captain Tony Swainson as club secretary and later as club director. He changed it from a club to a club and charity. Membership was expanded through the friends of the Taverners programme and regional offices were developed, in total there are now 25 regional offices.
Captain Swainson also expanded the charitable remit of the club, and in 1975 the club started funding projects for young people with disabilities. The first programme created to aid young people with disabilities was the minibus programme, and over the years this has expanded to include other funded items to provide sporting opportunists such as hydrotherapy pool, pool hoists, sport wheelchairs and adapted sports equipment. The club now provides programmes and funding for a variety of sports no longer focusing on cricket only, the clubs slogan is ‘Giving young people a sporting chance’ .
Stanford Coachworks and The Lord’s Taverners
Stanford Coachworks relationship with The Lord’s Taverners started over 15 years ago. SCW won a contract with Birchwood Ford who supplied the Ford Transits and had the responsibility to find converters. We have built up a strong relationship with the Taverners and they often come to us for guidance on how to make the minibuses better for the beneficiaries. We work closely with each school to make sure the minibus is appropriate for each schools needs and allow them to choose key components such as the seat trims. Its a honour to build minibuses for the Lord’s Taverners and enabling children to access facilities they wouldn’t be able to without the vehicles. We often have the opportunity to meet the pupils who will be benefiting from the vehicle, its great speaking to the staff about how they will use the vehicle. We have also had the opportunity at our events to take the schools pupils out in Caterhams around Brands Hatch with Caterham racing drivers for a few adrenaline fuelled hot laps.
We’re happy to help the Lord Taverners in any way that we can and co-director of the company Jess has even completed the London Marathon twice in aid of the Taverners. First in 2009 raising £13500 and then in 2016 raising £20800, each time enabling the Taverners to donate another minibus to a deserving organisation.