‘To Help Not Hinder’ – The Early Days Of The QPR Supporters Club & The 1936-37 Badge

Some time ago, I managed to pick up the 1936-37 Supporters Club badge. It must be quite rare now and it seems that it was also the very first one that they issued. In the 1936-37 handbook, the ‘Club Chatter’ pages refer to the formation of the Supporters Club the previous season:-

‘A year ago we had not the pleasure of making mention of this worthy body because it did not exist, but now we chronicle its achievements over the last six or seven months with infinite pride. The 2,000 odd members are represented by an energetic Committee, dominated by the one desire to help put the old Club in its rightful position in the football world. The Club’s monetary help must have been a source of satisfaction to the Directors, but it is safe to say that the moral effect of its existence and wholehearted co-operation is appreciated fully more.

Voluntary labour by members has been provided throughout the close season, and as a result the ground has less weeds about it than it had, the woodwork of the Stand and fencing has more paint on it than it would otherwise have had, and the Club has now a palatial headquarters of its very own – adjoining the Press Room. This, by the way, will provide a Recreation Room for the players after training hours. All this is born out of enthusiasm and love of the old Rangers, and who would dare be bold enough to place a limit to the achievement of such a force for good ? – Strength to your arm, lads !’

A few pages further on, there is news of forthcoming social events and also the story on how the Supporters Club came into being:-

‘Towards the end of the season 1934-35 the Supporters of the Rangers were feeling none too good. The season had opened well, we were back on the old Loftus Road Ground, home, indeed, after that mostly unhappy period at the White City Stadium. The team had got well off the mark, and the first half of the season had been full of hope, but these hopes faded out early in the New Year, the attendances at matches fell off to an alarming extent, the Press announced the team was up for sale, and the heart of the keenest supporter began to sink, but, as ever, it was the darkest hour before the dawn, which came with the appointment of our present Secretary-Manager, Mr. W. Birrell.

Before this happy event in the history of the Rangers, however, the seed of a Supporters Club had been sewn by the hundred per cent Rangers Supporter, Mr. H. Barringer. When things looked at their worst, this good sportsman addressed a letter to the Management, suggesting that he would be ready, if some other helpers were forthcoming, to organise a 5,000 shilling fund. As many readers will remember, a small committee was formed and the appeal made to the Rangers followers. It must be admitted that the response was not up to the organiser’s hopes. A small but useful sum was realised, however, and at a time when it was badly needed, but what was to prove of greater importance, was the fact that for the first time, at any rate for a number of years, a small band of Rangers supporters had got together, determined to help and not hinder, the management, and to endeavour to organise the Club’s followers to this end.

Early in the season 1935-36, the question of forming a Queen’s Park Rangers Supporters Club was seriously gone into, and Mr Birrell gave great help from his experience of the Bournemouth Supporters Club, and in persuading the Directors of the usefulness of such a Club if properly constituted and run. The team was playing well , and the attendances at the matches in October and November well up on the average, in fact everything looked ready for the launching of the Q.P.R.S.C. After a further meeting of the promoters at the end of November, the first Public Meeting was held at Ellerslie Road School on 15th December, and the Club officially came into being. All the followers of the Rangers know the rest and how in a few short months, 2,000 of the Club’s followers joined up. We are now starting on our second season, and make our appeal to every member, not only to join up as soon as possible, but to obtain at least one new member. Now come along supporters, our aim is to assist the Management in their efforts to obtain First Division status, and to make our ground second-to-none in West London – E.E.C.

The Supporters Club…What Of The Future ?

You have already read how the Supporters Club first came into existence, and now from a lusty infant it is growing into maturity, but, remember, to be the useful member of the community that we want, the growth can only come with your help. Although only commencing operations well into the second half of last season, we were able to hand over a cheque for ¬£100 to the Directors of the Football Club at our AGM, and in addition we paid for some very necessary Trainer’s apparatus and provided crush-barriers at the Loftus Road end.

This season we want to show an altogether bigger and more useful result. How do we propose to accomplish this ? First of all by Members subscriptions. Don’t forget, however, that such items as printing and stationery etc. have to be paid out of these, that we have therefore to explore other sources of revenue. We are proposing to run various weekly competitions, and in addition to the one run so successfully at the latter part of last season, we are having an old friend, “The Penny-on-the-Ball.” It is hoped that all of you will support these two aids to income, and to help towards a weekly revenue. To get the Supporters Club known in the district, we shall be holding various dances, Whist Drives, concerts and other functions, so please keep a look-out for the dates, and come along and bring your friends.

In conclusion, I would like to commend to you the following golden rule in order to help along the Supporters Club, and so, which is the greatest thing of all, to help the Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club: – (1) Join the Supporters Club and get your friends to do the same. (2) Support the various social functions and other schemes. (3) Don’t be “fair-weather” members only, but be ready to help the “R’s” whether winning or losing – H.W.H.’

The Supporters Club Officers and Committee For 1936-37.

President: D.N. Pritt, K.C., MP

Vice Presidents: F.J. Carter, W.Jones, H.Barringer

Trustees: F.Blackwell, G.Thulborn

Chairman: E.E.Coster

Vice-Chairman & Hon. Entertainments Secretary: W.H.Nunn

Hon.Treasurer: H.W. Hughes

Hon. General Secretary: A.H. Green, 36, Eyot Gardens, Hammersmith, London W6.

Hon. Membership Secretary: M.W.Steptoe

Auditor: H.C.N. Wilson

Committee: E.J. Barsdell, F.J. Lovering, H.E.Perren, A.E. Phillips, G.W. Dowling, F.A.Stone, H.S.Stock, W.H.Smith, W.E.Strutton and E.H. Taylor.

Lastly, a number of forthcoming supporters events were listed as follows:-

1. An opening meeting and Concert at Ellerslie Road School.
2. Various dances at Hammersmith Town Hall, Ladbroke Hall and the Drill Hall in the Harrow Road.
3. And a Concert at the Congregational Hall, also in the Harrow Road.

Steve Russell

8 thoughts on “‘To Help Not Hinder’ – The Early Days Of The QPR Supporters Club & The 1936-37 Badge

  1. Hon. Membership Secretary: M.W.Steptoe

    Very apt indeed.
    I have that badge as well and paid through the nose for it I must add.

  2. Interesting article Steve.

    I recall going into that tiny cramped OSC Office underneath the old wooden Ellerslie Rd Stand in the late 1950’s and displayed upon the wall in all its glory was a big sign with the words To Help not Hinder.

    and Daphne Biggs and Ken Blackburn were right there living up to that motto.

    Also it was the QPR OSC donation that helped pay the transfer fee for centre forward George Whitelaw in 1959.

    Good deeds have been done past and present…and I bet well into the future as well.

  3. I can only urge us all to adhere to the (1), (2) and (3) mentioned by HWH above – especially (2)!

    What a great read, Steve, thanks for bringing that to light and hope that the OSC Committee as exists can further the cause by continuing to live that motto, just as those who have gone before so willingly did.

  4. Great article. I’m currently on the committee of the current OSC. We have been doing quiet alot over the last few seasons and we will continue to do so with a very enthusiastic committee and the support of all other supporters groups to bring the fans together.

  5. A very interesting read Steve. It is good to reflect that the enthusiasm and good work of the Committee which was started back then, is still going strong today.

  6. I am 99% sure that there was a 1935/6 season supporters club badge. My father was a founder member and the badge was the same size as the 1936/7 one with a button style fastening on the back. It was a very similar design to the 1936/7 one but it was not an enamel production and was a more basic badge with a printed insert covered in a plastic coating with white print on a blue background. I’ve just tried to find it and, very frustrating, I can’t find it. I will keep looking though.

  7. I remember when we had “Help not Hinder” back in the mid 70’s as our “motto”. Shame certain executives at the club don’t follow that advice these days.

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