THE Unicorn Badminton Club in Taunton has just celebrated its 50th birthday.

Originally formed out of the remnants of the Kingston Road Bowling Club with its residual funds of £1 17s 3½ d, by 1966 the club had moved to Priorswood School and finances improved to £3 15s 1d.

Unicorn became one of the founder members of the Taunton Badminton League in 1970 which itself has just celebrated its 40th anniversary.

A year later another move saw Unicorn playing at Wellsprings Primary/Junior School and Eileen Rice became match secretary, a position only relinquished in 2011.

However, membership was dwindling and by 1975 the club knew it either had to merge or find another new home. With prospective bedfellows Alpha and Elms not keen on changing their identities, the club moved to Queen’s and a recruitment drive initiated. The campaign worked and membership rose to a maximum 35 enabling more league teams to be entered.

In 1990 another chapter was started with the twinning with Club Athletique Lexovien in Taunton’s French twin town of Lisieux.

Unicorn and CAL have travelled on alternate years to enjoy the hospitality and friendship of the other club, with the occasional badminton match breaking out.

Unicorn club secretary Rob Helps said: “Another few years on and we were on the move to Bishop Fox’s School, where we stayed until Lottery funding provided the means for a purpose-built venue at the Castle School Sports Centre.

“By now our rapidly-growing junior club was split into two sessions to cope with the numbers, and Unicorn entered the most successful period in its history with both A and B teams playing in Division One of the league.”

Rob added: “We still manage to maintain a strong membership and continue to take an active part in the league itself, and although we do not cater for beginners we welcome prospective members when we have space.”

Anyone wanting more information about the Unicorn Badminton Club — please e-mail