AGM held 4th March 21 and reopening plans

Held on Zoom there were 11 attendees, 8 Managing Committee (MC) members and 3 ordinary members. This was sufficient to carry out formal business according to our Constitution.

The Chairman, Tony Nickson, outlined the activities that have been carried out by the Managing MC while the club has been closed which includes constant communication by email, Whatsapp, regularly attending British Fencing Community discussions and two Zoom MC meetings.

This effort has resulted in plans for indoor fencing in groups of 6, including sanitising, registration of attendees, and full Risk Assessments and expanding to full sessions as soon as permitted.

We have had no reply from the school whose cooperation would be needed.

Whilst we would prefer to re-start fencing at the school we need to be realistic that it might not be possible until September and we will continue to look for other, temporary, venues so that we can achieve our objective of restarting as soon as possible. These include a venue we have used before and another that we will investigate.

The Government Roadmap indicates that we might be able to start with some outdoor activities from 29th March dependent on weather and approval from local authorities. These might include exercises and games not needing fencing weapons.

The Roadmap indicates that full fencing might be able to restart from 17th May. It is envisaged that fencing will restart for existing Adult Members first. Depending on the space and times available this MAY BE accompanied by EITHER Adult Trainees OR Musketeers. A lot depends on the size of the venue, the times we can book and the Covid rules applicable at that time.

Either way, presuming the virus situation does not regress, we anticipate a full club for all categories of fencer to open in September at the school.

Our greatest concern regards the number of fencers who will return. Unfortunately, members will have moved away, got out of the exercise ‘habit’ and, in the case of junior members, changed school, gone to University or found other activities. We are working on the basis of launching as would a new club; starting small and taking on more space and sessions as required.

There is a continual stream of enquiries from people, both adults and juniors, wanting to start fencing and joining our email list, which is encouraging.

The Treasurer, Henry Fazakerley, reported on our finances which shows a healthy financial balance with minimal outgoings whilst we remain closed and more than enough to invest in a relaunch from a reduced level of membership if necessary.

The equipment, having been in store for so long, will need extensive refurbishment and cleaning before it can be used and will be recovered from the school as soon as practically possible so that a start can be made on that task.

All the ‘whites’ will need washing and assistance with this particular exercise will be appreciated.

In the meantime we ask all existing members to drop us an email via the Contact Page to show their readiness to return when we re-open as this greatly assists our planning to get back to the joys of fencing in a vibrant club once again.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Club Annual Championships and other competitions

The Annual Club Championships for Epee will take place on Tuesday 10th March with Foil on 12th. One round of pools and DE. Also prizes for Intermediates (less than 3 years fencing)

We have our usual invitation to the Malta Open coming up in June, this year with team events to add to the individual foil and epee, which has the bigger entry. It is being held over three days. Originally a friendly match between Maltese and British fencers it is now an international event.

You can find more info and entry form here

Just in case you don’t know, Malta, being between Sicily and the African coast, was a strategic British air base in the Second World war and prevented a lot of military supplies getting to the enemy. It got a real pasting for two years and it’s people almost died from starvation, but never gave in. The island and its people were awarded the George Cross in recognition of their sacrifices.

HEMA – Half Term activity

HEMA is Historic European Martial Arts. There are HEMA clubs all over the country but we have one in New Cross. Some of their members have attended the Club for Olympic Fencing training. Now we are invited to go to one of their sessions. See the latest Club Newsletter for details. Parents of Musketeers are invited too!

More about HEMA here

Fencing Kit Discount

Whilst the club provides (almost*) everything you need it is always nice to have your own. Through our coach, Andrew Nisbet, you can get discount from various suppliers. He also has some second hand and new but unused items available both for children and adults. There is a representative list here

If you are an Adult Trainee thinking about continuing with fencing then you do need breeches to meet safety regulations. These cost about £55 and we just need your waist dimensions!

Browse the Leon Paul  and PBT websites and see if something whets your appetite for now or, perhaps, Christmas!

Orders are placed about once per term with one coming up soon! Contact Andrew to discuss asap. or 07887 821443

*Not breeches

Tri-Club Competition

We are setting up a new series of competitions with local clubs. Known, for now, as the Tri-Club Competition, Morley Blades, Gravesham Fencing Club and ourselves will be competing against each other over the next three terms using Blackheath as a common base. Epee is the primary weapon but foil teams will also attend from Morley Swords to fence Blackheath.

12th November: A Blackheath Epee team will visit Gravesham. Speak to Gurlal ( to participate
5th December. Morley and Gravesham Epee teams will compete against each other at Blackheath. Morley will bring a foil team to fence Blackheath.

More dates in the New Year will be scheduled later

It is very easy to get used to fencing your fellow club members and knowing all their habits, strengths and weaknesses. These competitions give you the chance to fence new people and practice working out strategies and tactics on the spot!

Blackheath forays into western lands and meets two rivals

Our Summer 2019 battle campaign continued when we ventured into the murky underbelly of central London on 2nd August for our first 3 club friendly team competition with hosts Morley blades and our distant cousins from Staines  a.k.a. Egham Fencing club. 

All participants fielded one foil and one epee team, unfortunately for us we were lacking one epeeist but fortunately we were able to ‘’convince’’ the foilists to take turns masquerading as an epee team member. This however raised some eyebrows when some of them appeared to be hiding hidden talents. Naturally they will be the first to call upon if ever there were another epee drought!

Morley Blades were kind enough to book 4 hours for our little Tri-wizard.. -fencing*- competition and suffice to say everyone enjoyed themselves. Big thank you to them for getting this organised so well! We got to meet and fence new and experienced fencers in a great venue slap bang in the middle of town and spent an hour reminiscing bouts over a beverage and dinner.  

Remi, Khurshid and Dan made up the foil team and produced an impressive display romping to victory in the Foil match. Gurlal and Henry were our only epeeists who could make the event and were teamed up with Khurshid and Dan. The epee team worked very hard but were narrowly ousted by the competing teams with both matches ending in nail biting final bouts. Results below!

That’s all for this season’s campaign! We’ll see you in September for the new term!

For more information on Morley Blades and Egham fencing club follow the links below.

Incursion by Morley Swords 23 May 19

Morley sent in two brigades one of foil and one of épée to battle with Blackheath. Morley’s Liva, Holly and Simon were met by Amanda, Rob and Cadet Sandesh in a close battle of the foils. Blackheath surged ahead but was caught up by Morley by the 4th bout. The heavy brigade took Blackheath back into a lead that was slowly whittled away leaving Blackheath floundering for a while until a final heavy assault brought Blackheath victory by one point 34/42 after running out of time.

Morley’s Épée brigade of Jade, Tom, Gareth with Derek in reserve then came face to face with Blackheath’s Henry, James and Mael with Gurlal in reserve. Blackheath’s heavy brigade led the way from the start at one stage being 12 points ahead. Whilst the Blackheath reserve extended their lead, Morleys’ reserve was held in check but Morley recovered a little towards the end to leave Blackheath with a 45/35 victory.

With the conclusion of this successful series of inter club competitions there is enthusiasm to establish a three way triangle competition next season that might bring Morley face to face with Gravesham for the first time.

Gravesham assault on Blackheath 7th May 19

Following Blackheath’s successful assault on Gravesham a few weeks earlier, Gravesham invaded London territory on 7th May seeking revenge.

The anticipated battle was on an ominously cloudy day here in Blackheath.

Laura, Henry and newly crowned epée club champion, James, took on the Gravesham A team. There was a choppy start for Blackheath where they were trailing by 6 points. A strong resurgence took place leading to one of the best final bouts we’ve ever seen. With a great tee up by Henry securing 6 points, James thrashed out another 8 points to secure another nail-biting victory for Blackheath 45-44.

Lorna, Gianluca and Douglas, our newest addition who’s come through the Musketeers programme, took on Gravesham B. Blackheath took an early lead but Gravesham fought back. The lead changed hands at least 4 times!  Unfortunately, Blackheath B were unable to secure a victory this time around and were beaten by the Gravesham opposition (43-45).

Normally we would invite our counterparts out for a beverage after the match. Unfortunately, being election day, we had to leave early to casteth our votes.

2019 Club Championships – Results

On 26th March and 2nd April we held the Club championships for Foil and Épée. This is a more serious affair than the Team comp in December and Master At Arms in June which are seasonal fun events.

There were 20 competitors in the Foil event and included four Cadets who have progressed up from the Musketeers and six from this year’s adult training courses as well as the ‘old hands’.

For those not familiar with results sheets, W=Wins, M=Matches. Where the ratio of these is equal we move on to Indicators to decide placings for those with the same ratio. The Indicator is a simple difference between Hits Scored and Hits Received

Foil results:

1Khurshid KhanW47888%255530
2Henry FazakerleyF47888%175639
3Gurlal JagdevSF46786%114029
3Rob BaxterSF45771%174326
5Janice PearceQF35683%152813
6Douglas BirkettQF34667%132512
7Frank BaxterQF34667%102111
8Gianluca GentileQF33650%-21820
9Sandesh RavindranL1623560%92112
10Maël ZoungranaL1622540%21715
11Laura La DelfaL1622540%21412
12Amy JenkinsL1622540%-51318
13Samuel BrazaoL1622633%-51621
14Lucian StoneL1622633%-71421
15Kayleigh HoangL1621617%-121325
16Jess YoonL1621617%-19827
17Hector MannL3211520%-14822
18Tamara FischerL3211520%-20525
19Marija TodorovicL321050%-21425
20Coenraad UysL321050%-22325
Blackheath Fencing Club Foil Champ winners
On the renowned Blackheath Podium 2019 Foil Championship Medallists Kurshid Kahn, Gold; Henry Fazakerley, Silver; Rob Baxter and Gurlal Jagdev Bronze [Click for larger image]

Épée Results:

We also had a good entry for the Épée event the following week with a number of members having a first go at the weapon or at least very rusty!

1James WilliamsonW55683%35148
2Gurlal JagdevF45683%115443
3Henry FazakerleySF35683%113928
3Maël ZoungranaSF35771%164933
5Stephen WoodQF23475%92314
6Laura La DelfaQF23560%72720
7Samuel BrazaoQF22540%-102030
8Douglas BirkettQF21520%-62127
9Lorna GrosseL1612450%-41317
10Amy JenkinsL1612450%-51621
11Janice PearceL1611425%-21416
12Lucian StoneL161040%-13720
13Dean KeiganL161040%-15520

Blackheath leads successful assault on Gravesham

As part of an occasional foray into Kentish lands Blackheath travelled to Gravesham Fencing club one Tuesday evening, 19th May, for a friendly team competition.

Gurlal, James and Stephen narrowly beat the talented A team from Gravesham 45-44. The match was back and forth throughout with both Gravesham and Blackheath taking turns leading the race. A nail-biting finish saw the final bout start with 2-point difference but with some strategic play victory was secured.

Henry and Mael commandeered a gifted fencer, Rohan from Gravesham, to take on Gravesham’s B team. Gravesham fought well but were again narrowly beaten by Blackheath + Rohan, 45-39. Had this young mercenary not been fencing for Blackheath the score may have looked a lot different!

After the match there was still some time to fence everyone again and settle some deep-seated desire to rectify previous mistakes. (which probably means we got thrashed! – Ed)

The team enjoyed their trip down to Gravesham and we are planning a more regular series of  matches.