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Bubble Chamber Football

Keith Barnham and Gron Tudor Jones share their memories at setting up the Bubble Chamber Football Tournament in 1975

Gron Jones and Keith Barnham launched the 5-a-side Bubble Chamber football tournament for UK high-energy physics groups in 1975 in Hyde Park.
The tournament was ahead of its time in allowing women's teams to compete and also featured teams involving the sons and daughters of physicists.

It has successfully run every year since, moving between high energy physics locations including Imperial, Birmingham, Oxford, Rutherford Appleton, Surrey, University College, Bristol and Liverpool.

Collage by Meilin Sancho "The one tournament I enjoy recalling was one of the very early ones in Hyde Park," Gron fondly recollects. "In those days we did not have separate competitions for the men and the women. We just made it harder for the men by tying their feet together with string - about a yard long.
The final that year was between Imperial College Ladies and Birmingham A and it ended in a draw. It was decided not to settle it with penalties but on the dart table later. With traditional chivalry, Birmingham A suggested that the ladies need not start with a `double'.

Very soon it was all over, with the ladies victorious!

It was clear that the ladies had spent many more hours playing darts than Birmingham A had, and would have won even if we had insisted on starting with a double."

Image above: Collage of the Bubble Chamber Football Tournament by Meilin Sancho.

  © 2007 Imperial College London

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