History of the Cat.Crackers

A personal record by Top Cat

The formation of the Cat.Crackers was by no means an instant process, and surviving records would seem to suggest the group formed around 1984, as a result of Monday evening kick-abouts between Projects 175 & 176 from the now defunct Material Sciences Branch, in that lost and almost forgotten company BP Research. The two Projects got together to enter a team under the name of Cat.Crackers, in the Meadhurst annual intersection 7-a-side soccer tournament. In fact, small project sides were unknown at the time, and teams normally went by such imaginative names as ESB “A”, Anal./App.Phy.”A” etc. So in April of 1984 the group appeared in the programme only as NTD “C”.

Success did not come easy and in that first year the record shows only one win, one draw, a number of losses and an early exit from the competition, followed by a quick entry to the bar: so not a total waste. The solitary victory, however, was against one of the favoured teams and, in beating them, we eliminated them from the competition. Thus, even at the beginning the credentials of the Cat.Crackers were being established, play hard, drink even harder.

There are various challenges as to how and who came up with the name for our group, here’s mine: the projects mentioned above were generally involved in catalysis, (a black art, supporting the transitional elements of chemistry), hence this was shorten to “Cat.”, (so nothing to do with the furry, orange four-legged animal, or for that matter pussy, furry or otherwise). The drive was that these projects solved catalytic problems, particularly turning gas into alcohols, (it was much later that Mr S R Partington perfected the technique of turning alcohol into gas), hence they overcame and “Cracked” those problems, so the name was born.

Cat.Crackers were established for the purpose of sport, with participation the primary aim, although with the help of a canny recruitment policy, we went on to win most of the intersection tournaments at one stage or another. In those dim and distant days however, before the introduction of indoor sports activities, sport involved the Summer months. The question arose: what are we going to do during those long Winter evenings ? The answer was the now infamous, First Thursday. Initially, participation was restricted to those who played sport, and this led to some very interesting games of football over on Lakeside of the BP Meadhurst Club.

Well, into the 1990s we moved on from those early days of restriction, from a starting membership of 12 to a level of over a 100. Over that time there was not a site sporting event we have not taken part in, and on the whole done well in. These days, the many social activities have taken on an equal, some would say greater status. We go on tours, visits, get married, take part in specially selected events, have kids, beat the bookies, and through it all we still have 1st Thursdays.

Why Thursday? Easy, why drink on Fridays and bugger up your weekends! So keep on cracking boys and girls, love and friendship should last a lifetime, hope you enjoy looking over the records, guests welcome to contact us via E-mail.

regards always, Top Cat, Chairman for Life, Cat.Crackers