The History of Birmingham Fencing Club


One of the oldest Fencing Clubs in the UK!

Birmingham Fencing Club (BFC) has it's origins in the Birmingham Athletic Club, founded in 1866.  A military defensive section was developed in 1871 and the members had a reputation for robust fencing with bayonets as well as foil and sabre weapons.

The Club presented fencing and athletic displays annually at Birmingham Town Hall and across the West Midlands.  A notable  personality in the club at the time was R. E. Cole who was secretary for many years - he fought a single stick match in 1906 and won the first ever veteran's epee competition in 1939.

Demonstrations continued after the First World War. The Club was named Birmingham Fencing Club in 1926.  By 1929 new premises were needed - Birmingham Fencing Club was established and moved to the Tally Ho Club in Edgbaston.  

In 1932, a well qualified professional coach was appointed, Professor Henri Faubert.  He remained with the club until his retirement in 1972.  BFC members represented Great Britain at the Olympics in 1928 and 1936 and the club was well supported at that time by the Amateur Fencing Association.

New premises were again sought in the 1960s and the club moved to the University of Birmingham where it has remained. In May 2017 the club relocated to the university's brand new purpose built Sports Centre. The club has close ties with the university's students club.

Club members continue to be successful in both local and national competitions.


More recently the club has seen a strong and steady revival, with membership numbers increasing year on year.  Now a robust and well respected community fencing club, one of the largest in the Midlands, offering foil, epee and sabre.  BFC's other club coaches - Irina Buzikova, Roger Simmonds, Ian Skitt ,Joan Whitehouse and David Wray work together under the continued direction of head coach Mike Whitehouse.