A potted history of Southwick Sports & Social Club
Southwick Sports & Social Club has its origins in a small YMCA snooker club, which was held in a hut positioned on the east-side of Southwick Green, during the early 1900’s.
The land on which our club now stands was previously farmland. In 1890 it was purchased by Rock Brewery, who themselves sold it on, in 1928, to Mr K Loader, a generous patron of the club for many years. On 5th March 1930 a building contract was signed (estimated at a cost £1,300) and construction of the clubhouse started immediately. Of course there have been many additions and alterations to the building in the last 84 years.
The club was officially opened on Monday, 3rd November 1930 by Her Highness Princess Helena Victoria (Granddaughter of Queen Victoria), and the opening ceremony was attended by the Mayor and the then Mayoress of Brighton.
Records show that the clubhouse in these early years was owned by and affiliated to the YMCA along with their patron Mr Loader. He was a trustee of the club having paid off the mortgage for the land on which the club stood and holding that land in his name. In that time the club was called ‘The Red Triangle Club’ because of the emblem of the YMCA and it was not licensed to sell alcohol.
In 1950 the land on which the club stood was purchased by the YMCA from Mr Loader for the princely sum of £150, and it was at this time that the YMCA agreed to convey the land and property to the clubs’ trustees, providing the club would sever its affiliation with the YMCA. For what reason the YMCA no longer wanted to be affiliated to the snooker club is not known. A ‘Special Meeting’ was held at the club in January 1950 where records show that the following conditions were agreed.
All signs pertaining to the YMCA were to be permanently removed. The club was to cease to be named ‘The Red Triangle Club’; notices to this end were placed in the local newspapers, and the property was to be for the use of the ‘local community’. The new club formed on 17th May 1950 was to be called ‘The Southwick Social Club’.
This was a very important date in the history of our club, because from that date on, we were truly a private members club, with each member owning an equal share in the club and in control of our its destiny.
Since 1950 an Annual General Meeting has deemed the clubs name to be Southwick Sports & Social Club as well as changing trustees.
Other important dates: In 1954 the first ‘big screen television’ was installed, it was a 14 inch screen and cost 79 guineas (wozat?… well it would have purchased an awful lot of Mars Bars, approx. 2,960 actually). It also cost £5 to install an aerial and £3 for the licence.
But the most important date of all was 1956: The year the club obtained a licence to sell and consume alcohol on the premises and we have never looked back!
The club has developed over the years with the efforts of many people giving up a lot of their time. They have taken it from a snooker club, only serving tea, with the finest ballroom dance floor in the region, through some financially hard times and onwards to the club that we see today. It’s financially sound and constantly looking to move forward. There would be far too many names to mention here but a lot of Committee members over the years have all played their part in the success of our club, our thanks goes out to them and our future remains in the hands of committee members yet to arrive...