History

In 1883 Miss Charlotte Sulivan opened the Ray of Hope Coffee House for working men. It was intended to be an alternative attraction to the local public houses. Working men began informal meetings in a room at the Ray of Hope. By 1885 the meetings were so well attended that Miss Sulivan formed them into the Parsons Green Working Men's Social Club. It had two ‘comfortable rooms for reading and games’. 

In 1886 a cricket club was formed to keep the Members occupied during the summer months. Miss Sulivan gave the Club the lease on a field near Bells Abbey which is where Sulivan School is now located.

The members, themselves cleared the cricket field of trees and outhouses and converted a cowshed into a cricket pavilion. The cricket team was first known as Arundel Cricket Club and in 1890 and 1891 they won the West London Cricket Competition.  In 1891 the cricket team changed its name to Parsons Green and became one of the best club sides in London and several members went on to play county cricket.

In 1902 the Rt. Hon. A.J. Balfour made his first speech as Prime Minister to an open-air meeting which was attended by over 5,000 people on the cricket ground. He was a patron of the club for many years.

In 1903 the Tennis section was formed. In 1907, the Bowling section was officially formed and in 1909, a Croquet section was added.

In 1911 Miss Sulivan died and her will led to a legal dispute. The original Club House was taken over by St. Dionis Church, but the club retained its contents, including the billiard tables, and thanks to the Club secretary, Joe Winfield, the lease of the cricket ground.

In 1912, the Club came to an agreement with The Hurlingham Club to swap its’ existing cricket ground for what is now the land where the Club currently stands.  In the same year the Club was formed into a Limited Company and members of the club were encouraged to take one share each.  A new clubhouse was completed in 1913 with electric lights and a telephone – state of the art amenities for the time. In a change of policy, the new clubhouse had a licensed bar.

Cricket was a big attraction and the Club’s Cricket ground was used by Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur Football Clubs. In the winter the cricket ground and other grass surfaces were used as a pitch and putt golf course. 

During the First World War the club provided entertainment for wounded and convalescent service men by holding concerts at Fulham Town Hall.

In 1924 the Club bought the freehold of the grounds for the sum of £4,600.

Then in 1925 the grass bowling green was converted to a full-size Cumberland green and bowls became a vital section of the Club.  Similarly the Tennis section thrived with its six grass and two hard courts.

The Thames flooded in 1928 causing damage to the club grounds incurring a loss of £300.

A new Club ballroom with a dance floor was added In 1938. During the second World War the club was briefly taken over by the army and three quarters of the grounds were taken over by the local authorities for use as allotments.

During the blitz (1940-1) a bomb fell on the bowling green. The damage included the ladies pavilion.

 

In 1951 the local council purchased the cricket ground for £18,350 which led to the demise of the cricket and golf sections.

In 1974 the squash section was formed and new squash courts and changing rooms were built on the site of the men’s bowls pavilion.  

In 1977 a dining room, named the Les Tanner suite was built.

In 1994 the Ladies bowls section was formed.

In 1996 a second bowling green and a croquet lawn were built on the old grass courts.

In 2014 a major re-development of the Club commenced.

In 2019 the new club opened for business.

A brief history

A brief history of The Parsons Green Sports & Social Club

A brief account of recent development

A brief history of The Parsons Green Sports & Social Club

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