Most members today will have little idea of the clubs heritage; its beginnings, the organisers, the characters, the generosity, the dedication, all of which created the club we take for granted today. So here is the story of the club as recorded for the 80th anniversary.
The beginnings of the story of Ebbisham Sports Club , taken from a history of the club written for its 50th anniversary read:
"The Ebbisham Sports Club has its origins in the Ebbisham Badminton Club, which was founded in 1919 and, until 1937, played at the Territorial Army Drill Hall off East Street, long since pulled down.
In the autumn of 1936 information reached us that the regiment, a battalion of the East Surrey Regiment, was to be mechanised and the Drill Hall re-built as what the Permanent Sergeant Instructor called "a glorified garage"; there would be no height or room for badminton. Attempts by members of the Club Committee to find alternative accommodation were wholly unsuccessful and it became clear that if the Club were to continue, it must build its own hall.
It was felt that a hall for badminton alone would not be viable and that other sports must be included in the complex. In particular, there was an essential need for a summer tennis club, since in those days both badminton and squash were considered to be winter games and no organised summer play existed. Only tennis could keep the Club going during the summer months. The concept therefore came into being of having 3 badminton courts, 2 squash courts and some hard tennis courts plus, of course, changing rooms, a bar and lounge, and perhaps a shop, office and a committee room.
The search then began for a suitable site. Ultimately, our site was found, a defunct lawn tennis club owned by St. Barnabas Church. There was, however, one snag - there was no vehicular access to the ground, only a pedestrian one from the Pound Lane footpath by the Court Recreation Ground to the bottom left hand corner of the present car park. The front garden of Mr. Sydney Smith's house tapered to a point adjoining the footpath from Eastway to West Hill. Fortunately, Mr. Smith was sympathetic to the idea of a club and conveyed to us the piece of land needed for a 22ft. wide vehicle access.
Matters could now proceed and in the summer and autumn of 1937 work went ahead in building the Club premises on the lines agreed by the Committee, including 4 hard tennis courts. Badminton and squash play effectively started in about the middle of November 1937, but the tennis courts were not completed until later. The Club was formally opened by the Lord Ebbisham, G.B.E., (formerly Sir Rowland Blades, M.P. for the Epsom constituency) the Club's President, on 1st February 1938.
That is only the beginning of the story. Download the whole story, with many photographs by clicking on the Ebbisham Sports Club story.