Clubs and Societies
In October 1920 the vicar was able to write in the parish magazine I am sometimes told that Churt is a dull place, and that nothing is being done to provide entertainment and recreation for the village. I find that there are Football and Cricket Clubs and a promise of a Tennis club next summer, the Women’s Institute with a full programme, the newly constituted Recreation Ground Committee have organised a Dancing Class, regular series of Whist Drives and social evenings; also a class for Young People between ten and sixteen. There are Scouts for the boys and Guides for the girls, an Institute for young men, a Parish Library, without mentioning the Religious organisations of the Parish. It is hardly fair to those who run these things for the general good of the community to say that nothing is being done to provide wholesome recreation.
It sounds a lively place!
Can you help me construct this page? We need stories about clubs and societies which were in Churt plus those that are here today.
In her book ‘Churt Remembered’ Olivia Cotton has pictures of the Churt Fife and Drum Band, Scouts, Cubs, Guides, Brownies, Churt Club (formerly Working Mens’ Club), Women’s Institute, Cricket, Horticultural and Produce Society, Tennis and vairous drama groups. We need to know more about all of these.
We have a lot of photographs of all of these groups, both on-line and in hard copy. You can look at those on-line here.
When the common land surrounding Churt was enclosed in the mid nineteenth century the inhabitants were awarded 12 acres for their ‘rest and recreation’ in compensation for their loss. This eventually became the cricket ground in Pond Lane.
The state of the ‘Pond Recreation Ground’ was frequently the subject of debate at Frensham Parish Council (Churt, at that time was not a separate civil parish) and is often mentioned in the Minute Books. In 1897 the council were asked to provide a proper recreation ground at Churt on the land allotted by the Inclosure Act. Churt Cricket Club was awarded a grant of £2 to spend on the Frensham Pond site in 1898. (In his memoirs Will Croucher stated that the pitch was underlaid with clay from Batts Corner.)
In succeeding years, and as late as 1927, the council was asked many times to authorise the removal of heath, furze and trees from the ground which was usually called the Pond Recreation Ground. If cricket was being played there it must have been quite an interesting experience!
The old recreation ground remained in use until the new recreation ground was completed in the late 1920s. It gradually became overgrown until, in 2021, the Churt Parish Council began a process of regeneration. It has been renamed Wicket Wood.
We hold a large number of photos of various Churt cricket teams in hard copy in our archives. Please ask if you would like to view them.
See the Churt Cricket Club website here.
Peter Cotton wrote a history of the tennis club in 1998. This included details of the first tennis club referred to in the quote from the vicar shown above and which ran from the 1920s to the 1960s. This first club had one grass court in the same position as today’s two courts.
Peter Cotton’s pamphlet can be seen in the archives.
We have the records of Churt Football Club in hard copy in our archive. These were deposited by Stuart Croucher. They include: Fixture lists, Minute books from 1911, Exercise book with recorded statistics, Exercise book with receipts and expenditure, programmes, Referees report forms, Papers relating to various Surrey leagues, Newspaper cuttings, Photos.
Is there anyone who would like to write the story based on these records which can be seen in the Churt Heritage archives in the Pavilion.
There has been drama in Churt for a very long time! It was mentioned in the parish magazine of 1894, Brough Ansdell, then owner of Quinnettes, staged morale-boosting pageants during the war, and there was another pageant at Quinnettes in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The Bridge End Players put on a number of successful shows in the 1950s and 60s.
The current (2002) drama society, the Churt Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS), was born in 1990. Read about it here.
You can find photographs of all of the drama productions here.
See a film of the 2007 Gang Show here.