05 October 1920 (Tuesday) DERBY DAILY TELEGRAPH:

Spondon Progress

The village of Spondon has in the past been sadly lacking in provisions for those recreative pursuits which tend so much to promote that harmony in village life so very desirable in these strenuous times. During the past few months several well-known residents of the village have been interesting themselves in the formation of a village bowls and tennis club, and they have every reason to congratulate themselves on the success so far achieved by their efforts. Under the presidency of Mr J H Follows C.B.E., the general superintendent of the M.R. Co., a strong committee was formed a fortnight ago, and in the interval they have , through the good offices of a local landowner, obtained a most desirable site on a long lease, and are at once commencing to lay out a forty yards square Crown Green and four tennis courts, and there is every prospect of both bowling green and tennis courts being in good condition for occupation when the time comes for these sports to be indulged in next spring. As an indication of the spirit in which the promoters have undertaken their duties, at a meeting on Friday evening of the committee and officers, the sum of £105 was subscribed in about two minutes. A general meeting will shortly be held for the purpose of enrolling members and supporters, and so far as one can gather from local rumours there is every hope that the committee's efforts in providing healthy recreation at a reasonable cost will meet with the support it so well deserves.

25 November 1920 (Thursday) DERBY DAILY TELEGRAPH:

Spondon Bowls and Tennis Club

Some two months ago a report appeared in our columns that a committee had been formed under the presidency of Mr J H Follows, C B E, for the purpose of forming a bowls and tennis club for the village of Spondon. In the interval great progress has been made and at a well attended meeting in the schoolroom on Monday evening the president had the pleasing duty of reporting a very satisfactory position. The work of laying out the crown bowling green and four tennis courts was well advanced, and there was every reason to believe they would be in excellent condition at the commencement of the coming season. The treasurer presented the statement of accounts and the secretary reported that 70 applications had been received for membership and bonds taken and donations received to date amounted to £173. The president felt that he was expressing the feelings of all present when he said the club would be a most valuable asset to the village, and appealed to all to make every effort to strengthen it by inducing their friends to become members. The appointment of Messrs Chawner and Geo Thompson as auditors concluded the business.


Spondon Bowls and Tennis Club

The opening ceremony took place on Saturday when a large number of members and friends were present - The president (Mr J H Follows C.B.E. ) made a cheery speech, in which he enumerated the various steps taken since August 1920, till this climax had been achieved, so that Spondon now possesses one of the best recreation grounds in the district. The grounds are pleasantly situated, and easily accessible from all parts of the village; they bid fair to become a pleasurable resort. The ground at present is in excellent condition, the result of the voluntary work of the members. The crown green for bowls is 40 yards square, and there are four tennis courts at present available, but there is ample space for future courts. The membership is 140, and a large increase is anticipated. The ground has been secured on a ten years' lease on very favourable terms. The property belongs to Miss Topham, to whom thanks have been accorded. The president especially mentioned the excellent work accomplished by Mr J Garnett as clerk of the works and financial adviser. Thanks were given to Mr Elwell for preparing the levels and setting out the grounds, to Mr W Kirkland for supervising the erection of the pavilion and fences, to Mr T L Marshall for the artistic placards announcing the "Red Letter Day", to Mr T Keeley (Hon Sec) and Miss E M Keeley (Assistant Sec) for their lengthened services, also to the ladies of the committee, Mrs Roddis, Misses M Burton, M Randle, and Keeley, who had worked so strenuously. Tea was provided in the pavilion, the lady caterers clearing a substantial sum for the club. Unfortunately, a torrential rain prevented games at bowls, although sides had been chosen, but the members seemed to be of the optimistic class, cheerfulness being the order of the day. 



Spondon v Mr W Brooks Team

 The first match of the bowls section of the Spondon Bowls and Tennis Club took place on Saturday on the clubs green, the opposition being furnished by a team captained by Mr W Brooks, of Borrowash. Although the home side sustained a somewhat heavy defeat the match was thoroughly enjoyed. Details:

Mr Brooks Team                                                                Spondon

W Brooks. Hammond                 16                     21           Keeley. Hambleton

Spencer. Griffin                           21                    14           Chawner. Sykes

Cooke.Towle                                21                     9            Turner. Cotterill

H Rawson. J Cope                       21                     9             J Garnett. H N Elwell

Turner. Wood                               21                    15            W Kirkland. J Kingman

Skertchley. Massey                     21                      6            Brocklehurst. Simcock

Kirk. Austin                                  20                     21           D Martin. E E Hooley

TOTAL                                          141                   95    


Spondon Bowls and Tennis Club

There was a large attendance at the first annual meeting on Monday in the schoolroom, and an enthusiastic tone prevailed. Mr Marshall (sec) presented the annual report, and paid a high tribute to his predecessor, Mr T Keely, and also to Mr Garnett for his valuable advice. The club has a membership of 172, the tennis members numbering 99. - Mr Garnett, the treasurer, in presenting the balance- sheet, said that being the first year of the clubs existence, the initial expense had, naturally, been heavy, but owing to the generosity of members there was a balance in hand of £10. The whole of the officers and committee were re-elected.


A meeting of clubs representing the South Derbyshire section of the County was held at the Green Dragon Hotel. It was agreed that a new association be formed known as the South Derbyshire Crown Green Amateur Bowls Association, open to all clubs south of Buxton. In February 1926 Spondon Bowls Club was accepted as a member. In March 1926 the demarcation line was changed to Matlock.


Spondon Bowls Club

The annual general meeting of the Spondon Bowls Club was held in the Church of England School on Friday last, Mr J A Chawner presiding, when the following gentlemen were elected as officers for the coming season: - Capt., Mr Frank Coleman; Vice Captain, Mr C Whittingham; Hon Sec., Mr W H Price: assistant hon sec ., Mr H Duncan; committee, Messrs. T Auckland, J A Chawner, H E Elwell, G Hambleton and W Kirkland; selection committee, Messrs. F Coleman, W H Price, J Vickerstaff, and C Whittingham.

It was decided to send a contingent of four members to take part in the competition to be held at Derby on June 26 in aid of the Mayor's Hospital Fund. Messrs. Barber and Duncan were deputed to make the requisite arrangements in connection with the competitions for the president's and members cups. Mr Creighton, an old and enthusiastic member, was unavoidably absent through illness, and the meeting directed the secretary to convey to him their sincere sympathy with the hope that he would make a speedy recovery.



Match Result -                    Spondon          v          British Celanese

L Heaton, G Porter                    21                            4             Levy, Kirkland

T Auckland, A Hackman           21                            9             A Geddes, Burrows, sen

T Porter, H Spencer                  21                            13            Swan, Burton

W H Cotterill, Eaton                   21                            5              Holmsworth, Oliver

Porter, G Hambleton                  21                            3              Burrows, jun, Wilkins

C Whittingham, Hambleton       21                            14            Heathcote, H Duncan

                                  TOTAL      126                           48

12 DECEMBER 1927

The death was announced of Miss Anne Topham, age 63, of Old Farm, 32 Church Hill, Spondon, who is referred to in the press report , dated 10 May 1921, of the opening of the Spondon Bowls and Tennis Club. Her funeral, on 17 December 1927, was attended by Mrs Chawner and Mrs William Kirkland whose husbands are referred to in other press reports, above. Most of her estate, valued at over £5000, was inherited by her sister, Miss Mary Topham. (see below).


A conveyance of the land in this title (DY121726) and other land made between (1) Joseph William Clowes and (2) British Celanese Limited contains restrictive covenants. The conveyance of the land on this date by Peter Richards Coxon and Samuel Charles Coxon contains no restrictive covenants.


Celanese Sports Club - Prizes Distributed At Dinner

Mrs Soller presented the prizes at the FIRST ANNUAL DINNER of the Celanese Sports Club (bowls section) held at the York Hotel, Derby, on Saturday (12th). Club Championship: Mr W Evans; runner up, Mr G Ball; semi-finalists, Messrs. H Hall and W Saunders. Best season's averages: Mr J Vickerstaff (chairman of the club). Club Cup: Mr J Shields; and Presidents Cup, Mr W Auckland; these two trophies being won in a joint competition with the Spondon Club. Club Handicap awards: Mr G Hambledon; runner up, Mr C Whittingham; semi-finalists, Messrs. G Ball and E Myers. Mr W York presided and was supported by Messrs. T H Platts and W N Cutts. The musical programme was given by Messrs. Fenton, W Skerrett and J Walker.


Celanese Bowls Club


Mr W Yorke, chief engineer of British Celanese Ltd., took the chair in the absence of Dr Soller at the Celanese Bowls Club annual dinner at the York Hotel on Saturday evening. Mrs Soller presented the prizes to successful competitors. Mr A W Ball, secretary of the club won the championship and received the "Dickie Cup" and a mounted jack. The gold medal for the highest average went to Mr Reynolds with the splendid score of 313 points out of a possible 336. His average was 19.56 per match. Other prize-winners were:- Messrs. Hodgson, Taylor, and Broad. Mr Roger Scholes, chairman of the South Derbyshire Crown Green Bowls Association, also spoke.


Spondon Lawn Tennis Club

Miss Topham, of Church Hill, Spondon, was presented with a bouquet by Miss G Dean, daughter of the honorary secretary, at the official opening of the Spondon Lawn Tennis Club. Miss Topham paid tribute to the committee and the groundsman, Mr George Nash, for the excellent work carried out. 

NOTE: A press report dated 24 July 1937 gives details of a tennis competition played at the Gravel Pit Lane , site of the Spondon Tennis Club.




Spondon Lawn Tennis Club's courts , Gravel Pit Lane , Spondon, were opened by Mrs G Rutherford, of Park Road, Spondon.

Two new courts have been made on a portion of the ground which was formerly the old bowling green. A great deal of work has been done by the groundsman, Mr G Nash, and the committee to bring the new courts to their present good condition, and they are almost ready for use. There are four courts altogether. At the opening the chairman, Mr A S Winter , said that the club was well equipped , and efforts during the winter months had enabled a motor lawn mower to be bought. Mrs Rutherford paid a tribute to the committee, and referred to the loss the club had suffered through the death of Mrs D Wright. She was presented with a bouquet by Miss Gwyneth Dean. An open hospitals tournament is to be held on June 18 in aid of Spondon Hospitals Association. Officials of the club are: Chairman, Mr A S Winter; hon secretary, Mr W Dean; hon assistant secretary, Mr C H Sanders; hon treasurer, Mr S Rutherford; committee, Miss W Cooper, Mrs H Cantrell, Mrs C H Sanders, Mr F Wright, and Mr G H Taylor.

01 JULY 1939

The death was announced of Miss Mary Topham (71). There were flowers from Spondon Lawn Tennis Club and the mourners included Miss J Garnett, Mr W Yorke, Mrs W Aukland and Mr F Kirkland who are all mentioned in earlier press reports, above.


Celanese Sports Ground Opened

A 20-acre sports ground was opened on Saturday (25th) at the factory of British Celanese Ltd., Spondon, near Derby. The sports ground has bowling greens, hockey pitches and football and cricket fields, as well as tennis courts and a playground for the children of employees. About 10,000 people attended the opening of the ground, which is estimated to have cost about £70,000. Included amongst the crowd were many children who were celebrating "children's day", an annual event held by the firm for the employee's children.


New Pavilion Opened at British Celanese Sports Ground, Spondon

A magnificent new pavilion at the British Celanese Sports Ground , Borrowash Road, Spondon, was officially opened on Saturday (2 July?) by Mr G H Spilman (vice chairman and managing director) who was introduced by Mr J Greensitt (chief engineer and chairman of the Executive Committee of the Spondon Sports and Social Club). Mr W Hunter (factory manager) proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Spilman, The remainder of the afternoon was spent by the many visitors inspecting the pavilion, after which there was a tea, a recital by the Celanese Choir, and finally a dance. LARGE T.V. SCREEN. The main features of this new and attractive pavilion are its comfort, excellent design and the provision of many and varied amenities and recreations. The facilities include a comfortably appointed lounge and bar, projection television on a 4ft x 3ft screen, a sprung dance floor with specially hung curtains and lighting , games room for darts, dominoes, chess, cards etc. There is also a billiards room with two tables.