Last updated on September 18th, 2017 at 12:11 am
Walsham-le-Willows Sports Club is a not-for-profit Community Amateur Sports Club, located on Summer Road a quarter of a mile from the Church / Six Bells crossroads. The club is administered by a large number of volunteers supported by a vibrant community of some 1400 people who have given full support to the development of the sports club, benefiting both the parish itself and also surrounding parishes in what is a very rural area of Suffolk. The club is a fantastic resource which brings people into the village from far and wide.
The site has been the home of the village football and cricket teams going back to the late 1800’s and the old pavilion still survives on the far side of the ground. This originally had a thatched roof and water was carried across to it in a bucket before the luxury of a two wheeled, hand water cart was installed to be pulled across the ground by the players. With no electricity in the original building changing on a cold winter afternoon was an uncomfortable experience.
During the war the field was ploughed up to provide land suitable to grow food on and it was not until 1951 that sport was played once again on the site. The post war years brought the installation of Calor Gas for lighting and to supply the boiler for serving of tea, making the old pavilion the envy of surrounding villages.
Over the years Walsham Sports Club facilities have been developed and improved. The new pavilion was built in 1973. It has since increased in size and facilities including a bar which has twice been moved and enlarged. Other extensions have been added increasing the size of the main club room to allow for two full size snooker tables.
In 2006 new changing rooms were added and in 2009 the club had the good fortune to be leased additional land to its existing playing field, from the Walsham Recreation Ground Trust.
A major fundraising exercise was undertaken to construct an extra three football pitches, a tennis court, artificial grass pitch (both floodlit) and a 50 place car park.
A second phase in 2015 saw the construction of a pavilion with new changing rooms and servery; which in turn was followed in 2016 by new toilets and a tea hut specifically for the tennis and artificial grass courts.
Special mention must be made to the generosity of the Martineau family in providing the land for this development and then to The Football Association, Football Foundation and Suffolk FA for their much needed financial support.
The facilities are now home to some 20 junior football teams, 6 adult football teams including ladies, plus both senior and junior cricket teams. In addition there is an active bowls section with its own pavilion located on The Street in the centre of the village.
The Sports Club warmly welcomes new members and is also available for hire for private and commercial functions. There is also a small meeting room which is available free of charge to all village organisations.
Enquiries re booking for functions, membership or further information:
Chairman | John Holden | 01359 258 130
Club Secretary | Bev Rust | 07919 096 244
Football Secretary | Gordon Ross | 07742 111 892
Summer Road, Walsham-le-Willows
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP31 3AH