BARNT GREEN SPORTS CLUB

Described by it’s members as the best kept secret in the Midlands

Club History

Dr. William Cole Ambrose, was the founder of the club. About 1909 or 1910 the Lady Isobel Margesson, whose husband was then private secretary to the Earl of Plymouth, came to reside at Barnt Green House. She felt that there was a great need for a meeting place for the village community and she persuaded the late Mr John Gibbins to build the original wooden structure, consisting of one badminton court, two dressing rooms and a kitchen with a small stage.

Owing to lack of support, or the fact that Lady Isobel was too busy with further schemes by the time the court was built, the idea never took root in the village and so the court was likely to become derelict.

Dr Ambrose, who was keen on badminton, seeing that he could easily find a dozen or more players who would be glad to have a badminton court, approached Mr Gibbins with the idea of renting the building from him to which he agreed. Shortly afterwards, on calling a meeting of those interested in badminton and other local affairs a committee was formed under the chairmanship of the late Mr John Sheldon with Dr Ambrose as Hon. Secretary.

Mr Gibbins was approached with the proposition that if he would build a second court, enlarge the stage and add a supper room the committee would guarantee him 4% interest on his money by way of rent.

Twenty-seven guarantors put their names down and entered into an undertaking to pay up to £5 in any one year if called upon to do so and a thriving club was formed.

In 1922 Dr Ambrose succeeded Mr Sheldon as Chairman.

About 1925 Mr Gibbins expressed a wish to give the Club to the members but as the building was found to be unsafe gave them the land and £500 towards rebuilding and a sum of money was raised sufficient to re-erect the building as it is at present.

Dr Ambrose during all the years 1991 – 1945 never failed to visit the Club practically every day and to see that in every department of its activities matters were carried on in the proper manner. It is safe to say that the Club owes its very existence and continuance to his unremitting care and interest in all its activities.

Dr W. Cole Ambrose died 28th February 1947