Broughton and District Club has sports and games suitable for the whole community

Broughton and District Club is a hive of activity for members young and old.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 29th May 2018, 12:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th May 2018, 12:52 pm
Broughton and District Club: Members playing crown green bowling
Broughton and District Club: Members playing crown green bowling

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With more than 600 members, it is used by the community for a variety of activities, including amateur dramatics, tennis, bridge and badminton.

The association is also proud of its petanque (boules) teams, which were established in 1990.

Broughton and District Club: Members playing boules, also known as petanque

The club’s social life is so appealing, chairman of Broughton and District Petanque Club, Tim Threadgold moved just to be near the facility, in Whittingham Lane.

He said: “On moving to Preston for work reasons, I joined Broughton and District Club in 1969.

“For me it is a sociable family friendly club in that all the sports and activities can be pursued at the same time by both men and women.

“It is so easy for my wife, Isobel, and I to join in with whatever we want.

Broughton and District Club: The Under 12s tennis team in the Ribble Tennis League

“We were at the club so often and liked it so much that we moved from Fulwood to Broughton to be near the Club!

“Within three years I was tennis secretary for 21 years, followed by 20 years as general club secretary.

“I was in at the start with the bridge and petanque sections.

“I am 82 and you could call me a club stalwart. The structure of the club is such that everything is in the one organisation, which is often not the case elsewhere, and this generates co-operation all round.

“Membership fees are discounted for taking up more than one activity so it is straightforward to try something new.

“The sport and leisure pursuits are complemented by a range of social events so it is easy to develop social contact and friendships.

“Furthermore the large junior tennis membership provides an opportunity for children and grandchildren.

“Indeed our two children and three local grandchildren have all progressed through the juniors which now start at age five with mini tennis.”

The club was founded in 1890 with 46 members when local dignitary, Edward Wilson of Broughton House, donated the clubhouse, reading room and bowling green to the community.

He then set up the billiards room in 1897.

The club expanded in 1922, when an army hut was purchased to make room for a dance hall.

The dances started at 7.40pm to coincide with arrival of the Preston bus, a time tradition which is continued with the club’s AGM meetings.

Broughton WI began making use of the hall from 1926 and Broughton Club Players was started in 194 and it has this year staged its 210th production – The Nightingales.

Tim adds the club has a strong sporting presence in the area, with five tennis courts, which are all floodlit; two purpose built mini-tennis courts; an all-weather piste for petanque and a floodlit green for bowls.

Another tennis court is under construction, with plans for a seventh once funding is permitted.

Tim says: “The club is the main sports and social amenity in the village of Broughton.

“It is very much part of the local community, including hiring out the hall for a variety of uses and hosting an outreach Post Office two afternoons a week.

“Currently there are around 600 members registered plus 70 junior tennis players.

“Teams are entered in local leagues; with tennis having 10 senior teams and four junior teams, bowls has eight teams, snooker has two teams and bridge has one.

“The petanque section does not play in a league since the nearest is the Croston Boule League, but we organise an annual open tournament which attracts entries from across the county.

“The badminton section is confined to social play.

“The club is registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club which benefits in terms of eligibility for Gift Aid, reduced council rates, and is often a requirement of funding bodies.”