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Downside Sports & Social Club

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Downside Club History - 1887 - 2010 Serving Downside's Comunity

Downside sports & Social Club started life as a Coffee House in 1887. Below is an excerpt from the ‘Cobham Parish Magazine – dated November 1887’ (Courtesy of David Taylor)

The new and commodious coffee-house was formally opened on Wednesday October 5th
The building includes a very large coffee-room, fitted with every convenience, a
smoking and reading room, and a large room for meetings, furnished with a capital
bagatelle table. The lighting arrangements are excellent, and a large veranda
faces the cricket ground for the use of those playing cricket or football. Mr Newland
the contractor, has carried out the design in a most praiseworthy manner. Mrs. Deacon
in declaring the house open, said Mr. Deacon presented the building to the inhabitants
 of Downside, and hoped that it would be a source of enjoyment to them. Mr Helme
in thanking Mrs Deacon for the munificent gift, said the house was most comfortable;
nothing left undone to ensure enjoyment of those for whom it was intended.
he hoped the inhabitants would appreciate Mr Deacon’s boundless generosity, and make
good use of the house. He regretted that the Rev. Wellesley Wesley was unavoidably
absent. Upwards of 400 partook of an excellent tea provided. Amongst those who assisted
at the opening ceremony, we noticed Miss Blunt, Miss Middleton, Miss Arnold, Miss Deacon,
Mr Helme, Mr Courthorpe and Mr Tavenor. Munificent


In February 1889 the ‘Cobham Parish Magazine’ had this article about the coffee house.

Downside Coffee House.

The Working Men’s Club held here is a great success, and Mr Deacon’s
beautiful and comfortable rooms are greatly appreciated by the members,
of whom there are over 50. The club pays its own expenses and has so far
a balance in hand. It is worked by a committee of 14; Chairman, W Tavenor esq
Secretary, Lee Longhurst; Treasurer, W Holden.
Every fortnight two entertainments are given (one a smoking concert), chiefly by
the “blackbirds” (a minstrel troupe formed from members of the club). These
entertainments are greatly enjoyed judging by the large audiences. At the last concert
On the 17th Mr G Smith, sen, and Mr G Smith, jun, assisted the usual members, Messrs
Edghill, Gale, Scovel, Harris, Tickner, Burston, Cowper and Tavenor. Mr G. Smith, sen,
And Mr Edghill were as usual very popular and amusing with their comic songs.



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