Within the community sport was an important social event, whether it involved individuals or groups. Representing their hometown or place of employment brought pride and for many the first taste of discipline, that was tinged with excitement lifelong friendships were formed.
Through the generations various activities have come and gone. The following articles give us a glimpse into sport in Highbridge over the years.
After the death of Dr. Reginald Wade in 1932 Southwell House and land, and the area called “The Home Field” was sold to the then Highbridge Urban District Council for the sum of £550, the area to be used for public walks and a pleasure garden.
The Council officially opened the Recreation Field to the public on March 29th 1933. A month later in April 1933 the Council was dissolved and amalgamated with Burnham under a Somerset review; but in 1974 when Sedgemoor District Council was formed it took over responsibility of the Recreation Field.
This is the oldest Angling Club in Somerset, it was formed around 1878 and was the result of anglers meeting in a public house and deciding to hold a match to find out who was the best angler…Read more here.
In the early days the arrival of the railway brought prosperity to the town and as it grew industry arrived in the shape of the Railway Works and Brickworks. There were also factories associated with the agricultural life of the area, such as a Bacon Factory, cheese making and a creamery. Sporting activities were soon to spring up and football…Read more here.
The Jubilee Badminton Club was formed in the mid 1950’s by an enthusiastic group of players. Competition Matches were played in the Town Hall, also club nights were held for all members to participate. Amongst teams played were Cheddar, Morlands and R.A.F. Locking. The club continued for a few years but eventually disappeared at the end on the 1950’s.
In the late 1940’s after the end of the Second World War, an interest in boxing emerged in the local area. Young lads were encouraged to attend keep fit and training sessions at the scout hut in nearby Burnham-on-Sea organised…Read more here.
The first reference to cricket in the town appears to be a recollection of a field near “Sandyway Farm” on Burnham Road owned by Mr. W. Hatcher. This was used for a short time; however, there are no further details available. During the 1930’s a cricket field did appear on land (believed to be part of “Dauntons Farm behind Church Street, now the area covered by housing (Poplar Estate)...Read more here.
This is another sport which started many many years ago and was a very popular game during the war, many hours were spent playing darts to overcome the tiring hours spent “fire watching” or “on guard”…Read more here.
HIGHBRIDGE AND DISTRICT PIGEON RACING CLUB
This club was founded in 1939 by six or seven local pigeon fanciers, who until then had raced their birds with other local clubs, namely “The Huntspill Homing Society” and two clubs from Burnham, at the “Crown” and the “Commercial”…Read more here.
Rugby football was played in Highbridge between February 1885 and November 1896. During its lifetime the club appears to have had two headquarters, one being the “George Hotel” the other the “Railway Hotel” on the Town Square…Read more here.
The nine wooden pins, wooden balls and a pitchboard are the type of skittles played in pubs in the West Country. However, an alternative type is played in Weston-super-Mare and some other areas where they have cambered alley and rubber (or vulcanite) balls…Read more here.
A fairly recent development took place in 1999 with the arrival of speedway to the Highbridge area, previous to this and some while ago the nearest speedway would probably have been at Bristol with “The Bristol Bulldogs”…Read more here.
The Highbridge Amateur Swimming Club used the River Brue at a point between the station approach and the Calf Market alongside the river, this is now a housing development opposite the “Cooper’s Arms”…Read more here.