Bristol County Sports Club

History

HomeThe club has a rich and varied history, a flavour of which can be drawn from this article reproduced below, written by Hilton Tims, which appeared in the Thursday, May 8th, 1958, edition of the Bristol Evening World.
Find us/Contact usIf nothing else, it shows how times and attitudes have changed in more than half a century since the article was written. For example, the notion that women were not admitted to the club was not considered at all extraordinary in those days, whereas this is, of course, unthinkable now.
What's On

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Membership

Face-lift for club with a great history

Function Hire

"NO WOMEN" RULE AT THE SPORTS CLUB

Snooker and DartsOne of the oldest private clubs in Bristol -- the County Sports Club in Colston Street -- whose threshold no woman has ever crossed as a member or guest, has been given a face-lift.
Food and Drink

"Only the second that I can remember," comments its steward, 70-year-old Mr. Alfred Tookey ("Tom" to the members), who has been keeping a watchful eye on the renovations. "And the old place certainly doesn't look the same".

Committee and Officers

TRANSFORMED

Groups who use the clubThe lounge, untouched for some years, has been transformed from a rather dark, time-scarred room into a contemporary light-trap.
History

The walls have been covered with cheery paper in red and white stripes; the deep, functional armchairs are in toning lemon and brown; and the bar has been re-panelled in a light wood.

The club has an historic past. It was founded towards the end of the last century by a group of sportsmen, including the great Dr. W. G. Grace, as a central point at which the city's various sporting personalities could meet.

They called it the Century Club, and limited the membership to 100.

And in the rule-book they inserted "No Women."

"Our only peculiarity, you might say," remarks Mr. Tookey.

THE OLDEST

For several years it flourished, then, after the turn of the century, members began to lose interest in it.

A new committee took it over and re-named it the Discus Club, but this, too, was short-lived.

Then, in 1912, Mr. Conrad Fry re-organised it and called it the Bristol County Sports Club. Under that title it has thrived ever since.

"I think we are about the oldest surviving club in Bristol," says Mr. Tookey.

But, apart from a billiards and snooker room and a skittle alley, the club no longer has any particular sporting affiliations.

Today it is a social focal point for its 200 members representing all walks of life in the city -- doctors, lawyers, architects, journalists, businessmen.

And still the "no women" rule is strictly observed.

The only ladies who are tolerated within its precincts are those who clean it. And Mrs. Tookey, who lives on the premises, but has no connection with the club.

In this way, it offers an incontestable excuse for its members whose wives tend to be inquisitive, when they return home late from the office!

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