Club History

Sanguine Short Mat Bowls Club – Club History & Activities

Unfortunately there does not appear to have been any attempt in the past to record the history of the club.  What is shown below has been put together by combining contributions from club members, or was published in the (Basildon) Evening Echo editions dated in December 1999 and January 2000.  Perhaps, therefore, this attempt at producing a club history should be considered ‘work in progress’ with the hope that it may prompt a memory here or there and it may prove possible to add some meaningful comments at some future date.

Sanguine Short Mat Bowls Club was founded in 1990 at the Bryn Centre in Church Road, Basildon. The original club was started by seven members of Basildon Council’s Social Services Department, and at that time the games were played on a purely social basis.

Mats and equipment for the club were financed with a loan of £2,000.00 granted by the Basildon Sports Council which was repaid on a monthly basis by the club.

The choice of Sanguine for the club name is not always readily understood, but the club actually took their name from the blood red trimmings on the club shirts they played in. It could, however, be imagined it was because club members have always been optimistic or positive in difficult situations. It has been a tradition over the years that club members keep their heads up and never get down over set-backs.

The club relocated to the United Reform Church in Honeypot Lane following the decision by Essex County Council to sell off the site of Basildon Council’s Bryn Centre for residential development. This in turn was followed by a move to the Fryerns Community Centre in Whitmore Way.

When membership of the club increased to 24 the decision to play competitive short mat bowls was made, and Sanguine entered teams in the South East Essex League in division three which was then the lowest division in the league.

The Sanguine first team was the best squad in division one in 1998 and 1999 and the club finished 1999 on a high note receiving the Basildon Sports Council ‘Club of the Year’ accolade after winning divisions one and two. Also in 1999 Sanguine provided five of the sixteen teams who contested the National Short Mat Bowls Championships in Kettering, Northants

At the beginning of 2000 Sanguine teams were sitting in the top two places in division one. At this time the club had 26 members, who were among the best in the county, with five representatives in the Essex Premier side and a further ten in the Essex B squad enjoying success with Essex County.

Having been based in Basildon for about sixteen years the club relocated to Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall in October 2006, and this is where the club currently enjoy playing their short mat bowls.

Sanguine SMBC currently (October 2017) has 20 members and 5 associate members and enters two teams in the South East Essex League.

The weekly playing evening is Thursday when teams of up to four play against each other in competitive, but friendly, roll-up matches. As the positions within the team are rotated after six ends have been played each member gets a chance to play in positions from lead to skip which is good experience for the players and in turn good for the club.

The club also holds popular Spoon Drive evenings on a regular basis where 24 players compete to win a commemorative spoon, one for the ladies and one for the gentlemen, and, in the case of the losers, each gets a sherbet.

In addition the club enjoys participating on a home and away basis in friendly games played against other clubs, but which nonetheless are, as always, played in a competitive manner. For those members who seek further games the club engages in Competition matches where a number of clubs compete with each other throughout the day at the organising club’s venue.

Sanguine SMBC are happy to consider applications for membership, either full or associate members, and to welcome visitors to roll-up with us on Thursday evenings for a nominal charge.

October 2017

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