BROOMFIELD BOWLS CLUB
Portland Road, Birmingham, B17 8LS
1825 – (Land Description by a local resident) “Broomfield and the fields between The Uplands and Smethwick House were then a forest, abounding principally in Oaks and Beeches. Squire Hanson to whom the estate belonged, compelled by untoward circumstances sold the property to Mr Darby a coal-master who parted with his Oaks to the contractors engaged on the Great Western Railway, thereby destroying the sylvan beauty of the district.”
1860’s – Smethwick Cricket Club began playing on their current ground ‘Broomfield’. The club may date from 1835 and were certainly in existence by 1840.
1876 – A club fixture card shows the name “Smethwick Cricket & Quoit Club”.
1883 – Part of the land was being used as a second cricket field whilst it was normal to let the remaining field for farming purposes.
1884 – The tenancy of the farming field had reverted back to the club and it was considered desirable to organise a football section although this did not last long.
1887 – Smethwick Cricket Club had fallen into arrears with the rent of the ground from the Dorothy Parkes trustees. In August there was another attempt to revive the football section and the name was altered to “Smethwick Cricket & Football Club”. Football Club colours were all white.
1888 – Committee meeting minutes show “it was decided to provide tennis and bowls facilities”.
1897 – (09/10/1897) Henry Mitchell of Henry Mitchell & Co Brewery, Cape Hill (Mitchells & Butlers from 1898) purchases three parcels of land including that of Smethwick Cricket Club from the trustees of the Chapelry Of Smethwick.
1898 – Believed to be the bowling clubs year of establishment. The only material held to reference this is a small plaque which contains the Staffordshire knot, the year 1898 and the initials “B.B.C.”
1899 – (11/07/1899) Henry Mitchell gifts land including Smethwick Cricket Club to the Smethwick Urban District Council (Sandwell MBC since 1974). Restrictive covenants include that Smethwick Cricket Club shall continue to exist as a bona fide cricket club consisting of at least 25 subscribing members.