Sports @ the BLC

History

The Leisure Centre and its resident sports clubs are steeped in history.

In 1887 the company British Xylonite moved to Brooklands Farm and built their factory where they also created the New Village area of Brantham for their employees to live. The ground where the the Leisure Centre is now was always created for the Brantham Athletic Association Sports Club which incorporated Football and Cricket, played by those working in the factory and later, Bowls. In the 1930’s the factory was later known as BX Plastics, a subsidiary of British Xylonite and it was their employees that continued our sports clubs. The factory was successful and in the 60’s a sports and social club house was built, now known as the Brantham Leisure Centre, was built. This of course combined the sports but each had their own area including the bowls club but still remained a branch of the BLC as it is now known. In the last 10 years the BLC was further extended enhancing the already excellent facilities. BX Plastics changed its name several times but after some problems, including a fire, it was closed down and the work moved elsewhere.

Brantham Athletic FC

Brantham Athletic Football Club was formed in 1887 and is now home to 3 senior mens teams who compete in the Thurlow Nunn League and the Essex & Suffolk Border League in games on a Saturday and occasionally during the week. The successful Brantham Athletic Ladies team play here on a Sunday.

The U18s compete in the Thurlow Nunn Youth League and are doing well.

The junior section is thriving and there are teams from Under 7 to U16 including an U11s girls team.

Brantham Cricket Club

The Brantham Cricket Club was formed in 1888 and nowadays play in the Suffolk Cricket Alliance League, which is predominantly based in and around East Suffolk.

They play their home games here at the Brantham Leisure Centre and they are always on the look out for new members of any ability!

Brantham Bowls Club

The Brantham Bowls Club was formed in 1935 and it too calls the Leisure Centre its home. In its own section of the Centre the members play their sport on the Bowls green adjacent to the Centre building.

BX Plastics, in its hay day became the main employer for the village and produced amongst many other things substitutes for ivory and tortoise shell to save the elephant and tortoise and this is now incorporated in both the Cricket Club and Bowls Club badges with charicatures of those animals.

The bowls section, when the season starts in April plays on a Saturday morning and welcomes new players. Follow the link above for more information.

The Leisure Centre is also home to the local pool team which play their games in the local pool league. We also have tennis courts you can book and use, football all weather surface and darts facilities. Please contact the Leisure Centre for more information.

Here is a historic Brantham Athletic & Social Club pin badge from the 1960s
📸 by Carol Smith