The United Services Club in Station Road Sawbridgeworth celebrated it’s 100th birthday in September. 2019. It was formed on the 16th September 1919 by servicemen upon their return from the first world war.They first met at the home of Captain Harold M Rushworth who lived in “Sheering Mill” house, on the 28th August 1919.
Many of their comrades had not been so fortunate and did not return from the war. Those that did were determined to create some regular meeting place so that they could continue their friendship and comradeship in a formal way.
A “Special Meeting” was arranged at which a Steering Committee was formed. The Chairman was Harold Rushworth and the Secretary was Mr Frank Marshall. There were eight additional names put forward to act as a committee.
The club was named the Sawbridgeworth & District United Services Club and one of the first tasks of the steering committee was to draw up some basic rules. It was suggested that the club be run in a similar way to the Y.M.C.A.
The steering committee were asked to find a regular meeting place, and Sir Edmund B Barnard offered free use of the Shaftsbury Hall. The Club was officially formed. The Shaftsbury Hall is still the home of the club to this day though little else remains other than the name.
In March 1921, at the Annual General Meeting, an amendment to the rules was passed that allowed members other than those that had served in the armed forces to join the Club. Sir Edmund B Barnard subsequently donated the Shaftsbury Hall to the Club on the 21st July 1922 with no cost, other than price of the Conveyancing Document.
With their own permanent Club House, the Club flourished and improvements were made whenever cash permitted. The first recorded subscription was a joining free of 1/- with a weekly charge of 3d.
Our current membership is in excess of 300. With an initial joining fee of £9.00 and an annual subscription of £21.00 it is still very modest when the facilities we offer are taken into consideration. We currently offer a recently refurbished Club Lounge with licenced bar, outside garden area, four full size snooker tables and a pool table. The Club holds regular tournaments for Darts, Snooker, Cribbage and is an active participant in local leagues. Other entertainment includes music, bingo, quiz nights and summer barbeques.
If you have never visited the club, come along and see for yourself the facilities we offer. The 100th anniversary is the ideal opportunity as we are putting a wide range of special events and open days for potential new members.