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<<< Above is a map showing the boundaries of the Mid Sussex D.C. within Sussex. The Mid-Sussex BBL functions within this area, but also extends its sphere of influence to the East, with the A26 Lewes-Uckfield and A22 Uckfield-East Grinstead forming a rough boundary. A full list of our participating venues, with pictures of their facades, is displayed below.

Sadly, the Borough of Crawley lost its once-thriving League in the late 1980s, but its remaining pub and club venues have been welcomed in turn to the Horsham & District League; Mid Sussex League; Redhill & District League (which covers the Reigate & Banstead and Tandridge districts), and the Billingshurst League which shares a catchment area with Horsham.

Committee Members of the Mid Sussex Bar Billiards League.

President…….Andy Farmer-Wright

Life Vice-Presidents… Tim Peacock, Terry Gasson, Lorraine Hall, John Lear

Chairman......Derek Taylor

Vice-Chairman…..Peter Edwards

Gen. Secretary....Jan Smith

Treasurer..... Lorraine Hall

Fixtures Secretary…..Ian Giffen

Competitions Secretary.... Lorraine Hall

General Committee members…... Rob Hall, Paul Moyes-Robb

Interleague Captains...'A' Lorraine Hall & Bob Hall; 'B' Ros Appleby; Ladies team Ros Appleby.

NB. A roll call of all serving officers since 1995 is displayed under ‘Bygone Days’.

AEBBA's map showing all known bar billiards venues in the UK (click HERE)     A diagram of the range of 'sister leagues' HDBBL (Horsham & District) and BBBL (Billingshurst Bar Billiards league) - not to be confused with the West Sussex League, which centres around Chichester - is to be found HERE, along with links to pubs in the area. And some choice pubs in the Mid Sussex District, as well as a more detailed map of the District HERE.


List of League Bar Billiards Venues in Mid Sussex:  (League night is Wednesdays):

Social Clubs. (Club members or guests only)

1. Haywards Heath United Services Club, 6-8 Wivelsfield Road, Haywards Heath Phone No: 01444 451080 (with 2 teams)

2. Clayton & Keymer Royal British Legion, Woodsland Road, Hassocks  Phone No: 01273 845829

3. St Francis Social Club, Grounds of Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath Phone No: 01444 441881

4. Burgess Hill Constitutional Club, 1-3 Cyprus Road, Burgess Hill Phone No: 01444 241992

Public Houses.

5. The Cock Inn, North Common Rd, Wivelsfield Green, W.Sussex RH17 7RH (also in Lewes League) cockwebsite

6. The Hassocks Hotel, Station Approach, Hassocks, W.Sussex BN6 8HN (with 2 teams)(also in Lewes League) hassockswebsite

7. The Plough, Plumpton Green,Nr Lewes, East Sussex BN7 3DF Phone No: 01273 890311  (also in Lewes League) ploughwebsite

8. The Watermill, Leylands Road, Worlds End, Burgess Hill, RH15 0QF Phone No: 01444 235517  watermillpubguide

9. The Windmill, Gossops Drive, Gossops Green, Crawley RH11 8HQ  Phone no: 01293 519404 (also in Horsham League)  windmillwebsite

Pictured from l to r, the nine venues of the Mid Sussex Bar Billiards League: HHUSC (with 2 teams), CKRBL, St Francis, BHCC; Cock Inn, The Hassocks (with 2 teams), Plough at Plumpton, Watermill and Windmill (Crawley)

HHUSC.jpgCKRBL.jpgst francis.jpgMSCC.jpgWindmiill.jpg


A brief history of lost venues.........

The early eighties was a golden age for bar billiards in general, and Mid Sussex was no exception, having three healthy divisions. But a mixture of the advent of the easier-to-master game of Pool, and conversion of many old-style pubs to food outlets and closures of less viable concerns by their Brewery overlords has brought about a steady decline in numbers.

 

Here were the last seasons in the Mid Sussex League for former Haywards Heath teams…..

*Liverpool A, inspired by then-landlord Trevor Rees, landed the Premier Div title in 1983/84.

(A mystery is that I remember a table being briefly in the Burrell Arms, and playing a cup match of some sort there, but nothing appears to have got off the ground in the form of a league team. The same applies to the Sussex Arms on the corner)....... But in all this time there has always been a St Francis A !

 

Franklands Village Club B: 1981/82            still trading

 

Franklands Village Club A: 1982/83             still trading

 

Snowdrop A & Snowdrop B: 1982/83          still trading

 

Fox and Hounds: 1984/85                               still trading

 

Ugly Duckling D & Ugly Duckling A: 1984/85    renamed The Duck: demolished in 2010 for shops and flats           picture

 

Ugly Duckling C: 1985/86   renamed The Duck; demolished in 2010 for shops and flats        picture

 

Golden Eagle B: 1986/87   ex- Pilgrim;renamed Mayflower,closed 2012,now a Morrisons    picture

 

St Francis B: 1990/91                  still trading, see above

 

Liverpool B: 1990/91                closed c.1990, since demolished               picture

 

*Liverpool A: 1994/95              closed c.1990, since demolished               picture

 

Ugly Duckling B: 1994/95   renamed The Duck; demolished in 2010 for shops and flats         picture

 

Golden Eagle A: 1998/99   ex- Pilgrim;renamed Mayflower,closed 2012,now a Morrisons    picture

 

Current teams: St Francis A & United Services Club A & B .

 

Involvement of Cuckfield teams in the Mid Sussex League.

Go back 30 years and the league Champions were the Rose and Crown, Cuckfield, featuring amongst others in the side, Tony Franks and Les Langridge.

Another very good Cuckfield team from the early 1980's were the White Harte A, also a base for the Interleague team led by Tim Peacock and Mike Bowring.

The Kings Head and the Wheatsheaf had bar billiards there for a few years, but after 1984 the sole pub representing the village for the next ten years were the pub on the corner, the Ship (Whitemans Green)

 

Last seasons for the Cuckfield teams:

 

Rose and Crown - 1979/80                       still trading

 

White Harte B & White Harte A – 1982/83                    still trading

 

Wheatsheaf - 1982/83                               still trading

 

Kings Head B & Kings Head A - 1983/84   closed 2004 and converted to residential use            picture

 

Ship B - 1990/91     closed 2014 and converted to a Co-op Store              picture

 

Ship A - 1992/93     closed 2014 and converted to a Co-op Store              picture

         

Involvement of Burgess Hill teams in the Mid Sussex League.

 

Counting Wivelsfield in with Burgess Hill, the Royal Oak forms a pair of bookends to this summary: Both as the most recent addition to the league as a venue, and as the home of the Champions in my first Mid Sussex season - 1981/82. (Team: Reg Beard, Nigel Tolhurst, Mark and Dave Spicer, Terry Smith).

 

Town teams also lifting the coveted Premiership title have been *Kings Head D (82/83) and Potters A (85/86). Brewers B were runners-up in 91/92 and Brewers A in 92/93.

 

Currently there are teams from the Weald, Cock, Watermill and the Brewers. The Watermill are comparative newcomers, having joined the league in 2006, whereas the Brewers have been a permanent fixture albeit with different lineups since the 1985/86 season. The Woolpack – a predominantly Ladies’ team currently in retirement – have nomadic tendencies and have played in turn at the Windmill, Cricketers, Burgess Hill RBL (for half a season), Royal Oak and the Brewers (out in the Barn) before finding an excellent abode.

 

The last seasons for 'lost' Burgess Hill teams:

 

Royal Oak (Jacobs Post) - 1981/82          closed in 2009                    picture

 

Weald Inn  - 1982/83                  still trading,

 

Kings Head C & *Kings Head D - 1982/83         closed           picture

 

Sidney West Sports - 1984/85    redeveloped, now a community centre          picture

 

Potters B - 1985/86                             still trading

 

Potters A - 1987/88                              still trading

 

Kings Head B - 1993/94                closed           picture

 

Kings Head A - 1994/95          closed          picture

 

Wivelsfield Club - 1995/96      possibly HHUSC,  - otherwise this pavilion ?    

 

Cricketers B & Cricketers A - 2001/02         still trading

 

Windmill B - 2004/05                      still trading

 

Burgess Hill RBL – 2005/06            closed in 2008         blurb            picture

 

Team Cocker (c/o Brewers) - 2005/06                  still trading

 

Windmill A - 2007/08                       still trading

 

Royal Oak Ladies/(later Brewers Royals) – 2008/09      closed in 2009               picture

 

Brewers A  - 2011/12                        still trading

 

Watermill A - 2011/12                        still trading, see above

 

Woolpack   -  2011/12                      still trading

 

Watermill Phoenix - 2013/14            still trading, see above

 

Watermill Millers - 2014/15               still trading, see above

 

Weald Wanderers - 2015                    still trading

Bravos (@ Brewers, then @ Weald)  - 2015/16

Cock (ex-Horns Lodge)  - 2016/17       still trading, see above

Brewers B(ells)  - 2016/17                   still trading

 

Current teams: Cock Utd (Wivelsfield); Watermill (B); Burgess Hill Constitutional Club

 

Involvement of Lindfield teams in the Mid Sussex League.

As is the case with Cuckfield, Lindfield has a lot of pubs for a smallish village, and most of them have staged bar billiards at one time or other - but sadly not any more.

The Standup and the Bent Arms both had mid-table teams in the 1970's, and the Bent Arms had a brief renaissance at the turn of the century when the Duncan family last played. The Standup (renamed the Linden Tree for a while) still have a team, but these days play in the Lewes League only.

Most successful Lindfield team was the Red Lion A who were Premier Runners-up in the season 1987/88 and later moved down the road to the White Horse (opposite the duck pond).

 

These were the last seasons for the various Lindfield teams:

 

Standup Inn - c. 1979         renamed Linden Tree for a while                 still trading

 

Lindfield Club B - 1986/87   upstairs in the King Edward Hall             picture

 

Red Lion B & Red Lion A - 1990/91 (both transferred to White Horse)  still trading

 

White Horse B - 1993/94                                      undergoing conversion

 

White Horse A - 1994/95 (transferred to Golden Eagle)   undergoing conversion

 

Lindfield Club A - 1995/96    upstairs in the King Edward Hall            picture 

 

Bent Arms - 2000/01                  still trading

 

And  of course the rest…….

 

These were the last seasons for the various teams from the North of the A272, (East Grinstead side): 

The list is dominated by the *Green Man A, League Champions six times between 1984/85 and 1990/91, with a team comprising a mainstay of Gerry Smith, Mick Roberts, Mick Abbot and Chris Ellmers… In the late sixties and early seventies the Red Lion, Chelwood Gate featured strongly, with Reg Beard and Jimmy Wilson - and later, a very young Steve King.

 

Red Lion, Chelwood Gate - 1972/73                                  still trading

 

Gardeners Arms, Ardingly - 1972/73                 still trading

 

Vinols Cross, Sharpthorne – 1981/82           closed, re-opened as the Intrepid Fox   still trading  

 

Sloop, Scaynes Hill – 1987/88                      still trading

 

Sharpthorne RBL – 1988/89      in the Drill Hall     still trading

 

Bluebell B, Sharpthorne – 1990/91         formerly the Railway; closed in 1999       picture

 

Green Man B, Horsted Keynes – 1993/94           still trading

 

Bluebell A, Sharpthorne – 1994/95         formerly the Railway; closed in 1999       picture

 

Rowfant House Club, Rowfant – 1995/96              closed

 

*Green Man A, Horsted Keynes – 1997/98           still trading

 

Crown, Horsted Keynes – 1998/99           (listed building) closed, now reopened        still trading 

Horsted Keynes RBL – 2001/02                        still trading

 

These were the last seasons for the various teams from the North of the A272, (Crawley side):

Until the departure of the Mill House, in 2012, in a 20 year period the League title went to one of these sides (Windmill Z, Windmill A, Handcross Z or Mill House Z) every year with just three exceptions !

 

Cowdray Arms, Balcombe – 1985/86                  still trading

 

Victory B, Staplefield – 1988/89                                     still trading

 

Windmill, Crawley B – 1990/91              still trading, see above

 

Eight Bells B, Bolney – 1993/94                 still trading

 

Balcombe Club – 1994/95                   still trading

 

Bolney Stage B – 1994/95                    still trading

 

Bolney Stage A – 1995/96                    still trading

 

Fountain, Handcross – 1996/97      demolished in 2012 for housing development       picture

 

Queens Head, Bolney – 1999/2000     closed in 2000, now in residential use          picture

 

Windmill, Crawley A - 2000/01      still trading, see above

Victory A, Staplefield – 2006/07                           still trading

 

Handcross SC A – 2006/07                  still trading

 

Handcross Z - 2008/09  (team relocated to Mill House)            still trading

 

Plough, Lower Beeding – 2010/11                       still trading

 

Mill House Z, Ifield - 2011/12          closed 2013         picture

 

Eight Bells A, Bolney - 2012/13              still trading

 

Current teams: Windmill Z, Crawley

These were the last seasons for the various teams from the South of the A272:

 

Kings Head, Albourne – 1983/84    closed c.1999, now used as offices           picture

 

Shaves Thatch, Albourne – 1996/97   renamed Ginger Fox     still trading    

 

Wheatsheaf, Woodmancote, Albourne – 2003/04            briefly Laloos restaurant          still trading

 

Sportsman, Goddards Green – 2007/08               still trading

 

Greyhound, Keymer - 2012/13                                     still trading

 

Hurstpierpoint SC B  - 2012/13             still trading

 

Hurstpierpoint SC A - 2013/14              still trading

 

Current teams: Hassocks Hotel A & B; Clayton & Keymer RBL

 

These were the last seasons for the various teams from over the border in East Sussex:

 

Chequers, Maresfield – 1982/83             still trading

 

Crown, Newick – 1988/89                      still trading

 

William IV, Nutley – 1989/90   now the Nutley Arms Bistro      blurb       picture

 

Sun A & Sun B, Plumpton – 1992/93  renamed Winning Post, closed 2013      picture

 

White Horse, Ditchling - 2008/09             still trading

 

Laughing Fish, Isfield – 2013/14               still trading

Horns Lodge, South Chailey – 2015/16               still trading

 

Current teams: Plough, Plumpton Green .

 

Other Mid Sussex venues that I am aware of,  pre-1980, are:

 

Abergavenny Arms, Copthorne;    closed c.1980 and demolished for housing development

Burrell Arms, Haywards Heath;                      still trading

The Castle, Hickstead;          closed as a pub, now a Chinese restaurant                picture

The Cat, West Hoathly;                        still trading

Cat & Canary, Henfield;                               still trading

The Country Club, Turners Hill;   now the Residents Club        still trading

Dukes Head, Crawley Down;                   still trading

Green Cross, Ansty;      renamed Ansty Cross, closed 2011 demolished 2014                picture

Greyhound, Ardingly;   renamed the Ardingly Inn              still trading

The Half Moon, Plumpton;                 still trading

North Star, Ditchling;          closed, now a private dwelling               picture

The Oak, Ardingly;      closed since 2014, up for sale               picture

The Pierpoint, Hurstpierpoint;  aka Chinese Gardens, closed c.1995, site redeveloped               picture

The Prince Albert, Copthorne                                 still trading

The Royal George, Burgess Hill;     closed c.2005, demolished and replaced by flats   picture   

The Royal Oak, Crawley Down;                               closed

The Stone Quarry, Chelwood Gate      closed

Sussex Arms. Haywards Heath      closed 2003, demolished and replaced by flats    picture

The Top House, Burgess Hill.   renamed Burgess Hill Inn, recently reopened     picture

 

Anyone know their final seasons - and anyone got any others ? - Clive T, January 2016.