<<< 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.
Life Vice-Presidents… Tim Peacock, Terry Gasson, Lorraine Hall, John Lear
Gen. Secretary....Jan Smith
Treasurer..... Lorraine Hall
Fixtures Secretary…..Ian Giffen
Competitions Secretary.... Lorraine Hall
General Committee members…... Richard Wooton, Paul Moyes-Robb
Interleague Captains...'A' Derek Taylor; '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
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 270249 (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)
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,
Sidney West Sports - 1984/85 redeveloped, now a community centre picture
Potters B - 1985/86 still trading
Potters A - 1987/88 still trading
Wivelsfield Club - 1995/96 possibly HHUSC, - otherwise this pavilion ?
Cricketers B & Cricketers A - 2001/02 still trading
Windmill B - 2004/05 still trading
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
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.