A little history about the origins and formation of Leyton Cross Social Club To begin…………… Sometime during WWII, the seed of an idea was planted by a few families in the area central to Leyton Cross road to bring together families firstly aiming to lift the spirts of young children by organizing sports days held on the playing field at Oakfield Lane with their parents occasionally enjoying a game of cards over a tipple, and I’m sure endless cups of tea. Soon after the war ended this now growing group of families were able to lease the empty land in Tredegar Road at a very reasonable rate, and with the efforts of mostly volunteers funded the construction of a timber framed Hall on the site. The founder members formed a small committee and the dream of a Club for the community was up and running.
I’ve got ahead of this story…………… So, here’s some known background knowledge of the site prior to war time………. At the turn of the century into the 1900’s the area was a mixture of arable land, orchards and a pig farm with some cottages to one side of Tredegar road (only a dirt track at this time). It must have been in the early 1920’s that a Kent gravel mining company purchased the site, including the land behind and to the left of the Club who then over a relatively short time excavated hundreds of tons of sand/gravel leaving an enormous pit.
We know that in 1928 the site exhausted of its gravel was sold to the prominent Dartford Engineering Company of J & E Hall who were licensed to use the site for the back fill of primarily foundry sands and ashes………I say primarily as over the years building projects found not only deposits of molten metals, stainless steel lathe swarf and even old leather boots ( but, alas never a pair!) and in 2010 when a sizable grant from the “National Lottery” was won, which plus our own savings, enabled us to constructed a new slightly larger and insulated rear Equipment Store areas, replacing the old damp an cold concrete construction……… and during which time we unearthed a WWII tin hat (but sadly not much was left of it).
So, getting back to the story…… through the late 40’s and 50’s the social side of the Club flourished holding a few dances each year and numerous more frequent social gatherings.
Until………… I guess in around 1956 when the Committee and Trustees decided to have building plans drawn up for a new Building to provide a large Club Hall, Kitchen, and toilet block areas… funded through donations from its growing membership and obviously a quite sizable mortgage. This also allowed the purchase of the land which did at the time extend to the rear which now is the road way to the bungalows in Wallis Close……. This land subsequently sold to the estate developers in the mid 70’s.
The main building was completed, as we all know, in 1958 and managed by a very active Management Committee who were tasked to run and look after the Club, carrying out most of the monthly maintenance jobs and up keep of the Club and grounds. The Club had by this time a full-time caretaker and regular cleaner with volunteers plus committee members tackling everything but necessary specialist work that they couldn’t themselves cover.
Through the following decade funds allowed for the creation of firstly the side Bar extension, completed in 1976, then eleven years later construction of the bar lounge and furnishings in 1987, and also then upgrades to the toilet facilities and fitting of new window units. In the early 1980’s the committee strived and succeeded in getting a large grant from the “Foundation for Sports and the Arts” enabling the internal Hall area to get a full upgrade, including a refit of the Kitchen area. Moving forward, the original bar was replaced with, what we now see, back in 2000, which has recently been refitted with additional drinks cooler units.
Also, over this difficult past year or so, we have undertaken the noticeable re-varnishing of the hall floor plus the necessary roof re-surfacing job, and pretty much the redecoration of the whole Club, plus curtains, radiators (the list goes on and on). Getting back to what went on at the new Club facility in the sixties………. Dinner dances, Singers, Bands, Discos, Quizzes, Car Rallies, race nights and even bonfire night parties were the main stay of the social calendar……. and most still are! organized by the Committee and volunteers, and thanks to the support of our members who enjoy coming along. Also, it can be said that the Club certainly would struggle to meet our running costs year on year were it was not for our valued and regular hall hirer’s. Just for instance, since I think the late 1970’s there has been, without missing a year, five different and varying preschool play groups and long may they continue to serve our ever-changing community. Going back again…… in the 1950’s and through the sixties the Club hosted a weekly and well attended whist drive card school and ladies keep fit sessions for a considerable number of years, and also a “home” wine and beer making group (what nights those were!), together with a Brownies Troup, the yearly bonfire and firework display for .Guy Fawkes Night, plus Race nights, Darts, Quiz nights and of course, a longstanding dog training school, all which were for through these early years and beyond the main stay of the regular events enjoyed by all our Club members.
Moving on………Formed in the early 80’s we still have a well-attended weekly Short Mat Bowls section and a monthly Bingo Night, plus lots of hall lets giving the members the opportunity to take come and take part Line Dancing, or weekly Yoga and Pilates classes. We are also home to “Leytra”, the local Active Retirement Association held on usually the third Thursday afternoon of each month.
Interested in anything we get up to then please see our Webpage for full details and contact details should you wish to be a member of the Social Club.