Some more history of 


The club was established at its present site in 1905. Originally, the club was called the Sussex County Bowling Club but when the County Association got under way, the name had to be changed. First of all it was The Drive Bowling Green and then in 1934 it became The Drive Bowling Club.

There are six rinks and one full-size green. A path runs down a steep bank with dense bushes on either side, which makes the approach resemble a secret tunnel. From the north comes the sound of passing trains. The land was once part of the Stanford Estate but in 1877 William Willett, the noted builder, leased the site and it was subsequently sold to him.

By 1919 both William Willet, senior, and William Willet, junior, had died, and the next heir had died in 1917. This left Revd Charles James Sharp as the sole executor to administer the will. The clergyman also held the title to the bowling green, which on 21 April 1920 was sold to the club for £1,200 with the condition that it must only be used as a bowling green, tennis ground, garden or other open space. This sale had to be agreed by court and Ellen Thomas-Stanford, as beneficial owner, also signed the conveyance.

 The men who purchased the ground on behalf of the club were as follows:

Charles Gosling, 61 Church Road, Hove

Dr Edmund Hobhouse, 12 Second Avenue

Arthur Nye, 13 Sackville Gardens

Thomas Wilkinson, North Street, Brighton

Hammon Weare, 22 The Drive

The conveyance was actually drawn up on 16 July 1919 but legal niceties meant it did not become valid until some nine months later.

In 1972 the old single-storey clubhouse was extended by placing a first floor on top at a cost of £6,200. No doubt it was a practical solution but the design smacks of a Sixties slab whereas the original edifice had a certain old-world charm.

In 1998 the club finally caught up with the modern world by allowing females to become full members for the first time; there were around fourteen members of the ladies’ section.

In 1951 the annual subscription was 5 guineas

In 1973 it was £10-50

In the 1990s it was £100

Early presidents of the club were as follows:

1907-1914 Alex Mackintosh JP

1915-1918 Revd S.B. Field

1919 Charles Gosling

1920 Dr E.H. Booth

1921 Dr C.B. Richardson

1922-1924 Sir George Casson Walker

1925 Revd H. Ross Williamson

1926-1929 Sidney Herbert JP

1933-1934 Claude Ismay

1934-1935 Arthur Henderson JP

1938 Claude Ismay

1941-1943 Percy Bennett CMG

1946-1950 Brigadier General Sir Herbert Wilberforce KBE, CB, CMG

Some distinguished club members were as follows:

Sir Walter Bull

Dr Edgar Colin-Jones

John Costello, chief cashier of the Bank of England

Brigadier Peter Crosthwaite

Jack Davies CMG, OBE

Lieutenant Colonel D.S. Dean

Colonel T.B.A. Evans-Lombe OBE

John French, MC

Lieutenant Colonel Bill Griffiths, DSO, MC

Commander J.S. Hoad RN

Lieutenant Colonel Reggie Jeffes

Sir Raymond Jennings QC

Lieutenant Colonel H. Leapman

Howard Longden, OBE, Hove Borough Treasurer

Jack Munro, CB, CMG

Edward Newbold, MC

Commander J. de C. Richards RN

Sir Cecil Myers, KCMG, CVO

Lieutenant Colonel Ted Wray