Leisure in Cliffe and Cooling
Cricket appears to have been played in Cliffe nearly a hundred years ago, and with only lapses during periods of was, has continued ever since, - at the present time two teams turn out each weekend during the Summer months.
Football is perhaps even more popular, and records show that the Football Club was first formed in 1883. Since then they have gained many trophies and are still going strong.
Early in the present century a Choral Society was well supported, a Gymnastic Class existed, and evening classes in First Aid, Home Nursing, Wood Carving, and Arithmetic were started, but these latter fell through, either through lack of teachers or lack of pupils. Those requiring evening tuition nowadays are well catered for at Technical Institutes in the neighbouring towns, and W.I. members can attend the various handicraft Courses from time to time.
A great event in past years was the Annual Village Sports, but these were discontinued about 1912. Several lean years owing to the bad weather had almost landed the Committee “in the red.”
The first troop of Boy Scouts was formed in the village in September 1911, and it’s Scoutmaster Mr. A.R. Marchant. They existed for some years then lapsed, but were revived by Mr. J. Penglase in 1941. At this time there was also formed a pack of Cubs, which Miss Goodges as Cubmistress. A company of Girl Guides and Brownies also flourish.
1925 saw the beginning of the British Legion, and in 1926 and Women’s Section was formed. Premises in Church Street were opened as a British Legion Club in 1930.
The Co-Operative Women’s Guild is older, having been started in 1915, and its members continue to meet regularly for relaxation.
Of more recent formation are the Youth Club (1946) and the “Darby & Joan” Club (1950) and both are enthusiastically supported.
Cliffe Nursing Association formed in 1910, gave yeoman service during the years of its life, it started as a Cottage Benefit Association, but when the “little nurse”(Nurse Allen) retired in 1927, it became difficult to find nurses willing to work under “Cottage Benefit” rules, and a District Nurse was appointed. With the coming operation of the National Health Service, the Nursing Association disbanded. The following ladies comprised the first Nursing Association Committee when it was formed in 1910: - Mrs. G.A. Batchelor (chairman), Mrs. J. Robertson, Mrs F.M. Wharton, Mrs. J.A. Briggs, Mrs. J.G. Shacklady, Mrs. W. Filmer, Mrs A. B. Rogers, Mrs. H. Lane, Mrs. K.W. Bowles, Mrs. F.E. Rogers, Mrs. W.E. Novis, Mrs. W. Frayling and Mrs. J. Elford.
The Six Bells - as it was before rebuilding
At the present day there six public houses in the village; the “Six Bells” and the “Black Bull”are mentioned in old 18th century books. Both were practically rebuilt about 70 or 80 years ago.