After the First World War a number of serving and retired officers came to live in Hartley and because they missed the facility offered in the services of an Officers Mess, they decided to create one, in part of what is now known as the Hartley Social Club.
In the period 1924/5 the Officers Mess was absorbed by the formation of the Hartley Constitutional Club which expanded and leased the whole of the Hartley Social Club building. At about this time the 10 acre pasture field to the west of the Club was offered for sale.
Mr Charles Ellerby, a member of the Club committee and an agricultural contractor, was able to come to an agreement with William Sale, the field owner for a lease of five years at £100 per annum, with an option to purchase for £1,000 within the 5 year agreement. In the period 1926/7 the Constitutional Club founded the Hartley Sports Club with a view to using the field for cricket, tennis, etc. With the assistance of some of the members and financial support from the Constitutional Club and Hartley residents, Mr Ellerby was able to create a cricket square and outfield which allowed cricket, followed by tennis and bowls, to be played.
The “Officers” eventually made the decision to exercise the option to purchase the land and Captain Charles Bignell undertook the task to float a company, entitled The Hartley Country Club, and to build a clubhouse on the site. Captain Bignell was able to raise the capital, shares and loans for the purchase and building work and the Clubhouse was finally opened in 1934 by the local Member of Parliament. The Hartley Country Club was registered as an open space for all time and was designed to be a non-religious and non-political organisation. On the formation of Hartley Country Club the Constitutional Club ceased to exist and became what is now known as Hartley Social Club.
At the outbreak of World War 2 all the sports at the Club stopped because the young men were conscripted into the services to fight for their country. During this time Hartley saw their village encompassing an Italian prisoner of war camp, an ammunition dump in local woods and the position of anti-aircraft guns.
After the War more work was done on the ground. Two more grass tennis courts and two hard courts, replacing the first two grass courts, were added. The bowling green was expanded and moved to where it is today.
The period after the War saw a change in the structure of the Clubhouse, which was previously for men only. It was decided to build a room, which would allow women into the Club for the first time. The image of a family club was born.
The 1950’s saw the Club prosper with increased membership and becoming a very popular part of the community, which it still is today
Information gained in an Interview with Charles Ellerby ( b.21.6.1900, d.28.12.01) in June 2000.
Hartley Country Club
from 21st March 2020
due to COVID-19
In line with the Government directive we regret Hartley Country Club will be closed from Saturday 21st March until further notice.
Hartley Country Club is a unique community which the Board of Directors is determined and committed to preserve and will do everything in it’s powers to ensure when we do re-open we will come back even better and stronger.
At this time we ask for your continued support and reassure you we will be working in this enforced period of closure to ensure costs are controlled and the Club is taken care of.
In the meantime, we hope you all stay safe and healthy and look forward to seeing you back at the Club when we get through this surreal situation.
The Board and Staff of HCC
CANCELLATION OF MEAL TAKE-AWAY SERVICE
With regret, following the Prime Minister's latest announcement detailing the 'lock-down' of the country, we have to cancel the proposed meal take-away service.
Ultimately the health and well-being of our members is uppermost in our minds and the arrangements we had to put in place for collection of orders would not guarantee this. We apologise for the late notice but as you are all aware this is a very fast moving situation.
Culvey Close, Hartley, Kent, DA3 8BS
Telephone: 01474 702176 (office) 01474 709030 (bar)