Accept and Continue

Cookies on this site

This site uses cookies. For more information, please see our privacy policy.
Skip to main content


In 1887 a factory was built at Brantham to make one of the world's first plastic products - celluloid. Under the tradename Xylonite it had a variety of uses including acting as a substitute for ivory and tortoiseshell. The company, British Xylonite Ltd adopted the elephant and tortoise as its emblem.

As the factory expanded social and sports facilities were provided and in 1935 the bowls section was formed to operate alongside football, cricket and tennis etc. The factory, under a number of different owners, continued to grow making a vast range of plastic products. By the early 1960's it had become the premier local employer with a workforce of over 2500.

The bowls section flourished and after WW2 the green moved to its current site. The Social Club was opened as a single storey building in 1958 with the upper floor added some 10 years later, and eventually became the Brantham Leisure Centre that we have today.

The bowls club opened its doors to allcomers in the early 1970's and is now widely known and respected as a friendly and welcoming club boasting a fine playing surface and excellent facilities. In tribute to its factory roots the clubhouse exhibits the two metal plaques of the elephant and tortoise from the factory gates recovered when the site was closed and demolished in 2007. They are now refurbished in the club colours of burgundy with gold trim on a white background.