WINSLOW BOWLS CLUB

A BRIEF HISTORY OF FLAT GREEN BOWLING IN WINSLOW

The present Bowls Club, situated adjacent to the Public Hall, is in fact the third Club to be established in Winslow.

The first was sited in the churchyard of Parish Church of St. Laurence, in Vicarage Road, where the modern cemetery now is. This was a private Club which was reputed to have been in existence before 1861, having a flourishing membership for many years. The Club was eventually wound up in 1935 due to falling membership. During its existence the Buckinghamshire County Bowls Association records show that the Winslow Bowls Club won the Bucks Cup in 1920.

A second green was constructed in 1922, as part of a sports complex named The Winslow Sports Club and these facilities were situated at the top of Park Road, where the Library now stands. That Club unfortunately did not exist for many years and was wound up at the commencement of the Second World War.

To date no photographs or records of the original two Clubs have been located, however, it is hoped that some day, details of those Clubs may come to light and be passed on to the existing Officers for historical purposes and safe keeping.

The present Club was formed as a result of a meeting called on 13th July 1981, by a number of well known Winslow residents. The Founder Members of the existing Club were:- Harry Phillips, Bert Lambourne, Jean Midgley, Margaret Langley, Reg Langley, Peggy Noy, Audrey Clancy and Dot Briars. Having formed the Club, a site for the new green had to be sought and acquired. The owner of Winslow Hall, Sir Edward Tompkins, generously offered to allow the new green to be constructed within the grounds of Winslow Hall and with monies raised by the members together with grants from the Local Authority, work commenced on the construction.

The principle contractor in the construction of the green was another well known Winslow resident - Ray Spooner.

During the time the green was under construction, agreement was reached with the Buckingham West End Club, for Members to use that Club's facilities in Brackley Road, Buckingham.

On May 17th 1984, the green was completed and officially opened by Sir Edward Tompkins and Lady Mary Tompkins. That event was recorded in the pages of The Advertiser, dated Friday 25th May 1984. Sir Edward held the position of Vice President until his demise. In the early days, the Club not having a Clubhouse or any facilities, the Sports Club Pavilion was used in the beginning, and later, the British Royal Legion kindly made their premises available for the Club's use. A small changing room was constructed, which over time has been extended and still exists.

The current green is maintained on a day to day basis by the Members of the Club and is recognised as being one of the best playing surfaces within the Bucks County.

The next major project was the construction of a purpose built Clubhouse, and with the financial support of the Members and the acquisition of grant aid, sufficient funds were raised, planning applications were made, and the present Clubhouse was completed and opened on 19th May 1996, by Tony Al1cock MBE, the World Singles Champion and later the Chief Executive of Bowls England.

The Club partakes in National and County Competitions, and in the past the Ladies Section has had several members who have won County Honours and then have represented the Club and Bucks County in the National Championships at Royal Leamington Spa. The Club also runs a full range of Club Competitions every season.

During the summer season the Club hosts several representative matches, organises and hosts at least one Gala Day, and the green is used for the final rounds of Ladies' County Competitions, and for both Ladies and Gents inter-county fixtures. The Club plays regular friendly, week-end and mid-week matches with other Clubs in the North Bucks area.and a Thursday afternoon social bowling session.

During the winter season the Club has a thriving Short Mat Section, is affiliated to the British Short Mat Bowls Association, and partakes in the Aylesbury Vale Friendly League.