Leighton Buzzard Bowling Club celebrates its centenary with open day planned for later this month

A look back at the club's history as it looks forward to the next 100 years

Friday, 7th May 2021, 3:44 pm

Leighton Buzzard Bowling Club celebrates 100 years of bowling this year and with the new season starting last month the club is heading for the next century.

The club can be traced back as early as 1918 with report of the club’s AGM minutes, which in fact was the fourth AGM. Then it was called the C.E.M.S., with the first green being by the river in Water Lane.

At the 1921 club AGM, on November 10, it was decided to change to a town club and Leighton Buzzard Bowling Club came into being. The following year the transfer of club property from the C.E.M.S to Leighton Buzzard was agree and a sum of £12.10s. was paid for the following items, among others, a lawn mower, roller, wheelbarrow, table and chairs (number of which is not disclosed), rubber mats together with four sets of bowls and believe it or not the club pavilion.

Opening the green in 1964 and opening in 2021

In 1923 the new club bought its present ground, and the new green was opened in 1924 by the then President Mr W.E. Wallace. To mark the occasion two jacks where suitably inscribed. One of these was presented to Mr Wallace and the other is on display in the club house to this day.

In1958 a ladies section was formed. In 1970 the club decided that a new pavilion was needed. This was in fact opened in 1971, the clubs 50th anniversary. Over the years since the club was formed it has provided many county presidents.

Coming up to date the club became a mixed club. This allowed matches against other clubs to be played as mixed matches. The club has had many successes over the years. 2015 was possible the best for both the ladies and the club. This was the year that the club had three ladies win the National Triples Champions and represented England at the British Games.

Going forward the club has joined forces with the Rotary Club of Leighton Linslade to provide disability playing facilities. This is to encourage people of all abilities to play bowls.

A club spokesman said: "We welcome new members from all walks of life, from beginners to experienced. Over the past 100 years the club has had its ups and downs. We look forward to the next 100 years of bowling in Leighton Buzzard."

The club has an open day on Sunday, May 30, from 10am to 4pm.

* The information in this article is from the club records 1918 to 1978, compiled by Mr Stan Harris.