Bowling ladies mark 100

Bedford Bowling Club ladies at 100th anniversary. PNL-140716-125504001
Bedford Bowling Club ladies at 100th anniversary. PNL-140716-125504001

Bedford’s women bowlers marked 100 years on the green with a game against county players.

The ladies team at Bedford Bowling Club played well but lost as they celebrated the anniversary of the club’s inception in 1914.

Bedford Ladies Bowling Club 1916.

Bedford Ladies Bowling Club 1916.

The event was attended by Bedford Deputy Mayor Councillor Charles Royden who gave a speech regarding the importance of bowling in the “not-so-young years”.

A club spokesman said: “The game was followed by a celebratory meal in the clubhouse.

“We currently have 17 women members, who have fixtures throughout the season, which runs from April to September.”

He added women’s bowling took off in Bedford Park in 1914 after a group of women decided to form a club using the same green as the men of Bedford Bowling Club, which was established in 1904.

During World War One the club undertook charitable fundraising, mainly for Bedford Hospital which saw a large number of wounded soldiers coming home for treatment.

In 1924 the first “men versus women” match took place, by which time there were 19 women members.

Working with Russell Park and Sandy Conservative Bowls Club, the Bedford women set up the Bedfordshire County Women’s Bowling Association in 1949.

Later, in 1973, club member Marjory Campbell was elected president of the English Women’s Bowling Association.

In 2009, the body governing English bowls decreed county clubs should undergo a series of amalgamations and the men’s Bedford Bowling Club and Bedford Women’s Bowling Club merged to become known as Bedford Bowling Club.

For more information about the bowls club and for details on joining, call club secretary Ray Seymour on 01234 305 695.