History

A brief history of Lewes Bowls Club

At a meeting held on 12th October 1922 a group of Lewes gentlemen agreed to form the Lewes Bowling Club.

From it’s first days the Club played on a three rink green owned by Lewes Town Council in what are now known as the Priory Grounds. The Council also provided a pavilion with lockers for members’ equipment.

By July 1926 the Council had provided a six rink Cumberland Turf Green which was then occupied by the Club. In due course the Council provided a pavilion beside the new green and by 1933 this proved to be insufficient for the Club and was extended with half the costs met by the Club.

During the autumn of 1949 the green was relaid and officially re-opened in May 1951.

It was not until early in 1960 that the Lewes and District Ladies Club was formed , sharing the pavilion with the men and an extension was added to the pavilion to provide accommodation for the ladies. In 1984 a further extension to the pavilion was approved to include better kitchen facilities, the club again meeting half the cost.

An automatic watering system was installed at the green late in 1989, once more one half of the cost being contributed by the club.

 

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During 1997 the men celebrated the club’s 75th anniversary with visits from the E.B.A. President’s team and both the Sussex County B.A. and the Brighton League’s representative teams.

In December 1997 while the men’s club was holding their Annual General Meeting elsewhere in the town, vandals destroyed the pavilion by fire.

fire

after_fire

After long negotiations with the Lewes District Council it was agreed that a new pavilion would be built. Costs were shared between the Council and the Club and it was opened in time for the 1999 season.newgreen2

With the new pavilion it was agreed that this should be leased from the Council and for that purpose the Men’s and Ladies Clubs amalgamated to form the Lewes Bowls Club which now functions as a fully Mixed club.

Lewes PavilonVarious County Competition honours have been won by both men and women from the club and three Presidents of the Sussex County Bowling Associations ( Mrs. I. Childs in 1976, G.P. Lane in1963 and S.B.Hughes in 1985 )have been provided by the club.

The first County Competitions won were the Mens’ Double Fours in 1942,1948 and 1949. In 1972 Lewes won the Men’s Fours   (Blunden, Heyworth, Heather and Artus ) , in1977 the Ladies’ Pairs (Mrs K Woodhead and Mrs D Turner ) and in 1989 A.Parsons won the Men’s Under 25’s Competition.

For many years , even before the ladies’ Club was formed the Sussex County Women’s Bowling Association staged its County Competition Finals at Lewes and many Men’s County Competitions were played on the Lewes Green.

From 1923 until 1932 Lewes competed in the Mid–Sussex Bowling League, in 1975 the men entered the Brighton, Hove & District League and then in 2012, the Club joined the Meridian League.

Touring sides , both County and Club, from various parts of the country have been entertained by the club and have enjoyed the facilities offered.

John Riddles

May 2013

In August 2016 Lewes Bowls Club hosted a County match between Sussex and Kent.

Lewes President, Bill Richards, hands the green over to the Presidents and Secretaries of Sussex and Kent Bowls Associations.