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Hagbourne Bowls Club 2010

The Bowls Club is one of only 2 sporting amenities within the village, the other being the football club. The club can be found at the end of The Croft or by footpath from Main Road near the post office or Fleur de Lys public house.

The club was formed in 1937 by a group of Hagbourne residents. There was no formal fixture list for those early days but members did play against other clubs in the area on the lawn of the Grange, by kind permission of The Viscountess, Lady Dillon. The Mens Singles Cup, which is still competed for today, was presented to the club by Lady Dillon in 1937 and the singles competition was played for the first two years on the Grange lawns.

Finding a site for the club must have been difficult although in those heady days there were not so many restrictions, rules and regulations as we have today. Fortunately, a suitable site was chosen and purchased in March 1939 but the levelling and turf laying did not commence until 1946. The turf came from gallops on the Berkshire downs owned by Mr H Cundell. The cartage of the turf to Hagbourne was done by Mr Clargo of Blewbury and access to the land was through Mr Townsends garden at 14 Main Road. It is a great credit to members that the cost of laying the green was kept low because of all the voluntary labour (a tradition upheld to this day).

A committee meeting was held at the Travellers Welcome pub, the official HQ, on October 24th 1946. A list of rules for the club had been prepared by a sub-committee and they were approved to go before an AGM. At the first AGM in 1946 the balance sheet of the club showed an income of 484 9s 9d and expenditure of 264 4s 7d, a balance of 220 5s 2d. The rules for the future government of the club were read and adopted. A membership fee for 1947 was set at 7s 6d and green fees of 4d each player per game.

The inaugral match on the new green was played on 22nd May 1948 against a combined team from Abingdon B.C. The Fish B.C. Marlborough Club B.C. and Wallingford B.C. and was won by Hagbourne by 1 shot. The first bowl was bowled by Mrs Cundell.

One regular match which gained a reputation throughout Berkshire was the Duck Supper game which was against an invitation side brought to the village by the County President. After the match the teams retired to the Travellers Welcome and the famous duck supper was provided by the landlord, and his wife. (Sadly the Travellers Welcome is no longer with us - and the local ducks look a bit wary !! )

The club affiliated to the Berkshire County Bowling Association in 1950 and members could then enter County competitions.

The club recorded its first success in County competitions in 1969 when Les Parsley won the Secretaries Singles competition. He was also in the final in 1967, 68, 70 and 74.

A ladies section was formed in 1979

In 1987 the Club entertained a team from the English Bowling Association led by the President, Cyril Taylor. Hagbourne won the match 118 shots to 90. After the match the Hagbourne President, Geoff Pryor, received a commemorative bannerette.

The latest re-building programme was completed in 1994 and the pavilion now has changing rooms for ladies and gentlemen, a kitchen and bar.

The club is well known in the County for its hospitality and competitiveness. The Club is open quite frequently during between April and October for friendly, League and County matches. Monday night is Club Night and visitors are most welcome.

The record in County competitions is quite impressive for a small village club, with an impressive list of honours which are added to each year, it seems.

The National Championships are held at Worthing each year and getting to Worthing and the National competition finals is becoming a habit within the Club. In 2005 the team of Malcolm Edney, Dale Hall, John Stradling and Ian Snowden became winners of the National 4's Competition.

The Bowls Club are always happy to see visitors or anyone wanting to try their hand. Open Days are held at various times during the season and social events are also being developed. For regular news about the progress of the club, check the web-site at: www.hagbournebowlingclub.co.uk.