Centenary honour for Shipley bowling club

Crowgill Park Bowling Club members at the pavilion

Crowgill Park Bowling Club members at the pavilion

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A bowling club in the centre of Shipley has celebrated 100 years of the town’s hugely popular Crowgill Park Bowling Green.

Created in 1914 in the existing Crowgill Park on Kirkgate, the green has remained relatively unchanged in the past century, despite the town around it completely transforming and a modern skate park being built elsewhere in the park.

The Crowgill Park Bowling Club has just celebrated the anniversary of their home, with a special event attended by Shipley MP Philip Davies.

The park was created in the late 1890s in response to calls for a public park in Shipley. At the time the nearest park was Robert’s Park in Saltaire.

After the park opened there were calls for a bowling green, as the sport was rising in popularity. In his book on the park, local historian Ian Watson said the need for a green came about because of the “reduction in working hours for manual and clerical workers, who then had more spare time to pursue a wider variety of leisure activities and sport.”

Although a green was eventually approved, it was not without controversy, as it would require a garden area of the park being replaced. Socialist candidate in the 1913 council elections, Edward Baumann, said the green would cost too much, and that people would enjoy the gardens more than a bowling green.

Once opened, players could rent bowls for a penny for half an hour. In February 1918 a pavilion was built next to the green.

Around 40 members of the club gathered to celebrate the anniversary.

Albert Cross, the club’s secretary, said: “It was a really big day for the club, and we all had a smashing time.

“When the green was first built the town was a lot different, but it is still in the centre of the town and we are still opposite the town hall.”

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