Bishop’s Stortford Bowling Club (BSBC) was founded in 1903 after the tennis courts behind the Maltings in Hockerill Street were converted into a bowling green. Hertfordshire formed their County Association in 1920 with BSBC joining in 1934. Since then Club members have made valuable contributions (including presidents) to the County Association and also been well-represented on the East Area Committee.
Little is known of the history before 1949 although the first pavilion, inherited from the tennis courts, little more than a hut with no water or electricity, was opened in 1926. In 1951 the Club agreed to offer its match with Havers Park as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations. The following years saw the Club celebrate its Jubilee Year, various improvements to the green and facilities, the addition of the ‘Cannon’ Pavilion’, and connection to mains water and electricity. During this period the Club was also opened to ladies, although they initially had restricted playing times, but have since played a very important part in the club both as players and fund raisers. The 70’s saw the Club go through good and bad times both financially and with membership numbers, but further developments continued and by the early 80’s consideration was given to either a new green or moving to a new site.
As nothing came of this, the Club struggled on at its Hockerill site in the 90’s, making various changes when funds allowed. With dwindling membership a ‘Membership and Youth’ policy was adopted along with ‘Try it days’ and by the late 90’s membership had increased.
The new Millennium saw the start of a new and exciting period for the Club. After much discussion and many set backs, a developer was identified who would purchase the Hockerill site and build a new clubhouse and two green facility on a site off Beldams Lane. In 2007, new coloured Club shirts were introduced and development of the Stort Wholesalers site caused access/ parking problems at the Hockerill site. Once Planning Applications were granted, work finally started at Beldams Lane. On completion, the Club moved to this new facility in June 2008, although play was only possible on the artificial green at this time. 2009 saw the first full season at Beldams lane, initially using the artificial green until late June, when the grass green was ready; just in time for the Official Opening held in July.
BSBC History Gallery
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