Friends of Queen's Park Heywood -

Queen’s Park Bowling Club, Heywood.
 
Photographic history of the Bowling Club only dates back to around 1920, though the Club was in existence from a somewhat earlier date. One photograph, dated 27 March 1964 shows the existing ‘New Bowls Hut’ being opened by Alderman A. Sherwin, Mayor of Heywood.
 
According to Queen’s Park records two bowling greens were in the original plan but only one green was actually laid out. The bowling club was formed in 2001 and therefore had been in existence for 100 years by 2011.
 
The Crown Green at Queen’s Park is the largest bowling green in the North of England, measuring approximately 62yds  x  47yds. The bowling facilities are provided by RMBC for use by the general public as well as for Members of the Queen’s Park Bowling Club’s various sections.
 
In the 1990’s QPBC supported four bowling teams – two playing in the Rochdale Veteran’s League and two playing in the Heywood League (open age). The Club also runs various internal competitions for Members at least once or twice per month in the season from April to September.
 
By 1997, membership had declined such that one of the Heywood League teams ceased to exist. Since that time however there has been a significant revival in the sport of crown green bowling at Queen’s Park, membership has increased and new teams have been introduced. The Club now comprises two Veteran’s Teams, one Heywood League team, one Ladies team, one mixed Thursday night team and two Junior teams all playing in local leagues.
 
In 2002, Heywood New Deal and Awards for All provided grant funding to construct a Ladies Toilet facility in the pavilion which overcame a serious problem for evening ladies games when the Park toilets were not available for use.
 
Grant funding was also provided by Heywood New Deal and Community Foundation for Greater Manchester, for the purchase of lighter weights of standard bowls, new jacks and supporting bowling equipment suitable for use by juniors. In 2008, a grant of £200 obtained via Heywood New Deal from Rochdale Township enabled the purchase of logo embroidered Polo Shirts and Sweatshirts for the Juniors. The functioning of a Junior Section over recent years has led to an increase in Club Membership in all sections.
 
Membership of the Bowling Club, for an annual fee, allows free access to the green and use of the bowling equipment as well as entry to the various internal competitions run by the different sections. Casual users can hire bowling equipment and pay a greenage fee to have a session’s play.
 
The existing bowling pavilion is fast approaching the end of its life, needing frequent repairs to keep it serviceable. It is now too small to comfortably accommodate the increased membership numbers at such events as the annual GALA DAY, the Annual General Meeting and the Veteran’s Christmas Party.
 
An attempt was made in 2002 to obtain funding for a new bowling pavilion costing around £100,000 and whilst Planning Permission was obtained and funding of £20,000 secured, the bulk of the funding applied for through Sport England was finally turned down in July 2003, as no Lottery funds were available.
 
 
Use of the Bowling Green.
 
Queen’s Park bowling green is probably one of the most heavily used public bowling greens in the locality. On several occasions in the recent seasons, in excess of thirty bowlers have been partaking in the sport at the same time, both Members and general public / families.
Queen’s Park Bowling Club has the following teams:-

            QP Veterans ‘A’ Team          Rochdale Veteran’s League                Tuesday afternoons
            QP Veterans ‘B’ Team          Rochdale Veteran’s League                Tuesday afternoons
            QP Ladies Team                  Rochdale Ladies League                       Tuesday evenings
            QP Bowling Club                  Heywood League                                 Thursday evenings
            QP  Mixed team                  Thursday Night League                        Thursday evenings
            QP Juniors Team                 Rochdale Junior League                    Fri. pm. or Sat. am.
   
Various Members’ Competition Games with Trophies for winners are run at regular intervals usually on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday / Sunday afternoons. Total Membership of all sections of the Club is just over 120 individuals.
 
In the 2006 season, a survey was been carried out of all users of Queen’s Park Bowling Green over the season. This showed that more than 600 different individuals used the facility in the season and around 50 of this number were aged below 18 years
 
Queen’s Park Bowling Club received a Certificate in the 2010 Rochdale Borough Community Awards as a Highly Commended Club of the Year for it’s achievements in that bowling season. These included promotions for Veterans Team, Ladies Team, Wilf Percy Cup Winners, Juniors League positions and medals for two junior players.
 
                                                                                    Rodney Fowler, Secretary.

                          

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