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
shows the existing ‘New Bowls Hut’ being opened by Alderman A. Sherwin, Mayor
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
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
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
Veterans ‘A’ Team Rochdale Veteran’s
League Tuesday afternoons
Veterans ‘B’ Team Rochdale Veteran’s League Tuesday afternoons
Ladies Team Rochdale
Ladies League Tuesday evenings
Bowling Club Heywood
QP Mixed team Thursday
Night League Thursday evenings
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.