Wychwood Bowls Club – 90th Anniversary

shiptonbowlsclubfoundermembersWhen researching for this piece, I came across a lovely article called Teenage Memories of Shipton (The Wychwood, 1986). It described how cricket was played in the 1920s on the ground that is still Wychwood Cricket Club. One day during a match tea break, one of the spectators went across to his house in Plum Lane and brought back a set of bowls. It became a regular occurrence that bowls would be played during the tea interval:

‘The aim of the bowls exercise became clearer when George Walker and John Small walked solemnly some thirty paces towards the Burford Road gate and turned to roll their woods in cunning curves, with the object of getting each bowl nearer to the white peg.

The gentleman in the natty knickerbocker tweeds was the head gardener at Shipton Court. George Walker in breeches and leggings was the head groom. The bowlers attracted the blacksmith, the baker and other.’

In 1929, the bowlers moved to a new green opposite the Red Horse pub, now the Wychwood Inn, on land that is now part of Tothill, and the Wychwood Bowls Club was established.

In 1949 the Club moved to its current location off the driveway to the Shaven Crown car park and the wooden Clubhouse was also relocated.

The 1989 article ends:

“The present bowlers may also applaud the skills of those cricket groundsmen who made their field so perfect as to tempt a skilled gardener to fetch out his forgotten woods ….”

I think you will agree that this paints a quintessentially English picture of cricket and bowls being played on a summer afternoon. We would love to see more people join our small, friendly club and ensure that bowls continues to be played in the Wychwoods on summer afternoons.

We will celebrate our 90th Anniversary with a special match against Oxfordshire Bowls Association President’s team on Friday 2nd August and with our Family Fun Day and Doubles Competition on 11th August.

Wychwood Bowls Club is a small friendly club of ladies and gents who meet on Thursday evenings for a rollup. We play friendly matches over the summer against local clubs, followed by afternoon tea.

Bowls is a game that can be enjoyed by all, whatever your age or fitness level. We have our club night on Thursdays from 18:30 and anyone is welcome to come along and have a go. You will need to wear flat-soled shoes, but nothing else is needed. Our members will make you welcome and show you how to play.

Karen Brunsden
Club Secretary

June-July 2019