North Leeds Bowling Club

We are indebted to past Secretary Ken Holt and his wife Diana for the following.

A brief history of North Leeds Bowling Club (NLBC)

The first stirrings of a bowling club at "North Leeds" were felt towards the end of the 1914/18 war when negotiations between North Leeds Cricket Club (NLCC) and Leeds City Council began. The well established cricket club, which already had a tennis section was seeking to expand further and wanted a new lease which would include a bowling green. In 1919, when the protracted negotiations were still continuing, a President was elected for the formative NLBC. At the 1920 Annual General Meeting of the cricket club the bowling section was inaugurated and on 23rd April 1921 the bowling green was opened. The wooden pavilion, which still forms a good part of the current pavilion and which defined it's appearance, was built at this time. 

Not too much is known of the clubs activity during these early years, but it is known that the club didn`t take part in League Bowling, but did play friendly games against local clubs.
In the early 1960's some notable changes took place at NLBC. Up to this time the club had been for male players only. Minute books of the early 1960's refer to the female friends of the club as "Lady Supporters" and they were not allowed to bowl. In the 60's these ladies were asked to help with catering, mainly on Saturday afternoons. In 1961 minutes record that "we should regard Friday nights as Club Nights and that "lady supporters should be invited to join us" In 1963 records show that the possibility of ladies becoming full playing (and paying!) members was being discussed by the Committee. At the AGM on 4th October 1963 a proposal was made "that applications should be considered from ladies who would like to take an active part in the club and beconme playing members." The proposition was passed without dissent. Shortly afterwards at a committee meeting on 3rd March 1964 the first 4 ladies were elected to membership.

Another significant and positive change happened in the mid 1960's when the closing of Kershaw's Bowling Green, on nearby Oakwood Lane, led to several ex-Kershaw bowlers of considerable ability transferring to become members of North Leeds. This not only increased the overall membership, but was instrumental in making the club more active and competitive. The entering of teams in league matches soon followed. Probably as a response to the increased activity, a kitchen was added to the pavilion in the late 1960's, and the pavilion became essentially as it is today.

Recent improvements at the club have included the installation of full wheelchair access ramps to the Clubhouse and the building of a fully accessible toilet facility.

The Kitchen was refurbished in 2010 thanks to the generosity of two of our club members who donated used but still excellent kitchen units and appliances when they splashed out on a new kitchen for their home.Club member and resident Joiner, Eric Bedford supervised the installation of the new units and the result is a much more usable facilty in which we can prepare and serve our renowned club lunches and teas.

A much needed visitors shelter was built in the grounds in 2009 and is much appreciated by the many visiting teams playing at North Leeds.

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