Leominster bowlers mark their club's first 100 years

Leominster Bowling Club celebrates its centenary with a match against Bowls England at Aldermans Meadows.Back from left, Angela Harris, Gerald Pitt, Richard Boulton, Richard Newman. Front from left, Rosemary Ellman-Brown, Michael Jennings, Marcia Pearce,

Leominster Bowling Club celebrates its centenary with a match against Bowls England at Aldermans Meadows.Back from left, Angela Harris, Gerald Pitt, Richard Boulton, Richard Newman. Front from left, Rosemary Ellman-Brown, Michael Jennings, Marcia Pearce,

First published in Sport

LEOMINSTER'S Bowling Club is looking ahead after celebrating 100 years of success this month.

The club, which was established in 1914, saw initial membership restricted to businessmen in the town along with holders of executive positions in the local authority.

But in the 1930s that restriction was dropped and post-war membership was extended to women.

When Leominster's municipal bowling green at the Sydonia closed it resulted in a further influx.

While matches with other bowling clubs were originally male only, when more females joined, women's matches were also arranged.

Over time, more and more clubs became gender-integrated and in 2000 it was decided that all matches would be mixed.

In the 1980s and 1990s membership exceeded 100 but, with the general decline in bowling numbers, membership this year stands at 57.

The club has been successful in competitions, winning the Tarmac (formerly Nash Rocks) League four times and the Hereford Times cup three times.

In 2000, the women's team reached the final stages of the then Travelsphere national competition – gaining a place in the final eight out of 600 entrants.

In 1979, four Leominster women – Eve Bruntnell, Joan Moffatt, Eileen Rolf and Pat Davies – won the all-England fours competition.

In 2002, Tracey Powell and Linda Smith won the all-England women's pairs competition.

Tracey Powell had the distinction of playing for England women in 2005 and was appointed captain of England women in 2006.

The club is now in good shape to face its next 100 years and this season there are a number of special matches including the visit from Bowls England team – headed by the national president – to mark the club's centenary.

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