WOMEN players at a Herefordshire bowls club are celebrating the club’s 100-year anniversary by hosting a series of charity matches taking place across the summer season, kicking off on April 30.

Teams of women from local clubs will be competing for the Centenary Challenge Cup which will be presented to the winning team at the Grand Finale on 10 September 10.

During the season the teams will raise money for the Save the Children Gaza Appeal.

There will be a range of other events to mark the anniversary of St Martin’s Bowls Club including several friendly bowling sessions with Herefordshire clubs and a celebration match with Bowls England players.

St Martin’s Bowling Club was opened in May 1924 and it was only the men who played and the women made the teas.

The 1920’s was a ‘golden age’ for bowls but with the depression following the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the losses of WW2 numbers fell.

In 1944 wives and daughters were invited to join due to the post-war shortage of men. An independent women’s section was formed in 1958 with 17 members.

From 1976 the women competed in the County Women’s League, which sadly wound up in 2013, after 37 years, due to insufficient numbers.

Today the club’s women’s section has 19 members who compete in friendlies, internal competitions and county matches.

Gone are the bowler hats and white skirts to be replaced with colourful team shirts and shorts or trousers.

Black woods/bowls have been replaced by rainbow colours and it is played in a more animated way than in the past.

Anyone interested in trying the game can contact the club’s secretary, Richard Walden, on 07870 269861. More details can be found online at: stmartinsbowlsclub.co.uk