Pershore Bowling Club

Our History

This text has been extracted from a document produced in 2003 to celebrate our 75th anniverasary and the 50th anniversary of the ladies
Foreword by Roy Briscoe President 2003

The history of the Club, for its first sixty years, has been well  documented by others but this history is worth repeating for the benefit of those of us who were not around in the earlier years. There is little doubt that from very austere and simple beginnings  we have developed into a club that is well recognized and respected in  Worcestershire bowling circles and beyond and one which provides excellent bowling & social facilities for its members and visitors. Unfortunately we have not got the modern and functional clubhouse that many would like but this is amply compensated for by our idyllic location in the shadows of Pershore Abbey. I am sure that this is the envy of many clubs as it is always the subject of comment by our visitors.
The fact that we have survived and gone from strength to strength in the seventy-five years of our existence is testimony to the dedication
and commitment of our members. Long may the Club continue to thrive.
I am delighted to be President in the Club’s 75th Anniversary year and I want it to be a year that we shall remember with pride.
Roy Briscoe


An Historical Note 1928 to 2003

The club was formed in 1928 following an invitation by the then Lord Abbott of Pershore to the tradesmen of the town to play bowls on the
lawn at the monastery, long since demolished. The Lord Abbott accepted an invitation to be the Club’s first  President and continued to hold this office until 1936 when the monastery was closed and the monks moved to Nashdom Abbey in Buckinghamshire.
Because of its restricted size the lawn was then only large enough  to provide two rinks. It was mown using an old hand mower and rolled
with a heavy horse drawn roller to take out the bumps. Members played mostly friendly games among themselves but also managed to play one or two matches with nearby villages – generally on a vicarage lawn or the like. There were no drinking facilities in those days and members would either club together to buy bottled beer to take to the green or retire for suitable refreshments to a nearby hostelry the landlord of which, most conveniently, happened to be a member of the club. After the departure of the monks, the continued use of the lawn was put on a more formal basis whereby an annual tenancy was granted, at a nominal rental, and the club was able to take additional land to make a level green of four rinks. The work on these four rinks was done at the time by volunteers until the club appointed its first groundsman. In consideration of the work he was given free membership and allowed to use the headlands around the green as an allotment. It is said that his specialty crop was stick beans quite a lot of which found their way into member’s bowls bags.
At that time the green was still within the grounds of the monastery, which retained extensive outbuildings and gardens, not forgetting a moat in which fish were kept and caught for food. What is now the Abbey Park was then mostly grazing land with fruit orchards and highly productive market gardens. Ultimately, the whole estate was acquired by the Pershore District Council for housing development. 
The Abbott’s house was demolished and the outbuildings and gardens were let to various tenants. The club, at that time, did not have a pavilion but used one of the Abbey outbuildings as a substitute – somewhere to take shelter and to eat. Seventy five years ago, and for obvious reasons, the club was known as The Abbey Bowling Club. However, in a very short space of time the club decided to amalgamate with another bowls club in Head Street known as the Brotherhood Club and Pershore Bowling Club was born.
During the Second World War there was not much bowling on the green and those members who were still available had to rely on playing friendly games amongst themselves. At the end of hostilities, however, a great transformation of the club took place. The green was extended to provide six rinks and part of a prisoner of war hut was acquired and erected on site to provide a pavilion. Mains water was laid on and a liquor license was obtained. Members financed all these improvements from personal loans and guarantees to the club and by money raising activities. Members and their wives rallied round to provide furnishing and to make curtains, to supply cutlery and china and, of course, to keep the place clean and tidy. Such joint enterprises did not stop there. Weekly Whist Drives were held in the pavilion throughout the winter months to raise more money and membership grew remarkably during this time.
It is worth reminding ourselves that throughout all of this time playing membership was restricted to men only but on the 23rd April 1953
a Ladies Section was formed and since has gone from strength to strength. This year the Ladies will be celebrating their own 50th

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