Bourne Town Bowls Club (that's Bourne in Lincolnshire) can be found on the Abbey Lawn between the outdoor swimming pool and the football ground.

We are a friendly mixed membership club and have a full programme of matches and competitions as well as regular fun bowling days and social events.

We always welcome new members of any age or ability, whether experienced bowlers or new to bowls. We'll help you get started in this great game.

Our bowling green holds 6 (sometimes 7) rinks and is well maintained by our devoted greenkeeper.

We field teams in the Stamford, Spalding & Peterborough leagues and our season runs from mid-April to the end of September depending on the weather.

Just want to spectate? You are very welcome to come along and watch the matches being played free of charge.

Interested In Becoming A Member?
Becoming a member entitles you to use of the Club facilities, the option to take part in the weekly friendly Roll-Up sessions, play in one of our league teams and getting the chance to compete in the Club Competitions.

See the section 'What We Offer' for more information about taster sessions and/or joining the Club.

A Short History of Bowls in Bourne (up to 1995)

Taken from 'A Portrait of Bourne' by Rex Needle

The Bourne Town Bowls Club, occupies land on the far corner of the Abbey Lawn and is now the only bowls club in the town. But it was not always so.

The origins of organised bowling in Bourne date back to 1921 when John Robert Arnold MBE set up the Congregational Sports Club which was involved with both bowls and tennis, on grass and hard courts. It was based in Manning Road on land adjoining the old Bourne Water Works and owned by a local businessman, Mr William Castledine, who rented it out at £1. 5s 0d. a year. The arrangement continued until 1942 but activities ceased because of the Second World War from 1939-45 and the club's assets were sold at auction and the funds donated equally between the Congregational and Methodist Sunday Schools.

Meanwhile, another organisation devoted to the sport, the Bourne Abbey Lawn Bowling Club began in 1922 when volunteers started preparing a new green on the grassland close to the church. Work went ahead with great enthusiasm and the club was opened the following year by the vicar, Canon John Grinter, a keen bowler himself who had also lent a hand with the preparations and who had been instrumental in the negotiations to lease the site to the club for a peppercorn rent of £8.50 a year.

The club continued to prosper for more than 60 years until the Church of England decided that Bourne needed a new vicarage and that the bowling club's green was the right place for it to be built. There were angry protests and the issue went to a public inquiry.

The club's president at that time, Jimmy White, who had been a member for 21 years, said: "The green belongs to the church but it would be a tragedy if we lost it. The club currently has 60 members, a third of them old age pensioners, and so we may not only lose our club, but also the many friendships that have been built up over the years." He added that losing the land would mean searching for a new site and laying a new green that would cost them around £30,000 which they could not afford.

But despite their pleas, the inspector decided in favour of the new vicarage and the bowls club was forced to close down and its members were left without playing facilities.

The Bourne Town Bowls Club was their salvation. It had been formed in 1953 as the Abbey Road Bowling Club with just 20 members and the land on the Abbey Lawn was rented from Bourne United Charities to provide just four rinks but they were only able to play friendly matches.

Many of them joined and this has helped the town club flourish to become one of the best in the county with 130 members now playing on a regular basis. A wooden pavilion was added in 1969 after being purchased for just £30 from Northorpe Cricket Club when it disbanded and can still be seen at the far corner of the green, complete with its original verandah.

This ancient building was replaced with a modern, brick built pavilion that was completed in 1977 and two years later the club changed its name to the Bourne Town Bowls Club with a total of 130 members playing there on a regular basis.

In 1967, the green was extended to six rinks with the co-operation of Bourne United Charities who own the land. Between 1965 and 1967 the club had one team which played in the Stamford League but withdrew in 1968 to join the Spalding League. A B team was added two years later, also playing in the Spalding league, and a ladies' section was formed in 1973 with fifteen members, although now much larger.

The story of the club since then has been one of slow progression and improvement, both with the club facilities and with the playing status. Two more teams entered the Stamford League in 1984 and a new surface was laid on the greens in 1995 at a cost of £13,000, financed with the help of a £10,000 grant from South Kesteven District Council. The club now fields between ten and twelve teams a week in various competitions and other matches but the committee is always anxious to attract more members to their sport and many members feel that the formation of a new club in the town might provide much needed competition, and perhaps an indoor rink. "Another club would also increase the competition and an indoor green in Bourne would mean that we would no longer need to travel to Spalding or Stamford to play in the winter months", said one member.

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