War, as someone once said, seems to consist of long periods of boredom and inactivity interspersed with brief spells of violent and usually highly dangerous activity.


 

That was the situation that a group of Civil Defence and Ambulance staff found themselves in the year of 1942. to their credit, they decided to do something to fill the boring hours.


 

What they did decide, was to build a bowls green. nothing spectacular, just a one rink green green to pass the time. Their first problem was to find a piece of land on which to build. As luck would have it, there was a piece of land vacant next to the tennis courts where the fire and ambulance stations now stand.


 

The land, owned by Mrs Winch, of the brewery fame, gave her permission for the green to be built, not only that, she gave permission for the one rink green to become a two rink green. the men began work, and, after much labour, struggles and not a few swear-words, the two rink green emerged.


 

The first suggested name for the green was "The Civil Defence Bowls Club" and though adopted for a short while was soon abandoned in favour of "The Stratton House Bowls
Club", a name that lasted for the next ten years.


 

A committee was formed and the first Captain and Match Secretary was a Mr Ted Wood, a name that many a current club member is very familiar with. Ted, along with the newly formed committee, drew up a rule book, designed a club badge and confirmed that the joining fee was two shillings. (for the benefit of those younger readers that is 10p)


 

By 1946, the club, thanks to the good offices of Mrs Winch, now had four rinks and a splendid pavilion. As both membership and skills increased, Ted and his committee began to think of higher things. County recognition, no less!!!! Bedfordshire County Bowls Association was approached and a Mr Sydney Crawley of the E.B.A. and Bedford Borough B.C. visited the green to make an assessment of the green and general facilities. It was decided that the club could be accepted into the county, subject to certain conditions.


 

Though the green was suitable for friendly and non-competitive games, it didn't conform to county specifications for competitive matches. Therefore, any competitive games that Statton House B.C. entered had to be played away on their opponent's green.


 

In 1952, the council bought the piece of land in Drove Road, a green was laid and play started in 1954. Biggleswade Town Bowls Club had a new home and name.


 

The first singles champion was Dave Stallan, a feat he repeated on many occasions. He also went to represent Bedforshire at Worthing about 14 times and was the oldest man ever to win a County Championship. A great guy to who we should all look up to, an inspiration to one and all.


 

 

tell us your stories

feel free to contact the club web master who will be happy to insert any of your historic stories about biggleswade town bowls club